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Srinagar, Dec 12 (KMW): Advisor to Governor B B Vyas on Wednesday morning tendered his resignation to Governor Satya Pal Malik following his appointment as Member Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Sources told Kashmir News Service (KMW) B B Vyas is flying to Delhi to join Union Public Service Commission as its member next week.

When contacted, B B Vyas confirmed to KMW that he has tendered his resignation to Governor Satya Pal Malik and is proceeding to Delhi to take up his new assignment.

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New Delhi, Dec 11 : Buoyed by Congress’ resurgence, party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the assembly poll outcome is a “clear message” to the Modi government that people are not happy with it and time has come for a change while asserting that his party will also win in 2019.

Prime Minister Narender Modi got a massive mandate but refused to listen to “heartbeat of the country”, Gandhi noted, and said there are serious questions being asked about the future of country’s youngsters as there was a sense of discontentment and inability to see the future.

Thanking people and party workers for party’s good performance in three states of Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, he said, “It’s now time for change. We are going to provide these three states with a vision for overall development”. However, he added that they would have liked to do better in Telangana.

Hitting at the BJP for its often-stated remark of Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Bharat, Gandhi said,”the BJP has a certain ideology and we will fight against it. We have won this elections, we will also win in 2019. However, we do not want to get rid of anyone, ‘hum kisi ko mukt nahi karna chahtein’.” 

Asked about the selection of chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he said there will not be any issue and it will be done smoothly.

There is a clear message to Prime Minister Modi that people are not happy with his decisions, including demonetisation and those pertaining to farmers and youth, he said, adding the BJP has failed to provide a vision for the country going forward.

Asserting that the process of loan waiver for farmers will start as soon as Congress governments are formed, he, however, said the loan waiver is a measure, not a solution to farmers’ distress. 

Gandhi was named to lead the Congress exactly a year ago and took over the charge from his mother Sonia Gandhi a few days later.

Rahul Gandhi also praised Congress workers and likened them to ‘babbar sher’ (lions).

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Srinagar, December 11: Senior leader of Hurriyat Conference and People’s Political Party (PPP) Chairman Engineer Hilal War was today released from Police Station Maisuma. War was kept in detention after a Police party arrested him from his Maisuma residence on Dec 06 as a preventive measure to foil JRL’s human rights rallies and other programmes which were to be conducted on Dec 10. 

On his release, PPP Chief strongly condemned “New Delhi’s brutal policies in Kashmir” and termed them “anti-Kashmir and anti-Muslim.” He paid glowing tributes to the three militants killed by the forces at Mujgund on the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday. War said:” India not only kills our teenage rebels, it also ensures maximum damage is inflicted on the property of the freedom-loving Kashmiris during encounters.”
Paying floral tributes to Mudasir and his associates, the senior resistance leader said that “the blood of the, martyrs will bring freedom to Jammu and Kashmir.” He said, “We’re proud of our martyrs and respect every drop of their blood.”

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SRINAGAR, DEC 11 : The traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway resumed on Tuesday after day-long closure due to inclement weather, while the Mughal road and Srinagar-Leh highway remained closed for the second day owing to heavy snowfall in the high altitude areas of the state, officials said.

The Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was cleared for traffic Tuesday morning, after being in precautionary suspension since Monday due to bad weather, they said.

Minor landslides occurred at a few places, including Hingli-Ramsu and Sherbeebi along Ramban-Banihal stretch, during the night but were cleared by the agencies concerned, they said.

The snow clearance operation was also carried out on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel, which got over six inches of snowfall, the officials said.

Over two feet of snow had accumulated on the ground in Peer Ki Gali area along the Mughal road, while heavy snowfall was also reported in Zojila pass along the Srinagar-Leh highway, they added. 

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SRINAGAR, DEC 11:  A militant attack on a police post in Kashmir’s Shopian left at four cops dead on Tuesday.

According to reports, the police personal were deployed at a police post guarding Kashmiri Pandits at Zainpora village in Shopian. “The post is around 200 meters away from the concerned police station, CRPF and army camp”, they added.

“Soon after the sound of gunshots caused panic, a contingent of police and army arrived at the spot and searches were launched to nab the attackers. The injured cop was rushed to a hospital where his condition is stable,” they said.

A senior police officer confirmed news agency Press Trust of Kashmir the death of four cops, “The militants also managed to decamp with four rifles of policemen but we have launched a manhunt to nab them and recover the weapons,” the officer said.

