Srinagar, July 12: For twenty-four years, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and its individual members and volunteers has been campaigning against the phenomenon of enforced or involuntary disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir, wherein more than 8000 people have disappeared since 1989.
On Thursday, Jammu Kashmir State Human Rights Commission passed a crucial order directing Senior Superintendent of Police of the SHRC police wing to hold an enquiry, if necessary, into 132 cases of disappearance in Banihal Tehsil (Ramban district, Jammu division) and 507 cases of disappearance in Baramulla and Bandipora districts (Kashmir division) and file a report within three months.On 10 December 2011, APDP submitted a complaint of 132 cases of disappearance (by State, non-State and unknown) actors from different villages of Banihal tehsil, Ramban district.
By communication dated 2 May 2017, the police and civil administration in their reply admitted that 112 persons out of 132 persons were indeed “missing”, but contested the other cases. On 27 February 2018, APDP filed its rejoinder.
APDP submitted a separate complaint of 507 cases of disappearance (by State, non-State and unknown) actors from different villages of Baramulla (369 cases) and Bandipora (138 cases) districts. By separate communications the police and civil administration in their reply admitted that 186 persons out of 507 persons were indeed “missing”, but contested the other cases. On 3 July 2018, APDP filed its rejoinder.
“Todays order serves as an important milestone in the ongoing struggle of APDP to know the truth about the disappeared and to ensure justice for each and every person subject to enforced disappearance. Recently the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in its 14 June report noted the continued refusal of India to ratify the Convention against enforced disappearances and observed that “Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints, including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region,” said an APDP spokesperson.
Pakistan militant held, vehicle siezed in Pattan
Srinagar, April 22: A Pakistani millitant and a driver were arrested by government forces at Chainabal area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.
Official sources told GNS that a joint team of Army’s 29, SOG and CRPF stop a Mahindra car (DL 12 CA 4189). During searches the joint team apprehended two persons boarding the vehicle including the militant and the driver.
The vehicle has also been seized while as the Pakistani militant identified as Aqib alias Chota Dujana and driver namely Tafazul of Srinagar were taken to Police Station Pattan for further questioning.
A police officer also confirmed the incident to GNS but declined to commit further.
Traders protest in Srinagar against suspension of cross-LoC trade
Srinagar Apr 22: Traders affected by the suspension of cross-LoC trade by the Centre held a protest march in Srinagar on Monday.
Scores of traders engaged in cross-LoC trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route demanded revocation of the suspension order, and sought a fool-proof mechanism for smooth operations.
The traders claimed that suspension of the trade had cost them losses over crores of rupees as their goods were either in transit or lying in godowns.
President, LoC traders Association Tanveer Ahmad Wani claimed each trader had a huge liability in the form of loans from banks and pending stocks at home.
He demanded the resuming of the trade in order to avoid their losses ahead. “The wholesale dealers have started asking for payments as they realized that the trade has been closed indefinitely. We are in a very difficult situation as our entire tradable items, which mostly includes fruits have not arrived at trade facilitation center in Uri, which we could sell to earn livelihood,” he said.
Wani informed a delegation of the LoC traders met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday adding they are planning to visit MHA office in New Delhi in coming week with their grievances.
“We have no choice other than to commit suicide. It is not only concerning traders but transporters and labourers who have been associated with this trade for the last 10 years,” he said.
Another trader Tanveer Ahmad Mir, who runs business in the name of Kako importers and exporters, said the LoC trade suspension has involved his rupees four crores alone.
“The transaction, which is based on barter system has not happened yet. I am worried about the pending payment for the month to my dealers. Presently stock of stocks of embroidery suits and other items are lying in my store,” he said.
Mir said the government should have intimidated them ahead of announcing this decision to avoid their losses.
“The work regarding installation of full body scanner is going on. Other facilities have also been set up to ensure transparency. The government should continue the trade besides installing advanced mechanism ahead,” he said.
Mohammad Haneef, a 28 years old postgraduate who has been working as a labourer for the last eight years at Trade Facilitation Centre is equally worried with the suspension of the trade.
He said many like him joined as labourers after finding no employment opportunities in the government sector despite an academic qualifications.
“This was the only means to earn bread for our families, which too has been snatched now. There are no good avenues of employment in Uri and we fear our families will have to starve ahead,” he said.
Time to review Article 370, 35A in J&K: Rajnath Singh
Jaipur Apr 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India’s stand against militancy has been weakened on several occasions by the Congress party.
Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “They (Congress) have given a new theory of Hindu militancy. There is no religion or caste of militancy. Their new theory weakened India’s stand against militancy.”
He said repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was another such case which undermined India’s stand.
“In 2004, India had an agreement with Pakistan in which its former army chief had assured that the country will not provide shelter and allow militancy to flourish on its soil, but Congress tried weakening India’s stand, saying Pakistan was also a victim of militancy,” he said.
The home minister said the opposition was doing politics over issues which should not be politicised.
Instead of praising the defence forces after the airstrike in Balakot of Pakistan, the opposition parties questioned it with queries on number of militants killed, he said.
“When such types of questions are asked, it weakens India’s stand against militancy,” he said.
Speaking on the Congress’ election manifesto promising to scrap the sedition law, Singh said the law should be further strengthened but it should not be misused.
Talking about Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was a temporary arrangement and it was time to review it.
“How much the entitlement benefitted Jammu and Kashmir? When a few people are raising questions there should be two prime ministers in the country then what is the significance of Article 370 and 35A,” Singh asked.
He exuded confidence that the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections reflected a wave in favour of the BJP, and there was no doubt the party will get a clear majority and possibly the NDA will achieve 3/4th majority.
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