Srinagar, Mar 16: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and two prominent Muslim faces of the BJP would be party’s star campaigners in Jammu and Kashmir.
Similarly, for Congress, Rahul Gandhi and Navjot Singh Sidhu would lead the campaign for the Congress candidates in the state.
The Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in five phases beginning April 11. The political parties have started the election campaigning to lure the electorate to vote in favour of their candidates.
The BJP has decided to contest all six-parliamentary seats in Jammu and Kashmir. The party state unit has sent a list of prospective candidates for party high command’s approval.
The high command will select one candidate among Ali Muhammad Dar, Surendar Ambardar, and Sheikh Abdul Rashid for Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
For Anantnag Parliamentary constituency, the names of Sofi Yusuf, and Muhammad Rafi Wani, and Ghulam Nabi Dar, while MM War, GM Mir and Muhammad Anwar Khan for north Kashmir constituency, have been recommended. Similarly, a list of candidates has also been submitted from Ladakh and Jammu regions.
The BJP has also submitted a list of names of six leaders to be the party’s star campaigners in J&K.
“We have decided on some names like Rajnath Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Shahnawaaz Khan, Nitin Gadkari to be star campaigners. We are sure of winning all the seats,” BJP State General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Koul told The Kashmir Monitor.
Asked if BJP ran out of seats, what will be the party’s next option, he replied: “Nobody had thought in 2014 that the PDP will forge an alliance with BJP. Take the example of BSP-SP alliance in UP. Mayawati and Akhilseh Yadav were poles apart but now they came together during election time. This is what happens. So we don’t need to worry about the options. We will have several options if any such need arises.”
A BJP leader said that they were eyeing on Shia-dominated places in Kashmir. “Mukhtar Abaas Naqvi, Shahnawaaz Khan will campaign in Shia-dominated areas,” the BJP leader added.
In 2009 and 2014 parliamentary polls, BJP managed a voting share of 18.61 and 32.4 percent respectively.
In 2014 polls, BJP won two Parliamentary seats from Jammu and one from Ladakh.
For Congress, president Rahul Gandhi would be party’s star campaigner in the state.
“Senior Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, and Navjot Singh Sidhu are likely to campaign here,” senior Congress leader G N Monga said.
The Congress is in talks with the National Conference for an alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In 2004 Parliamentary elections, the Congress had secured 27.83 percent vote share, which dipped to 24.67 percent in 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
While as in 2014 Parliamentary polls, the vote share of Congress slumped around 22 percent triggering an unprecedented debacle.
Principal’s ‘custodial killing’: Probe officer meets family, locals
Srinagar, Mar 23: Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) Pulwama Qazi Masood probing the “custodial killing” of a school principal Saturday met the victim’s family in Awantipora area of Pulwama district.
Rizwan Asad Pandit, the Principal of Sabir Abdullah Public School Tral, was picked up by the police from his home late on March 17 during a raid and was killed in police custody at the Cargo Building two days later, according to his family.
Although the police had initially admitted that Rizwan had “died” in custody and that the matter was being probed under “procedure laid down in Section 176 of CRPC,” it later filed an FIR against him for “escape or attempts to escape from custody”, lending a new twist to the case.
The magisterial inquiry that was ordered in Srinagar was also closed and a fresh probe ordered in Pulwama district and a report sought in “four weeks.”
“Government has appointed me as an inquiry officer, I assured the family that I will conduct the fair investigation into the case,” the inquiry officer Qazi Masood told GNS after meeting Rizwan’s family members and local residents.
Masood said he has sought a report from SP Awantipora on why and how Rizwan was detained and the circumstances that led to his death.
“I have also sought a postmortem report from the SP,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, reports said that soon after the inquiry officer arrived in the area and met the family members, locals held a protest demonstration demanding stern action against the guilty.
Civil society, traders, Bar demand special inquiry commission
Srinagar, Mar 23: Kashmir business community, civil society, and High Court Bar Association on Saturday asked Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Paul Malik to set-up an independent Special Commission of inquiry in the custodial killing of Awantipora school teacher Rizwan Asad Pandit.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, they said that there have been countless instances of inquiries being ordered in killings without any results.
“To deter future violations, we appeal to the Governor for setting up of a time-bound Independent Special Commission of Inquiry,” they said.
The members said that till the time the commission submits its report, it would serve justice if the case is treated to be one of custodial killing and all persons associated with it are put behind bars and kept away from active duty.
“Such inquiries, suffering from institutional bias and state interference, have rarely served the interests of justice,” they said.
“We have a reason to believe that this killing would also suffer the same fate and the killers would again roam free to kill, more confident in the fact that their crimes will never be brought to account,” they said.
They said that the repeated perpetration of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law needs in-depth fact-finding and investigation.
On Tuesday, Rizwan Asad Pandit, a 29-year-old school teacher, died inside the Jammu and Kashmir’s CARGO camp in Srinagar.
He was picked up for questioning from his home in Awantipora on Sunday.
The family had said that his body bore evidence of being subjected to extreme physical violence.
The press conference was jointly held by KCC&I, High Court Bar Association, KTMF, KEA, KTMF (R), FCIK(A), FCIK(M), JKSECC, KCSDS, KHARA, CCIK, All Transport Welfare Association, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealers Association, Houseboat Owners Association, KHAROF, Pvt School Association, Kashmir Bakers Association, All Kashmir Chemist & Distributors Association, Hoteliers Club, All Traders & Transporters Coordination Committee, All J&K Taxi Owners Association, Association Of Kashmir Tour, Environmental Protection Group, Shehr E Khaas Coordination, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj, Rehabilitation Alliance, and Batamaloo Traders Association.
ED imposes Rs 14.4 lakh penalty on Geelani
Srinagar, Mar 22: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Friday imposed Rs 14.4 lakh penalty, on Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for “illegally” possessing foreign exchange of around $10,000, news agency PTI reported.
After completion of the probe and adjudication proceeding, the ED an order on Wednesday under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), levying the penalty and confiscating forex of $10,000 that was allegedly recovered from Geelani, they said.
The ED will also impose a penalty on Yasin Malik, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and confiscate foreign exchange recovered from him. The adjudication proceedings against Malik are in progress.
On Wednesday, a Delhi court also allowed ED to quiz Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah and others in connection with an alleged funding case.