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 BJP, JKNPP, JSM stage walkout over farmers' issue


GJ Report
Jammu, Mar 7: Jammu based political parties including Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) and Jammu State Morcha(JSM) today staged walkout from the state Assembly over issue of farmers' living in the bordering belts of the region. BJP MLA Durga Dass raised the issue in the House asserting that the farmers living close to the Indo-Pak International Border were facing hardships as they were not being allowed to cultivate their land by the security forces. "Maximum agricultural land is located across the fencing and they are not being permitted to cultivate it," the MLA said, adding that people in village Chanderchak in his Hiranagar Constituency were sitting on 'dharna' for the last six days but their genuine demand had not been considered as yet.
The legislator said compensation amount of R 5 crore sanctioned by the government was lying with the District Commissioner Kathua for the last five years but has not yet been disbursed.
The MLA joined by other legislators from JKNPP and JSM's Ashwani Sharma, raised the similar issue and demanded justice for the farmers. While there was no satisfactory reply from the government, the MLAs amid slogans staged walkout.


 Curfew continues in Valley, 11 injured in clashes

SRINAGAR, Mar 7: Eleven people, including nine policemen, were injured in clashes in the strike-hit Kashmir Valley even as curfew remained in force in several areas in the wake of the killing of a youth allegedly in Army firing in Baramulla on Tuesday. Clashes between stone-pelting mobs and police were reported from Hyderpora, Batmaloo and Zakoora in Srinagar, Khanpora, Cement Bridge and Palhalan in Baramulla, Narbal crossing in Budgam, Papchan in Bandipora and Cherkoot-Lolab in Kupwara district, a police spokesman said. "Nine policemen and two civilians received minor injuries in the clashes," he said, adding that police exercised maximum restrain to restore law and order.
Barring these clashes, the spokesman said the situation across the Valley remained largely peaceful.
The spokesman said curfew remained in force in eight police station areas of Srinagar city and Sopore (Baramulla district), Trehgam (Kupwara district) and Kulgam towns.
The police station areas where curfew is in force in the city are Rainawari, Maharajgunj, Safakadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Zadibal, Kralkhud and Maisuma, the spokesman said.
Curfew was clamped in these areas on Tuesday night following widespread protests over the killing of a youth allegedly in army firing at Baramulla during protests against high handedness of soldiers.
Army has claimed that its personnel were surrounded by a mob of around 200 people and the situation had turned life threatening for the soldiers.
It also claimed that the soldiers had fired warning shots in air and could not have caused death. The Army, while ordering an internal inquiry, also sought a detailed probe by police into the incident to find out the truth.
Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in large numbers in vulnerable areas of the city and other parts of the Valley to maintain law and order.
Although there was no call for shutdown by separatist groups, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in areas where curfew has not been imposed for the fourth consecutive day today. Shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport remained off the roads.
Kashmir University, meanwhile, has postponed all examinations scheduled for today and tomorrow in view of the prevailing situation in the Valley.
A spokesman of the University said fresh dates for the examinations will be notified later on. (AGENCIES)
Meanwhile Deputy Secretary, Public Service Commission said that the Combined Competitive Examination (CCE) (KAS Mains) which commenced from March 2 and shall conclude on March 26 as per the already issued date sheet.
For the conduct of the examination in Kashmir division examination centre has been set up at Government Amar Singh College, Srinagar where as many as 479 candidates shall appear in the CCE.
As per the communiqué of the divisional administration, the admit cards containing photographs of the candidates issued by the competent authority shall be treated as curfew passes so that the candidates do not face any inconvenience.
District Magistrate, Srinagar also said that the valid identity cards of the employees of Health and Electric Departments shall be treated as curfew passes allowing them to move during the curfew period enabling them to perform their legitimate duties.


 Youth beaten to death for stealing pet dog, 3 held


GJ Report
Jammu, Mar 7: Three persons were arrested for beating a youth to death for stealing a pet dog in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir. Samba police today worked out a blind murder case in 24-hrs by arresting all the three accused, who allegedly thrashed one Shalinder Kumar, resident of Bhagatpur, tehsil Ramgarh, district Samba to death for stealing a pet dog of one of the accused persons. Arrested persons were identified as Mangal Dass Bhagat alias Chotu, Pawan Kumar Bhagat and Ramesh Lal all residents of Bhagatpur.
They were apprehended after police conducted raids during the wee hours today in village Shamey Chak of tehsil Bishnah and village Bhagatpur of Ramgarh.
"A dead body was found in the fields behind a Brick kiln in the village Bhagatpur yesterday morning following which a case under FIR number 17/2013 under sections 302, 34 of RPC was registered and investigations started," police said.
Police said that the deceased was identified as Shalinder Kumar, 28, who was missing since Tuesday evening.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Samba Israr Khan constituted a special team headed by the Station House Officer, Ramgarh Kuldeep Kumar Sharma under the supervision of DySP Ashok Singh, SDPO Vijaypur. "Police during the course of investigation, collected some clues and also questioned some of the locals, who have last seen the deceased," an official here said.
He said that locals told the investigating team that the deceased was last seen with two of the accused at a Karyana shop following which both of them were detained and during questioning they broke down.
"The accused revealed that the deceased had stolen and sold the pet dog of accused Mangal Dass a couple of days back for which he decided to take revenge," police said adding that he hatched a conspiracy with his accomplice.
The duo thrashed the deceased with cricket bats and wickets at a brick kiln.
The third accused Ramesh Lal, Chowkidar of the Brick Kiln also accompanied them but escaped from the spot after seeing them mercilessly beating the deceased.
"Weapon of offence was recovered on the disclosure of the arrested persons," police added.


 Promotions, transfers in Law Department


JAMMU, Mar 7: The government has ordered promotions of officers in OPG in Law Department besides adjustments. Deputy Legal remembrances Muzaffar Ahmad Wani and Achal Sethi have been promoted as Additional Secretaries and adjusted in the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs against the available posts. Deputy Legal remembrance Abdul Rashid Fayaz has been promoted as Additional Secretary and is posted in the Forest Department, Jang Bhadur as Additional Secretary and posted as Joint Registrar, State Information Commission, J&K Jammu, while as Ms Tanveen Mufti as Additional Secretary/ Director Litigation is posted as Director Litigation Kashmir against an available post.
The Government has ordered promotion and adjustment of Assistant Legal remembrances as Deputy Legal remembrances. These officers are Ishtiyaq Ahmad, Showket Ahmad Mir, Villy Koul, Baldev Raj and Sajad Amin Shah.
Besides, the government has ordered promotions of following Public Law Officers (PLOs) and Legal Assistants as Senior Law Officers (SLOs) and Public Law Officers respectively.
The PLOs promoted as SLOs are Abdul Rashid Dar, Molvi Mushtaq, Sudesh Kumari, Shakeel Kachroo, P L Sharma, Rohani Kiran, Queshi Tariq Mehmood, Mohammad Arif Khan, Manoj Kumar Pandita, Ayaz Ahmed Khan and Yasmen Chodhary.
Similarly, Legal Assistants promoted as PLOs are Riyaz Ahmad Riyza, Mahjabeen, Hamidullah Bhat, Pardeep Singh Thakur and Vibhati Sharma.


  Shinde must hold 'decisive talks' with Omar on AFSPA revocation: Soz

Jammu, Mar 7: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president Saif-ud-Din Soz today said the Union Home Minister must hold decisive talks with the state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act. "The Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde should hold decisive talks with Abdullah on AFSPA revocation," Soz this morning told reporters outside the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly here.
He said, "I do not say that you immediately remove the Act but Shinde must hold talks with the Chief Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Unified Command Committee."
He said Abdullah is consistently saying that situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir and militancy graph has declined.
"AFSPA is a temporary law and it has to go," the Congress stalwart said adding, "all stake holders including army, para-military forces, police and above all, people of the state must be consulted and involved in talks."
He said Abdullah's perception on AFSPA must be decisively discussed and the final decision on lifting the Act from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir where it is not required can be finalised only after talks. (UNI)


J&K Legislature gets 5 new MLCs

GJ Report
Jammu, Mar 7: Jammu and Kashmir Legislature today got five new faces as Members of Legislative Council, the elections for which were declared here.
"Syed Naeem Akhtar Andrabi was the newly elected MLC for Peoples Democratic Party," Returning Officer M Ramzan here said.
He said that for ruling National Conference Showkat Hussain Ganie and Abdul Majeed were elected as new MLCs while and from Congress Mohammad Muzaffar Parrey from Kashmir Division and Naresh Kumar Gupta from Doda district were declared elected for Biennial Election to the Legislative Council.
Ramzan said that after first round Syed Naeem Akhtar Andrabi secured 19 votes, Showkat Hussain Ganie secured 17, Shuban Krishen Dudha secured nine votes, Abdul Majeed Bhat secured 16 and Mohammad Muzaffar Parrey secured 17 votes.
He said that Andrabi, Ganie and Majeed, Parrey succeeded in getting required quota to be declared as elected to the Legislative Council.
Similarly, Kumar Gupta secured 50 votes and he was also declared elected.
Candidates to three seats of Jammu were already declared unopposed including Devinder Singh Rana of NC, Rani Gargi Bloeria of Congress and Yashpal Sharma of PDP.
Meanwhile the newly elected Members of Legislative Council from Congress were felicitated at the party headquarters here.
JKPCC President Saifuddin Soz-MP accompanied by the newly elected MLCs reached the Congress HQ, where senior leaders and activists of the party profusely garlanded them and welcomed them amidst raising of slogans.
AICC Secretary Incharge J&K Abdul Manan Ansari was also present.

