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Women’s groups raise concerns over rights violations in Kashmir, demand restoration of Art 370

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Sep 24: A team of women’s rights activists on Tuesday raised concerns over alleged human rights violations in Kashmir after a visit to the Valley, and demanded that Article 370 be restored and the Army as well as paramilitary forces be withdrawn with immediate effect.

Presenting a fact-finding report, the five-member team also called for the immediate restoration of all communication lines, including internet and mobile networks.

The group, comprising Annie Raja, Kawaljit Kaur and Pankhuri Zaheer from the National Federation of Indian Women, Poonam Kaushik from the Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan and Syeda Hameed from the Muslim Women’s Forum, visited Kashmir from September 17-21.

 

The group, which addressed a press conference here on their findings, visited several villages in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Bandipora.

“We wanted to see with our own eyes how this 43-day lockdown had affected the people, particularly women and children,” the report stated.

The team demanded that the Army and paramilitary forces be withdrawn with immediate effect from the Valley in order to achieve normalcy.

“Restore Article 370 and 35A. All future decisions about the political future of Jammu and Kashmir must be taken through a process of dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the activists said in their report.

All army personnel must be removed from the civilian areas of Jammu and Kashmir, they demanded.

“For confidence building, immediately cancel all cases/FIRs and release all those, especially the youth who are under custody and in jail since the Abrogation of Article 370,” the team demanded.

Alleging excesses by the Army and other security personnel, the women activists said a time-bound inquiry should be conducted to ensure justice.

“The Army cannot remain a holy cow,” Raja told reporters.

The activists also demanded compensation for all families who they claimed lost lives because of non-availability of transportation and absence of communication.

“We went to hospitals, schools, homes, market places, spoke to people in the rural as well as urban areas, to men, women, youth and children. This report is our eyewitness account of ordinary people who have lived for 43 days under an iron siege,” Raja said.

She said the team now intends to submit its demands to Home Minister Amit Shah and urge action on them.

Narrating their experiences in the Kashmir Valley, the women said several local people said they feel they “have been caged”.

“Shops, hotels, schools, colleges, institutes and universities were all closed, and streets were deserted as we drove out from the airport,” they said in the report.

They also raised concerns over the arrest and detention of young persons.

“One estimate given to us was 13,000 boys lifted during this lockdown,” the activists claimed.

The women’s rights activists claimed that nothing about the situation is normal.

All those claiming that the situation is slowly returning to normalcy are making false claims based on distorted facts, they said.

“Article 370 has united the people of Jammu and Kashmir and all of them feel that it is a blow to their dignity. They will not forgive and forget,” Raja said.

On August 5, the Centre announced the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.


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Kashmir

Adv Bhatnagar calls for judicious use of water throughout JK

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 16: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar released the annual calendar 2020 of Departments of Public Health Engineering and Irrigation & Flood Control here today.

The Advisor  released the calendar in the presence of Commissioner Secretary PHE, I&FC Ajit Kumar Sahu and other concerned officers.

The main theme of the calendar is to highlight the water conservation measures in the households while using water for daily use.

 

On the occasion, the Advisor complimented the Departments for bringing out the calendar on such a theme which is an essential part of everyone’s daily life.

The Advisor exhorted upon the concerned to focus mainly on educational institutions and public places like bus stops and railway stations besides other utilities while distributing the calendars to further its message.

He also impressed upon the officers to launch a massive awareness campaign for judicious use of water and conservation techniques throughout Jammu and Kashmir.

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Kashmir

DSP arrest: CISF given control of Srinagar, Jammu airports

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Jan 16: Airports in Srinagar and Jammu are to be “immediately” brought under the security cover of the CISF in view of the arrest of DSP Davinder Singh, a Jammu and Kashmir government order has said. The two sensitive airports are to be “handed over” to the CISF by January 31, the order of the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department to the Director General of Police (DGP) said.

“This issue (CISF security at Srinagar and Jammu airports) has acquired immediacy in view of the recent developments relating to the arrest of Davinder Singh, DSP airport security, for trying to assist militants to travel to other parts of the country,” the order issued on Wednesday said. Police had arrested Singh, a deputy superintendent of police, at Mir Bazar in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday, along with Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists Naveed Baba and Altaf, besides a lawyer who was operating as an overground worker for terror outfits.

The two airports are guarded by the CRPF and the J-K Police at present. The Union government had last year decided that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will be handed over security of these two airports along with the one in Leh in view of their sensitive and strategic location and the threats it faced related to possible terrorist and hijack attempts.

 

CISF is the national civil aviation security force and at present it guards 61 airports including the ones at Delhi and Mumbai. PTI had on January 13 reported that the Union home ministry sanctioned about 800 personnel to the CISF in order to take over security duties at the three airports of the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

As per the original plan, the CISF was to take over Jammu airport by next month and the Srinagar and Leh airports after the spell of severe cold ends. However, officials said, keeping in mind the arrest of the DSP and his alleged links, the latest order has been issued which also directs the J-K Police to make arrangements for accommodation, transport and other logistical requirements of the armed contingent of the CISF on a quick basis.

Once inducted at the most-sensitive Srinagar airport, the CISF will secure access control at both city and air side (tarmac area) while the CRPF will be responsible for securing the outer periphery. At the Jammu airport, the peripheral security duties will be rendered by the JK Police.

An assortment of surveillance and security gadgets like CCTVs, observation monitors, hand-held metal detectors, bullet-proof patrol vehicles and bomb detection and disposal equipment are also being provided by the airport operator, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), to the CISF. The Union government sometime back made it clear that CISF will be the only civil airports guarding force and all such facilities in the country will be gradually brought under its command to bolster aviation security and tighten anti-terror and anti-hijack protocols.

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We’re recommending Davinder Singh’s sacking: DGP

Agencies

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Jammu, Jan 15: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said it is recommending to the central government that the Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh, who was arrested while travelling with two Hizbul terrorists, should be sacked.

Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said while speaking at a press conference said that Davinder Singh has now been suspended from his duties.

“He has been suspended, we are recommending his sacking to the government. Cannot share right now what has been revealed during the interrogation,” Jammu and Kashmir DGP said.

 

As per the sources, National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director-General earlier in the day met Union Home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla pertaining to an investigation of a case related to Deputy SP Davinder Singh, who was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police while he was travelling with two Hizbul terrorists.

The investigation of the case has been handed over to NIA, sources claimed.

The sources further said that a team headed by IG level officer will go to Jammu and Kashmir for the investigation soon.

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