News Notes

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‘Preventing’ Probe

tahir-sofiFor various sections of society, government probes are proving to be ‘faux’. The same appears the case with the killing of Tahir Sofi, a youth from Baramulla. Sofi was allegedly killed by 46 RR of Indian Army in March near his house, in the aftermath of the attack on CRPF near Police Public School in Bemina.

Family of Sofi has alleged that district administration Baramulla is persuading them to accept an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh and not to make cry for the probe into the killing of their son.

The family has also said that the state is misleading other organizations as well who were looking into the case. “District administration has dispatched a letter to State Human Rights Commission reading that the family of Sofi has accepted Rs 5 lakh as compensation,” the family said, adding that they want punishment for the killers and not any compensation.

Meanwhile the Additional District Commissioner Baramulla, who was heading the probe, has submitted his report to the administration in June 28 but the family claims that they don’t know anything about that probe. And when they tried to get the information under Right to Information Act, the reply was astonishing for the family. “The Government replied us that we can’t provide information due to security reasons,” the family has said.

The Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmed Khawaja has responded that ‘he received the report in a closed envelop and forwarded it to the Home Department without going through the report.’

Special Secretary Home, Dilshada said that the report lies with Additional Secretary Home, Arshid Ayoub. But Ayoub said that he is not aware about such report. “I don’t know anything about this report. What can I say when I don’t know anything about such report,” he has said.

Pertinently, Omar got emotional during the last session of the assembly in Jammu when Tahir was killed. While controlling his tears, Omar had then said in the assembly that he will soon come out with the results of probe and culprits booked.

Campaign TEASER

Mufti-Mohammad-SyedSeeking over whelming support from the people to establish a new system of justice and equality in Jammu and Kashmir, patron of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Wednesday said that coming Lok Sabha elections would be a trailer of campaign launched by his party to change present system of corruption and mis-governance.

He observed that Lok Sabha elections would set the trend for change in the coming Assembly elections. “Peoples’ urge for change is gaining momentum with every passing. Joining of large number of people in PDP is indication that there is strong wave for change in the State,” Mufti said while addressing a function to welcome Sher Singh and Aijaz Khan, two prominent leaders of National Conference from Reasi who joined PDP along with their supporters.

“PDP is seeking mandate to change destiny of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said and called upon the party workers to intensify the on-going campaign for change. “Coming Lok Sabha elections are an opportunity to channelize anger of the people against this government”, he said. Reiterating his resolve solve problems of all sections of the society Mufti said during its tenure the PDP led regime had proved its ability to change destiny of the common masses by treating all individuals equally and by providing equal opportunities of development and growth to all sections of the society.

“Although we had just 16 members in the Assembly, we provided good governance to the people by streamlining functioning of all the wings of the government,” he said.

Mufti said the process of the State’s political and economic transformation started by the PDP-led coalition government in the year 2002 has to be now taken to the logical conclusion because the present regime has miserably failed to carry forward this process.

Cop TAKE

DG-Ashok-PrasadDirector General Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad Sunday said that the situation in Shopian district is under control and continued that the police was using the non lethal weapon and it was unfortunate that Rafiq Rather died with the plastic bullet which has been accepted as non lethal worldwide.

“More than 90 per cent people in Shopian are law abiding, only a few sympathizers of separatists create trouble and put the whole population into inconvenience,’’ said DGP Prasad.

Regarding the continuous house arrest of Syed Ali Geelani and not allowing Mirwaiz Umer Farooq to offer Friday prayers, DGP said that Syed Ali Geelani was ‘converting the religious platforms into political one’, which was creating law and order problem.

“If Geelani wants to offer prayers only, who stops him, but the problem is that he converts every religious platform into political one which can’t be allowed. He can offer prayers at Hyderpora mosque, what is the need to rush to Sopore or other areas to offer Friday prayers,” DGP said, adding that no one stops Geelani from offering prayers at Malviya Nagar, New Delhi or Mirwaiz Umer Farooq during his visits to Geneva or any other place.

Verdict VDC

KHURRAM-PARVAIZ-(5)Coalition of civil society (CCS), a human rights defender group active in Jammu and Kashmir, has decided to move to Supreme Court against the transfer of a PIL from Srinagar to Jammu of Jammu and Kashmir.

CCS had filed a PIL in the High Court, Srinagar for disbanding of Village Defense Committees (VDC’s), disarming of the SPOs and an inquiry into the crimes perpetrated by ‘Ikhwanis’ (government backed gunmen).

