Assembly Inputs

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Regardless of the outcome of the brief assembly session that concluded last week, Kashmir Life offers key statistics that the session fetched on various sectors in different interventions that lawmakers made. Some of it might be vital to various policy groups outside the government.

A For Apple

Apple-packed-in-boxesAlmost 10 to 12% of the apple orchards have developed Alternaria Leaf Blotch because of the high temperature and massive rains during second week of August. In these cases 80% of leaf fall was reported from affected orchards. The disease triggered by Alternaria mali usually impacts the Red Delicious.

The disease has impacted a lot of produce. Government says the marketing of the produce is better as compared to last year. By the end of September 2012, growers had dispatched 157455 metric tones of apple to outside markets which is less as compared to 192330 mts in 2013.

Interestingly, the government is working to have as many as 17 satellite markets (mandis) across the state of which five are already complete and functional in Shopian, Kupwara, Chrar-e-Sharief, Sopore and Kulgam. In Bejbehara, 400 kanals have been identified for a mandi that would come up at a cost of Rs 35.60 crore of which six core is released and spent for soiling and fencing of land.

The most exciting development is that the horticulture department has established a gene bank for the nearly-extinct Ambri variety of apple and developed 400 mother plants at its Advanced Centre for Horticulture Development at Zainpora in Shopian.

C For Civil Liberties

Detained-youth-police-custodyJ&K has 9329 people locked in its 13 prisons and the central jail at Srinagar has the highest number of 2673 prisoners. The government said there are 2075 prisoners in Central Jail Kotbalwal, 364 in District Jail Jammu, 975 in Udhampur, 537 in Kathua, 184 in Rajouri, 172 in Poonch, 239 in Kishtwar, 1696 in Baramulla, 176 in Kupwara, 85 in Islamabad, 47 in sub jail Hira Nagar and 106 in sub jail Reasi.

In a separate intervention, the government denied the existence of a ‘revolving door detention’ but admitted it arrested 1257 individuals under Public Safety Act between 2009 and July 2013 – the era that Omar Abdullah presided over. While the courts have quashed 945 of these detentions, in 66 cases the individuals set free by the courts were re-arrested. Baramulla district including Sopore tops with 285 PSA arrests followed by Srinagar with 214.

Between 1990 and 2013, the government said it announced 12 judicial enquiries of which seven are finalized and five are still going on. Besides, it said all the four commissions that were appointed in militancy related (included Shopian) have completed their job.

In an interesting revelation, the state home ministry revealed the police have registered 5125 cases of rapes – 2601 in Kashmir and 2524 in Jammu, between 1989 and 2003. In the same period, 14953 cases of molestations were registered – 12215 in Kashmir and 2738 in Jammu province.

While security forces had 70 rape cases (41 in Kashmir and 29 in Jammu), it had 55 cases of molestations ( 44 in Kashmir and 11 in Jammu). Police had 59 rape cases against its personnel (15 in Kashmir and 44 in Jammu) and 34 in molestation cases (12 in Kashmir and 22 in Jammu). Surrendered militants molested nobody but had three rape cases including two in Kashmir.

In comparison, there were seven cases of rape registered against militants – four in Kashmir and three in Jammu, besides three cases of molestations including two in Jammu.

Most of these crimes were registered against others indicating they were civilians. There are 14861 cases of molestations – 12158 in Kashmir and 2793 in Jammu. The number of rapes against the civilian population was 4986 which included 2540 in Kashmir and 2446 in Jammu.

As for as disposal of the cases is concerned, the government said 664 rape allegations and 782 molestations were not admitted at all. Cases not admitted for not tracing the accused were 65 rapes and 115 molestations. While 159 rape cases and 557 molestation cases are still under investigation, cases challaned before the courts include 4237 rapes and 13499 molestation cases. Conviction has taken place in 579 cusses.

D For Demography

Tcross-border-mariageill September 24, 2013 as many as 277 ‘misguided’ youth returned from PaK along with 140 wives – 15 local and 125 foreign wives and 438 children. They did not use the approved routes. Besides, five local women who had ex-filtrated earlier also returned along with 10 children. Under the return and rehabilitation package, the government has received 1171 applications of which: 12 are cleared, 386 cases are under examination, 24 cases reached home without getting a clearance.

There are 381 Burmese Muslim families comprising 1621 people in Jammu district and 1476 of them have UNHCR identity cards. There are two NGOs working with them.

J&K State Subject Inquiry Commission that was set by during Dr Farooq Abdullah’s rule has received 2180 complaints and right now 1150 cases are pending before it. So far, 117 persons have been found non state subjects by the Commission. Of them 67 cases skipped responding to commission summons and in six cases, the government cancelled their state subject status.

