SRINAGAR: A day after the coalition government ended in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on Wednesday said that security forces were given free hand to eliminate militancy in the Valley.
BJP state president Ravinder Raina (MLA) said that situation was “deteriorating” in Kashmir Valley.
“The Governor Rule has been imposed to restore rule of law. We pulled out from the alliance as the situation was not improving in the Valley,” Raina said in a press conference.
“There will be no restrictions on security forces to eliminate terrorists. Security forces have been given a free hand to eliminate terrorists, who are threat to sovereignty and killing civilians,” he said. “Government will strictly deal with anti-national forces and those who want to turn JK into graveyards.”
He was flanked by former deputy chief minister Kavindar Gupta and chief spokesperson of BJP in JK Sunil Sethi.
The BJP on Tuesday withdrew its support from the alliance. Following which, Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation to Governor N N Vohra. While President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday approved imposition of Governor Rule in the state.
The BJP state president said that they tried to improve the situation for four months. “Instead the situation got deteriorated. The Centre took the initiative of Ramzan ceasefire but the terrorists continued targeting civilians and security forces. There was a selective targeting even a journalist was also killed. Pakistan also did the violation of Ramzan ceasefire,” he said.
Asked why the BJP took the decision after three years when there was no end of killings in Kashmir, he replied, “We tried to restore the normalcy. We did not take the immediate decision but tried to establish the rule of law then decided to end the alliance. There are some Kashmir based parties who did not want anti-terror operations to continue.”
He claimed that BJP was not power hungry. “For BJP, nation stands first. We did not form the government for the sake of power but we could not accomplish our 44+mission in Jammu and Kashmir. We got a thumping majority in Jammu while the PDP got the mandate in Kashmir. It was our constitutional obligation to form the alliance government with the PDP,” he said.
He said that militants were targeting the nationalist forces in Kashmir. “They targeting Jammu bus stand. They killed journalist, army man Aurangzeb, DSP Ayoub Pandit, SHO Fayaz, lieutenant Fayaz and others,” he said.
Raina said that BJP will celebrate Shama Prasad Mukherjee divas in Jammu on June 23. “He fought and sacrificed his life for JK’s complete integration to the country.”
He said Assembly was suspended but not dissolved. “Nothing can be said about the future.”
He said that BJP ministers worked for the development of Jammu and Ladakh region. “There were some departments held by PDP ministers where we faced problems in implementation,” he said.
On National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah’s demand for dissolution of the assembly due to the apprehension of horse trading, he said, “It is his personal view. Those who indulge in such practice speak such things. The BJP never talks about it and we don’t have this motive.” He avoided answering questions on Article 370 which gives special status to the state.
Asked about Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s statement that her party acted according to its agenda and ensured protection of Article 370, ceasefire and withdrawal of cases against stone-pelters, Gupta said nothing was possible without the support of BJP.
“We supported the PDP in restoration of normalcy. We felt that some ministries including the home ministry (which was under chief minister) failed to take tough decisions … and demonstrated soft approach and registered FIRs against the security personnel,” he said.
Mirwaiz replies to second NIA summon: Can’t travel to Delhi due to hostile environment
Srinagar, Mar 18: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has replied to another notice issued by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in which he was asked to present himself before the probe agency in Delhi on March 18.
“Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has sent a reply to the NIA summon dated 14th March received on 15th March 2019 to come to New Delhi on 18th of March through his counsel,” said a Hurriyat (M) spokesman.
He said the Mirwaiz has reiterated that he was willing to cooperate in the matter. “… but has asked for the venue for examination to be shifted from Delhi to Srinagar as the concerns and apprehensions regarding travel to Delhi, expressed by him through his counsel in the earlier response dated 10.3.2019 continue to remain so.”
The counsel further mentioned in the reply that his client has informed him that on several occasions earlier many persons have been examined by the agency at Humhama Budgam while conducting the investigation.
“He sees no reason why his client cannot be examined in similar manner,” said the counsel in his reply.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in his Friday sermon had said that New Delhi cannot intimidate Kashmiri by issuing summons. Mirwaiz was referring to the summon of the NIA which was issued to him asking him to present himself before the agency in New Delhi.
The chief cleric of Kashmir also added that Kashmiri will continue to seek peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute.
“Is seeking peaceful resolution of Kashmir terrorism,” Mirwaiz asked.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had been summoned by the National Investigation Agency recently. However, Mirwaiz added that he won’t go to New Delhi but give a written reply to the NIA .
In his written reply according to his legal counsel ‘it was unwise for his client to travel to Delhi under the prevailing conditions of hostility wherein there is a threat to the personal safety of my client.’
Earlier, Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani said that if NIA wants to question anyone, they can do it in the valley itself.
Enough evidence against Mirwaiz, others: NIA
New Delhi, Mar 18: National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims it has enough evident to book top separatist leaders, including Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in its ongoing probe in the 2017 funding case.
The NIA investigators, as per a report by IANS, have scrutinized letterheads of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hizbul Mujahideen and other militant organisations, it claims, were recovered in a raid the agency conducted at seven locations in Srinagar last month.