Earlier, on Monday September 16, the Judges transferred the PIL to Jammu bench, with an argument that the PIL pertains to Jammu region.

“Strangely, the Srinagar bench of the High Court doesn’t consider functioning and the criminality of the SPOs, the VDCs and Ikhwanis within its purview,” reads a face book post of Khurram Parvez, coordinator of JKCCS.

“This discouragement will not stop us from struggling against the institutionalized injustices. We surely will not stop here,” the post added.

Khurram while talking to Kashmir Life said that CCS has decided to go to the Supreme Court against transferring the PIL from Srinagar to Jammu.

“We have decided to file an appeal against the transfer order in the Supreme Court of India,” Khurram said.

Pertinently, there are complaints of grass human rights violations by the hands of VDCs, SPOs, Ikhwanis and other government backed gunmen.

Ruling RETORTS

kamalThe ruling coalition partner National Conference (NC) Wednesday has come down heavily on GoI for its Rs 1000 crore proposal for engaging youth in various sports activities to ‘curb stone pelting’, by stating that it is time to end experiments in Kashmir and to start serious dialogue to resolve the issue.

“We may disagree with the stone pelting and protests but the fact is that there is a sentiment behind the stone pelting and protests which need to be addressed. If the Government of India is sincere towards the Kashmir issue then they should start serious dialogue to address the issue,” senior NC leader and Member Parliament Mehboob Beg has said.

Commenting on the Shopian killings Beg said, “Government of India should take serious note of the killings of Shopian and punish the guilty if it really wants to the peace to return.”

Meanwhile, additional general secretary of National conference Dr Mustafa Kamal said that government of India cannot ‘change the thought of the youth’ by these financial packages as the youth of Kashmir is angry and want permanent solution of Kashmir issue.

“Centre has made Kashmir as laboratory where they are always busy in experimenting the new things but let me clear it to the centre that if it will not address basic issue, the fire of stone pelting and protests cannot be stopped,” Kamal said.

Urging the Central government to take action against the guilty of Shopian killings, Kamal said, “Nobody is above the law. CRPF has made heinous crime by killing innocents, now it is the duty of centre government to punish them.”

Pertinently, ‘to curb protests and stone pelting’ in Kashmir, Union Sports Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for constructing state-of-the-art sports related infrastructure in every tehsil, block and district of Kashmir  has approved a mega-financial package of Rs 1000 crore for Kashmir.

Scanning FUNDS

Hassan-MirThe India’s highest and disciplined institution can also be involved in the ‘mismanagement’ of funds and this time it is responsible for the wrongdoings in Kashmir under a secret mission, reveals a report.

A secret inquiry report into the functioning of the Technical Services Division, a highly confidential and controversial Military Intelligence unit set up by former Army Chief General VK Singh, has reportedly recommended a high level probe into alleged siphoning of Secret Service funds by the unit. The funds have been used to, among other things, ‘engineer a change of regime in the Jammu & Kashmir state government’ and ‘to prop up a non-governmental organization attempting to scuttle the appointment of current Army Chief General Bikram Singh.’

The Board of Officers inquiry report, according to a Delhi based Newspaper, was submitted to the Union Government in March this year.

According to the report, the inquiry report has found that Rs 1.19 crore was taken from Secret Service funds and paid to Ghulam Hassan Mir, presently Agriculture Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to destabilize the Omar government.

While denying the charges Mir has said that the charge was baseless. “During the turmoil period is J&K, it was me who put every effort to stabilize the government at that time. There was nothing of the sort,” he told a Delhi based TV channel.

The report reads Rs 2.38 crore was given to one Hakikat Singh, whose NGO Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organization (JKHSO) is linked to Yes Kashmir, an NGO that filed a public interest litigation against the then Army Commander Bikram Singh (now the Army Chief) regarding an alleged fake encounter case in Jangalat Mandi.

The NGO was used to try to change line of succession in Army top brass and buy off-air interception equipment.

As per the inquiry report, Rs 8 crore was spent on purchase of interception equipment ostensibly meant to be deployed in the J&K 15 Corps. This equipment was reportedly used illegally in New Delhi to tap phones of senior defense ministry officials, and was later destroyed.

The funds for the unit had been stopped at the time when present Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashikant Sharma as Defence Secretary had refused to provide finances to it due to lack of clarity on the way they were being spent by the formation.

Reacting to reports, Gen VK Singh has claimed it as “a vendetta as some people are not comfortable with his dais sharing with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country.” The BJP has also backed him and said that the allegations could be a conspiracy against him since he had exposed corruption in the army during his tenure as Army chief.

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