Panthers Party MLAs protest in Assembly

JAMMU, Mar 7: Demanding equitable distribution of funds under Backward Pockets Area Scheme (BPAS), Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP)legislators today staged protest in the state Legislative Assembly here.
JKNPP MLA Harsh Dev Singh during Question Hour raised the issue that development funds under BPAS are not being distributed equally in all the districts.
Shouting slogans 'Backward Pocket Areas Scheme Mein Hera Pheri, Bandh Karo', 'pick and choose nahi chalega', Panthers Party MLAs Harsh Dev Singh, Balwant Singh Mankotia and Yashpal Kundal created uproar in the House.
They said the district plan funds were not being released in time by the government and some of the areas in particular constituencies were being neglected.
Amid slogans, the legislators staged sit-in in the Well of the House.
Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Planning Ajay Sadhotra in his reply said the funds will be distributed as per requirement in the constituencies of respective members following which the protesting legislators resumed their seats.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Jugal Kishore also staged walkout and tore papers in the Assembly after his listed question was not entertained in the House as the duration of Question Hour was over.

Cop killed, five others injured in road mishap

Banihal: One policeman was killed and five others injured in a head on collision of vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban district here on Thursday.
Constable Shamsher Singh, posted at Mattan police station in Anantnag, died on the spot when his Maruti vehicle collided head on with a truck at Mihar area in Ramban district, officials said.
After the collision, the truck went on to hit a tempo, injuring its five passengers, they said.
The injured were rushed to a district hospital at Ramban, police said adding, the driver of the truck managed to escape from the spot. A case has been registered and a search is on for the driver, they said.

5 new HC Judges to take oath today

JAMMU: Ali Mohd Magray, Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Tashi Rabstan, Bansi Lal Bhat and Janak Raj Kotwal of J&K will take oath as New Judges of J&K High Court tomorrow in the Lawns of Jammu and Kashmir High Court at 5 PM. The oath will be admi-nistered by Chief Justice of the State High Court Justice MM Kumar at 5:00 PM in the High Court Complex Jammu.
The warrants of elevation of Ali Mohd Magray, Dhiraj Singh Thakur as Permanent Judge of the State High Court and Tashi Rabstan, Bansi Lal Bhat and Sh. Janak Raj Kotwal as Additional Judges of J&K High Court issued by the President of India were received here today.
With the elevation Ali Mohd Magray, Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Tashi Rabstan, Bansi Lal Bhat and Janak Raj Kotwal as Judges of the State High Court, the strength of Judges of the State High Court will be 12 including the Chief Justice. Out of these 12 Judges, 9 are permanent Judges including Chief Justice whereas three are Additional Judges of High Court.
The sanctioned strength of the State High Court is 14 where as two posts shall still remain vacant.
According to sources out of 14 Judges of J&K High Court, two are outsiders and five are from the state.
"With the appointment of five new Judges, all the three regions will get due representation," they added.

Chamel Singh issue: Omar has taken up the matter with MHA: Kichloo

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for Home Sajjad Kichloo today said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has already taken up the issue of Indian Prisoner Chamel Singh, who was killed in custody in Pakistan jail with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
"We are in touch with the Indian Government, which is discussing the matter with the Pakistan High Commission in Islamabad," Kichloo told reporters here this afternoon.
The minister said, "Chief Minister Abdullah has taken up the matter with Ministry of Home Affairs," adding that dead body of Chamel Singh will soon be brought to India and handed over to the family for last rites.
Chamel Singh died under mysterious circumstances in Lakhpat Jail of Lahore.
On security scenario in the backdrop of Hyderabad blasts, Kichloo said, "security in all the shrines across the state have been beefed up and vigil is being maintained."
He however, ruled out any threats of attacks on religious places of the state.

299 women raped, 1059 kidnapped in 2012 in J&K: Govt

JAMMU, Mar 7: Jammu and Kashmir Government today said 299 women were raped and 1059 kidnapped in the year 2012 across the state.
In a written reply to the question asked by the Member of Legislative Council Ravinder Sharma seeking details regarding number of crimes against women in the state during past three years and steps being taken to check the atrocities against women, the government said, "In the year 2012, 299 women/girls were raped and 1059 were kidnapped and abducted in different districts of the state."
The government further said in the same year, two gang rape cases, 1322 cases of molestation and outraging modesty, 347 cases of eve teasing, eight cases in dowry deaths, 199 cases of abetment to suicide, 301 cases in cruelty by husband, three cases under Dowry Restraint Prohibition Act and three in suppression of immoral trafficking were registered at various police stations across the state.
"Stringent laws were already in force and any culprit involved in a crime or atrocity against a woman was being dealt in accordance with law," the government replied and said the investigations in the cases were supervised by a senior officer adding, "effective patrolling and vigil was also being ensured at sensitive locations to prevent the occurrence of such crimes."
The government also said various awareness programmes, legal camps with the help of opinion leaders at the Police Station level were also organized to create public opinion about crime against women. (AGENCIES)


EC Agriculture convenes meeting of Councilors

LEH, MAR 7: In view of fast approaching agriculture season in Leh District and to systematize all the projects and schemes of Agriculture and Horticulture Departments in consultation with Councilors, the Executive Councilor for Agriculture, Sonam Dorjey today convened a meeting of Councilors at Council Secretariat, here.
Addressing the meeting, the EC, Sonam Dorjey discussed the issues which included early completion of Cold Storage at Leh, Nubra and Khaltsi, mechanism for distributing certified Potato seeds to all 9 blocks of Leh district and formulation of Constituency wise lists of progressive farmers.
The EC informed the meeting that the consultant engaged for setting up of a Cold Storage at Leh has already done all necessary works and tender for the same is likely to be flouted soon. He informed that the cold storage at Leh will be completed by the end of this summer. He asked the Councilors of Nubra and Khaltsi Divisions to identify the land in their areas for constructing the proposed Cold Storage at the earliest.
Highlighting Council's vision to make potato produce of the entire Leh district certified for exporting potato seeds to other parts of India, the EC Sonam Dorjey said that Agriculture Department is in active process to produce high quality certified potato seeds from imported breeder seeds. He further said that last year the department successfully produced 2nd level certified potato seeds from Stakmo and Saboo villages. He said that these will be distributed in all 9 blocks of Leh district at subsidized rates. He urged the Councilors to submit their requirements ensuring smooth distribution of the seeds. He also requested the Councilors to submit the list of progressive farmers from their respective constituencies within a week's time which will help Council in formulating future plans and projects effectively.
The meeting had healthy and threadbare discussions on various ongoing schemes of agriculture and horticulture departments amidst constructive suggestions and feedback by the councilors.
The Councilors who attended the meeting included Councilor Panamik, Tsering Angchuk, Councilor Tegar, Rigzin Wangdus, Councilor Diskit, Tsewang Rigzin, Councilor Tangtse, Namgyal Dorjey, Councilor Chushul, Namgial Phunchok, Councilor Kungyam, Dorje Mutup, Counilor Igoo, Tashi Norboo, Councilor Thiksay, Tundup Spalzang, Councilor Upper-Leh, Lobzang Nyantak, Councilor Phyang, Tsering Sonam, Councilor Lamayuru, Tsering Angchuk, Councilor Lingshet, Sonam Dorje, Councilor Skyu-Markha, Tsering Punchok and Councilors nominated Lasu Shafi, Tsering Angmo and Gh. Syadain.


