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PDP-BJP break-up:Celebrations in parts of Kashmir, some fear lack of transparency in Guv rule

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Srinagar:The break-up of the PDP-BJP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir sparked celebrations in parts of the Valley, even as some people expressed apprehension that Governor’s rule might lead to lack of transparency and worsen the situation in the state.
The BJP pulled out of the alliance with the PDP yesterday, following which Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tendered her resignation. Governor’s rule was imposed in the state this morning.
In several areas of Kashmir, including Srinagar, Kupwara and Pahalgam, people burst firecrackers after the news broke out.
“This alliance was unholy. The PDP should not have joined hands with the BJP in the first place. But better late than never. We are happy that this alliance has ended,” Faizan Mir, a resident of Srinagar, said.
Mudassir Nazir, a businessman, described the PDP-BJP alliance as a coalition of north and south poles as the their ideologies are in stark contrast.
“Their ideologies are totally opposite. The BJP has its own interests and does not care about the people of Kashmir. They were totally opposite to what PDP stands for and hence, the people were suffering,” he said.
The businessman also accused the coalition government of being corrupt and hoped for a clean and transparent administration under Governor N N Vohra.
“There would be no ministers now and no lust for power or money. I am sure the Governor will be able to give a clean, transparent and corruption-free administration. We have seen this in the past,” he said.
The celebrations over the end of the alliance were reported from south Kashmir — the PDP’s bastion — as well.
Speaking over phone from Pahalgam, Hameed-ullah Wani, a PDP supporter, said the people wanted to get rid of the alliance right from day one.
“We never appreciated the PDP for joining hands with the BJP. This was their biggest blunder and they will pay for it. We are happy that it is over as this alliance caused agony and suffering to the people of the state, especially in the Valley.
“However, it would have been better if the PDP would have ditched the BJP rather than what happened,” he said.
However, some people felt that an elected government was any day better than the Governor’s rule.
“A democratically elected government is much better any day than the Governor’s rule which essentially means New Delhi’s direct rule in the state where now they will have absolute control over the administration and the security apparatus.
“They can do anything now in the absence of a government which otherwise could built pressure on them on certain issues,” Feroz Ahmad Bhat, a resident of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal said.
Bhat’s views were echoed by Sheikh Tanveer, a resident of uptown Srinagar.
Tanveer said when a government is in place, people can take their grievances to their representatives and hold them accountable, which is not the case in Governor’s rule.
“Whether you like it or not, you cannot do anything about it (Governor’s rule). That is the major difference. You can hold the government responsible, your representatives and ministers are reachable and they listen to you because they have a constituency which the Governor does not have,” he said.
Tanveer said it would have been better if the regional parties the PDP and the National Conference would come together with the support of the Congress to cobble up a coalition government.
“The regional party government acts as a buffer in states like Jammu and Kashmir. I wish the PDP and the NC would have come together rather than having this unholy coalition or the Governor’s rule,” he said.
He expressed apprehensions over the situation worsening in the days to come.
“I think it (situation) will worsen. There was some calm because of the ceasefire and then the government had some control over how to deal with the situation. Now, the forces will have a free hand,” he said.
The Governor’s rule, which has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir for the eighth time, was necessitated in the state after chief minister Mehbooba resigned yesterday following BJP pulling out from the over three-year-old coalition.


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Accused in Central Jail incident identified, chargesheet to be completed soon

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Srinagar, May 25: The accused in the April 4 incident of clashes inside the Central Jail Srinagar have been identified and booked and the chargesheet against the same will be filed soon, J&K has said.
The matter was discussed during the visit of DGP Police & Prisons J&K Dilbag Singh to the Central Jail on Saturday, who held a detailed security review meeting with the Jail Superintendent, officers, Zonal SP, DySP and concerned CRPF officers.
During the meeting, a police spokesperson said, the DGP impressed upon the officers to ensure that the security of the Central Jail is further augmented in view of the incident of the “rioting and violence” in leading to serious intervention and action against the culprits for causing damage to the jail buildings and other infrastructure.
“Progress on the case FIR No. 19/2019 registered at Police Station Rainawari in this regard was reviewed with the Zonal SP and DySP. It was reported that considerable progress has been made. Most of the accused persons have been identified and booked, shall be charge-sheeted soon,” the spokesperson said.
He added that part of the restoration works of the damaged areas has already been initiated and the remaining shall be taken up soon after the approval and grant of funds from the state authorities.
As reported by The Kashmir Monitor early this month, the authorities had shifted at least 60 inmates – and were planning to move many more – from Srinagar Central Jail to other jails of the state following the incident of clashes and protests within the facility in April.
In the intervening night of April 4 and 5, as many as 400 inmates were engaged in night-long clashes with the jail authorities after the latter tried to move them out of their barracks.
The facility was damaged even as tear-gas shells and pump-action pellet guns were used against the inmates. At least, two of them were grievously injured. The jail is located in a densely populated area of the city.
The administration alleged the inmates “attempted jailbreak” while the inmates said they protested against the alleged desecration of the religious scriptures by the jail staff, a claim that was totally negated by the Jail Superintendent.
A week later, the inmates went on a hunger strike and refused to meet any of the visitors including their kin.
Their demands then included withdrawal of FIR against them in connection with the protests and clashes and transfer of the Jail Superintendent.
A team comprising of the members of High Court Bar Association (HCBA) had also visited the Jail after Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Srinagar, had asked the jail authorities to permit and facilitate the visit.
The team filed their report to CJM on April 13.
The team, as per the HCBA statement, had found that the “inmates felt a conspiracy was being hatched against them and the state had adopted a hostile attitude towards them for their political ideology and thought.”
The Bar members had also found that after the incident, there was a communication breakdown between the inmates and the jail administration.

