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 NC Sarpanch shot dead in Valley


GJ Report
Jammu, Apr 8: In yet another incident of killing, a National Conference Sarpanch was allegedly shot dead by unidentified gunmen in district Pulwama of Srinagar, official sources here said. "A Sarpanch of Kholpora Block, district Pulwama identified as Ghulam Ahmed Lone, 48, son of Ghulam Rasool Lone was shot dead by some unidentified gunmen late this evening," official sources here said. The gunmen fled away after killing the sarpanch. Pertinent to mention here that this is the seventh incident of killing in the Valley. "We blame government for the killing," Shafiq Mir-Chairman-- All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference told Greater Jammu.
He said that despite repeated requests, no security was provided to the representatives but it is high time now and the members have to take a final decision.
"It is unfortunate that the government is not ready to take the threats seriously and not yet provided the security," Anil Sharma-General Secretary, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference told Greater Jammu.
"We are elected representatives and if, our lives are at risk, then how it is possible for a common man to lead a fearless life," he said.
He further said that in a democratic set up, persons has all rights to claim but the state government is not ready to give due attention to their demand of empowerment and providing security the Sarpanchs and Panchs.


 ‘Rehabilitated’ militants crossed over to Pak for advanced training: Panun

Jammu, Apr 8: Rehabilitated militants had again crossed over to Pakistan for advanced training, alleged Ashwani Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir-an amalgam of Kashmiri Pandit organisations. The Jammu and Kashmir Government in concurrence with the Government of India, two years back, formulated a policy for "rehabilitation of surrendered militants in the State". Militants who have taken benefits under the 'rehabilitation policy' have again gone underground, and there is every likelihood that they might have gone back to Pakistan for 'recycling and advanced training.
"There seem to be no checks and balances and no coordination between the operating security agencies and dealing with the situation," Chrungoo said adding that the policy ostensibly involves the Governments of India, Pakistan and Nepal.
The recent killing of Panches and Sarpanches and attacks on the security forces can be a direct result of this skewed policy, he alleged and said, "the silence of the Union Government on the issue is intriguing and is tantamount to its policy failure and reminds one of the release of 77 dreaded militants in Kashmir in 1989 that was followed by a steep rise in terrorism."
The issue of so-called rehabilitation policy should be viewed in the larger context of the Kashmir situation, he said and added that the Kashmiri Pandits as victims of terrorism are languishing for the last more than two decades.
"The recent statements of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, on the question of the accession of the state and his espousal of Liyaqat Shah, the Pak returned militant, have further complicated the political milieu in the state," he added.
Both autonomy and pre-1953 status are fundamentally retrogressive steps aimed at taking the state to the medieval times, he said.
He further said that the reference of the Kashmir Temples Bill to the Select Committee of the Assembly has made this issue complicated and more serious.
Panun Kashmir treats all temples, shrines and properties attached thereto in Kashmir as the common heritage of the Hindu society and would forcefully demand that the Bill should cover all these places of worship and reverence and bring them all under the purview of the Bill. (UNI)


 CAG pulls up J&K Govt for debt pile growing to Rs 36,267 crore


Jammu, Apr 8: Pulling up the Jammu and Kashmir government for its debt situation, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said the state's fiscal liabilities have gone up by 16 per cent to R 36,267 crore as on March end, 2012. "The overall fiscal liabilities of J&K State has increased from s 31,272 crore at the end of 31st March 2011 to s 36,267 crore at the end of 31 March 2012", said the CAG report for 2011-2012 fiscal, tabled in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly recently. The total liabilities comprise s 20,789 crore of internal debt, s 1,903 crore as loans and advances from Government of India and s 13,575 crore in the form of public account liability as on March 31st, 2012, CAG said.
The fiscal liability GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) ratio of the state declined from 65.6 percent at the end of 31 March, 2011 to 58.2 percent at the end of 31 March 2012, it said. The fiscal deficit of the state increased from Rs 1,930 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 3,694 crore in 2011-12, while primary deficit rose from Rs 143 crore to Rs 1,311 crore during the same period, it said.
The "state's own deficit" also increased from Rs 10,680 crore to Rs 21,730 crore during 2011-12, it said.
Interest payments on liabilities totalling Rs 2,383 crore constituted 11 per cent of the revenue expenditure of Rs 22,680 crore, the CAG said.
The CAG recommended strongly for strengthening tax administration to collect revenue arrears and take appropriate measures to reduce non-revenue expenditure.
It also called for preparation of an effective action plan to complete all projects promptly so that people derive benefits in time.


 Do not 'misinterpret' court observation on Guru: BJP


Jammu, Apr 8: Dissuading the separatist leadership as well as separatist friendly Kashmiri-centric political parties and leaders from misleading the people by 'misinterpreting' the content and spirit of Supreme Court order of April 6 staying the execution of 8 persons, Bhartiya Janata Party today said that a careful study of the judgment passed by Justice P Sathasivam and Justice M Y Eqbal makes it abundantly clear that nowhere have the Judges made any observation against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. "The comment made by the Court with regard to Afzal Guru is a mere ''procedural'' comment wherein the Judges observed that the intimation about execution of Afzal Guru should not have reached his family after his hanging and that this should not happen in other similar cases," Jitendra Singh, BJP State Chief Spokesperson and National Executive Member in a statement issued here said.
"Kashmir based politicians including those belonging to the ruling National Conference are infact committing a contempt of court by 'misinterpreting' the Supreme Court order and manipulating the same to present as if the court had endorsed the unconstitutional stand taken by certain NC leaders that Guru's execution was "selective'' or carried out without giving him an opportunity to go through the full judicial process," he added.
As regards ordering stay for four weeks on execution of eight persons whose mercy pleas had been rejected by the President, Dr Singh said that the Judges had taken congnizance of Advocate Colin Gonsalves' argument that delay in carrying out death sentence and adjudicating mercy pleas in all these cases ranged from 3 to 12 years.
"Therefore there could be a ground for seeking commutation of death penalty to life imprisonment," he added.
The BJP leader however, warned that the politicians who are trying to raise the Afzal Guru bogey following April 6 Supreme Court judgment are, infact playing a game of divisive politics through appeasement of anti-India elements in the Valley.


