KNO - kashmir News Observer Evening Bulletin | KNO

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KNO - kashmir News Observer Evening Bulletin | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

News Desk

Article 35A row:

Kashmir and Chenab Valley witnesses unprecedented shutdown

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: An unprecedented shutdown was observed across Kashmir Valley as well as in Pir Panjal region against a plea filed by an RSS backed NGO in the Supreme Court of India seeking abrogation of Article 35A which confers special rights on J&K’s permanent residents.

    The call for shutdown was issued by Joint Resistance Leadership against “assault” on state’s special status and “efforts” to abrogate Article 35-A.

    Reports of complete shutdown poured in from all the districts of Central, North and South Kashmir. All the shops and business establishments’ remianed shut while educational institutions also remained closed. Majority of the government offices were deserted, though there was a bank holiday on Saturday.

     Undeclared restrictions were imposed in restive parts of old Srinagar city. Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS heavy contingent of Para-military troopers had been deployed in downtown Srinagar to stop possible protests.

    Witnesses said that some parts of civil lines areas including Jawahar Nagar and Raj Baght where shopkeepers usually observe partial shutdown also witnessed complete shutdown. The roads wore a deserted look in most parts of Srinagar city.

    Scores of traders staged a protest and marched through city centre Lal Chowk against the attempts to abrogate Article 35A. The traders led by Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Muhammad Yousuf Chapri assembled here in Press Enclave Srinagar and later on carried out a march that culminated at Clock Tower Lal Chowk. The protesting traders warned of serious consequences in case Article 35A is removed.

    A complete shutdown was also observed in Budgam and Ganderbal districts of Central Kashmir where shops and educational institutions remained completely shut.

    The shutdown completely disrupted normal life in four districts of South Kashmir including Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian. Same reports poured in from North Kashmir’s districts of Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara. The main roads of these district headquarters wore a deserted look.

    Complete shutdown was also observed in important town of Kashmir Valley including Pampore, Tral, Kakapora, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Qazigund, Dooru, Pahalgam, Kangan, Pakharpora, Charar-e-Sharif, Sumbal, Hajin, Ajas, Safapora, Pattan, Tangmarg, Rafiabad and Sopore.

    Shutdown was also observed in Chenab Valley of Jammu region, where Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah, Markazi Seerat Committee Doda, Anjuman Islamia Gandoh, Masjid Committee Thathri and Majlis-e-Shoura Kishtwar had issued a bandh call.

   Reports said that Doda, Gandoh and Thathri also observed complete shutdown on the band call. (CNS)




Traders protest against attempts to abrogate Article 35A

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS:  Scores of traders staged a protest and marched through city centre Lal Chowk against the attempts to abrogate Article 35A.

   The traders led by Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Muhammad Yousuf Chapri assembled here in Press Enclave Srinagar and later on carried out a march that culminated at Clock Tower Lal Chowk. They were carrying placards and banners seeking protection of special status.

   The protesting traders warned of serious consequences in case Article 35A is removed.

    “It is a sinister move aimed at to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir where Muslims are in majority. There is a dire need to get united and face the judicial onslaught on our special status,” Chapri told CNS.

   Pertinently, an RSS backed NGO has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging Article 35A, that debars non-state subjects from buying land or getting a government job in Jammu and Kashmir. (CNS)



Any measure to undermine the disputed nature of J&K resisted will be opposed and resisted at all cost: JRL

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: Joint Resistance Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Geelani , Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said that any measure to undermine the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir or aimed at changing the demographic character of the state that has a direct bearing on our Right to self determination guaranteed by the Indian state at the UN ,and ratified by the world body itself, will be resisted and opposed by the people of Kashmir at all cost. They said the complete strike observed across the length and breadth of Kashmir and in Chenab valley Kistwar Doda and other areas clearly bears  this out . JRL said for the last seven decades and particularly in the last  three decades people of Kashmir and the leadership with the full support of people in  Chenab valley Kishtwar Doda and accross to Kargil are  engaged in a political struggle based upon the  principle of truth and justice to resolve the political conflict raging in the region since the partition of the subcontinent. People have been greatly sacrificing and tirelessly striving for their just cause which the world acknowledges but GOI does not want to accept and hence there is an all out assault and suppression against the people of Kashmir from all quarters by the GoI in collaboration with their local allies.

