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Srinagar, APRIL 18(KMW): Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today praised the people of Jammu for upholding the tenets of harmony, inclusive sense, amity and brotherhood despite severe provocations and defeating the evil designs of miscreants.

Speaking at the civic reception hosted in honour of the visiting President, Ram Nath Kovind, the Chief Minister said Jammuites during the toughest phases of past thirty years or so stood up for the tolerant values for which the State has been known since ages. She said when many people left Kashmir Valley, the people of Jammu not only opened their homes and hearths for them but also shared their resources, supplies and other facilities. Everyone-Gujjars, Paharis, Pandits, Muslims-got space here and are living without any apprehension. “It’s a rare example of amity which hardly finds any parallels in contemporary world”, she added.

Referring to the rape and murder of a young girl at Kathua, Mehbooba Mufti said she was humbled to see the vehemence with which every section of local society including students, women, children, aged stood up demanding justice for the victim. “They stood up for justice, irrespective of religious affiliations, for the girl whom they said was their own daughter. I salute them for this and for defeating the nefarious designs of vested elements”, she said in her speech.

Sharing the concern of the President on the said incident earlier in the day, the Chief Minister said her Government is duty bound to provide justice to the victim in the case. She said the whole country looks upto Judiciary now to provide speedy justice in the case so that guilty is punished. “Even the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi termed the incident shameful and sought punishment to the guilty”, she said in her speech.

Mehbooba Mufti thanked the President for visiting the State and hoped that he would visit the State again.

Governor, N N Vohra also spoke on the civic reception.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, during his welcome address expressed gratitude to the President for accepting state’s invitation. He said that people will benefit from this opportunity to interact with the President and learn from his vast experience.

The civic reception was attended by First Lady, Savita Kovind; Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar; Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Kavinder Gupta; Chairman, Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali; Judges of the High Court; Former Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah; members of council of Ministers; MPs; legislators, Chief Secretary, B B Vyas; DGP, Dr. S P Vaid; senior civil and Police officers and members of civil society.

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JAMMU, APRIL 18(KMW): Governor N.N Vohra, hosted a Banquet at the Raj Bhavan today for Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of India and First Lady, Smt. Savita Kovind.

Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister; Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief Minister; Sh. Kavinder Gupta Speaker, Legislative Assembly; Haji Anayat Ali, Chairman Legislative Council; Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar, Acting Chief Justice J&K High Court; Members of State Council of Ministers; Judges; Members of Parliament; senior officers of the State Civil and Police administration; Central Police Forces, Army; Vice- Chancellors and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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Jammu, April 17(KMW): Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling coalition partner BJP on Tuesday asked all its ministers to resign, but this did not mean that the BJP was pulling out of the Mehbooba Mufti government, said top party sources.
According to the sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the decision was taken at a core group meeting, chaired by party Vice President Avinash Rai Khanna, at the party headquarters here.

“All BJP ministers have been directed to submit their resignations from the state council of ministers,” the source said, but clarified that this did not mean withdrawal of support to the government.

“All BJP ministers have resigned ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle and this does not in any way mean the BJP has pulled out of the government,” the source said.

Sources in the Peoples Democratic Party told News Agency the resignations of the BJP ministers is a prelude to the BJP’s reconstitution of their part of the council of ministers without any bearing on the continuation of the coalition government in the state.

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JAMMU, APRIL 17(KMW): Minister for Tourism Tassaduq Hussain Mufti Tuesday convened a meeting of officers to review the status of various development works being executed to upgrade Jammu Tawi Golf Course.

During the meeting, the Minister was informed that the development works in the Golf Course are at full swing which will help develop this sports utility as one of the best destinations of international standards besides catering to its basic objective of promoting Golf in the State.

The Minister sought details regarding the status of various development works including interior corridors of the Golf Course.

Secretary Jammu Tawi Golf Course, Manav Gupta, presented a comprehensive Power Point Presentation on the salient features of the project besides the pace of progress at different levels.