Wakhloo stresses upon maintaining status of women at all costs

JAMMU, MAR 7: J&K State Social Welfare Board (J&KSSWB) today organised an impressive function to mark International Women's Day, here at Jammu University.
Chairperson, J&KSSWB, Khem Lata Wakhloo was the chief guest, while around 1200 women hailing from urban and rural areas of Jammu division attended the function.
Secretary, J&KSWB, Gazaffer Ali, Managing Director Women Development Corporation, Nahid Soz, Executive Director, Rehabilitation Council, Hafiza Muzaffer, Aamir Ali, Vice President, All India Pradesh Congress Committee, Lalit Joshi, Prof Rita Jitendra, all Board members, Gh. Nabi Mir, A. M. Mir, Sarla Kohli, Santosh Magotra, Kanta Bhan, Bimla Bhagotra, Raj Sharma and several prominent citizens attended the function.
Prof. Rita Jitendra anchored the programme, while a group of students presented a scintillating cultural programme highlighting the issues of women folk and educating them about their rights and duties.
Addressing the function, Khem Lata Wakhloo stressed upon one and all to respect and maintain the status of women at all costs and put in every effort to create a secure and safe atmosphere for them to play a pivotal role in transformation of society and eradication of social evils.
Congratulating women on International Day being celebrated across the globe, Wakhloo said that women have been bestowed with courage, patience and a sincere heart by the Almighty and in all times she has shouldered more responsibilities in the up keep of family and society than men. She said that girls not only fill the home of their parents with joy but also the household into which they get married.
Asking women to fight for their rights, Wakhloo reminded women of their duties as well. She said that sex determination test and female foeticide are the worst crimes of modern society and a blanket ban should be imposed on such practices. The function began with a prayer in which a large number of children participated. The programme enthralled the audience and won great applause.


Ukhral Receiving Station coming up soon: Vikar

JAMMU, MAR 7: Minister of State for Technical Education, Power and Information, Vikar Rasool has said that the receiving station at Ukhral, Banihal will be taken up shortly.
The Minister was interacting with deputations of several Panchayats of Banihal area like Dardehi, Shagan, Paristan, Ashar, Zehala, etc. The deputation was led by Farooq Ahmed Katoch.
The deputation of Ziahala demanded that the Water Supply Scheme of the area be completed and the area be provided with a dispensary and high school. The deputation also demanded that the areas be provided with adequate electricity, transmission lines, poles and other allied equipment.
The Minister assured the deputation that he would take up the issues with the concerned and announced that Dardhia-Nowgam, Parkar, Upper Saroacha will be provided with adequate electric power and Tarigam area would be provided with solar lights.
Vikar later called on the Minister for Roads and Buildings, Abdul Majid Wani and projected the demands of the deputations for connecting various areas of Banihal Constituency with network of roads under PMGSY.
Vikar asked for taking up Magarkote-Ahama, Dardahi, Manjoos, Paristan roads under PMGSY and up-gradation of Sanapati road. He also called for undertaking the work as early as possible on the Shagun road already sanctioned under PMGSY.
Wani directed Chief Engineer PMGSY to prepare detailed project reports for taking up these roads as early as possible and starting the work on the roads already sanctioned under the scheme.


R M College celebrates Women's Day

JAMMU, MAR 7: To mark the International Women's Day, R M College of Education in collaboration with Centre for Women's Studies, University of Jammu organized a one day programme on 'Women Empowerment', here today.
Dr Ponam Dhawan, Director, Centre for Women's Studies was the chief guest, while Anita Sharma, Commandant IRP 15th Battalion presided over the function.
The programme started with the lighting of traditional lamp followed by welcome address by the Trustee of the college, Rita Mengi. Dr Priyanka Katoch and Dr Saranjit Kour from the Centre for Women's Studies were also present on the occasion.
Monika Sagar, Dy SP, IRP, 15th Battalion and Lovely Sabarwal, Lecturer delivered lectures on the topic of 'Women Empowerment'. The main attraction of the day was the Play 'Barsaat Ke Wo Tees Din" staged by the Nav Durga Kala Manch. The play based on girl child sex abuse shows how children can be exploited by their own immediate relations and what repercussions this abuse has on their psyche.
Chief Guest in her speech appreciated the college management for organizing the programme for the benefit of the society in general and women folk in particular. A video clip prepared by Abishek Jha and Guneek Gupta both students of R M College of Education was also screened on the occasion.
Anita Sharma, while speaking on the occasion enlightened the audience through her lecture on women empowerment.
I D Soni, Commissioner, Bharat Scouts and Guides also spoke on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the College, Rameshwar Mengi appreciated the role of artists in the Play and he also lauded the students for preparing a wonderful video clip on women empowerment.
Mementos were also given away to the participants by the dignitaries.
Vote of thanks was presented by the Principal of the College, P K Dhar.


Hobnobbing with BJP exposes PDP's political opportunism: NC

JAMMU, MAR 7: Setting the tone for 2014 elections after splendid victory in Legislative Council elections, National Conference on Thursday vowed to carry forward its winning spree to a logical conclusion by giving a befitting defeat to obstructive, opportunist, deceptive and communal forces that have vitiated the political environs to further their nefarious agenda.
"People's Democratic Party's opportunism reached its zenith when it openly begged for four votes of Bharatiya Janata Party in the Council elections to weaken National Conference"', senior leader and Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather said at a function, indicating nothing more could be expected of the party which owes its creation and existence to BJP. By hobnobbing and taking the side of BJP, PDP's secular credentials have been exposed, he maintained.
The function was organised to felicitate Abdul Majid and Shoukat Hussain Ganai at Sher-i-Kashmr Bhavan after being declared victorious in the elections to Legislative Council. They were brought in a procession and garlanded profusely by the enthusiastic workers.
The Finance Minister ripped apart the propaganda unleashed by PDP against National Conference and said the people have started seeing through its game plan. "Seeing writing on wall, the PDP is now trying to ignite passions in its vain bid to defame National Conference", he said, hoping the people will give them a reply they deserve for their political treachery.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Higher Education, Mohammed Akbar Lone castigated PDP for its dubious role and referred to its joining hands with BJP will the sole objective of weakening National Conference which reflects the aspirations of the people.
"PDP had lost its nerves to such an extent that it shouldered the responsibility of casting the vote in favour of BJP in the Council elections to two of its senior leaders, Deputy Speaker Mohammed Sartaj Madni and Nizam-ud-Din Bhat indicating lack of faith and confidence in others and expecting defiance".
Lone asked the party cadre to unite and fight the machinations of communal and opportunist forces who were deriving their strength from the forces which were inimical to the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Provincial President National Conference, Devender Singh Rana questioned the standing of PDP and said it is fast losing its whatsoever base in the State politics because of its deceit and duplicity.
He referred to BJP-PDP nexus in the Council elections and said this reflects the larger plan of the party to enter into covert alliance with its sinister objective of grabbing the power by hook or crook.
Provincial President, Nasir Aslam Wani said the victory of National Conference candidates in the Council elections is triumph of the people and predicts a big shock for the opposition in 2014 elections. He said the party cadres have reactivated at the grass roots level to wipe out opportunist politicians who have befooled the people in different guises.
The newly elected MLCs, Abdul Majid and Shoukat Hussain Ganai also spoke on the occasion.


5 Post Offices to be modernized under Project Arrow

UDHAMPUR, MAR 7: John Samuel, Chief Post Master General, Jammu and Kashmir today said that 5 Post Offices namely Reasi, Ramban, Banihal, Batote and Udhampur Court will be modernized under Project Arrow before March 31.
While reviewing the functioning of Udhampur Postal Division today at Udhampur, Samuel said that 119 posts of Postmasters and other delivery staff in villages shall be filled up within a period of two months. "Notification for this new recruitment of GDS (Gramin Dak Sevaks) staff members will be issued on April 1 by the Superintendent of Post Offices, Udhampur Division and the last date for receipt of applications will be May 1", he added.
In the meeting, Samuel directed Superintendent of Post Offices, Udhampur Division to ensure that all posts are filled up immediately. Chief PMG announced that 4 posts are reserved for handicapped (disabled persons).
He said, "Post Office revenue has grown more than 75% in the last two years. This makes it necessary for recruitment of new staff." With additional staff employed in the Post Offices, the Postal services will expand substantially, hoped the Chief PMG.
He also said that 'Sampoorna Bachat Bank Yojna Scheme' will be introduced in Udhampur District under which every household in every village will have a Post Office Savings Account or bank account. This will facilitate financial inclusion and thereby help the development of the district.


Numbardars, Chowkidars demand hike in salaries

JAMMU, MAR 7: All Jammu and Kashmir Lumbardar Association (AJKLA) staged a protest demonstration against the State Budget announced by the Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, here today. The Numbardars and Chowkidars alleged that the state government has neglected their long pending demand of enhancing the salary from R 500 to R 1500.
Around two dozens of Numbardars and Chowkidars led by its State President, Bashir Ahmad Teeli assembled outside the Press Club and raised slogans against the Sate Government and the Finance Minister.
Addressing the protesters, Bashir said that government has not fulfilled its promise of enhancement in the salary. He appealed to the government to address the genuine demand of Numbardars at the earliest.


