Kokernag, Apr 14: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Sunday asserted that the ensuing parliamentary elections provide right opportunity to the people to seek answers from PDP on the implementation of the promises it made while canvassing for 2014 Assembly elections.
Addressing a mammoth public gathering at Larnoo Kokarnag, party vice president said that promises that were made by PDP during the run up for 2014 assembly elections turned out to be big lies. “People have every right to seek answers from PDP and its leadership. Its high time for people to take account of past years of the PDP led coalition government. They had said that relations with Pakistan will improve, contrary to it we have the clouds of war looming over us. We saw our educated youth joining militant ranks; we saw some highly educated scholars, teachers joining militant ranks, such is the level of disenchantment in our youngsters. The rampant nepotism and corruption has disheartened the youth. There was no expansion in tourist related activities.”
“PM Modi says that he gave gas cylinders to every family, but what good will an empty cylinder do? Cooking gas has become dearer and costs RS 1000 at present. How will the underprivileged class afford to refill the cylinders at RS 1000? What was the fate of the proposed Tunnel that would have connected Kokarnag to Kishtwar? How many new roads were they able to lay during their stint in government with BJP? These are the questions that PDP should respond to. Today we cannot use our highways, god forbid if there is any urgency, how can those living in remote areas take patients to city hospitals? This is what they have done to our state of affairs. Nonetheless we have to usher in a new era of peace, development and justice in our state. The state faced immense hardships since BJP-PDP joined hands.”
Flaying PDP for letting down the people, he said, “Things would not have been such, if PDP had the sincerity of thought. But, they had any, PDP president herself affirms that she joined hands with BJP to keep her flock together. This underscores the fact that, her joining hands with BJP was not on the grounds of promoting agenda of development and peace. Now the time is apt for us to seek answers from them on unleashing torments on people. You should seek answers from them on the intimidation, repression, crackdown, blinding, maiming, which was unleashed on you? Unfortunately PDP betrayed people by berating their mandate, now it’s your turn to give befitting reply to them through ballot on the polling day.”
Omar said that our very well being, identity and future is associated with Art 35-A. “However PDP in its lust for power hunkered down before BJP and implemented GST in our state. The implications of which are felt by each one of you in the form of heavy tax deduction on every items from edibles to mobile recharges. You can gauge the consequences as to what will happen if god forbid Art 35 A is tinkered with,” he said.
Omar said that the Gujjar and Bakarwal community was never on the development radar of the former BJP-PDP coalition since they joined hands. “The community continued to be at the receiving end due to the imprudent policies of the PDP-BJP coalition. We saw attempts were made to snatch the right of Gujjars over forests. All along we saw Gujjars being intimidated. Now it is your turn to give them the answer through the use of ballot,” he said.
Omar while highlighting inclusive agenda of the party said, “NC has always upheld the secular and pluralistic values. We believe in the inclusive development. For us the idea of development is impossible if any section of society is left out. We will continue to work for all the sections of society,” he said.
Among others Retd Justice Hasnain Masoodi, Syed Tauqeer, Ghulam Nabi Bhat Adgami, Pir Muhammad Husain and Salam Ud Din Bajad also addressed the public and sought vote and support for the party’s candidate for Anantnag parliamentary seat. Earlier Jagjeet Singh Azad, Janak Singh Sodhi, Shammi Oberoi accompanied the vice president to Mattan where they interacted with members of the sikh community.
Meanwhile party’s chief Spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Aga yousaf, and political advisor to vice president Tanvir Sadiq toured many areas of Zadibal constituency today and sought vote and support for party’s candidate for Srinagar.
Rail service resumes
Srinagar, Nov 12: Rail services in Kashmir resumed on Tuesday – over three months after being suspended due to security reasons in view of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, officials said.
Few mini-buses also plied on the Batwara-Batamaloo route through the city centre, while inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws plied in the city and elsewhere in the valley.
Private transport was plying unhindered.
A railway official told PTI that a train chugged between Baramulla and Srinagar this morning.
He said the train made only two trips on the Baramulla-Srinagar stretch as authorities have directed Railways to ply trains between 10 am and 3 pm only due to security reasons.
The Railways conducted the trial run of the service on the stretch on Monday for the first time in over three months since the unannounced shutdown in the valley.
The official said the Srinagar-Banihal stretch of the railway line would resume in a few days after checking track safety and conducting trial runs.
The train service in the valley was suspended due to security reasons on the morning of 5 August – hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union territories.
The Centre’s decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley – which completed 100 days on Tuesday — even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which were later gradually eased out.
Markets have been following a new pattern of functioning, opening early morning till around the noon and then downing their shutters to join the protest against abrogation of the special status of the state, officials said.
They said miscreants are using fear mongering to put down any resistance to unannounced shutdown by threatening shopkeepers and businessmen.
The officials said two grenade attacks in the city’s busy Goni Khan market and Kaka Sarai areas were an indication that there were concerted efforts to keep the shutdown going.
Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August.
Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.
The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act.
Militant killed in Ganderbal gunfight
Srinagar, Nov 12: A militant was killed and an Army soldier injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday, police said.
Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Kulan area of the central Kashmir district in the morning following inputs about the presence of militants.
During the search, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces, who retaliated, according to an officer.
A militant was killed during the gunfight. An army soldier was also injured and rushed to a medical facility for treatment, the officer said.
The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the officer added.
The incident comes after the encounter where two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Monday morning, police said.
While one militant was killed on Sunday during a gunfight between security forces in Lawdara village, about 55 km from Srinagar, another was killed on Monday, police further said. The security forces started a search operation on getting information about the presence of some militants in the area which led to the encounter between the security forces and the militants.
The streak of encounters continues as the state of Kashmir remains under an unprecedented lockdown after the abrogation of article 370.
Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU
Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.
“I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.
Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.
An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry.
“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.
“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said.
Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.
Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply. Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.