As per 2011 census, Schedule Tribe population in state is 1493299. The 2001 census had put Gujjars at 763806 and Bakerwals at 60724.

E For Energy

Baglihar-Power-ProjectThe government says that despite very high AT&C losses of 63.8% (2008-09)  56.98% (2012-13) and highly subsidized tariff of 51%, the power ministry in the state has been able to reduce energy deficit from 33% in 2007-08 to 26.92% in 2012-13.

State has been gradually increasing its generations. It has increased from 1689.69 million units in 2008-09 to 3931.56 million units in 2012-13. But given the mismatch between demand and availability, the government has been purchasing energy in bulk at very high costs. Purchase of energy has gone up from 10332.59 million units in 2009-10 (worth Rs 1992.46 crore) to 10677.017 in 2010-11 (Rs 2309.77 crore) to 10992.611 in 2011-12 (Rs 3000 crore) and 12052.168 in 2012.13 (Rs 3668.40 crore).

NHPC that runs a chain of power projects in the state has sold energy to J&K state worth Rs 3834.59 crore since 1997.

J&K’s newly set up State Water Resources Regulatory Authority that is mandated by law to levy cess on usage of water has raised a demand of Rs 1520.04 crore to the NHPC and Rs 756.62 crore to SPDC from 2010-11 to 2013-14. While the NHPC has paid Rs 1315.63 crore, it still owes Rs 204.41 crore to the SWRRA. The state owned SPDC has paid only Rs 20 crore and has Rs 736.62 crore in arrears.

F For Forests

Jungle-LootEven though the government evicted encroachment from 1114 hectors of forests land, mostly in Kashmir (987 hectors), there are still 13233 hectors forests encroached upon, mostly in Jammu (9342 hectors).

Forests department income has gone down from last year. Against realizing revenue of Rs 42.23 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 46.78 crore in 2011-12, the forest department said it has received only Rs 44.83 crore in 2012-13. Its income comes from timber, firewood, resin and minor forest produce.

Forests department stated that in last three years ending March 2013, it has registered 5446 cases against various people for various forests related offences in Kashmir. The number in Jammu for the same period was 5884. It admitted that the government is, sometimes, invoking Public Safety Act against the habitual damage doers (read timber smugglers). In the last thee years it has issued 93 dossiers, ordered 69 arrests and actually made 49 arrests in Kashmir. Nothing in Jammu!

P For Pandits

Kashmiri-PanditsPrime Minister’s Special Recruitment Policy for the return and rehabilitation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits has a cupid crisis. Some of those serving the valley under the package have decided to marry but the recruitment rules are keeping them apart, in different districts. Of 1447 youth serving the Valley under the plan, 36 couples have married and only nine are staying closer!

Interestingly, as no migrant Kashmiri Pandit family availed the Rs 1600 crore package that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh announced in April 2008, state government has sought its revision.

The government has already constructed 505 flats in four districts which are currently housing 1446 Pandit youth employed by the state government in Kashmir.

Right now, the government said there are 40497 migrant families living in Jammu which include 1767 Sikhs and 2167 Muslims. Of them only 18292 get the relief from state government as the bulk of 22205 families have one or more than one of their members as employees of the state government. Besides, there are another 21333 Pandit migrant families living in 12 states across India of whom a majority of 19338 are in Delhi.

The state government has booked an expenditure of Rs 461.09 crore in last five years between 2008-09 and 2012-13 on the migrant front in Jammu which excludes an expenditure of Rs 66.48 crore booked for the current fiscal.

KPs own 5573 structures in addition to 89344 kanals (11168 acres) of land in Kashmir. This is despite the fact that competent authorities have already approved 5573 sales agreements and land alienations between 1997 and 2012 involving 11131 kanals (1391 acres). There are 205 kanals (25 acres) which have been encroached upon.  This is in addition to 2291 kanals (286.3 acres) of land that is owned by 493 Hindu shrines and temples across Kashmir.

V For VDCs

VDCsJ&K has 23591 special police officials (SPOs) in 25 police districts (who work for Rs 3000/month) and 4112 village defense committees (VDCs) in Jammu region comprising 26425 members.  VDC get arms and training and are voluntary vigilantes. So far, 270 SPOs and 52 VDC members were killed in militancy related incidents and the government has paid a compensation of Rs 5.37 crore to the families of SPOs and Rs 49 lakh to those of VDC members. On compassionate grounds, 49 of the 52 VDC families had a member each recruited in police.

The government admitted there are 49 cases registered against VDC members for misusing their weapons. It includes two cases that were registered in the Kishtwar rioting case where they killed a person literally in cold blood. There are 151 cases (FIR) of various natures registered against the VDC members across Jammu region. It includes 49 cases that pertain to their misuse of weaponry.

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