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Noted Kashmir expert Yousuf Buch passes away in New York

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Srinagar, May 25: Yousuf Buch, a noted Kashmir expert, former Pakistani minister and former Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations, passed away in the US on Friday evening at his home in New York.
“Grieved to hear about the death of Ambassador Yousuf Buch in US, a legend and a living encyclopaedia on Kashmir who dedicated his life to the Kashmir cause. He was a close aide of Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah in Muzzafarabad who later served as advisor to UN Sec Gen for 18 years. Praying for the magfirah of this illustrious son of Kashmir,” tweeted Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
“M Yusuf Buch a scarcely known authoritative voice on Kashmir is no more. Civil servant, policy maker, political advisor & much more. A Kashmiri to the core, an intellectual with Graham Greene, Paul Sweezy, & Baran as friends. Would like to be remembered as Ambassador Buch. RIP!” former J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu tweeted.
The Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, in an emailed statement said the funeral prayers of Ambassador Yusuf Buch will be held at Makkah Masjid in Brooklyn, New York.
He added the body of the deceased will be transported to Pakistan where he will be buried in Muzaffarabad.
Born in Kalashpora Srinagar 1922, the Buch’s were three brothers: Yusuf, Ghulam Naqashaband, who eventually became the Resident Commissioner in Delhi and Mohammad Amin Buch, who became the Chief Conservator of forests in Jammu and Kashmir and would also run Chenar newspaper.
Yusuf Buch, according to reports, topped a civil administration examination during Dogra rule and was appointed as Tehsildar somewhere around the early forties. He was posted in Baramulla for a few years.
Buch was one of the many persons exiled by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1949. Open source information suggests that the staunch Muslim Conference supporter, Buch was arrested and driven to Suchetgrah in Jammu and later sent to Pakistan. He was accompanied, in the same bus, by Agha Showkat Ali, Barrister Abdul Gani Rentoo, and Mahmood Hashmi.
Buch was considered as an encyclopaedia on Kashmir as he had witnessed almost every major development from a very closer quarter.
Buch came to the US in 1953 as a winner of an International Essay Contest sponsored by the United Nations. Later, he worked as a correspondent at the United Nations. He also, ran a Free Kashmir Centre in New York from 1957 to 1972. He remained a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for over 18 years.

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Muslim couple thrashed after beef rumours in MP

Omar says ‘just the beginning’; ‘Horrified’ reacts Mehbooba

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Bhopal, May 25: In an appalling case reported from Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, a Muslim couple was brutally thrashed for allegedly carrying beef. The victims have complained that they were forced to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ by the accused men.
The local police Friday arrested five vigilantes after the video went viral showing five men beating up three persons including the Muslim couple on suspicion of carrying meat.
The video further shows ‘gaurakshaks’ forcing the three to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans. The incident happened on May 22 but the police came to know of it on May 24 when the video came to the fore.
Dunda Seoni police station incharge Ganpat Uikey said that Shubham Baghel, a habitual offender, Yogesh Uikey, Deepesh Namdev, Rohit Yadav and Shyam Dehriya have been arrested for assault. The five have been booked under IPC sections 143, 148, 149, 341, 294, 323 and 506 and also section 25 of arms act.
On May 22, Taufik, Anjum Shama and Dilip Malviya were arrested under the anti-cow slaughter act and sent to judicial custody after the cow vigilantes informed the police that they were allegedly carrying the meat in an autorickshaw and a two-wheeler from Khairi village. The meat has been sent to a laboratory for testing. Seoni SP Lalit Shakyawar said the situation was under control.
Ganpat said that a relative of one of the three persons filed an FIR after the video surfaced. He said the vigilantes informed the police after roughing up and beating the trio. He added that one of the accused Shubham Baghel belongs to an organisation called Shriram Sena.
Meanwhile, former J&K CMs, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah reacted to the incident.
“Horrified to see cow vigilantes thrash an innocent Muslim with such impunity in MP. Hope @OfficeOfKNath takes swift action against these goons,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Omar Abdullah’s remark was a bit poetical referring to the rise of Hindutva in BJP 2.0 regime.
“Ibtedaae ishq hai rota hai kya, Aage Aage dekhiye hota hai kya,” he tweeted. The Urdu verse roughly translating into, “It’s the start of love, why do you cry? Behold, there is more to follow.”

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