News Notes


‘Modi-fied’ Freedom

Syed-Ali-Geelani-during-a-press-conferenceAs unionist political parties are in the process of wooing voters for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the state, on the other hand separatists have intensified the poll boycott campaign.

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In his first press conference since he landed in Srinagar Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani Firday said that Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) Prime Ministerial Candidate, Narendra Modi’s  men were in touch with pro freedom leadership of valley.

“Two people came to meet me on March 22 and asked me to talk to Narendra Modi to get his commitment on Kashmir issue but I rejected their proposal telling them that Modi is a RSS man and we know his party’s policy about Kashmir.”

Geelani said, “Those who have said that Modi’s policy after he becomes PM regarding Kashmir would be soft and those who have expectations from him have actually met Modi’s men in Kashmir.”

Pertinently, Hurriyat (M) chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement had said that his amalgam is hopeful of Modi regarding Kashmir issue. “As far the people of Kashmir are concerned, change of guard is of little significance for them. What matters is change of policy vis-a-vis Kashmir issue. If Modi is elected as the Prime Minister and if he pursues the outlook of Vajpayee on Kashmir issue, there is a scope of moving forward to find an amicable solution to the vexed issue,” Mirwaiz had said.

Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Geelani’s own parent organization, Muhammad Abdullah Wani in an interview to a local daily too had said that Narendra Modi would be soft on Kashmir once he becomes PM. “If he (Modi) wins, he has to run a country he won’t be hardliner anymore. As a head he has to think of everything and everyone,” Wani had said.

Geelani maintained that he answered Modi’s men in clear terms that everyone knows RSS and BJP’s policy on Kashmir. He added that under Narendra Modi’s chief ministerial ship infamous riots of 2002 took place in Gujarat.

Custodial Killings

Er-Abdul-RashidAwami Itihad Party (AIP) president and North Kashmir Lok Sabha seat candidate Er Abdul Rashid criticized the statement of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in which he had stated that it was during PDP rule that top militant leadership was liquidated.

Rashid during an election rally said that Omar is trying to wash his hands off the killings that happened during his tenure as chief minister.

Rashid alleged that during NC rule more than 800 militants were killed in custody. The PDP rule was no exception to such type of killings too. Rashid further said that both these parties are working on the diktats of Delhi and rubbing salt to the wounds of Kashmiris.

“Both Omar and Mehbooba exploit the name of militancy and Syed Salah Ud Din to befool gullible Kashmiris. On the one hand they are trying to please Delhi through their measures against militancy and on the other hand they are praising the militants to get favours from the masses,” he said.

Rashid said if Omar is true to his claim then can’t it be stated as an acknowledgement of the fact that militants are representing the emotions of the common Kashmiris. He pointed towards PDP and NC and advised them that they should stop showing green pastures to Kashmiris instead they should focus on making India accept the disputed status of Kashmir and be united in taking people out of this mess or they should leave Kashmiris on their own so that they can evolve a better roadmap for resolution of Kashmir issue.

Failing ECI

PDP ELECTION RALLY IN SOUTH KASHMIR (3)“EC has been alert to violations of model code of conduct in rest of the country, it seems to be dead when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehbooba Mufti said in a press conference.

PDP president alleged that Election Commission of India (ECI) was not able to take action against Dr Farooq Abdullah who is National Conference president who, according to her, is involved in “repeated violations of the Model Code of Conduct.”

The PDP president said if the EC does not take any action on the “inflammatory statements made by Abdullah, it would tantamount to hanging democracy in Kashmir”.

She said it is a test of “credibility” for the ECI as National Conference will do everything to avoid defeat in the elections.

Pertinently, Farooq while addressing a public meeting in city had alleged that PDP is behind Khrew attack on a NC activist in which two security guards were killed. The cops were guarding NC activist and a meet of NC workers was going on in his house. In reaction, PDP had approached ECI with a complaint saying the allegation is of serious nature and again on Thursday Farooq said that if he would have power and support with him, he would attack PDP 100 times.

PDP had earlier petitioned ECI over use of Police vans for ferrying Wazwan for NC workers who were attending an election meeting at party headquarters. Another petition is regarding NC senior female cabinet minister, Sakina Itoo, who was seen seeking support from an elderly person by making him swear on holy Koran.

Disconnecting Kashmir!

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has issued notices asking director civil aviation Safdarjung, Station Airport New Delhi and all in-charges of airline companies operating in Jammu and Kashmir sector including Indigo, Spice-jet, Air India, Go-Air, Jet Airways to file their  reports on unprecedented airfare hike.

A complaint filed by M.M Shuja  general Secretary Peoples Forum has projected grievances regarding hike in the airfare by airline companies operating in Jammu and Kashmir saying that the general public as well as travel associations have also highlighted the matter. “The contents of the complaint reveal that tourism in Kashmir valley has got adversely affected by this unbridled hike,” the order passed by the SHRC reads.

The complainant has further said that the middle class and lower class families from various states of India are the main source of tourism in Kashmir but the sudden hike in airfare has considerably narrowed the flow of tourists to the valley in the month of March.

Shuja adds that during rainy seasons the road connectivity of the valley remains cut off with the rest part of country and air travel is the only means of transport available to the people of Kashmir. “The air operator companies are taking undue advantage of the situation and unilaterally hike fares, which in general violates the rights of Human beings in Kashmir,” he says.

 We have gone through the contents of the complaint which, prima-facie disclose a case of discrimination regarding equality and violation of human rights,” the commission said in its order directing that the case be listed on May 15 for hearing.


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