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Rising cold or hotel Bill?All detainees shifted out from Centaur

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Nov 17: The administration on Sunday shifted all 34 detained leaders and representatives of various political parties from Centaur to MLA hostel at MA Road here.

Sources told The Kashmir Monitor that the leaders were moved out after bills in Centaur – the hotel on the banks of Dal which was converted into a sub-jail – plummeted beyond Rs 3 crore even as the government and the hotel management had some disagreement on the tariff.

Prevailing cold weather was another reason for the decision to shift the leaders to a new location, sources added. The MLA hostel too has been declared as a sub-jail.

 

Those shifted out included: Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone, NC leaders Ali Sagar, Mubarak Gul, Altaf Kaloo, IshfaqJabbar, Irfan Shah, Bashir Veeri; PDP leaders Nizamuddin Bhat, Naeem Akhter, Yasir Reshi, Khurshid Aalam, Waheed Parra, Ashraf Mir, Zahoor Mir, Ajaz Mir, and Mohammad Yousuf Bhat.

IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal and Deputy Mayor of SMC Sheikh Imran too were among those shifted out to the new detention centre.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti claimed that Sajad, Parra, and Shah Faesal were “roughed up” during the transfer.

“SKICC detainees shifted to MLA hostel, Srinagar today. Police manhandled them & roughed up Sajad Lone, Waheed Para & Shah Faesal. Is this how you treat elected representatives? Why humiliate them? J&K is under martial law & police seems be inebriated with power,” Iltija tweeted from Mehbooba’s handle.

“The same Waheed Para whose work for strengthening democracy in J&K was lauded by former Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh.The very same Shah Faesal who was called Kashmir’s role model when he topped UPSC exam. Once appreciated & now humiliated. Why?” the Twitter thread added.

Police, however, denied all such reports. 

“Apropos some twitter handle claiming manhandling of some people at MLA hostel Srinagar, it is hereby clarified that no such incident has taken place. Mandatory security drills were followed as required for lodgement,” senior J&K cop Imtiyaz Hussain wrote on Twitter.

The leaders were put under preventive detention in August when government of India abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the J&K state into union territories.

In Centaur, the authorities had booked 42 rooms for the detained leaders. While the average one day tariff for a room in Centaur is around Rs 7000, the authorities, sources added, were ready to pay only Rs 800 a day.

The administration, sources said, had rejected the tariff and argued that the facility was converted into a subsidiary jail on August 5 and therefore, government rates would be paid.

The decision to shift the political leaders comes days after PDP leader and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was shifted from Cheshmashahi to a government guest house at MA Road here.

The Abdullahs – Farooq and Omar – however, haven’t been shifted anywhere. While Farooq, who was slapped with Public Safety Act, has been put in his home, Omar is lodged at Hari Niwas guest house designated as sub jail.


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State

Centre announces 4800 cr CPC allowances for JK

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Dec 10: Centre on Tuesday announced 7th Central Pay Commission allowances worth around Rs 4800 crores for government employees of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh.

“The government has approved Rs 4800 crore for the same”, Union minister G Kishan Reddy, said in the Lok Sabha. The minister also announced two AIIMS like institutions in Jammu and Srinagar.

Reddy announced approval of eight medical colleges for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

 

On August 5, the central government had announced the abrogation of the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into UTs.

After Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on August 8 where he announced that all the financial facilities being given to the employees of other Union territories as per the recommendations of 7th CPC, would soon be extended to the employees of UT of Jammu and Kashmir, and UT of Ladakh.

The annual financial implication of 7th CPC allowances like children education allowance, hostel allowance, transport allowance, LTC, fixed medical allowance, etc. in respect of 4.5 lakh government employees of existing state of Jammu and Kashmir will be around Rs 4,800 crore.

Of the total Rs 4,800 crore, a modest Rs 607 crore will be for children education allowance, Rs 1,823 crore for hostel allowance, Rs 1,200 crore for transport allowance, Rs 1,000 crore for leave travel concession (LTC), Rs 108 crore for fixed medical Allowance and Rs 62 crore for other allowances.