JIAR Pharmacy launches its products

JAMMU, MAR 7: Jammu Institute of Ayurveda and Research (JIAR) Pharmacy launched its two new products here at press club this afternoon.
The JIAR has launched Ayutus Syrup for cough and cold and Hepatotone Syrup for liver protection.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of the group, Dr Roop Lal Sharma expressed his commitment to explore benefits of ancient Ayurveda with a sole aim to serve Human society.
"Our objective is to serve the ailing society through the traditionally established and accepted system and we will make every effort to realize this dream," Dr Sharma added.
Ensuring that quality would be their first priority, Dr Sharma said, "There would be no compromise with the quality of the products at any point of time to make sure that the human society is served tremendously."
He informed that company has its 10 patented products, which will be launched in 2nd phase in the 1st week of April 2013. The products include oils, tablets, capsules and Aleo Vera Juice, which is beneficial for all types of ailments.
Representing Director ISM, Dr Abdul Kabir as Chief Guest, Munish Dutta Dostam, Assistant Director Planning appreciated Dr Roop Lal Sharma for his efforts in promoting the Indian System of Medicines. He said that the endeavour would benefit the society in a great way.
"Apart from being the pioneer in Ayurvedic Education since 1999 in J&K State having produced about 900 BAMS graduates and post graduates, Jammu Institute of Ayurveda and Research, by venturing into manufacturing of quality Ayurvedic medicine has achieved another mile stone in Ayurveda," Dutta said. Abdul Rashid Dostam also spoke on the occasion.


6 kids among 8 hurt in Rajouri mishap

GJ Report
Rajouri, Mar 7: At least eight persons including six school kids were injured today when a bus they were travelling in skidded off the road and rolled down into a gorge in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.
"An ill fated bus JK11-2617-JK11 of Dream Land Public School, which was on its way from Muradpur to Rajouri rolled down into a deep gorge at around 1600 hrs near Alfa Gate when its driver lost control over the vehicle," police sources here said.
They said that six school children among eight persons sustained injuries in the accident.
On receiving information, police and locals immediately rushed to the spot and shifted the injured to district hospital Rajouri.
The injured were identified as Shiwali Sharma, Joshi, Rakesh, Danish, Rashi, Pradeep Singh and Harmeet Kaur.
Condition of one of the injured namely Kanta Devi was stated to be critical.
Police has registered a case and started investigations.


RKVY organises study tour for farmers

BUDGAM, MAR 7: A group of 35 progressive farmers of Beerwah and Khansahib areas of Budgam were deputed for a 5-day study tour today within State under Rashtriya Kissan Vikas Yojna (RKVY) programme of "Exchange Visit of Farmers".
During the tour, farmers will be visiting Olive Farm Ramban, SKAUST Jammu, Agriculture Department Farms Jammu and other relevant places. Main objective of deputing farmers for study tours is to make them aware about the latest research and development made in the various fields of agriculture and allied sectors so that after returning back, they shall apply same in their fields and teach other farmers. On the occasion, Chief Agriculture Officer Budgam M A Parray said that Department of Agriculture is going to organize more and more educational tours for the farmers of district within and outside the State as well, so that they could get updated with the latest technology.
He advised the interested farmers of the district, willing to participate in tours, to contact respective Zonal Officers of the district at the earliest, so that their names could be enlisted for future tour programmes.


BFDC concludes 72 hours long dharna, but continues agitation

JAMMU, MAR 7: On the conclusion of 72 hours long protest dharna, Bahu Fort Development Committee (BFDC) announced that it would continue the agitation in different parts of Jammu region, with other modes.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajeev Charak said that the state government and the Governor have failed to address the problems, forcing committee to agitate time and again.
"The management of Kali Mata temple is in wrong hands, they misuse all the offerings by the pilgrims. All the rooms and the palace of Mahraja have been destroyed by the priests, now the only boundary wall has been left as the remanent of the fort" Charak alleged, adding that the priests of the temple replaced the 21 Kg Gold Chattar of Maha Rani with a Silver Chattar. He also said that the Bhawan of the temple was also plated by Jeri Gold Works but now they have changed it into silver.
He further added that the priests of the temple misguided the shopkeepers of Bahu Fort saying that there shops would be taken under the Shrine Board which was totally wrong and baseless.
Chairman of Committee Baldev Raj Nagotra said their fighting was not individual but a cause of all the residents of Jammu. He appealed to each and every citizen of Jammu region to step forward for participating and supporting the fight against the people who continuously degrade and destroy the holy shrine.
Hardesh Khokher, Ishant Gupta, Krishan Lal Sharma besides others also spoke on the occasion.


Minor falls into pond, dies

GJ Report
Jammu, Mar 7: A minor girl today drowned after she accidentally fell into a pond in Ramgarh area of Samba district.
Identified as Priyanka Devi, a 4th class student, daughter of Krishan Kumar, resident of village Sungwal, tehsil Ramgarh died this evening when the girl was playing near a pond and slipped into it.
The body of the girl was fished out and shifted to the hospital.
"Body has been handed over to the family members after legal formalities," police added.


RBBA delegation meets Commissioner JMC

JAMMU, MAR 7: A delegation of Raghunath Bazaar Businessmen Association (RBBA) led by its President Baldev Khullar called on the Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation K L Khajuria (IAS), to highlight various matters concerning the prestigious 'Raghunath Bazaar Beautification Project' in respect of works to be undertaken by JMC.
The Commissioner accepted the proposal of the RBBA regarding upgradation of historical Ahataas of Raghunath Bazaar viz Ashoka Market, Janta Market and New Market. Khullar informed the meeting that MLA Jammu East Ashok Khajuria has already granted R 5 Lakh, out of his Constituency Development Fund, for upgradation and beautification of these markets. The association also demanded proper drainage system in the area.
Speaking on the occasion, Khajuria assured the delegation that the JMC would look into the matter at the earliest and if some extra funds would be needed for the purpose, JMC will provide the same.
He also assured that requisite number of dustbins would be provided outside every shop, for dumping garbage by the shopkeepers, which in turn would be collected by the safaikaramcharis of the corporation.
He also said that two safaikaramcharis would be deployed on permanent basis in Raghunath Bazaar for collecting the garbage both in the morning and in the evening.
The commissioner also assured them to upgrade the toilet complex at Pratap Chowk, by installing toilet seats as well as providing separate provision for females, to cater to the need of tourists and local shoppers visiting the bazaar.
In addition to that, Khajuria also informed the delegation that to facilitate the movement of elderly shoppers, particularly the tourists from one end of bazaar to another, the JMC will be deploying a battery car, on trial basis.
Those who were present during the meeting included members of the association, JMC Health Officer Vinod Sharma, Chief Khilaaf Warzi Officer Satish Khajuria and Executive Engineer JMC.


HSS flays mobile operators for dishonouring Aadhar Cards

JAMMU, MAR 7: Hindustan Shiv Sena (HSS) today criticized the mobile operators in Jammu and Kashmir for not accepting the Aadhar Card, as an identity proof while issuing new mobile connections.
Addressing a Press Conference, the National President of HSS Dimpy Kohli said that Aadhar cards are issued by Government of India as proof of identity and are acceptable throughout the country as per the guidelines of Government of India. He added that all agencies and organizations including Nationalized Banks and security forces are accepting this card as a mark of identification throughout the country.
Kohli complained that the mobile operators of the State are dishonouring Aadhar Cards and are not issuing sim cards. He asked them the reason for not accepting the said cards as identification proof, thus harassing the general public.
He further appealed to the Government to look into the matter and issue strict instructions to the Mobile operators for accepting Aadhar cards as proof of identification, while issuing new connections.
Others who attended the conference included G I Singh, Shiv Kumar Sharma, K Shivani Rao, Rajan Gupta, Satish Sahni, Rohit and Kulbir Singh Chib.


Agriculture Awareness Camps are need of the hour: Gurezi

UDHAMPUR, MAR 7: Minister of State for Agriculture Nazir Ahmed Gurezi, today inaugurated Awareness Camp cum Kissan Mela organized by Jammu and Kashmir State Kissan Advisory Board (JKKSAB) in collaboration with Department of Agriculture at Village Bharnara in block Majalta of district Udhampur.
Vice Chairman JKKSAB Radhey Sham Sharma, Secretary G N Mir, Additional Deputy Commissioner Surat Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer K S Samyal, other officers of Agriculture and line Departments were present on the occasion.
Appreciating the efforts of the Agriculture Department, the Minister said that these awareness camps cum melas are the need of the hour to apprise the farming community regarding the ongoing schemes and level of subsidy available with the Departments. He said that mainstay of the people in rural areas is agriculture and added that the farmers should take the advantage of these camps and adopt all the technical know-how imparted by the various Departments in their fields to uplift their economic status. He also commended the efforts of the Department in the field of Agriculture Machinery, implementations and its promotion in rural areas of the district.
Minister apprised that Chief Minister has setup Kissan Advisory Board in the state for the welfare of the farming community and called upon the Panchs and Sarpanchs to aware the farming community about the various Departmental schemes by holding awareness meets in the wards of their respective Panchayats. The Government is keen to setup Panchayat Level Cooperative Society shortly, which would prove instrumental to provide all required material like fertilizer, seeds, pesticides etc timely at the door steps of the farmers, which would definitely lend a hand to boost the agricultural production, the Minister added.
Vice Chairman JKSKAB said that the convergence of all the stake holders under the one umbrella would act as a platform to work out the future course of action for increasing the production and productivity level of farming community and raise their Socio-economic status. He said that such type of camps would be organized at various Panchayats in near future to explore new vistas in the field of Agriculture and allied sector and hoped that such awareness programmes would boldly help in increasing income and rooting out drudgery of the farmers.
Chief Agriculture Officer Udhampur advised the farmers to take full benefit of these camps and do farming as per the needs of the market as this will improve not only their income but also uplift their socio-economic condition.
The main attraction of the awareness camp cum Kissan mela were stalls laid out by different Departments viz. Horticulture, Sericulture, Sheep Husbandry, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Floriculture, Apiculture, Mushroom and other private players. Farmers of the area appreciated this move of the Department and showed keen interest in the "Awareness Camp cum Kissan Mela" and desired that such types of events should be organized in future at Panchayat Level, so that better farming practices can be inculcated to farming community.