The Minister was informed that the department is taking several measures to upgrade the Golf Course to meet the standards of the game, besides uplifting the corridor and landscaping of the course.

Tassaduq Mufti directed for upgrading the restaurant of the Golf Course and for submitting a Detailed Project Report (DPR) in this regard. He also asked for taking due care of diverse flora and fauna the Golf Course is blessed with while executing the development works under the project.

Tassaduq directed for proper maintenance of landscape, plantation besides drainage and sanitation for convenience of golfers and the people visiting the place. He directed the officers to synergize their efforts so that the set targets are achieved within the stipulated timeframe.

The Minister directed the concerned to ensure that the staff is provided conducive and comfortable atmosphere so that they could perform their services in a more professional manner.

Concerned Engineers, Consultants and various other officers of the department were present in the meeting.

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Jammu, April 17(KMW): The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Jammu & Kashmir on April 18 and 19, 2018.

On April 18, 2018, the President will grace and address the 6th convocation of  Mata Vaishno Devi University in Katra. On the same evening, he will attend a civic reception at Amar Mahal, Jammu.

On April 19, 2018, the President will visit the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, before returning to Delhi.

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Jammu, April 17(KMW: J&K Bank Extension Counter at Jammu Airport was today jointly inaugurated by the Director Airport Authority of India, Jammu, D.K Gautam and J&K Bank Chairman & CEO Parvez Ahmed. The inauguration was done in presence of SSP Airport Rajendra Gupta, JGM & DGM Engineering AAI, J&K Bank Zonal Head Jammu, other Senior functionaries of JK Bank and senior staff of different Airlines.

Interacting on the sidelines of the inaugural function J&K Bank Chairman & CEO Parvez Ahmed said,” The Customer Facilitation Centre at Jammu Airport with state of the art ambience has been possible due to the collaborative efforts of the Jammu Airport team lead by the Director. The centre has been customized by the bank to blend it with the overall architectural tone of Jammu Airport and will provide all banking services for facilitating the ever increasing passenger traffic at Jammu airport, Security Personnel who are relentlessly working 24*7, employees of Airport Authority of India, officials of different Airlines and business outlets at the Airport”.

Director Airport Authority, Jammu, D K Gautam appreciated the state the art business centre developed by the Bank in a very short span of time. The centre he added will provide convenience to the passengers and staff at the Jammu Airport especially the security personnel & Para military forces who due to the nature of their jobs had time constraints to visit the banking outlets elsewhere. He commended the management of the bank for being proactive in addressing to needs of the various sections of the society. The Director requested the bank for provision of an ATM in the security area for the convenience of the passengers and staff.

While assuring full support to the innovative and creative endeavors of the Director Airport Authority especially for promotion of art and heritage of Jammu, the Chairman acceded to the request for provision of another ATM in the security area of the Airport. The chairman assured to make the ATM operational in a month’s time post allocation of space by the Airport Authority. The Bank he added aimed to create easily accessible touch points for the the convenience of the customers and believed in strong relationship with Airport Authority at Jammu, Ladakh and Srinagar transcending the commercial perspective as the Airports are one of the greatest enablers for increasing the tourist traffic in the modern times.

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Srinagar: April 15(KMW): Hurriyat Conference (M) Senior leader and People’s Political Party (PPP) Chairman, Engineer Hilal Ahmad War paid rich tributes to Aamir Ahmad Lone and expressed solidarity and sympathies with his family and friends. Twenty Two year (22) year old Aamir Ahmad Lone son of Abdul Hameed Lone resident of Chattergul, Kangan succumbed to his injuries today morning at SKIMS Soura, Srinagar. The teenager got critically injured on April 3 during clashes between Indian forces and youth in Kangan, when Indian occupational forces showered pellets and bullets on peaceful protesters who were registering peaceful protest against killing of Gowhar Ahmad Rather.

While paying glowing tributes to Aamir Lone and other Mujahideen who achieved martyrdom since the inception of politico-armed struggle for right to self-determination in the year 1989, Engineer Hilal said “the Contribution and role of martyrs would be written in golden letter in the history of Kashmir. And the mission of martyrs will be taken to logical end come what may”.

