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Thrashing of SDM in Qazigund: Police says filed FIR against army

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Srinagar: Police on Wednesday filed an FIR against army for allegedly thrashing Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and other government officials in Qazigund area of south Kashmir yesterday.

Confirming it, a senior police officer said that the case under FIR number 61 /2019 under section 323, 341 RPC has been registered in police station Qazigund in connection with the incident which took place at Dalwach Crossing on Srinagar-Jammu highway on Tuesday afternoon.

The filing of FIR follows an application by the SDM Dooru who provided all the facts regarding the incident. In his application, the SDM Dooru has stated that he was “dragged by the collar, kicked and abused” by Army personnel as he tried to save his driver from their assault on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

 

The army personnel removed safety locks of their weapons and aimed guns at us, threatening to kill us and it was only after the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag reached the spot that “we were set free,” SDM Dooru wrote in a letter to Station House Officer Qazigund.

 “It is requested that FIR be lodged against the security personnel under the relevant provisions of law for manhandling, intimidating and resorting to violence against the undersigned and my officials and obstructing us from performing our official duties including that of election duties,” he said.

 “Today on 16th April  2019 as per the directions of worthy deputy commissioner Anantnag to reach Vessu Qazigund for resolving matter of traffic/truck congestion on national highway at 10:40 AM I along with my team of officials were coming from Dooru via Ujroo Crossing in a government vehicle (JK0-3G3850 ),” the official said.

He said the army personnel deployed on the “national highway had stopped all the civilian traffic” despite Tuesday having been declared a restricted day for army convoys in a recent government order. “After introducing myself to the army personnel at Ujroo we were allowed to move towards Vessu but at Dalwach Crossing near under construction bridge, we were again stopped by some army personnel and asked not to proceed forward unless the Army convoy passes/ends. Accordingly, my driver stopped the vehicle and we were on halt,” he said.

Despite this, the SDM said, one of the army personnel Viney Kumar beat his driver ruthlessly besides damaging the government vehicle.

The SDM said he tried to intervene, pleading “that I am Sub Divisional Magistrate Dooru and I have been called by District Magistrate who is waiting for me at Vessu to identify parking spaces for halted trucks in order to make the National Highway free from obstructions so that both the security  and civilian vehicles have a hustle  free travel.”

He said he told the Army personnel that he also had to visit some polling stations in the area on “my way back and also the Storage  Room to be created at Govt. Degree College Dooru for the storage of EVMs.”

 “Also I was supposed to visit the cafeteria at Verinag to inspect the Training Sessions of the Presiding Officers of Dooru Constituency.”

However, the SDM alleged, that the army men grabbed him by the “collar, abused and dragged (me)upto about 20 meters” and thrashed him at gunpoint.

 “My cell phone and driver’s cell phone were snatched and broken into pieces Further, the said Army  man with other two army men got my other employees down from the vehicle and thrashed them ruthlessly and their cell phones were also snatched and damaged.” He said, “all of us were taken hostage on gunpoint for about half an hour and our vehicle and other belongings were searched, snatched and damaged and all the data about the election was deleted.”


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Low voter turnout may hit Mufti’s prospects in Anantnag

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Srinagar: With the overall voter turnout in the first of the three-phase polling in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency settling below 10 per cent till 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the fate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti hangs precariously in the balance in what was till recently her party’s bastion.

The bad news for Mufti is that voters in her ancestral town Bijbehara and the neighbouring Anantnag showed very little interest to come out and join the poll process.

Mufti won this Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and resigned in 2016 to become the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir following the death of her father, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

 

She later won the 2016 bypoll for the Anantnag Assembly seat to get elected to the 87-member state legislative Assembly. Anantnag Assembly seat fell vacant due to Mufti Senior’s death in 2016.

In contrast to the less than 3 per cent voter turnout in Bijbehara and Anantnag segments that have traditionally been PDP strongholds, the turnout has been good in Dooru, Kokernag and Shangus segments where her Congress rival, Ghulam Ahmad Mir has strong voter support.