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State

Ensure all eligible beneficiaries are covered under CSS: Kabra

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Dec 9: Principal Secretary Home, Shaleen Kabra, today exhorted upon the officers to spread awareness regarding various centrally sponsored schemes to ensure optimum coverage of eligible persons under the ambit of these pro-people programmes.

Kabra issued these instructions while addressing a meeting convened to discuss and chalk out strategies towards achieving cent percent coverage of beneficiaries under individual centric schemes.

Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi; Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education Department, Sarita Chauhan; Director General Social Welfare, Rehana Batool; Director Planning Social Welfare, Omera Shafaq and other concerned officers were present in the meeting. All the Deputy Commissioners attended the meeting through video conferencing.

 

Principal Secretary sought details about the status of various centrally sponsored schemes being implemented in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and directed the officers to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries avail scholarships and other benefits. He emphasized the need for creating massive awareness about these schemes so that all eligible are benefited.

Other points which were discussed in the meeting included 100% pension coverage to physically challenged persons and senior citizens above 70 years of age besides implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana for pregnant women.

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State

Mubeen’s detention order revoked permanently

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Dec 9: Two days after he was released “temporarily”, the Jammu and Kashmir administration informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it had permanently revoked the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against NRI businessman Mubeen Shah, who had been picked by authorities in Kashmir in August.

Shah was released on Saturday from the Agra Central Jail where he had been moved to on August 7 after being detained in Kashmir Valley, along with a host of political leaders, social activists and separatists following the Centre”s announcements related to Jammu and Kashmir.

The release of Shah on Saturday was “temporary” and he was asked to surrender on March 7 next year, according to an order issued by Principal Home Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

However, on Sunday, the same officer issued another order, submitted before the Supreme Court, saying that the PSA had been revoked under section 19 (1) of the Act and the fresh order superseded its order of December 6.

Under this Act, the government may at any time revoke or modify the detention order against any individual.

“In exercise of the powers conferred under section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby in supersession of government order…dated December 6, revokes the detention order…dated August 7, 2019…,” the order said.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai allowed the withdrawal of a plea challenging the August 7 order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the union territory, said the PSA has been permanently revoked.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Asifa Mubeen, the wife of Mubeen Shah, seeking quashing of the August 7 order of detention along with the grounds of detention under section 8(1)(a) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978.

The counsel appearing for Asifa said they would like to withdraw the plea as it has become infructuous. The bench then allowed the plea to be withdrawn.

“Once the Solicitor General submitted the order of complete revocation of PSA against my client, the petition was disposed off,” Shah”s counsel Shariq J Reyaz told PTI after the hearing.

Shah is among the host of politicians, social activists and businessmen detained after August 5, when the Centre announced its decisions to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and divide the state into two union territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

He is possibly the first person charged under the controversial PSA to have been released by the union territory administration without any such directions from the court.

Shah figured during the US Congress hearing on South Asia human rights, focused on India”s action in Kashmir last month when Indian-American Democratic lawmaker from Washington”s 7th Congressional district Pramila Jayapal raised the issue about his detention.

“One of the individuals detained without charges is Dr Mubeen Shah, who is the uncle of my constituents in Seattle…this is former CEO of chamber of commerce. His urologist who is affiliated with Registrar General of Hospital has called for his immediate release because of serious medical issues.”

Assuring Jayapal, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G Wells replied that America had taken up the issue of Shah with the Indian government.

“Yes, we explicitly raised the case of Dr Shah and shared your concern about the grounds for detention particularly given the health condition. We have received a response that he is receiving medication,” she said.

Based out of Malaysia, where he runs his handicrafts business, Shah used to visit Kashmir once in a year. Earlier, he was president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He had come to Kashmir in May this year from Malaysia for a short duration but had to extend it due to a bereavement in his family and later due to infection for which he was undergoing treatment in a Srinagar hospital.

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