Amendment in Juvenile Justice Act, State Commission for Child Rights in offing: Sakina

JAMMU, MAR 7: Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo today said that a proposal to amend the Juvenile Justice Act is under active consideration of the Government adding that the Government is also considering establishment of a State Commission for protection of Child Rights in the state.
Replying to a question by Abdul Rashid in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister informed that necessary steps are being taken by the Government to bring the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act at par with the Central Act.
She told the House that establishment of Juvenile Justice Courts at District levels was the jurisdiction of Law Department and not Social Welfare Department.
Responding to the supplementary questions raised by Ashok Kumar and Mehbooba Mufti, the Minister said that the Government is taking due care for counselling and look after of Juvenile Home children.

State receives Rs 5391 cr under SCAP: Sadhotra

Minister for Planning, Labour and Employment, Ajay Sadhotra informed the House that against the allocation of R 6384 crore under Special Central Assistance Plan (SCAP) the State Government has received R 5391 crore up to end of February this year for carrying out developmental infrastructure under various sectors in the state.
Replying to a question by Peerzada Mansoor Hussain, the Minister informed the House that District Development Commissioners and concerned departments were authorized for utilization of Plan resources right from first day of financial year for smooth implementation of developmental schemes adding that developmental activities are carried out throughout the year and it is only the billing of expenditure, which is done towards the 3rd and 4th quarter of the financial year.
Giving details of the Plan, the Minister said that a scheme of financing is approved by the Union Government for implementation of the Annual Plan, which, inter alia, comprises State's own resources and grants from Centre under different heads.
He said there are different procedures and schedules for release of each component of grant. He said the utilization certificates are required to be submitted for the grants received from Centre adding that the process of submission of Utilization Certificates is a continuous one and are submitted only after utilization of funds.
Responding to the supplementaries raised by Harshdev Singh, M. Y. Tarigami, Krishan Chander Bhagat, Irfan Shah, Abdul Haq Khan, Balwant Singh Mankotia,. Yash Paul Kundal, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Rafiq Hussain Khan, Nizam-u-Din Bhat and Ashok Kumar Sharma, the Minister said that due care is being given to each area while releasing the plan funds for carrying out development infrastructure, adding that concerned authorities have been authorised by the Government for utilization of plan funds from first day of financial year.
The Minister said that under the provision of special funds of R 50 crore for the development of bad pocket areas of the state, R 20 crore have been already released by the Government while as different developmental works of R 30 crore in these areas are apace.

House pays tributes to Ram Dass Dogra, ex-legislator

The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today paid rich tributes to former legislator, Ram Dass Dogra.
Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul moved the obituary references in this regard in the House today. He described the late leader as a man of masses who always had the welfare of people up on his mind. He said late Dogra dedicated his entire life to the service of the society for which he will be remembered forever.
The Speaker said Dogra joined politics in 1960 and was elected as member of Assembly in 1983.
A 2-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the leader and House adopted the Motion.

House takes up discussion on Budget

The House today took up the discussion on the Budget presented yesterday by the Finance Minister.
Initiating the discussion, former Deputy Chief Minister, Muzaffar Hussain Baig expressed satisfaction over the 7 per cent growth rate of State's economy. He suggested several measures for its sustenance and increasing the per capita income of the State. He said agriculture is the vital sector responsible for improving the economy of the State but Government has not paid any attention towards this sector. Baig expressed concern over the 61 percent distribution losses in Power sector.
He drew the attention of the Finance Minister towards CAG Report for previous fiscal year and said that no action on the report has been taken by the Government. He urged upon the Government to ensure accountability in all department for judicious use of funds.
Dr. Mustafa Kamal while hailing the budget said that it is quite balanced and fulfills the aspirations of the common man. He suggested certain measures to enhance the employment opportunities for the unemployed youth in the state. He suggested giving focused attention to the small scale industries to help local artisans.
He also hailed the step to give remuneration to Sarpanchs and Panches and keeping the Kissan Credit Card up to R 1.50 lakh out of the purview of Stamp Duty.
Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta also expressed concern over the growing losses in power distribution and sought steps to minimize this. He urged the Government to prioritize areas of development to boost the State's economy.
He said Agriculture and Horticulture are two big sectors with which over 80 per cent people, directly or indirectly, are connected and Government should take more steps to boost them. He urged the Government to streamline the ration distribution at PDS outlets.
G. M. Saroori lauding the remuneration for Sarpanchs and Panchs, Saroori said that Government has fulfilled the long pending demand of the ground level panchayat functionaries. He said present honorarium is insufficient and demanded the Government to consider its enhancement.
Saroori sought more tourist circuits in the Chenab Valley to give impetus to the tourist activities in the area. He also called for strengthening the PSC to speed up the recruitment process. He urged the Government to enhance the scale of BPL ration.

Members raise issues of public importance

Immediately after the Question Hour today, various members raised issues of importance in the Assembly.
M.Y. Tarigami drew the attention of the Government towards the plight of Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK) volunteers who are protesting for their adjustments for quite some time. He urged the Government to address their grievances on humanitarian grounds.
Javed Mustafa Mir raised the issue of release of funds in favour of Madarsas and said that Government has included all such institutions in the list which have actually not received the assistance at all. He referred to a news item in some local daily newspapers in this regard.
Ashwani Kumar Sharma demanded regularization of PDD daily wagers and Home Guard volunteers as per the assurances given by the Government.
Abdul Rehman Veeri and Syed Bashir Ahmed raised the issue of harassment of people by the security forces in the Valley, especially during the night hours. They sought immediate action to check such incidents.


Promotion of TSOs within competence of LADHC:-Ramzan

JAMMU, MAR 7: The Minister for Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution Ch. Mohammad Ramzan today informed the House that in terms of Government Order No. 2206-GAD of 1984 dated 10.12.1984, the Deputy Commissioner, Leh and Kargil were empowered as Major Head of the Department in respect of all the departments functioning in the respective district and vested with the powers of the Director of all departments having administrative and financial powers in the district except Judiciary and police.
The Minister was replying to a calling attention notice by Nurboo Gialchan towards a matter of urgent public importance namely the situation that arisen by depriving the rights of the employees of CA&PD department at Leh /Kargil by failing to consider their rights of promotion at the time of DPC conducted for upgrading of posts of Tehsil Supply Officer for Kashmir Division and action taken by the government.
The Minister also informed the House that Direct Recruitment to the post of Class-IV (2550-3200 Pre-revised) and ASK (3050-4910 Pre-Revised) etc and promotion to the post of ASK (3050-4910 Pre-revised), SK (4000-6000 Pre-revised ) and TSO/Inspector (5000-8000 Pre-revised) is to be done by Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LADHC-L/K) at their level in terms of Rule 11&12 of LADHC, Leh (Sub-Ordinate Service Recruitment) of 1996.
The Minister further stated that promotion to the post of TSOs/Inspectors is in the competence of LADHC and not the Directorate of CA&PD Kashmir and it is only after the seniority of TSOs/Inspectors is merged with the Divisional Seniority and further promotions to the post of Chief Inspectors are being done by the Director CA&PD Kashmir. He further said that there is no question of trampling upon the rights of the employees of the CA&PD Leh and Kargil by not promoting them at the time of up-gradation of 236 posts of TSOs/Inspectors as these posts were created by reducing the sanctioned strength of lower grade posts of Kashmir Division excluding Leh and Kargil.