The voter turnout has also been good in the Pahalgam segment, but it is believed that the PDP and the National Conference (NC) would cut almost equally here, again giving an edge to the Congress candidate.

Voting will be held in Kulgam district of the constituency on April 29 and in Shopian and Pulwama districts on May 6 and the voter turnout in these remaining districts may make or mar the electoral prospects of the PDP President.

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Polling begins on very dull note in Anantnag

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Anantnag, Apr 23 Polling began on a very dull note in the first of three phase polling in six of the 16 Assembly segments of Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency (PC) in south Kashmir amidst unprecedented security arrangements following boycott and strike called by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) on Tuesday.

Majority polling stations, particularly in the main town Anantnag, have yet to receive first voter while in the outskirts and villages people, including some women, could be seen moving towards polling stations.

However, the authorities express hope that polling will pick up as the day progress since it is cold outside.

 

Polling started at 0700 hrs at all the 714 polling stations in the constituency, spread over four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, where 5,29,256 electorate, including 2,57,540 females are eligible to elect their representative from among the 18 candidates, including former chief minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief G A Mir, and Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi and BJP Mohammad Yousuf.

Polling conclude at 1600 hrs, two hours before the normal timing elsewhere in the state, where polling continued from 0700 hrs to 1800 hrs. This decision, officials said, was taken for security reasons.

The next two phases in the constituency would be held in Kulgam district on April 29 while on May 6, polling will be held in Shopian and Pulwama districts.

Returning Officer (RO) for Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency (PC), Khalid Jahangir, told UNI that all arrangements, including three-tier security, had been put in place for conducting the elections in secure and peaceful manner.

Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) for polling stations with regard to power supply, furniture, water supply and other required facilities had been put in place, he said adding the ramp facilities have also been ensured at the polling stations. Webcasting will be made at 28 polling locations in Anantnag district, he said.

“The district has 5,29,256 electorate, including 2,57,540 females, 2102 service electors (including 11 female) and 11 transgender voters. For smooth polling the ECI has setup 714 polling stations in the district,” he said.

He said Kokernag Assembly segment has the highest number of 93,694 voters, including 44,948 females, while Doru has the lowest 78,653 electorate, including 37,889 females.

“Assembly segment Bijbehara has 93,289 voters, including 46,222 females, Shangus 88374 voters (43,010 females), Pahalgam 86,614 (42,498 females) and Anantnag 86,530 (42,973 females),” Mr Jahangir said.

He said the highest 46,222 female voters are in the Assembly segment of Bijbehara.

“Among the assembly segments of Anantnag district, Shangus has a total of 1,031 service electors which is highest in the district,” he added.

Mr Jahangir said besides state police, Central Paramilitary Force (CPMF) personnel in strength had been deployed at polling stations to provide a secure atmosphere to voters to cast their ballots. Besides security forces already engaged in anti militancy operations would be there to prevent any violent incident.

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Pakistan’s nuclear bombs are not kept for Eid either: Mehbooba hits back at Modi

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Peoples Democratic Party chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bragging about India’s nuclear capability. She accused Modi of “stooping low” and lowering the country’s political discourse.

On Sunday, Modi had said that his government had refused to be intimidated by Pakistan’s nuclear threats and that with the Balakot air strike, India had given Pakistan a “fitting reply”. “What do we have then? Have we kept our nuclear bomb for Diwali?” Modi had said at a rally in Barmer district of Rajasthan. Modi had said that his government had made the terrorists afraid from across the border and the results of it were visible as there were no blasts anywhere in the country in the last five years.

On Monday, Mufti said, “If India hasn’t kept nuclear bomb for Diwali, it’s obvious Pakistan’s not kept theirs for Eid either. Don’t know why PM Modi must stoop so low & reduce political discourse to this.”

 

Addressing reporters in Kulgam, Mufti once again criticised Modi for his remark. “What Pakistan [nuclear bombs] possesses would not be saved for Eid either. We are evenly placed in this matter,” she said.

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