News Notes

Wamiq’s Justice

wamiq-farooqParents of Wamiq Farooq, a teenager who was killed in 2010 mass unrest in Kashmir, still wait for justice after a gap of four years.

In the recent judgement passed by the Supreme Court it has asked a trial court in Srinagar to proceed with trial uninfluenced by findings of Special Investigation Team (SIT) and observations of the J&K High Court.

Wamiq’s father had filed a complaint before the CJM Srinagar on February 25, 2010 regarding lodgement of FIR against Sub-Inspector Abdul Khaliq Sofi and Head Constable, Muhammad Akram, who were accused of killing his son. Then the Court on February 5, 2011 directed the Inspector General of Police Kashmir to constitute a SIT of at least three officers headed by an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police, to investigate the case.

The SIT investigated the case and in its report said the possibility of death of Wamiq due to tear smoke shell cannot be ruled out. The State filed a Criminal Revision Petition against the CJM order before the Principal Sessions Judge Srinagar which was dismissed with the direction that SIT be constituted within a week and the investigation concluded within two months.

In March this year, Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar issued non-bailable arrest warrants against the two accused policemen and directed the Inspector General of Police Kashmir to execute the warrants.

Earlier, SC had directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to place on record the outcome of probe carried out by a Special Investigation Team of police into the killing of Wamiq Farooq. A Special Leave Petition (SLP) by the J&K Government was filed against the High Court order that upheld a trial court decision to constitute a SIT to probe the killing of Wamiq Farooq.

  AFSPA Killings!

assembly-BJP-protest-against-revocation-of-AFSPAWhenever the state and union government starts a debate on the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), it ends up in a mess.

In last more than two decades of conflict in Kashmir, the government forces have used AFSPA on a number of occasions to save themselves from the judicial system.

With militancy related  cases started showing a drastic decline in recent years, a few unionist parties are up in arms, at least verbally, in favour of its revocation.

But be it coincidence or some things else every such debate ends in more killings in the valley.

On April 06, 2015, three attacks took place in a day. First a cop was attacked in Pattan leaving him badly injured. In second attack, three cops were shot dead in Shopian, when militants in army fatigues attacked them near Amshipora village, when they had gone to the village to investigate a civil case.

In the third incident, an unidentified gunman attacked a civilian leaving him badly injured.

On the next very day after these attacks, BJP lawmakers carried placards reading ‘no AFSPA revocation’ in the state legislative assembly.

While political parties belonging to different ideologies debate AFSPA in the state legislative assembly, the Army generals have decided to remain silent over this issue this year.

Earlier they were openly defending the act but this year, with BJP ruling the state in coalition with a regional party, army refuses to comment. They have told the local media that they will share the opinion over the continuation or the revocation of the law with the state and the union governments.

Although Army has said that it will remain more vigilant (at LoC) to meet any challenges as the snow has started melting along the lower heights on line of control. They claimed around 200 militants are active in valley.

Separatists’ Security

Mirwaiz-Umar-FarooqIn the recently concluded assembly session of J&K, the state government revealed that it has used Rs 500 crores in the last five years for providing security to 1278 individuals including a few separatists. The expenses also include money spent on their VIP accommodation.

The data reviled that since 2010-11, nearly Rs 4 crore per year were spent on their hotel accommodation, around Rs 21 crore paid as hotel bills for the activists, average Rs 5.2 crore spent every year on their gas bills, Rs 26.43 crore was spent on fuel, Rs 309 crore spent on the salary of guards protecting them, Rs 150 crore on the salary of PSOs since 2010-11, Rs 287 crore was given to the state under SRE (Police) for material and supplies, Rs 160 crore was allotted under SRE (R&R).

Reacting to the reports of government about spending money on separatists, the spokesperson of one Hurriyat group (M) said that only eight of their members use government security cover.

Those who have enjoyed state’s perks include Hashim Qureshi, Salim Geelani, Zafar Akbar Bhat, Shahid-ul-Islam, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Abdul Gani Bhat, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Bilal Gani Lone, Aga Syed Hassan, Mussadiq Adil and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza.

Bill Please!

relief-and-rescue-workFirst they said they are providing help and then they sent a bill. Was it really help during natural calamity when they were throwing ‘expired’ food items from helicopters?

JK law minister Basharat Bukhari has approved flood package of Rs 1602.56 Crore, out of which Rs 500 crore have been earmarked for the Indian Air Force — thus fulfilling the pending demand placed by New Delhi earlier to clear a bill of Rs 650 crores to Indian Air Force (IAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the rescue operations they carried out and the relief material distributed during September floods in Kashmir.

Bukhari informed his colleagues in the state legislature that the ‘Relief and Rehabilitation Package’ of September 2014 flood damages submitted to the Union Government comprises two components, one a Special Package and the other under SDRF norms. The part of package covered under SDRF norms amounts to Rs 2926.11 Crore, out of which Rs 1566 Crore was earmarked for temporary restorations.

Earlier, New Delhi had charged state Rs 650 crores for rescue operations during flood. Though both Centre and State maintained that the bill had been charged for chopper rides, but people assailed it as “a cruel joke for expired food items”.

Tale of WPR

Giving residential rights to outsiders in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been barred by the constitution of State. But still there are many people who have settled here from a long time now. Some year’s back state government was considering giving them Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC).  And now when the union government is all set to settle one such group, West Pakistan Refugees in state, to increase their vote bank, others see it as the violation of state constitution.

A total of 54945 West Pakistan and Pakistan administered refugees have migrated to state of Jammu and Kashmir on three junctures from 1947 up to 1971. The figures were given by the state government.

In 1947, 31619 refugees; in 1965, 4061 refugees; and in 1971, total of 9442 refugees migrated to J&K while 9823 were West Pakistanis.

Pertinently government of India has asked the state government of Jammu and Kashmir to include the refugees of West Pakistan along with those of Pakistan administered Kashmir or the GoI shall not consider it.

The government has also informed that displaced persons (DPs) from Pakistan administered Kashmir are permanent residents of state and are entitled to all legal rights including Permanent Resident Certificates (PRCs). It also said that so far as West Pakistani refugees are concerned, they are not residents of J&K state according to its own constitution. Presently, no such proposal is under consideration of government.

Meanwhile the state government has also informed that it intends to give a relief of Rs 25 lakh each to these DPs/refugee families except for West Pakistani refugees. The package has been submitted to Government of India for one time full and final settlement. The number of such families who would qualify for such amount is 36384 and the total amount involved shall be Rs 9096 crore. The amount is proposed as the compensation against the left over movable and immovable property.

The government is further considering reservation in professional colleges outside J&K for the children of these displaced families and reservation of jobs in paramilitary forces, army and other union government offices.


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