Backward Class Commission functional, decides 219 cases: Sakina

Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo today informed the House that Commission for Backward Classes is functional in the State and has decided 219 cases during 2009 to 2012.
The Minister was replying to a question by Sheikh Ghulam Rasool in LC today.
Sakina said that the Commission has received 1694 representations from various districts for granting Backward Class status during 2009,2010, 2011 and 2012 are still pending with it, adding that the Commission declares the area as Backward which qualify the norms set for the purpose.
The Minister said the government has recently appointed two members in Commission while the appointment of rest of the members is under process.
Replying to another question by Syed Asgar Ali, the Minister informed that 28,000 Anganwari Centres are functional in the State, of which 47 are in Dachhan block of Kishtwar district. The Minister said that the public representatives have the authority to pay surprise visit to these centres to ensure proper monitoring mechanism.

35 kg ration being provided to consumers: Ramzan

Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan while replying to a clubbed question by Subash Chander Gupta and Sham Lal Bhagat informed the House that 35 kilograms ration per family is being provided to the consumers of the State.
The Minister said that the names of the new born and newly married daughter-in-laws are also being entered in the old ration cards, adding that no new ration cards or bifurcation of ration cards for separate families are being issued to the new family units.
Choudhary Ramzan said that the left out families will be covered as and when the State will get additional quota of ration as per 2011 census for which the matter stands taken up with the Centre.

Govt purchases PHE pipes at approved rates: Sham Lal

Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Sharma while replying to a question by Syed Mohammad Rafiq Shah informed the House that the department purchased 58293 meter length of pipes of different dia from 2009 to 2012.
The Minister said that the purchase was made on the basis of proper requisition made by the territorial divisions and endorsed by the concerned Superintending Engineers, adding that the purchased pipes stands lifted by the end users. He said that the purchase was made on DGS&D approved rates from M/S Nidhi Pipes Ltd, Chandigarh and M/S Bhawani Industries Ltd, Gobindgarh.
Replying to another question by Master Noor Hussain, the Minister informed that as many as 1332 land compensation cases are pending with the PHE, I&FC department, of which 767 cases are in Kashmir Division and 565 in Jammu Division.
Sham said that the PHE department engaged 135 persons from Kashmir and 23 persons from Jammu in lieu of their land donated to the department.
Replying to another question by Narboo Gialchan, the Minister informed that several main irrigation canals were damaged due to flash floods in Leh district for which R 230.61 lakh and R 106.27 lakh have been released under Minor Irrigation and Flood Control sectors respectively to Leh district. He said 28 minor irrigation works and 17 works under Flood Control have been completed so far.

517 kanal forest land transferred to JDA: Mian Altaf

Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad while replying to a question raised by Sheikh Ghulam Rasool on behalf of Vijay Bakaya informed the House that 623 kanals and 10 marlas forest land was ordered to be transferred to Jammu Development Authority (JDA) for construction of New Jammu Township but the actual possession of the land is yet to be given to JDA.
The Minister further informed that out of total area, 517 kanals and 10 marlas stands handed over to JDA on record and remaining 100 kanals were ordered to be left for Social Forest Nursery and Rest House, while as the 6 kanals for construction of Public Service Commission Office.
Mian Altaf said that JDA has paid an amount of R 1134. 377 lakhs against the total amount of R 1621.388 lakhs on account of cost of land, compensatory afforestation and Social Forestry Plantation.
Replying to another question by Murtaza Ahmad Khan, the Minister informed that the State Pollution Control Board has granted permission to 13 units and 4 units were registered with Industries and Commerce department. He said that 14 business concerns are running without fulfilling legal formalities in the area against which the PCB has initiated legal proceedings in the matter. He said Jammu Municipal Corporation has not granted any permission to business concerns and automobile workshop as the same are existing prior to bringing said area within Jammu municipal limits, adding that JMC is contemplating to provide trade licenses to traders in terms of J&K Municipal Corporation Act,2000.

No proposal for inclusion of Devsar villages with tehsil Kulgam: Aijaz Khan

Minister of State for Revenue Aijaz Ahmad Khan informed the House that there are 20 villages in Tehsil Devsar and some of them are adjacent to Tehsil Kulgam. He said there is no proposal under consideration for inclusion of villages of Devsar with Kulgam tehsil.

No contractual, adhoc engagements in Floriculture department: Gurezi

Minister of State for Floriculture, Nazir Ahmad Gurezi informed the House that no contractual appointments have been made in the department during the past three years, adding the department has engaged 311 casual/seasonal labourers in Kashmir division and 303 in Jammu Division on need basis from time to time for upkeep and maintenance of gardens from 2009.

Finance Commission submitted report in 2010

Minister of State for Finance Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma replying to a question by Naresh Kumar Gupta informed the House that a Finance Commission was constituted to ensure equitable development in all the regions of the State by way of equitable distribution of resources.
He said the Commission has submitted its report in November 2010, which has to be examined by the Committees to be constituted for the purpose in the concerned departments for implementation of the recommendations. He said the Group of Ministers would make their recommendations to the Cabinet when the proposals are received from all departments.

Discussion on Budget commences

Starting the general discussion on the Budget in Legislative Council today Sheikh Ghulam Rasool called the Budget laid by Finance Minister this year as precise, to the point and friendly to the common man. He said that despite financial constraints, state is witnessing growth and GDP is increasing. He said Finance Minister has done excellent job over the years in budget management and vital sectors have received due allocations. He said that growth potential is being utilised and contribution of service and agriculture sector is improving. He urged to bring further improvement in the farm sector adding that agri-universities in Srinagar and Jammu should be asked to come up to the expectations of the farming community. He said that several new budget proposals in the budget are appreciable.
Bashir Ahmad Magray highlighted the impact of inflation on the poor people and said that prices of essential commodities milk, gas, k.oil, petrol, and diesel are increasing frequently. He asked planners and finance experts of the state to devise a suitable mechanism to regulate prices of essential commodities so that prices remain under control and market is not allowed to exploit the poor.
He said forest, handicrafts, tourism and horticulture have remained major sectors of revenue for our state and the same need extra and sustained attention so that these resources get properly utilized.
He said power infrastructure in rural areas also needs immediate attention. He called for marketing facilities for agricultural goods and VAT concession on fertilizers. While lauding the government for providing remuneration to sarpanchs and panchs, Magray called for increasing remuneration to Numberdars and Chowkidars also.
Describing the budget as pro-poor Sham Lal Bhagat said that farm and education sectors have received due attention in the budget. He said that orphans and children belonging to poor families should be supported in getting education apart from the financial assistance extended to them in the budget to facilitate their marriage.
He welcomed the expansion in mobile schools for children belonging to Gujjar and Bakerwal Communities to meet their educational requirements. He also lauded the decisions of the government to provide remuneration to Panchs and Sarpanchs.
Javed Ahmed Rana termed the budget people friendly and meeting the aspiration of the common man and supportive to the downtrodden and backward areas of the State.
He appreciated the efforts of the government in addressing the burning issue of unemployment. He said that government should pay attention to absorb and recruit ITI trained youth and several pending SRO cases be expedited and given one time relaxation.
He said that government should provide full funding to roads taken back from ERA including those in Poonch. He also called for enhancing pension benefits to beneficiaries under various social welfare schemes besides enhancement in funds under the Tribal Sub-Plan.
Ali Mohammad Dar while appreciating the efforts of the Finance Minister termed the budget as people friendly. He complimented the Government for providing financial assistance to orphans. He said that tax concessions to farmers and on eatables is a welcome step. He also welcomed the government initiative to clear pending statutory liabilities including CPF and gratuity of some corporation employees and enhancement in the ex-gratia relief in favour of next of the kin of police personnel killed in the line of duty.
While appreciating the Government on providing remuneration of R 2000 per month to sarpanchs, Dar asked the Government to consider R 1000 per month to panchs.

Court acquits father accused of raping daughter

JAMMU, MAR 7: Principal Sessions Judge Samba Kartar Singh has acquitted one Subash Singh, S/o Puran Singh, R/o Katli, Tehsil & District, Samba who was facing trial in a rape case, as prosecution story turned out to be quite doubtful and could not be believed in view of the facts and circumstances of the case.
The accused Subash Singh faced trial in the court for the commission of offence falling under section 376 RPC. The prosecution allegations against the accused were that on 2nd January 2009 at 9 PM the prosecutrix who is his daughter had gone inside the room to bring water for her mother whose hand was injured by him with a "Drath" where the accused locked her inside the room and forcibly raped her twice and further threatened to kill her in case she raised any alarm. Thereafter the mother of the complainant knocked the door and she was set free by her father with the threat to kill her and her mother in case they reported the incident to anybody.
On the written report of the prosecutrix, a case for the commission of offence falling under section 376 RPC was registered against the accused and investigation ensued. After investigation the final report was submitted in the court.
Principal Sessions Judge Samba Kartar Singh after hearing both the sides observed that the whole gamut of the discussion is that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt and it appears that this false case has been made out against him because of his bad habits of drinking or because he used to object to his wife and daughters' leaving the house to work outside as this would bring a bad name to the family. Whatever the reason may be, but it is established that the prosecution story is quite doubtful and cannot be believed in view of the facts and circumstances narrated above. The accused is therefore acquitted of the charges framed against him. JNF


JTC demands security for KP employees serving in valley

JAMMU, MAR 7: Jagti Tenement Committee (JTC) and Soan Kashmir Front has appealed to the State as well as Union Government to provide security to Kashmiri Pandit (KP) employees serving in Kashmir valley. According to press release, a joint meeting of the Jagti Tenement Committee and Soan Kashmir Front was convened under its President, Shadi Lal Pandita to discuss the problems faced by Kashmiri Pandit Migrants in particular due to the recent threats to Kashmiri Pandits living in Kashmir Valley. The members impressed upon the Government both at the Centre and at the State to immediately manage the adjustment of the KP employees in Jammu till the valley returns to normal.