   JRL said whether it is the daily killing of people especially the youth  , critically injuring those protesting oppression or arbitrary arrest of youth and slapping  them with PSA or the targeting of leadership through NIA/ED or intimidating civil society members and writers ,all means are being adopted to  crush the people's political movement . And on the other hand there is an all out effort by the GoI towards assimilation of JK into the Indian union through eroding its special status and changing its demographic composition.

JRL said that people have to be very cautious and vigilant to these machinations adopted against them and their political movement and have to safeguard the sacrifices made by fellow Kashmiries for the just political and humanitarian cause. (CNS)



People’s power can save special status of J&K, says Zafar Shah

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: Renowned lawyer and legal expert Zaffar Ahmed Shah Saturday said that only people’s power can stop India from removing Article 35 A that grants special privileges to the permanent subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.

     “We can approach Supreme Court at individual or organization levels filing petitions seeking safeguarding of this article which the soul of Article 370,” Shah told news agency CNS.

     He said that there is desperate need to make people aware about the essence of this article. Its removal will have very serious implication.

    “After its removal a question will be raised over the credibility and essence of Jammu Kashmir Constitution. India is hell-bent to bring Jammu and Kashmir State completely in its fold. In case Article 35A is removed, Jammu and Kashmir State will become a state like any other state of India with no special status,” he said.

    Advocate Zaffar Ahmed Shah said that the removal of this article will give a big blow to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and in coming time the State will lose its distinct character. (CNS)



Mehbooba hand-in-glove with BJP on 35A, alleges National Conference

CM's "Assurance" claim rebutted by BJP

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: National Conference on Saturday said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was hand-in-glove with the BJP and other affiliates of the RSS in concerted efforts to strike down Article 35-A and revoke the State's Special Status.

In a statement issued from Party Head Office in Srinagar, NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said Mehbooba Mufti's wishy-washy claim of getting an alleged "assurance" from the Prime Minister stood exposed as a brazen lie by Senior BJP Leaders who have gone on record to say that there has been no change in BJP's total and complete opposition to Article 35-A and Article 370.

"Post Mehbooba Mufti's meeting with the Prime Minister, Senior BJP functionaries have made it abundantly clear that BJP will continue to actively seek ways and means to strike down Article 35-A and there had been no change in their stand on the issue. This has yet again exposed Mehbooba Mufti and her party and their inexhaustible reservoir of lies", the Senior NC leaders said in the statement.

The NC leaders said Mehbooba Mufti's Government was being used as a political vehicle for the constitutional erosion of J&K's special status. "It is Mehbooba Mufti and PDP who have facilitated this assault on Article 35-A. PDP's 'Agenda of the Alliance' has been thrown into the dustbin by the BJP. BJP has formally distanced itself from every single promise made by both parties in the document. It is ridiculous and laughable that Mehbooba Mufti still refers to this disowned, abandoned and meaningless scam of a document", the Senior NC leaders added.

"What was the State Government doing till the precise moment the Attorney General of India refused to file a counter affidavit to the PIL against 35-A? If PDP has in fact managed to get BJP to agree on a 'status-quo' on J&K's special status (as stated in their 'Agenda of the Alliance'), why didn't the Central Government go on record to defend Article 35-A? The Attorney General rather said the Central Government was in favour of a 'larger debate' on the issue. That statement in itself exposes PDP's hypocrisy", the Senior Leaders added.

The NC leaders asked Mehbooba Mufti to stop fooling the people of the State and come clean on her active role in this elaborate and pre-meditated plan to rob the State of its special status and identity. "For how long will Mehbooba Mufti and PDP fool the people of the State? They want to govern with the BJP but also simultaneously work with the opposition in opposing her own alliance partner and its longstanding ideological agenda. Her drama of trying to evolve a consensus is nothing short of a smokescreen to divert the people's attention from her own complicity while PDP and BJP work together to revoke J&K's special status", Ali Muhammad Sagar and Nasir Aslam Wani said in the statement.

