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Revoking AFSPA in time of militancy not possible: BJP

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Srinagar, Apr 25: The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Wednesday made it clear that unless the militancy and stone pelting doesn’t stop in the valley, the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), should not be revoked from the Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our stand is very clear that AFSPA cannot be revoked unless and until peace and normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” BJP State General Secretary Ashok Koul told KNS over phone.
He said that the BJP government in the centre is closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir and will take the decision on AFSPA revocation at the right and appropriate time.
Interestingly in the Agenda of Alliance (Aoa), the PDP and BJP had agreed that while both parties have historically held a different view on AFSPA and the need for it in the State, as part of the agenda for governance of this alliance, the coalition government will examine the need for de-notifying ‘disturbed areas’.
Koul further said, “Our Jawans are being killed. Today a PDP leader was shot dead. The stone pelting has not stopped. How can we expect the revocation of act in these circumstances? BJP leader questioned.
The statement comes a day after BJP’s collation partner People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that the act must go from the Jammu and Kashmir.
“From day one we wanted peace in Kashmir. We too want that AFSPA should end,” Maternal uncle of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni had told KNS over phone.
He had said that the PDP is keen that law like AFSPA is withdrawn and that the revocation of AFSPA is part of Agenda of Alliance between the two parties.
It is to mention here that while addressing a conference in New Delhi chief minister, Mehbooba had said AFSPA should be revoked from some areas of the State.
She had said that PDP and BJP had come together to form coalition government in the State on an Agenda of Alliance which included revocation of AFSPA.
“We should not shy away from revocation of AFSPA. When things improve, why not?” she had said added “We don’t shy away when situation goes bad. We don’t shy away from calling more forces. We ask army to be more proactive, but when the situation improves, we should not shy away from the fact we need to start revocation of AFSPA from some places and see what the impact is”.
During 2014 assembly campaign in the state the PDP leaders has promised that if voted to power, the party will ensure that AFSPA is withdrawn from the state. The BJP on the other hand, had opposed any withdrawal of the act.
Mehbooba’s predecessor and Opposition National conference leader, Omar Abdullah had in 2012 expressed confident that “ the day was not for” when AFSPA will be withdrawn from the state during his governments tenure.
However after failing in his attempt, Omar blamed the collation partner congress and opposition PDP for not supporting him in his endeour to get AFSPA revoked.
The act has remained the bone of contention between the regional parties, PDP, NC and National parties BJP and the congress. While the regional parties in favour of revoking the act, the National parties want the AFSPA to remain to provide legal cover to the security forces operating in ant-militancy operations in the state.
The voices have got lowder for the revocation of AFSPA after it was removed completely from Meghalaya and restricted to eight police stations bordering Assam and three districts neighboring Myanmar.
While Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Monday asked New Delhi to withdraw controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Kashmir saying the “draconian” act has played havoc with “our lives” the number of legal luminaries including Senior lawyer, Zafar Shah, Noted human rights defender and lawyer, Parvez Imroz, had said that the Armed forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is draconian and should be revoked. (KNS)


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Kashmir

Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.

In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.

Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.

 

Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.

After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.

Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.

“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them. We started off as delivery boys and would pick up the products ourselves,” recounts Sami Ullah.

The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.

However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.

The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.

The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order.  It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.

At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.

They have five people working for them.

The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.

They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.

The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.

The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.

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Kashmir

No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday

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Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.

 

In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt

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Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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