Reports said that the militants entered into a guard room where four cop were on duty and shot at them, killing four of them. The slain police personnel have been identified as Abdul Majid, Manzoor Ahmed and Mohammed Amin.

A police spokesperson identified the slain cops as Anees Ahmad, a constable (480/Spn) of Kulgam town, Abdul Majid, a senior grade constable (193/SPN) of Ganderbal and Merajuddin, a constable (477/SPN) of Hajin in Bandipora and Hamidullah (860/SPN), a resident of Anantnag.

The militants also walked away with weapons of the policemen, the official said, adding that all people from the community were safe.

Shopian has emerged as the new hub of militant activities in Kashmir Valley with maximum number of militants killed this year by forces belonging to this district. According to one estimate, of over 220 militants killed this year in Kashmir, close to 40 hailed from Shopian.

Militants have also targeted security personnel in this district at regular intervals. On September 30, a J&K Police constable, Saqib Mir, was killed when militant fired at Shopian police station. The attackers later managed to escape.

Earlier on September 21 this year, three policemen, two of them SPO, were kidnapped and killed hours later in Shopian district of South Kashmir.

On August 29 this year, militants shot dead four policemen in Shopian, hours after a top commander of the Hizbul Mujahedeen, Altaf Dar, and his associate, were killed in an encounter in Anantnag.

Meanwhile Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Committee (JKPCC)  has expressed deep shock over the assassination of three policemen.

The JKPCC Spokesperson in a statement has strongly condemned the attack on Police Post in Zainapora leading to the assassination of three cops leaving another injured.

He said the killings or violence has neither served any purpose nor will benefit anyone, rather such type of dastardly acts will have serious implications on the society, besides vitiating the peace. The loss of lives are highly painful, Spokesperson said.

JKPCC conveys deepest condolences to bereaved families of slain cops and sympathized With the Spokesperson added and prayed for eternal peace to departed souls.

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SHOPIAN, DECEMBER 10: Following the fresh snowfall in the high altitude areas including Pir Ki Gali, District Administration Shopian today closed Mughal road till further orders.

The Mughal road- connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with South Kashmir’s Shopian district was closed today early morning following fresh snowfall in the upper reaches like Pir ki Gali.

An official from district administration told that the road will remain closed till the snow clearance will be completed and after the improvement in the weather.

The Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Dr Owais Ahmad has appealed people to adhere to the directions and avoid attempting to ply on Mughal Road.

“If someone wants to travel they should first contact the district headquarters, control room established at mini-Secretariat Shopian,” he said.

In view of the inclement weather conditions and the resultant issues, for the benefit of the general public, the District Administration released the contact numbers for Grievance Redressal. The Helpline numbers are: 9419128895, 9596007111, 959602806.

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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 10(KMW):The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has released in full the allocation of Rs 900 Crore under PMDP for upgradation of healthcare infrastructure in J&K.

Welcoming the release of funds, Principal Secretary Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said, 145 ongoing and new health projects in the State have been identified for upgradation under PMDP. He said following the submission of DPRs for these projects, the Government of India has released the requisite funds for completion of the works.

Dulloo said the projects include augmentation of infrastructure in District Hospitals, Sub-District Hospitals and Primary Health Centres.

He said the first installment of Rs 275 crore under PMDP was released by the Government of India to the Health and Medical Education in 2016-17 followed by subsequent releases in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Dulloo said the with the latest release of final installment of Rs 110.74 crore, the Health & Medical Education Department has become the first Department in the State to get the full allocation of Rs 900 crore under PMDP.

He said the projects to be taken up under final installment of Rs 110.74 crore include 250-bed Maternity Block at SMGS Hospital Jammu, 100-bed New Emergency Block at GMC Jammu, Sub-District Hospital Bijbehara and Sub-District Hospital Rohama, Rafiabad.

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Jammu, December 10(KMW): Amir Chand, Pujari of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine accompanied by the Holy Shrine’s other priests,  met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here today. 

Governor who is also Chairman of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board  discussed with Amir Chand about the  facilities being provided to the pilgrims and observed that Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is relentlessly working towards the sustainable development of the Shrine area and for making the pilgrimage more comfortable for the devotees.

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 Srinagar, Dec 10: Normal life was affected in the Kashmir Valley on Monday in protest against the ‘human rights violations’. The call for shutdown was forwarded by Joint Resistance Leadership with an intent to high light the rights violation taking place in Valley and attracting the attention of world community.