The NC leaders reminded Mehbooba Mufti of repeated warnings and reminders by National Conference Working President Mr. Omar Abdullah, both inside and outside the State Assembly, about BJP's active and covert plan to launch a judicial assault on Article 35-A through hitherto unknown NGOs known to be affiliated with the RSS. "Despite these repeated warning and red-flags raised by our party, Mehbooba Mufti and her Law Minister, under PDP's quid-pro-quo arrangement with the BJP, chose inaction and obfuscation on this crucial issue. They provided these NGOs with an open playing field by being callous and also deliberately mounting an inadequate and grossly deficient legal representation to defend Article 35-A. The disastrous lack of quality legal defence by the PDP-BJP Govt has been highlighted by the Supreme Court as well in a similar case under its purview where the State's legal team failed to even conceive a basic affidavit explaining its position", the NC leaders further stated.

 "National Conference will not hesitate to protest in every nook and corner of the State if the PDP-BJP Government continues with its nefarious plan to attack the State's Special Status. We are reaching out and spreading awareness about the disastrous repercussions of any misadventure on Article 35-A and will work with civil society groups, traders' associations and all likeminded organisations to mount a united and strong opposition to such evil designs by the Mehbooba Mufti Government", the NC Leaders said. (CNS)



Funding Row:

NIA permits Geelani’s two son to fly back to home

New Delhi, Aug 12, CNS: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has permitted the two sons of octogenarian Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani to fly home after they were summoned in the alleged funding case.

Syed Naseem Geelani and Syed Naeem Geelani are flying home today, reports said. However, the brother duo has been directed to report back to NIA on August 18.

Pertinently, the NIA has arrested seven Hurriyat leaders including the son-in-law of Geelani, Altaf Fantosh in the alleged funding case.

The other arrested leaders are Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid ul Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey and Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate.

The seven arrested were produced before the special judge Patiala House in New Delhi last month, before the NIA took them into custody.

The NIA spokesperson said they had been arrested in connection with NIA Case No: RC 10/2017/NIA/DLI (J&K terror funding case) under sections 120B, 121, 121A of the IPC and sanctions 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39, 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. (CNS)



Soldier wounded after militants attack army camp in Kupwara

Kupwara, Aug 12, CNS: Militants attacked an army camp here in Kalaroos forests in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, resulting in the injuries of a soldier.

      Sources said that militants attacked the 41 RR headquarter camp on Friday night using sophisticated weapons.

    The exchange of fire continued for at least 10 minutes during which a soldier of 21 JAK Rifles was wounded.

     The wounded soldier is undergoing treatment at Dragmulla based military hospital.

     Reports said that shortly after the attack, militants managed to escape from the spot, while a cordon and search operation was launched to nab them.

   The areas that were cordoned off included Upper belt of Kalaroos forests and Kunnad, Kani Behak, Manigah, Chat forest areas of Batpora Haihama. (CNS)




Woman killed in cross border firing in Poonch

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: In their continued skirmishes at border, India and Pakistan armies traded fire and mortal shells along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Saturday resulting in the death of a middle aged woman.

     Official sources said that in the ‘unprovoked’ firing by Pakistani soldiers, a woman was killed while some of the residential houses suffered damages.

     “Pakistani army fired small arms and mortars at around 5 on the Saturday morning. The Indian soldiers retaliated effectively, however, mortar shells fired by Pakistan army exploded near the house of one Muhammad Shabir at Gohlad Kalran village, killing his wife Raqia Bi,”  a police officer told CNS.

   This year there have been 285 instances of ceasefire violation by the Pakistani forces. In 2016, the number was significantly less at 228. (CNS)



Poorly maintained air conditioners pose serious health risks: DAK

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: With increase in the use of air conditioners at homes, workplaces and cars due to soaring temperatures, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that poorly maintained air conditioners are potentially harmful and pose serious health risks.

