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Shopian killings: Responded to ‘ultimate provocation’, says Army

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 31: General Officer Commander-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Northern Command, Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu, on Wednesday said the army opened fire on Shopian residents in “self-defence” when “provoked to the ultimate”.
Terming the lodging of FIR by police as “unfortunate” and “premature”, Anbu said, “Notwithstanding what the state government has done, the army has its own inquiry which says that the forces only responded when they were provoked to the ultimate.”
“The Court of Inquiry will not be set up against Major Aditya, as he did not violate the Standard Operating Procedure. The state administration has already constituted a probe team; they will file the report in 20 days,” Anbu, as per news gathering agency ANI, said in Pune.
“It was in self-defence and protection of the property of the government. And in coming days, the investigation will prove for itself.”
The death toll due to Shopian firing rose to three, as another victim Riyaz Ahmad Ganie, who was shot by the army on his head, succumbed to injuries at SKIMS Srinagar.
A day after the firing incident, the police had filed an FIR for murder and attempt to murder against the army unit while also naming the Major in it.
With army clearly refuting to take any action against its soldiers, not much is being hoped from the probe ordered by the government.
District Commissioner (DC) Shopian, Aijaz Asad, who was appointed as the inquiry officer, told The Kashmir Monitor that he has come to Delhi and was “busy” enough to give any comments on the issue.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, too, couldn’t be contacted for comments.
In his statement, Anbu said that militancy in Kashmir has “stabilised to a large extent”.
“From ground commanders to the top, we are very clear. We are a professional army and we go out to do our duty,” Anbu said.
“The kinetic part of it, whether stopping the infiltration or dealing with the terrorists who have infiltrated, has been done in a firm manner,” Anbu added.
Anbu said that from 213 militants that were killed in 2017, “large numbers of them are the leadership, who have come from across the border”.
“And because the back has been broken by neutralising the leadership, I feel that the time is ripe that normalcy is brought it and mainly the youth are engaged. There is also a role of political initiative in this case,” he said.
As per Anbu, that India’s position at Line of Control is also “very strong”.
“Whenever there is some act from the other side, we effectively engage and respond in a professional manner. We ensure that our aim is achieved which is not letting any infiltrators come in and preventing any Pakistani misadventure,” Anbu said.


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Lead Stories

Abrogation of Article 370 will have positive impact: Naqvi

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 21: Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said the abrogation of Article 370 will have a positive impact on the people.

Addressing a gathering at Harwan on the outskirts of Srinagar, Naqvi, the Minority Affairs Minister, said: “The new system will usher in development and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir.”

He promised an increase in the Haj quota and scholarships for Kashmiri students.

 

The minister said the Central government is closely looking into the problem of unemployment and lack of industrial growth.

While quoting a verse of poet Iqbal, he said the ministerial visit to Jammu and Kashmir is just the beginning and many such initiatives will be undertaken in the future.

A memorandum was presented to the minister by residents of Fakir Gujri area which said the apprehensions of the common people of Jammu and Kashmir regarding land and jobs must be allayed by issuing a domicile certificate.

Naqvi also laid the foundation stone for a water conservation project at Harwan.

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‘Previous rulers used funds for personal benefits’

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 21:Charging previous governments of “unabated” corruption, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said Centre has earmarked Rs 16 crore for Himayat scheme to help educated unemployed youth to find jobs.

Naqvi was addressing a gathering in Srinagar outskirts as a part of Centre’s reach out programme to make people aware about the “positive impact” of the revocation of special status.

“Corruption is a disease which for many years affected Kashmir. Crores of rupees were disbursed for Jammu and Kashmir but the money was not reaching the people. Few people used these funds for their personal benefits. But now the funds are going to directly to you (people),” he said.

 

Naqvi said people were ditched by their representatives earlier. “We now want to reach out to the people, listen to their woes and solve their problems. We came here with a positive approach and mindset,” he said.

Naqvi informed that the Centre has earmarked Rs 16 crore under Himayat scheme for Jammu and Kashmir.    “We have already identified at least 1200 educated youth under this programme. People used to travel faraway places for treatment and now AIIMS is coming up in Samba in Jammu and Lassipora in Kashmir. Five medical colleges are also coming up that will open 500 seats for people of the state,” he said.

Union Minority Affairs minister said their focus is on the development and providing employment opportunities to the youth. “We framed schemes like Hunar Haq for youth. These schemes will give them employment along with development of the region. Those who apply for scholarships will get benefitted through central government’s initiatives,” he said.

Naqvi said main motive of their visit to Kashmir was “to bring positive and effective change in the lives of people”.  “It has happened for the first time that entire council of ministers had reached out to Kashmiri people to hear their views. The initiatives will not stop here as we will continue visiting the valley. We will stay in touch with the officers also to know about people’s grievances,” he said

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Several delegations call on union minister;`Protect jobs, safeguard land rights’

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jan 21:  For the first time since abrogation of Article 370, people directly petitioned union ministers demanding protection of jobs, safeguarding land rights and ending bloodshed.

Around dozen delegations called on Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi during Centre’s reach out programme at Fakir Gujri on Tuesday.

The delegations, which met the union minister, include Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar, Bakarwal Youth Conference, Gujjar Tribal Council, National Youth Corps, Block Contractors, Panch, Sarpanchs, Block Development Council members and local representatives of the area.

 

Naqvi was flanked by Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Ahmad Khan, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary and workers of BJP during public outreach programme.

“We appealed him (Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi) that people of Jammu and Kashmir should have rights on jobs and land.  We also highlighted the problems faced by Gujjar and Bakarwal community. He gave a patient hearing and assured that Centre will take concrete steps for the betterment of people,” said Farooq Chaudhary, vice president, Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar, Bakarwal Youth Conference (JKGBYC).

Farooq noted that they also urged the minister to implement Forest Conservation Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

Panchs, Sarpanch and BDCs raised their concern with regard to the functioning of grassroots democracy in the Union Territory. “We discussed empowerment of grassroots democracy and enhancement in our wages.  We put forth our viewpoint before the union minister,” a member Panchayat and BDC delegation, said.

Gujjar- Bakwaral Conference provincal president Chaudhary Mustafa Rahi said his delegation told the union minister to take steps for the betterment of Gujjar community.  “We will now see how Centre will go about,” he said.

Mohammad Gulzar, one of the locals who had come to meet union minister, said both countries need to end bloodshed in Kashmir.

“Schemes and huge fund distribution won’t do anything till there is an end to bloodshed is. It is not just development but wounds of people that require to be healed first,” he said.

Union minister, G Kishan Reddy is likely to visit mini-secretariat Ganderbal where he will spoke to multiple delegation.  On January 23, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and G Kishan Reddy will visit Baramulla and Manigam respectively. The first phase of reach-out will end on January 24 when union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will visit Srinagar city center to address delegations.

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