Justice Bhat appointed Chairman PSA Advisory Committee

JAMMU, MAR 7: Principal Secretary Home Department has issued notification for the appointment of Justice (Rtd) BL Bhat Former Judge of J&K High Court as Chairman Advisory Board of J&K Public Safety Act.
According to the notification issued today under SRO 72 in exercise of powers conferred by the section 14 of J&K Public Safety Act 1978, the Govt in consultation with the Chief Justice of J&K appointed Justice (Rtd) BL Bhat, former Judge of J&K High Court as Chairman Advisory Board constituted vide notification SRO 449 of 1989 dated November 17, 1989 for a period of three years. The appointment of Justice (Rtd) BL Bhat shall take effect from the date he assumes charge of the post in the Advisory Board. (JNF)


J&K Budget 2013-14: Mixed Reactions

JAMMU, MAR 7: The Jammu and Kashmir State Budget for this fiscal 2013-14 has evoked a mixed response from the people across the cross sections of the society. Some have labelled it as friendly while others have termed it as anti Aam Aadmi budget.

Radhey Sham terms it farmer friendly

Vice-Chairman and Member of State Advisory Board for Development of Kissans, Radhey Sham Sharma has welcomed the budget presented by the Finance Minister. He hailed the Finance Minister for conceding the suggestions of the board members during pre-budget meetings and providing tax concessions to the Farming community in Rice, Paddy, Wheat, Saffron, Honey and Agricultural implements. These farmer friendly steps are definitely going to help the agricultural production in Jammu and Kashmir State in a big way, he said.

FM betrayed industry, says BJP

Terming the state's budget as totally anti-Industry, BJP Cell's State Incharge Sat Sharma (C.A) and BJP Trade & Industry Cell State Convenor Choudhary Vikram Randhawa said that the State Finance Minister has betrayed the already suffering industry of Jammu province in particular.
In a joint statement issued today, Sat Sharma and Ch. Vikram Randhawa said that there were high expectations among the Trade as well as Industry sector but all these have been dashed to ground with the opening of briefcase by Abdul Rahim Rather in the state assembly on Wednesday.
Recalling the pre-budget meeting held at Jammu between the Finance Minister and various industrial organizations, including the team of BJP leaders said that a unanimous demand of extension in VAT remission for five years was made and discussed which was expected to be acceded to but the budget presented has ignored this genuine demand by giving just one year's extension. They further said that another demand was to scrap 22% electricity duty as the industry has been paying the tariff from time to time and hence there was no justification of electricity duty.
Moreover, the issue of 13.5 % Entry Tax on spare parts of various industries was also raised in the meeting. They also took strong exception to increase by 5 paisa per kg in the existing rate of Toll Tax adding that it will further cause price rise of the items.
They said that it is indeed unfortunate that despite assurances by none other than the Finance Minister himself in the pre-budget meeting not even a single demand has been fulfilled. They said that the budget is thus totally anti-Industry and BJP Trade & Industry Cell opposes it tooth and nail and stands with the traders and industrialists on the issue.

JKVHA hails Guthka Ban, hike in VAT on tobacco products

JK Voluntary Health Association (JKVHA) and VHAI New Delhi have hailed the decision of the State Government to raise VAT on tobacco products from 30% to 40% and also the decision to ban Guthka and Pan Masala. The Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather announced the ban on Guthka in his budget speech and the Commissioner Food Safety & Standards issued notification vide SRO 68 dated 6th March 2013 imposing a complete ban on manufacture, storage, sale, transportation, display or distribution of Guthka, by whatever name and Pan Masala/Zarda containing tobacco or nicotine, as ingredients, by whatsoever name, with immediate effect. The State Government also announced an increase in VAT on Cigarettes and Other Tobacco products from 30% to 40%. These decisions were taken by the State Government in consideration of representations made by J&K Voluntary Health Association and VHAI New Delhi, in the interest of public health. Hailing the decision A.M. Mir (IAS Retd.) Executive Director JKVHA, in a press conference, said that the collective efforts of the Civil Society, NGOs and the general public have paid dividends. He expressed his gratitude to the State government and thanked, particularly the Governor, NN Vohra, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, Economic Adviser, Jalil Ahmed Khan, Chief Secretary, Iqbal Khanday, Principal Secretary Finance, BB Vyas, Commissioner/Secretary Health and Medical Education, MK Dwivedi, Drug Controller Satish Gupta, CEO VHAI Alok Mukhopadhyay, ED VHAI, Ms. Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, Director VHAI, Ms. Seema Gupta and Chairman JKVHA, Dr. (Professor) GQ Allaqaband. Mir also expressed his gratitude to the print and electronic media for their role as a pressure group and the support provided for anti tobacco activities. The press conference was also attended by Ghulam Nabi Mir Lasjan, Social Activist, BL Parimoo, Member JKVHA and Dr NC Prabhakar.
JKVHA has been working for implementation of Ban on Guthka and implementation of Tobacco Control Act for the past five years and has undertaken various awareness programmes for the masses about the hazard and ill-effects of tobacco products. The Organization had earlier filed a PIL in the High Court seeking implementation of Section 4 and Section 6 (a) and (b) banning smoking in public places and sale of tobacco products to minors and around 100 yards of education institutions. Another PIL had been filed by JKVHA seeking ban on Guthka. JKVHA has been working in close collaboration with State Government for reducing the consumption of tobacco, especially amongst the youth.

It's tourism friendly: AJHLA

All Jammu Hotels & Lodges Association (AJHLA) has hailed the budget proposals presented in the state assembly by the Finance Minister A.R Rather. Describing the budget as tourism friendly, the association thanked Rather for accepting their demand to extend the tax waiver to hotels and lodges for one more year.
A meeting of the Jammu Hoteliers Association, held here today, under the chairmanship of its President Inderjeet Khajuria particularly welcomed the reduction of VAT on food and snacks served in the hotels, restaurants, Dhabas and all other eateries. Khajuria observed that since J&K is a tourist state, with all the 3 regions of the state having vast tourism potential and over 1.5 crore tourists and pilgrims visiting the state annually, the sops provided to the hospitality sector will go a long way in further promoting tourism and pilgrimage in the state.
The association particularly conveyed its jubilation over Rather's announcement in its budget speech to take effective steps to make Jammu an independent tourist destination which has been a long pending demand of the Association. In this respect AJHLA appreciated the Rather for promising speedy completing of projects in and around Jammu including Lake in river Tawi, face lift of Tawi banks, up gradation and beautification of Raghunath Bazaar, promotion of border tourism at Suchet Garh and Chamlyal as well as development of tourist spots in Akhnoor besides a cable car from Mubarak Mandi to Bahu Fort. The association however demanded that the time frame for completion of all these projects should be fixed and the work on these should be taken on war footing, to make these functional at the earliest. They also demanded allocation of adequate funds specifically for these projects, out of total proposed outlay of 330 crore for tourism in Jammu.
Besides Inderjeet Khajuria others who were present in the meeting included Ajay Gupta Sr. Vice President, H.S Manhas Vice President, Pawan Gupta Gen. Sec., Baldev Treasurer, Bikram Singh and Sunil Suri Secretaries.

Irked NPSU stages protest

Disappointed by the Budget 2013-14, NPSU today staged a protest demonstration in University Campus led by Thakur Virender Singh Provincial President and Incharge Jammu University alleging neglect and deprivation of Jammu region in it. The student protestors shouted slogans against NC-Congress alliance and sought resignations of Jammu based Ministers. Thakur Virender Singh castigated the government for perpetual neglect of Jammu Pradesh in all spheres including allocation of funds, employment, power, tourism and other sectors. He said that the Budget makes no mention of doing away with the regional imbalances and persistent discrimination against Jammu region. He sought adequate funds for development of Mansar, Surinsar, Dalsar, Sanasar lakes besides development of other tourist spots of Jammu region. The budget has clearly ignored Jammu region which has received no special packages, he alleged.

