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Says former Fin Min: ‘SAC decision disastrous for JK Bank’

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Nov 26: Former finance minister and senior National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather on Monday said the recent State Administrative Council (SAC) decision on J&K Bank will facilitate “undue interference in the bank’s working which will prove disastrous for the premier institution as evidenced by the other PSUs of the State.”

In a statement issued on Monday, Rather said it was quite shocking to know that the J&K Bank, an efficient, viable and profitable institution, has been reduced to a public sector undertaking.

“I fail to analyse the purpose and reason underlying such a decision,” Rather said.

 

Right from its inception since 1938, he said, the bank has been a strong partner in the economic and social development of the State.

“Besides, its role in employment generation, direct as well as indirect, has been quite commendable. The bank has been rendering services par excellence. This fact has been reckoned and recognised by one and all in the banking industry till date. Every government and political dispensation in the State has been whole-heartedly supporting the bank, its businesses model and the management for improved efficiency. The outcome of such policies has been translated on the ground for everybody to see,” he said, in the statement.

Commenting further on the bank’s performance, Rather said the comprehensive and competitive performance of the bank viz-a-viz other commercial banks and financial institutions would indicate the overall role and scope of J&K Bank in the state economy.

“A reference to SLBC data for last four to five decades corroborates and reveals the same. It may be seen that J&K Bank has contributed 65% to overall credit growth as against 35% put in by other 50 banks and financial institutions operative in the State. J&K Bank has undoubtedly been a commercial resort for all sections of the population in the State. It has notably done exemplary hand holding of the poor artisans and farmers. Moreover, it has spread the network of its branches in other parts of the country and its performance there also has been appreciated by all the concerned,” Rather pointed out.

But unfortunately, the former finance minister said, while deciding to reduce its stature to that of a PSU, all these services and the high role of the bank have been ignored.

“Against the above facts, I would urge upon the Honourable State Governor to appreciate all these facts and revoke the decision in order to ensure that the J&K Bank continues to function for the betterment of the state smoothly,” Rather added.


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3 aides of Junaid Sehrai arrested in Srinagar

‘Trio responsible for Jammu blast, firing at SPO’

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Jul 23:  Family’s efforts and timely intervention has paid off after three youth who had recently joined militant ranks were arrested in Srinagar, police said on Tuesday.

Asif Iqbal Dar, Shahid Hassan Dar both from Soura, and Rasheed Latief Mir from Barzulla were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

Addressing media persons, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Dr Haseeb Mughal said Asif was on their radar for a long time.

 

“We have been following him for a long time. He has been sharing incriminating material on social media to inspire youth to join militant ranks. One fine day, he went missing and reached Pulwama following which parents lodged an FIR in police station Soura,” Mughal said.

City police chief noted that efforts were made to trace the trio. “Help from other agencies was also sought. Ultimately all three of them reached their homes,” he said.

Mughal said that their questioning revealed how youth are being recruited into the militant ranks.

“All the three were in close contact with Junaid Sehrai, a militant from Srinagar. They were receiving instructions from him. Before their debut into militancy, they were asked to carry some attacks, which they did,” he claimed.

Mughal said the attack on Jammu Bus stand was the trio’s handiwork. “They also fired at SPO Roman Rashid at Barzulla. Interestingly, they were told not to kill him. They even lobbed a grenade on the CRPF vehicle at Barzulla even though we have no record. It might have not exploded,” he said.

The SSP said that youth were getting directions from Junaid Sehrai about the targets.

“For the time being, they were assigned smaller targets.  Later they were supposed to get bigger targets. Some incriminating materials have been recovered from them including a grenade, some rounds and a flag of Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind,” he added.

Urging youth not to fall prey to militant conspiracies, he appealed them to concentrate on productive things.

“Life is precious and you should make best use of it. Use your mind on productive things,” he said.

Among others, Superintendent of Police (SP) West, Sudanshu Verma and  SP South, Dr G V Sundeep were also present during the media conference.

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Ready to assist India, Pak: US State Dept

Agencies

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Srinagar, Jul 23: After US President Donald Trump said that he would act as a mediator between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, the US State Department on Tuesday supported his statement and said that they were ready to assist in the matter.

“While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist,” a spokesperson for the US State Department said.

 

The spokesperson further went on to say that any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan was based on the latter’s efforts against terrorists on its territory.

“We believe foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against terrorists on its territory. These actions are in line with PM Imran Khan’s stated commitments and Pakistan’s international obligations,” the spokesperson said.

He also said that the US will continue to support efforts to reduce tensions between the two countries.

“We will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for dialogue. This first and foremost means tackling the menace of terrorism. As the President indicated, we stand ready to assist,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, Donald Trump offered to mediate in Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan ‘if mediation is required’.

President Trump said this during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in White House in Washington DC on Monday.

Trump’s remarks created uproar on Twitter where users slammed him for interfering in the politics of the two countries.

India in the past has categorically denied any foreign help in the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. India maintains that Kashmir dispute in an internal issue and will be resolved bilaterally with Pakistan.

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Cong-JD(S) govt falls; Kumaraswamy loses trust vote

Agencies

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Bengaluru, Jul 23: The one-year-old coalition government of the Congress and HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular – teetering for weeks – collapsed on Tuesday, paving the way for the BJP’s return to power in Karnataka.

The coalition failed the floor test in the assembly, cobbling up only 99 votes in comparison to the 105 votes of the BJP, which later dubbed it a “Game of Karma”.

The demand for trust vote came as 16 legislators resigned and two Independents withdrew support to the government within a fortnight. The trust vote, pending since Friday, was held Tuesday evening after a back and forth between the Speaker, the coalition and the BJP – and prodding from Governor Vajubhai Vala – that stretched over a week.

 

“It is victory of democracy. People were fed up with Kumaraswamy government. I want to assure people of Karnataka that a new era of development will start now,” said state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa, who is set to be the Chief Minister for the fourth time.

“It’s the victory of people of Karnataka. It’s the end of an era of corrupt & unholy alliance. We promise a stable & able governance to the people of Karnataka,” the state BJP tweeted.

The trust vote came after a tug of war between the ruling coalition and the BJP that even reached the Supreme Court. The debate extended over Monday and Tuesday despite Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s Monday deadline.

Ahead of Tuesday’s session, the Speaker made lacerating comments after seeing near empty treasury benches in the assembly. “Should this be the fate of the Speaker or the assembly?” Kumar demanded. “You will lose credibility, leave alone strength,” he said.

Last Friday, a trust vote could not be held despite two deadlines from the Governor. The house was adjourned after marathon speeches by Kumaraswamy and other coalition leaders. The BJP accused the government of delaying the trust vote with lengthy speeches in hopes of reprieve from the Supreme Court.

Kumaraswamy said he was “not particularly worried about the end of this debate” and that he would “happily give up… rather than all this”. “I have acted with decency. The last 14 months has been – ‘will they stay or will they go’ – and I thank my party leaders for staying through it all. The objections to us started on Day 1 of the coalition government,” he added.

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