An NIA officer, privy to the investigation, told that Farooq, the Chairman Awami Action Committee, and more than six top separatist leaders “may soon face the heat” in the “terror” funding case the agency registered in May 2017.
The officer, however, did not clarify whether an FIR will be registered against these separatist leaders or they will be arrested. He only confirmed that “something big would happen soon before June”.
Asked about the names of those separatist leaders, the officer, on condition of anonymity, said Yasin Malik, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, and Naseem Geelani, son of Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani, are on the NIA list. The agency on March 9 issued summons to them to appear before its headquarters here for questioning.
Geelani has been questioned on more than three occasions in the case.
Other separatist leaders on NIA radar are Mohammad Ashraf Khan, Chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Masarat Alam, General Secretary, All Party Hurriyat Conference, and Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement.
“Scrutiny of a high-tech internet communication setup and documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in a few Pakistan educational institutions are other evidence which are crucial in linking relations of Farooq and other suspected separatist leaders to Pakistan-based outfits,” IANS quoted the official saying.
According to the official, some property papers, financial transactions receipts, bank account details and electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and digital video recorders are also the part of these evidence that are “enough to prove how these separatist leaders have been indulged in anti-national operations on directions of the heads of militant groups”.
The evidence are part of February 26 raid the NIA conducted at the residential premises of these suspected separatist leaders including Shabir Shah, President of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party.
The NIA in January 18 last year filed chargesheet against 12 including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others.
The separatist leaders arrested in the case on July 24, 2017 are Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.
Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was also arrested in the case on August 17, 2017, and was on September 12 granted bail by the Delhi High Court.(IANS)
Bureaucrats scuttled early polls, alleges Omar
Says banning Jamaat a ‘fixed match’ between PDP, BJP
Srinagar, Mar 18: Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday alleged that bureaucrats and officers of Jammu and Kashmir, who favoured early assembly polls in the state, were being threatened for expressing their opinion.
In a series of tweets, Omar hit out at top bureaucrats in the state alleging that they were scuttling democracy in Jammu and Kashmir adding that “officers who are in favour of early state polls are being browbeaten and threatened.”
“One day we will talk about the cabal of officers in J&K who for their own selfish reasons have taken it upon themselves to scuttle democracy in the state,” Omar tweeted.
“Some have no stakes in the state & some are looking at post retirement postings in cushy appointments. Whatever their reasons they have chosen to put their personal interest ahead of the greater good,” read one of his tweet.
“I’m shocked to hear how officers who have supported early assembly elections are being browbeaten & threatened using their performance appraisals against them to get them to toe the line,” Omar said in another tweet.
“No honest officer should fear these threats. We must put the greater good ahead of our personal preferences & benefits. Those people making the threats will not remain in the state for very long,” he added.
The Election Commission while announcing the polling schedule for general elections and Assembly elections in some states had announced that only Lok Sabha polls will be held in the state.
The National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) targeted the Centre over the decision and Omar at the time had said that the move shows how the BJP-PDP government mishandled the state.
Sources said in their interaction with the ECI, some of the deputy commissioners and the SSP’s had informed the ECI that the situation is not conducive for the Assembly election. They said some officers from Kupwara and Anantnag districts of Kashmir were, however, in favour of the holding Assembly elections simultaneously with Lok Sabha elections.
According to agency reports one of the advisors of the governor speaking on the condition of anonymity said that each officer presented his view according to his own assessment of the situation. “There was not any unanimous view about the elections. In fact, some of the officers asked for more security forces companies,” he said.
Meanwhile, addressing a public gathering at Damhal Hanji Pura, in south Kashmir’s Kulgam District, Omar said that all through his stint as chief minister, he never felt the need to ban Jamaat-e-Islami.
“In 2010 when the situation was tumultuous, we brought the situation to normalcy, but we didn’t ban JeI. Their schools and other institutions kept running.”
Flaying the ‘new-fanged gimmickry’ of Mehbooba Mufti, Omar said, “Now a days she is saying that she too might be arrested. What will she be arrested for? This assertion hints towards some tacit match fixing between BJP and PDP. We in Kashmir have been hearing a lot about match fixing.”
“I feel that the ban on JeI is thought-out match fixing between BJP and PDP to help BJP save its face value in rest of the country and also help PDP milk the situation here in Kashmir. Nobody is going to be arrested. People are now privy to such election gimmicks and political tears as are only seen in their eyes at the time of elections,” he added.
“We didn’t see them in tears in 2016. At that time she mocked the miseries of people with her ‘milk and toffee comments’. It is the same Mehbooba who refused to recompense the person who was used as human shield, given the fact that state human rights commission had recommended a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim. Where was her sympathy then? Case against Mirwaiz was registered in 2017; it didn’t happen in my tenure as chief minister, neither during my father’s. It was she who unleashed plethora of miseries on people in the shape of decreasing the quota of ration, implementation of GST, use of pellet guns, and what not,” he said.
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