 All shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport was off the roads. The authorities had suspended train services between Banihal and Baramulla while restrictions on public movement were imposed in old parts of Srinagar.

 The separatist leaders were put under house arrest. Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) staged a silent protest amid shutdown in Press Enclave Srinagar.

 Shutdown was also observed in other towns of Kashmir Valley including Pulwama, Islamabad, Shopian, Kulgam, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Kangan.

The Joint Resistance Leadership had asked the people of Kashmir to observe complete protest strike on December 10 to highlight the “gruesome human rights situation” and also to register their regret at the apathy of international community and rights organizations towards the plight of people of Kashmir.

“The leadership once again urged the world peace organizations, international community, Amnesty International Asia Watch, UNHRC and ICRC to take note of the Kashmir situation and put pressure on New Delhi to stop the grave human rights violations forthwith,” the JRL had said in a statement.

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By Safi Nasim

Safety and security measures are aimed at minimize risks to the lives and assets: we wish to protect. Quite often these words are used interchangeably but the concepts are different and attend to two different set of challenges. The difference in safety and security is intent. To be more precise, safety threats are caused by accidents or natural mishaps, while security issues are caused by hostile agents with ill intention.

Security challenges are the domain of defense forces reinforced by intelligence agencies whereas safety issues are handled by civil defense organizations like the National Disaster Management Authority. A careful understanding of safety and security issues indicates that both the concepts of safety and security are of vital importance.

Tragic events of Peshawar church bombing in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto assassination, mosque bombings, and the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 132 schoolchildren were all security issues.

Pakistan Floods which quite often devastate the country almost every few years are considered a safety issue, but there is also a security dimension to the disaster. India suddenly releases a massive amount of water to wash away the villages and crops of Pakistan to cause willful damage.

In the Indian Bhopal gas tragedy thirty tons of a poisonous gas leaked from a pesticide plant and more than 600,000 peoples exposed to the deadly gas. 15,000 people immediately died and 50,000 people also developed a chronic respiratory ailment as a result of being poisoned. It was a safety issue, as established by detailed inquiry, though criminal negligence of administration and technicians.

It is the responsibility of governments to protect their people from all dangers or threats irrespective of their nature of intent. As a matter of justice and fair play, allocation of national resources to combat threats in the domain of safety and security should sincerely and honestly measures up the quantum of various threats to its people and accordingly earmark resources.

It is true that without security, we would not be able to live peaceful lives in an anarchic world. However, in South Asia, politicians are only concerned about security issues. Probably it is because defense lobbies exaggerate security, the security threats and manipulate the ruling elite. Other factors which grossly endanger the human lives are not taken into account. In Pakistan, 15,000 people die of poor roads and transport conditions, and a million are killed by preventable diseases every year.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), nearly 50% of the world’s hungry live in India. About 35% of India’s population, 350 million people, are malnourished and do not know where their next meal is coming from. India also has the third-largest number of HIV-positive people in the world, according to UN estimates.

As per India’s survey more than 400 million (one third of the country’s population) continue to live below the poverty line. Poverty statistics of India reveal that 50% of Indians have no proper shelter: 70% have no access to decent toilets: 35% of households have no nearby water source: 35% of villages have no secondary school, over 40% of these villages that have no connecting roads.

On contrary India has joined the United States and China as one of the world’s five biggest military spenders this year. India’s defense spending has risen by 5.5% to $63.9 billion in 2017, pushing Russia and the UK out of the top five biggest spenders. The growth of the defence budget does not solve the chronic poverty of people.

Modi government has failed to achieve sabka vikas (inclusive growth) and instead misleading masses by bashing Pakistan. Indian media is often seen totaling tanks and aircraft of China and Pakistan and exaggerating security threats. Over the years, the RSS led BJP government has made the life of middle class miserable. The high rate of inflation has made the life of middle class miserable. The high rate of inflation has caused has stress among the citizens and when finding no way out how to fulfill their basic needs, they resort to suicides. An unprecedented hike in the defense budget jeopardizes the welfare of a typical Indian.

It is unfortunate that South Asia, despite being blessed with vast resources, remains one of the world’s most deprived regions. South Asian leaders, even in the 21st century, are still stuck to the old concept of traditional security. India brazenly boasts as a great democracy but grossly ignore the needs of the people whose name it governs. Indian leadership is responsible for the arms race in the region that will ultimately bring misery to the masses of South Asia.

The writer is a political analyst; views expressed by him are entirely his own.

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