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Truckers ferrying livestock say Udhampur police harasses them

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar: The truckers ferrying livestock into the valley from different parts of the country have alleged that they are being harassed by traffic police at Udhampur in Jammu.

They said the policemen stop them on one or the other pretext.

“For the last more than three months, we have been suffering miserably at the hand of the police. They stop us unnecessarily, not allowing us to move using excuses,” said a trucker, who wished not to be named.

 

He said the trucks carrying livestock can ply everyday on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

“We carry sheep in our trucks from different parts of the country including Amritsar, Punjab, and Delhi. There, we don’t face problems,” said another trucker, on the condition of anonymity.

General Secretary Kashmir Mutton Dealers Association, Mehraj- ud- din Ganie, said the truckers were forced to pay Rs 1,500 each for travelling from Udhampur.

“The money is taken by one Rinku of Ramban, who later hands it over it the others. The truckers can’t afford to wait for a long time because of the high temperature. If they prefer to stay, it will result in losses,” he said.

“Our vehicles reach Udhampur by 11 am, when there are no restrictions on the movement of our vehicles. We move in other parts of the state or country without hindrances,” he said.

Appealing the authorities to take the issue seriously, he said if the practice didn’t stop, they would be “forced to come onto the streets in protest”.

“We don’t want people to suffer. Government will be responsible for our protests,” he said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Jammu–Srinagar highway, Shakti Parthik, refuted the allegations.

“If someone will come with a proof, I will definitely take action. Actually the district police sets up Nakka at the place,” he said.

District Police chief, Rayees Ahmad, said the deployment was a “normal practice”.

“Our men are there for different purposes. They also keep a watch on the smuggling of contraband drugs,” he said.

He said they would, however, investigate into the allegations against Rinku.


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State

Hurriyat response for meaningful talks a good omen: Hakeem

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Srinagar, Jun 24: Chairman Peoples Democratic Front (PDF), Hakeem Yaseen has welcomed the positive response of Hurriyat Conference for holding talks in a bid to resolve the Kashmir situation.

In a statement issued to media, Hakeem Yaseen termed the statement of Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Molvi Umar Farooq as a good omen that Hurriyat leaders were ready for dialogue with New Delhi, if “meaningful” talks are initiated. He said Governor S P Malik, being a responsible representative of the Central Government should provide a congenial environment to the central government interlocutors and genuine stakeholders of the Kashmir problem for initiating meaningful talks on Kashmir.

He said a sincere effort for talks was dire need of the time to stop daily killings and mayhem in the strife torn state.

 

Hakeem Yaseen hoped that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi would utilize his renewed mandate to resolve the vexed Kashmir problem once for all as this was the main bone of contention between India and its neighboring country Pakistan.

“Talks are the only way forward for ending animosity between India and Pakistan,” Hakeem Yaseen said adding that people of the state have become the first casualty of the strained relations between the two neighbouring countries since last seven decades.

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Tarigami urges govt to revisit its approach

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Srinagar, Jun 24: CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami on Monday said that comprising four districts Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, south Kashmir has been on the boil ever since July 2016. “Despite passing of three years, the situation in the region is not showing any significant improvement with media reports showing that some youths continue to join militant ranks,” he said.

In a statement issued to media, Tarigami said, “Why isn’t there significant change in south Kashmir despite huge deployment of security forces? Perhaps it is because muscular approach is not giving desired results and needs to be revisited. The policy makers need to answer these questions. Mere counting of arrests and killings are not an answer to this situation.”

“Arbitrary arrests, nocturnal raids and are causing insecurity and harassment among people in the region. It has been done before as well in the State, but it has never yielded anything. On the other hand, it just exacerbates the anger and gives rise to further uncertainty,” he said.

 

CPI(M) leader said that during early 1990’s large scale arrests took place which only worsened situation. “This is a tried and tested and failed model which we are afraid will only worsen the situation further,” he said.

“Similarly, some people arrested under different laws, are not being released despite courts ordering their release on bail. Those released by the courts are being re-arrested from the jail compound itself and booked under Public Safety Act (PSA),” Tarigami added.

He said that job of security forces is law enforcement. “You can control the unlawful activities only through lawful measures. Such a course amounts to violation of laws which cannot help in restoring order,” he said.

“Though the authorities lifted twice a week curbs on the movement of civilian vehicles on National Highway, reports of security forces harassing the commuters are still pouring in. In the name of security, people are being harassed day-in and day-out,” Tarigami added.

“The safety of security forces convoys is important, but in the name of security common people should not feel any inconvenience or harassment. Patients, students, employees, traders and others, who have to commute daily on the highway should be given full respect by the forces while their convoys move. There should be a better and people friendly way of protecting forces using the highway,” he said.

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Back to Village programme: CS interacts with Panchayats reps, locals at Gurez, B’pora

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Gurez, June 24: Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam during his 2-day extensive visit to district Bandipora participated in the Back to Village Programme on Monday across several Panchayats and also visited Gurez.

The Chief Secretary visited Kanzalwan, Badwan, Wanpora and Khandyal Panchayats and interacted with Panchayat representatives and local people. He spent half a day in Panchayat Wanpora, attended the Gram Sabha there and interacted with Panches and Sarpanchs.

Principal Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, Superintendent of Police Rahul Malik and other senior officers of the district were also present.

 

Appreciating the concept of Back to Village Programme, people welcomed the initiative of the Government in bringing governance to the grassroots level. During the interactions, a number of demands were put forth for consideration of the Government including those related to construction of roads and bridges, construction of tunnel for keeping Bandipora-Gurez road open round the year, arrangements for winters, availability of ration, issues with regard to rehabilitation of people displaced by construction of dam, establishment of SBI Branches in Tulail and Gurez, employees issues, reservation, healthcare facilities construction of bunkers , creation of job avenues etc.

In his remarks, Chief Secretary observed that Back to Village Programme is aimed at energizing and strengthening the Panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation. He said the feedback obtained from the visiting officers will be valuable to assess the development needs, analyze the economic potential of the villages/hamlets and to tailor areas specific government schemes/programmes.

Chief Secretary said that areas like Gurez have huge tourism potential. He said Government is actively considering establishment of a Tourism Development Authority here that will help in creation of tourism infrastructure albeit in a planned and eco-friendly manner so as to harness tourism potential of the area while maintaining its pristine glory. He further stated that several important development projects are at various stages of completion which include Khandyal-Bandipora road which will considerably reduce the distance between Bandipora and Gurez.

Chief Secretary said the Government is planning to make a special tourist corridor to connect Ladakh with Gurez, Tangdhar and other border areas of the state.

While responding to the grievances with regard to the Kishenganga Hydroelectric Power Project (KHEP), Chief Secretary said that government will examine the issue further. He said that improvement of power supply in Gurez will remain under focussed attention of the Government.   

At Wanpora, Chief Secretary distributed poultry birds among several beneficiaries under the National Livelihood Mission.

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