President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that poorly maintained air conditioners are breeding grounds for deadly microbes that cause serious illnesses.

These cooling units provide safe environment for some of the dangerous bacteria like Legionella that causes Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of Pneumonia (lung infection).

People contract this infection through contaminated air and manifest with high fever, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath.

Between 5 and 30 % of people who get the disease die and people who are most likely to die are elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.

Each year, between 8000 to 18, 000 people in the United States alone are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease.

Most of the cases in Kashmir go undetected because of lack of awareness and many might be dying undiagnosed as there is no testing facility.

Air conditioning units accumulate pollens, mold spores and dust mites that worsen asthma and allergies.

These pollutants can make people’s noses clog or run and they can develop breathing difficulty.

ACs pulls out moisture from the skin and leaves it dry and stretched.

Also, skin becomes prone to developing creases and wrinkles which hastens ageing process.

AC environment tends to dry out eyes causing irritation, itching and tearing of eyes.

Research shows that people who work in air conditioned environment experience chronic headaches and fatigue which leaves them vulnerable to contracting cold, flu and other illnesses. (CNS)



Re-employment syndrome kills the talent of unemployed educated youth

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: Re-employment syndrome in Jammu and Kashmir is at its highest, notwithstanding

the unemployment graph in the State continues to swell.

     Reports said that favourite retired employees of the ruling parties are being re-employed despite a clear-cut cabinet decision which completely.

     Sources said that in almost all the government departments particularly in CAPD Department retired government servants have been re-employed, thus killing the talent and aspirations of unemployed educated youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

    Sources added that from high-ranking bureaucrats to lower rung employees, the Jammu and Kashmir Government hasn’t shunted the practice of picking up its “favourite and influential” officials for re-engagement, extensions or re-employment.

    “If there is a government order banning re-employment then this order should be implemented in letter and spirit. Unfortunately, government is itself violating rules,” said a senior government officer.

   The re-employment syndrome doesn’t go well with the state’s rising graph of unemployment, with a latest survey revealing that the state has more than 6.35 lakh unemployed youth registered. (CNS)


Dr Qasim appeals Muslims of J&K to understand the essence of Pakistan

Srinagar, Aug 12, CNS: Dr. Muhammad Qasim, Ameer Muslim Deeni Mahaz who has been languishing in the jail from past two decades has appealed people of Jammu and Kashmir to understand the importance and place of Pakistan in context of Hindu history.

    In a statement to news agency CNS, Dr Muhammad Qasim has said that the integrity, development and strength of Pakistan is of utmost importance in checking the growth of Bharat Warsha and Arya Warsha in the sub-continent.

   “The 5000 year old hindu history, culture and Chanakiyan Political Idea of Mandala, which he has put forth in Arth Shastra, describe the policy of India's relationship with its neighbours and the understanding of this policy in its correct realm helps one in fathoming the importance of Pakistan in the sub-continent.”

   “ Pakistan has been created in the name of Islam in Hindu heartland and its constitution, through objective resolutions, has given Islam a constitutional and political supremacy in the country. It has been settled once for all that there will be no legislation in Pakistan that is repugnant to Quran and Sunnah. But the Rulers of Pakistan till date have failed to implement this constitution in Pakistan.”

    He said that the anti-Islamic steps of the rulers and their tyranny cannot change the ideological and constitutional foundations of Pakistan.

     “Therefore those who call Pakistan a secular country seem to be ignorant about the ideology and constitution of Pakistan. The anti-Pakistan stance of people, no matter how much pious Muslims they are and no matter pro freedom they are, leaves them in the pro India Camp. Sheikh Abdullah is a glaring example of this fact.”

    “To see Pakistan only from the prims of Kashmir Issue is a selfish approach. World is akin to this reality that Pakistan is the only stumbling block to the Indian ideological and military hegemony. Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan all have practically accepted Indian political supremacy.”   

      “We request the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir to understand the importance and place of Pakistan in context of Hindu history, culture and the deep seated hegemonic vision of Indian Rulers.” (CNS)