Immediately after his release from Srinagar Central Jail, Mr. War, visited the residence of Traders Association leader Haroon Chowdhary on Sunday along with Chairman JKLF (H) Javaid Ahmad Mir to expressed profound grief and sorrow over the demise his pious mother, Raja Begam.While expressing sympathy and condolences with the bereaved family of Haroon Chowdhary, Engineer Hilal War recalled her contribution toward the resistance movement of Kashmir in early 1990’s.

“For Engineer Hilal War, the demise is a personal loss,” expressing deep sympathies with the bereaved. He prayed for the departed soul and for her family to bear the unbearable loss and the vacuum which her departure has created. May Allah give her eternal rest and may her soul rest in peace and also give courage to Mr. Haroon Chowdhary to bear this loss.

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Srinagar, Apr 13: A spontaneous shutdown was observed on Friday in seven districts of South and North Kashmir districts of Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama against the killing of four civilians in Kulgam on Wednesday.
All shops and other commercial establishments remained closed while skeletal movement of traffic was witnessed.
No separatist or militant outfit had called for a strike on Friday. However, the Joint Resistance Leadership-an amalgam of separatist outfits – had urged people to hold peaceful protests after congregational Friday prayers.
Four civilians were killed after government forces opened fire on protesters near the site of a gunfight in Khudwani area of Kulgam on Wednesday.
Restrictions remained in vogue in parts of old Srinagar city while Friday congregational prayers were disallowed at historical Jamia Masjid.
While Geelani and Mirwaiz had been placed under house arrest, Malik has been lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail.
Mobile Internet services continues to remain suspended in south Kashmir areas.
Train services between Baramulla and Bannihal towns also remain suspended.
All the Southern districts reeled under restrictions while clashes erupted at many places in Valley.
Government Forces allegedly went on a rampage in Sozeith Narbal area in the outskirts of Srinagar city after a stone-pelting incident, local said.
Locals from Makhdum Mohalla Sozeith Narbal informed news agency CNS that a group of youth pelted stones on Government Forces after the culmination of Friday prayers. “The stone-throwers fled from the scene; however, the Forces targeted civilians and resorted to vandalization.
The Government Forces ransacked houses, damaged vehicles and smashed windowpanes,” they said adding that Forces personnel even hurled stones on the houses.
They claimed that Government Forces even lobbed a tear-smoke shell into a house in which a woman had given birth to a baby boy three days ago.
When contacted, Station House Officer Parimpora Police Station said that everything is normal there. When asked they have video and photographs of ransacking, he replied, it is ok.
Clashes also erupted in Soura locality of Srinagar city where police lobbed tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters who were protesting against the civilian killings.
Clashes erupted in Chanapora area of Srinagar city where youth pelted stones on deployed forces. Reports said that a couple of youth suffered minor injuries in the clashes.
At Khumriyal Lolab and Halmatpora Kupwara protests erupted against the civilian killings. Eyewitnesses added that protesters hurled stones on deployed forces who retaliated with tear-smoke shells.
Mirwaiz South Kashmir Qazi Yasir led a rally in Kulgam district in which thousands of people participated. The protesters raised pro-freedom slogans. The marchers led by Qazi Yasir visited the houses of slain youth.
Hundreds of females from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district staged a massive protest against unabated killings in Kashmir Valley. Reports said that hundreds of women protesters started a protest march from Dalipora Pulwama that culminated peacefully amid pro-freedom slogans at Rajpora Chowk.
A police official said that the situation remained peaceful across Valley.

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Srinagar, April 13: Aimed to stop the ongoing annihilation in Valley, a Kashmir based group of Youth under the banner of Swaraj Peeth Trust (A Gandhian Center for Nonviolence and Peace) has sent a document of recommendations to Government of India’s special representative on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma.

