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Separatists ‘getting funds from Pak’: GoI

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New Delhi, Apr 03: Some key separatist leaders have been “receiving instructions and financial support” from the Pakistani establishment for disruptive activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said inputs indicate “existence of nexus or collusion of disrupting elements sponsored by the neighbouring country and separatists in Kashmir”.
“Some of the key separatist leaders have been noted being in touch with militant leaders based in Pakistan and PaK,” he said replying to a written question.
“They have also been believed to be receiving instructions and financial support from the Pakistani establishment for adverse activities in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ahir said.
He said recently the NIA arrested some separatists in connection with their source of funding and necessary action was taken against such elements in accordance with the provisions of law.
“There is a well-established institutional mechanism to effectively deal with illegal activities on the India-Pakistan border and Line of Control. A terror funding and fake currency cell has been set up in the National Investigation Agency to investigate terror -funding cases,” he said.
The government of India also said militants in Jammu and Kashmir have been resorting to “glamorisation” of militancy to recruit ‘misguided youths’ in their outfits.
Ahir said the state has been affected by militancy that is “sponsored and supported” from across the border and levels of the violence in various districts of the Valley are linked to infiltrations.
The government regularly reviews the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and in order to prevent activities of militants, numerous steps have been taken including strengthening of operational grid with enhanced human intelligence and use of technical intelligence grid.
“The government has also continuously encouraged policies to mainstream the youth, including providing employment opportunities to wean them away from militancy,” he said.
Replying to a question on whether militants activities have increased in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike in PaK on September 29, 2016, Ahir said the suggestion was not correct.
“188 militant incidents were reported during six months period before the surgical strike. 56 security personnel and 10 civilians lost their lives in these incidents.
“On the other hand, 155 militant incidents have been reported during six months period post the surgical strike. 29 security personnel and 10 civilians have lost their lives in these incidents,” he said.


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Principal’s ‘custodial killing’: Probe officer meets family, locals

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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.

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Civil society, traders, Bar demand special inquiry commission

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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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.

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ED imposes Rs 14.4 lakh penalty on Geelani

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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.

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