For stone crusher owners it's disappointing

Strongly condemning the budget presented, the other day, in the Assembly by the finance minister the Stone Crusher Owners' Association (SCOA) has termed it as anti-industry.
In a press meet organized here today the president of the association Vikram Randhawa said that the budget presented by the finance minister has nothing for the industry to cheer up. He said that the budget has shocked the stone crusher industry as such a budget gaffe was not expected from such an experienced minister. While briefing the media persons Randhawa said that the minister has miserably failed to deliver on the requisite demands which were put forth during pre-budget deliberations with the minister and were assured due consideration.
He said that the exorbitant entry fee at Lakhanpur on purchase of spare parts and other allied machinery related with the stone crushers is a burden unbearable. "During pre-budget deliberation, we had humbly submitted before the FM to exempt the industry from 'Earth Moving Equipment' cluster and were assured of the same. But the 450 unit holders of the state have really received a setback on this account, Vikram rued.
He termed the pre-budget discussions as futile exercise as the points put before the government had not been taken into consideration.
Commenting on the constitution of the Task Force, Randhawa said that at least one member from the stone crusher industry associations of both provinces must be included into the said Task Force and the deliberations should be further held, if the government is really serious about saving this industry. Others who were present during the press brief include Anil Gaind and Dev Choudhary.


JKP organizes symposium on communal harmony

NOWSHERA, MAR 7: District Police Rajouri under its Civic Action Programme organized a symposium on the topic "Communal Harmony and National Integration" at Govt. Girls Hr. Secondary School Nowshera. The programme was presided over by Ashok Kumar Sharma, Principal of Govt. Girls Hr. Secondary School Nowshera. Rajinder Kumar Khajuria, SDM Nowshera was the chief guest of the occasion while Parshottam Lal Sharma, Additional Superintendent of Police Nowshera was the guest of honour. S. Tarlok Singh, ZEO Nowshera, R.P. Damral (Retired TEO) and Ravi Dass lecturer acted as Judges for the symposium. In the symposium, first position was bagged by Miss Ragni Gupta, second position by Miss Reebu Gupta and third position was shared by Miss Shannu Bhardwaj and Miss Yogeeta Sambyal.
The SDM Nowshera gave valuable suggestions to the students and advised them on maintaining communal harmony. Pardeep Singh Gouria SDPO Nowshera thanked the school administration and students for hosting the programme and also advised the students to remain vigilant about the miscreants who divide the people for their vested interests on the basis of caste, colour and religion. He also thanked the DIG Rajouri Poonch Range Danish Rana and S.P Rajouri Mubassir Latifi for their support in organizing the function.
The programme ended with the presentation of vote of thanks by Ashok Kumar Sharma, Principal of Govt. Girls Hr. Secondary School Nowshera.


Jerath, Nazir call on Governor

JAMMU, MAR 7: R K Jerath, Vigilance Commissi-oner, State Vigilance Commission called on N N Vohra, Governor at Raj Bhavan, here today.
During the discussion, the Governor stressed upon steps required to be taken for ensuring that the functioning of the State Vigilance Commission is placed on a sound footing. The Governor observed that the effective functioning of the SVC would have a vital bearing on the enhancement of accountability, good governance and eradication of corruption.
This was Jerath's first meeting with the Governor after he recently took over as the Vigilance Commissioner. The Governor wished Jerath a very successful tenure ahead.
Meanwhile, Nazir Bakshi, former President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, called on N N Vohra, Governor at Raj Bhavan, here today.
Bakshi thanked the Governor, who is Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for taking a number of initiatives to involve all concerned stakeholders for progressively improving the facilities for Shri Amarnathji Yatris. In this context, he particularly referred to the requirement of pilgrims securing a Compulsory Health Certificate before applying for issue of Yatra Permit.
Lauding the efforts of the Chairman of the Shrine Board in involving local stakeholders in providing facilities to the Yatris, Bakshi, who has been associated with the travel trade for the past 45 years, said that this has generated tremendous economic benefits to the local population. He also discussed with the Governor the vast potential available for promoting pilgrim tourism in the State, particularly in the Kashmir Valley.


Workshop on musical instrument 'Surna' concludes

LEH, MAR 7: The first ever four day workshop on 'Surna', a traditional Ladakhi musical instrument organized by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages concluded at the Academy Hall, here today. The workshop was conducted under the supervision of Padmashree Morup Namgyal and Ali Mohammad, a renowned 'Surna' Player of the region. Eleven Surna Players of the district participated in the event.
On the occasion, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Tsering Morup was the chief guest.
Addressing the gathering, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Tsering Morup lauded the role of Cultural Academy in preserving and promoting the age old traditions and intangible cultural heritage of the region.
He further said that such kind of workshops play a vital role in the preservation of our culture which is fast losing its sheen through cultural invasion by Cinema and the Internet. He said that Ladakhi folk music has its own unique taste and charm and its preservation is responsibility of every citizen of the region.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, the Special Officer, Cultural Academy, Tsewang Paljor said that this workshop was organized for preserving, promoting and inculcating the values and skills associated with this wonderful traditional instrument.
He said that 'Surna' (Oboe) and 'Daman' (Drum) are two popular musical instruments associated with every social, cultural and religious event of the region. He further said that it has become difficult to preserve these traditional instruments due to lack of interest among the younger generation.
"In Ladakh, musicians are generally trained through lineage system of learning and this workshop was aimed at popularizing the instrument and the cultural traditions associated with the playing of Surna", he added.
Ladakh Culture Forum, President, T. Norboo Martchey, President, Ladakh Artists Federation, Padmashree Morup Namgyal, LTO, Director, Mipham Otsal, CEC's Ladakhi Art and Culture Consultative Committee, Member Councilor, Tsering Sonam, Surna Player, Ali Mohammad and Tashi Jorgais also addressed the workshop.
The proceedings were conducted by Tondup Dorje, Research Assistant while Dr. Thupstan Norboo, Assistant Editor of the Academy presented the vote of thanks.


Nomadic Gujjar, Bakerwal women facing deprivation, neglect: Study

JAMMU, MAR 7: A research conducted by the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation has revealed that the tribal Gujjar women of Jammu and Kashmir live in utter deprivation due to poverty, illiteracy, nomadic way of life, early marriage, superstitions, traditional neglect and lack of awareness about welfare schemes.
Speaking about the study, Dr. Javaid Rahi, Secretary, Tribal Foundation said that Gujjar women are not aware of their rights and schemes launched by the government for their education and social upliftment as they live in far-flung areas and are nomads moving from one place to another.
"Gujjars, a nomadic tribe, constitute as much as 20 percent of the state's population of about 12 million and they mainly live on cattle rearing. In the summers they live in the higher reaches of the state, and come down to the plains in winters", he said.
Rahi said the facilities provided to the women in this community were inadequate. "This can be understood from the fact that there are two Government Hostels for Gujjar women in the state for about 1.2 million Gujjar women", he said.
The foundation also revealed that few girls from the Ajjhari and Manjhi nomadic sub-tribes of Gujjars-Bakerwals were sent to school but it was observed that percentage of dropouts was quite high due to compelling economic or domestic reasons, and early marriages.
Citing the Survey, Rahi said that the list of women belonging to Gujjar tribe excelling in various fields is very small. According to the survey, "The worst condition is of the children belonging to the Ajjhari Gujjars (shepherds) and Manjhi Gujjars (buffalo keepers). Eighty three percent of these gujjars have not attended the schools while remaining 17 percent have been provided education through religious institutions". There are over 2.5 million Gujjars in the state, out of these, about 1.2 million are women, 600,000 are children and the rest are men.


‘Upgrade structures retaining looks akin to old Kashmir architecture’

JAMMU MAR 7: The construction work on prestigious New Zainakadal in Srinagar, considered to be of great importance from business point of view, would be started in April this year at an estimated cost of R 11.29 crore, while the repair and up-gradation of super structure of the Old Zainakadal has been completed and thrown open for pedestrians and light motor vehicles in December last.
This was stated by the Minister for Roads and Buildings, Abdul Majid Wani, in presence of Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Ali Mohammad while chairing a high level meeting of the officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) convened to review the progress and present status of the work taken up on New Zainakadal, Old Zainakadal, Ziyarat Peer Dastageer Sahib at Khanyar and Ziyarat Peer Naqashband Sahib at Roshanghar Mohalla in Srinagar city.
Legislator, Dr Mustafa Kamal, besides Commissioner Secretary, R&B, Tanveer Jahan, Chief Engineer, R&B, Kashmir, Managing Director, JKPCC and other functionaries attended the meeting.
The meeting was informed that considering the heritage importance of Zainakadal, the government has decided to preserve the historical architecture of the Bridge for which an amount of s 2.50 crore has been earmarked last year. It was also given out in the meeting that the government has engaged a renowned Consultant, T. K. Basu and under his supervision the work has been completed at a cost of s 1.10 crore. The sub-structure work shall be completed by ending October this year.

  Sunday Magazine