News Notes

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Assertive AAP

Arvind-KejriwalOpposing the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that Army should not stay for long in Kashmir.

Speaking on a news talk show ‘Candidate 2014’ he said that New Delhi should make sincere efforts to win the hearts of Kashmiri people and once that is achieved then there is no need of army there.

“We don’t need lathis and guns in Kashmir – what we need are the positive approach so that the people of the region could be befriended. We have to win their hearts,” he said. However, AAP chief added that he cannot comment over the period for which army has to stay in valley. “I can only say that we don’t need army for a longer period in Kashmir.”

Commenting over Article 370, Kejriwal said that the Article must stay and should not be abrogated. “We have different types of agreements of accession with different states in India. We have one type of agreement with the tribal areas and one with the hilly areas – India is a country with lot of diversity. ”

Kejriwal remarked that like Article 370 that provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir, there is Article 371, Article 371 (a,b,c) and that there are 13 more states other than Jammu and Kashmir with which we have agreements of different nature.

He stated that there are two types of federalism Symmetrical and Assymetrical and existence of India was a continuous process and Sikkim was included as a union territory in the later one.

Kejriwal reiterated that Kashmir is an integral part of India and Kashmiris as a part of the Indian Union are our own people and no different from us. “Once we win the hearts of the people there everything will be resolved,’’ he said.

Twin Strikes

The two recent militant attacks refuted the claims of government forces about the dwindling numbers of active militants in the valley. An apparent surge in militant strikes from past some time now has put some serious question marks on security situation of the valley.

Two attacks in a single day made to instant headlines when on March 3, one policeman was stabbed by an unidentified youth in Pampore leaving him seriously critical. The SOG man was attacked by a knife on his neck. He was later declared out of danger, but the attacker was arrested on spot.

The attacker was identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Khan of Tral. The state
police is ascertaining whether the arrested person has any militant links but many have alleged that his cousin is a divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.

A few hours later after the incident, some unknown militants fired upon a police vehicle near court complex Pulwama, leaving 2 SPOs (driver and attendant) dead and another seriously injured.

The deceased were identified as Farooq Ahmad Mir son of Ghulam Hassan Mir resident of Vedpora Pulwama and Mukhtar Ahmad Wani son of Ghulam Hassan Wani resident of Syed Wari Qazigund.

Police said that Farooq Ahmad Mir is survived by his aged mother and father, 2 brothers, sister, wife and a son while Mukhtar Ahmad Wani is survived by his widow mother, brother, wife and an infant daughter of two months.

The twin attacks have supposedly beefed up the security scenario in the valley. At least, the recent police statements are asserting that.

Fearing Peril

DG-Police-Ashok-PrasadThe top cop of J&K Police, Ashok Prasad recently admitted that peaceful conduct of Parliamentary and Assembly elections is one of the biggest challenges before JKP this year.

A day later, Inspector General CRPF, PK Singh said that there are possibilities that militants may strike during the hey days of coming Parliament and Assembly elections. He said that Para-military troopers are ready to face any kind of challenge and they will ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in Kashmir Valley.

Singh said that it is the job of militants to create panic and carry out stray attacks. “Recent militant attacks especially in Pulwama town indicates that militants are desperate to make their presence felt all across Kashmir and there are apprehensions that these militants will try to disrupt peace during the election process,” he said adding that Government Forces are cautious and capable to thwart their attacks.

He said that CRPF has been performing different types of duties including Law and order, guarding VIPs and vital installations, and tackling militancy. “We have been instrumental in tackling militancy and it is because of the spirit, gallant and unmatched sacrifices of our personnel, that we continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, security and prosperity in the state,” he added. Singh said that during elections everyone from the organization has to work at the cost of personal comfort as these are the testing times for the Government Forces.

“We have to remain vigilant to foil the attempts of anti-national elements,” he said adding that the officers should discharge their duties with utmost dedication and commitment to ensure law and order during elections.

Roshni Swindle

Roshini-ActIn the infamous Roshni Land scam the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has recently put its report in the State Legislature, which has exposed Congress and National Conference as “institutional beneficiaries” of the Rs 25,000-crore Roshni scam in Jammu and Kashmir.

Congress has grabbed eight Kanals of prime state land in Residency Road and The Bund for the party-controlled Khidmat Trust, NC has raised its party headquarters ‘Nawai-e-Subuh’ under the auspices of Nawai-e-Subuh Trust on the similarly grabbed State land of four Kanals.

Both the parties have got the lands transferred to the two trusts under the garb of The Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, commonly known as the ‘Roshni Act’, against peanuts and violating the rules and regulations.

The market value of these lands have been at Rs 13.10 crore in 2007 but currently there is said to be around Rs 100 crore, including the cost of the building constructed.

“In contravention of the said provisions of the Act, lands were transferred to seven ‘institutional entities in Srinagar with no safeguards,” reports the CAG report. It pointed out in detail how 7 Kanals and 16 Marlas of the land was transferred to Khidmat Trust and 3 Kanals and 16 Marlas of the land to Nawai-e-Subuh Trust for just peanuts.

“Thus, lands valued by the committee at Rs 13.10 crore were approved for transfer at a price of Rs 1.97 crore against which only Rs 1.47 crore had been collected,” reads the report. It pointed out that these lands could be transferred only on commercial rate.

Meanwhile in Jammu under the same act, a special judge anti-corruption Jammu Puneet Gupta has granted Interim Bail to Bansi Lal Gupta, the Jammu based businessman who was booked under section 5 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act in Roshni Land Scam.

After considering the objections filed by the State Vigilance Organization, the Special Judge Anti-Corruption has admitted interim bail to Bansi Lal Gupta till 8th of March.

Pertinently, State Vigilance Organization unearthed Roshni land scam by registering FIR vide number 6/2014 against the senior functionaries of Revenue Department and the beneficiary – a highly influential businessman and liquor baron of Jammu namely Bansi Lal Gupta.

The investigation is in progress and the FIR has been formally registered under section 5 (1) (d) read with section 5 (2) prevention of corruption act 2006 and section 120 B RPC and section 17 of J&K state land (vesting of ownership to the occupants) act 2001 and the investigation has been entrusted to Rajesh Sharma Inspector Jammu wing of Police Station Vigilance Organization Jammu.

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