The document which lies with Kashmir News Bureau (KNB), has been forwarded by Rajiv Vora on behalf of Swaraj Peeth Trust with prominent young faces of Kashmir Mushtaq Ul-Haq Ahmad Sikandar, Rameez Makdoomi, Bilal Bashir Bhat and Saima Shah as its signatories. The 12 point based recommendations dealt with different contours of conflict that are resulting in uncertainty, bloodshed and violence in Kashmir.

The document has recommended the interlocutor to stop the radicalization of national media based on extremely biased, ill-informed, propagandistic nature of news items and debates related to kashmir. Besides stressing Sharma to ensure the restoration of freedom of expression and student activism in trouble torn Valley.
In the report, the Kashmir youth have also welcomed the GoI decision to defer the Panchayat elections, saying in a highly vitiated environment holding elections would have lead to bloodshed.
The youths have also expressed outrage over the repeated restriction on Internet, “let the youth pour it out there. Such ways and means are closed for the youth in Kashmir; gagged, denied catharsis pushes them towards the wall. They turn to radicalization, and motivated to take to the gun; and option easily available,” the report reads.
On police reforms the youth have urged upon Dineshwar Sharma to ensure proper implementation of SOPs while arresting, detaining and then framing charges against an individual.
“Police reforms are essential as the ground reports suggest that institution of police is responsible in many cases for driving youth towards insurgency the reasons that drive youth towards violence are the daily humiliation that they suffer at the hands of security forces and police. That needs to be minimized,” reads the report.
The document has also stressed upon Dineswar Sharma that there is a need of a process for the gradual and rational removal/dilution of AFSPA, PSA that should be initiated, along with the demilitarization of civilian areas.
Seeking attention of interlocutor towards the least concerned i.e. ‘half-widows’ the youths have said that the consequences of not attending to it are serious, and attending to it are bound to be positive.
The document has alleged that the Center sponsored schemes are mostly beneficial to the political workers and activists rather victims of violence.
The youths have warned that Kathua rape and murder of an eight year old girl has the potential of communal as well as regional polarization and divide. The culprits need to be dealt with heavy hand following the rule of law.
“Derailed peace process with Pakistan must also be resumed. If the call for resuming talks with Pakistan can come from Shri Dineshwar Sharma himself, it would be a better option as that will be taken as a goodwill gesture in Srinagar and will perhaps also raise the acceptability and credibility of the interlocutor in Jammu & Kashmir,” the report reads.
Pertinent to mention here, the Chairman of Swaraj Peeth Trust (A Gandhian Center for Nonviolence and Peace), Mr Rajiv Vora is a frequent visitor to trouble torn Kashmir Valley and have held a round of talks with several Hurriyat leaders and members of different shades of opinion. A large number of promising youth from all corners are associated with him aimed to play a role in devising a mechanism for a dialogue process between India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir.
In 2016, a maiden youth conference was held by Swaraj Peeth in New Delhi where almost 30-40 youth from all provinces of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir held threadbare discussions over the need of dialogue to settle the matters. (KNB)

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Srinagar, 13 April(KMW): People’s Political Party (PPP) has condemned the continuous detention of its Chairman Er. Hilal Ahmad War. War was arrested on Wednesday and lodged briefly at Police Station Kothibagh from where he was shifted to Srinagar Central Jail a couple of hours later. War was detained when he and JKLF chairman, along with other pro-freedom activists, were protesting at Press Enclave, Srinagar against Kulgam killings and Ashifa’s rape and murder.

A press conference was also held there that was scuttled by the local police. The conference was supposed to be tele-addressed by senior leaders SAS Geelani who were not allowed to make it to the venue. Just when the two leaders were about to address the conference, a contingent of police swooped upon the gathering which led to clashes between the participants and police. The resistance leadership showed stiff resistance before it was arrested and shifted to Central Jail on judicial remand.

PPP spokesperson also condemned the arrest of JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik and others who twoo were shifted to Srinagar Central jail from PS Kothibagh.

EDITORTIAL