  Fresh WD in J&K

Srinagar, Apr 8: A fresh Western Disturbance (WD) is likely to hit Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours which could result in rain or thundershowers. However, there would be an increase in precipitation during the next two days from tomorrow evening, a Met department spokesman said here this afternoon. He said WD, originating in the Arabian Sea is likely to enter the region after crossing Afghanistan and Pakistan tomorrow.
There could be light rain or thundershowers at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours, he said but warned that there would be an increase in precipitation from tomorrow evening which will continue for 48 hours.
People woke up to a cloudy sky in the Kashmir valley after above normal minimum temperature.
World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, health resort of Pahalgam, Leh and border town of Kargil recorded below two degree minimum temperature.
The summer capital, Srinagar, witnessed a two degree drop in the minimum temperature against yesterday's 9 degrees. The met spokesman said there would be possibility of light rain or thundershowers tomorrow in the city. (UNI)


10-yr-old shot at

Jammu: A ten-year-old boy was today shot to death by an unidentified gunman in mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.
"A boy identified as Tauseef Ahmed, resident of village Bewali was shot from a rifle by an unidentified gunman while he was playing outside his residence," Arif Rishu-SP Doda here said.
He said that the boy was immediately shifted to the hospital but was declared as brought dead. "We have registered a case and investigating the matter while manhunt is on to identify and apprehend the culprit," he added.


 Shiksha Niketan felicitates 8th Class position holders

JAMMU, APR 8: Continuing its exceptional performance in the education sector, the Shiksha Niketan Senior Secondary School (SNSSS) has once again bagged eight positions in the eighth standard results declared by DIET yesterday.
The school marked yet another milestone of hundred percent result in the said exams over which the parents and guardians of the students have expressed their gratitude to the school management.
There were 154 students who had appeared in the 8th class examination out of which eight have scored positions while others have successfully passed the examination that too in good ranks.
Those who have scored positions included Varun Mangotra 6th position, Mayank Mahajan and Balvinder Kour 7th position, Sunil Saini and Kanishka Thapa 8th position, Sonali Sharma and Sableen Kour 9th position and Karandeep Kour 10th position.
Principal of the school while felicitating the students congratulated them as well as their parents for the meritorious performance.


DGP hands over prizes to raffle draw winners

JAMMU APR 8: The Director General of Police (DGP), Ashok Prasad distributed fabulous prizes among the raffle draw winners of Police Public Mela which was held at Jammu on 31st March, 2013.
As many as 22 prizes of raffle draw were handed over to the winners during an impressive function held at Police Headquarters (PHQ) here this evening.
On the occasion, the DGP congratulated the prize winners and extended good wishes to them for their happy and prosperous life. He also gave them valuable suggestions to make best use of the prizes.
The Bumper prize was handed over to the winner Shakeel Ahmed of Sopore, who has won the prize against raffle draw ticket no: A-38635. Besides, 4 Santro cars were handed over to the first prize winners Abdul Rashid of Pulwama, Fayaz Ahmed of Anantnag, Parvinder Singh of Batmaloo and Syed Inam-Ullah of Narbal, who have won the prizes against ticket numbers C-15475, A-43230, E-30382 and B-31705 respectively.
Likewise, 4 Alto Cars were handed over to the second prize winners Mohammad Yousuf of Devsar Kulgam, Shabir Ahmed Qureshi of Beerwah, DK Muttoo of Janipur and Pawan Kumar of Dansal Jammu who have won the prizes against ticket numbers D-03957, E-42207, B-17141, and C-34753 respectively.
Similarly, 2 Nano Cars were handed over to the winners namely Sumit Sharma of Udhampur and Ashok Kumar of Kathua who have won the prizes against ticket numbers B-53642 and E-52377.
Similarly, three Motor Cycles were handed over to the winners namely Yograj of Kathua, Fayaz Ahmed of Ganderbal and Harbans Lal of Vijaypur who have won the prizes against ticket numbers A-34868, B-73475 and E-55377. Besides, two Scooties were handed over to Lekhraj of Doda and Arun Kumar of Bhaderwah, who have won the prizes against ticket numbers A-93828 and B-03854.
The prize winners hailed the transparent process in which raffle draw was held and expressed the hope that they will participate in such Melas in future also. They said that the Police Public Mela has been gaining momentum every year and has become an attractive event for the people.
Among others, the function was attended by ADGP (Headquarters), SP Vaid, DIG (Administration) PHQ, RP Resutra, AIG (Welfare) PHQ, RS Samyal, AIG (Buildings), Shabir Ahmed, Director Prosecution (PHQ) Mushtaq Ahmed and other senior police officers.


BZAC demands District status to Billawar, to protest on Apr 24

BILLAWAR, APR 8: Convener Billawar Zila Andolan Committee (BZAC), Hari Chand Jalmeria Advocate has strongly reacted to the statement of the Chief Minister made in the Assembly last week wherein he refused to create any new district in the state. Addressing meetings at Billawar, Bhaddu, Bathri, Dharamkot, Rampur, Durang, Dangara, Gurha Kalyal and Nagrota Gujroo, Jalmeria said that the decision of the State Govt. refusing to create Billawar District is unacceptable. Billawar, Basohli and Bani have been discriminated in the field of development and also when 8 new districts were created by the State Govt. ignoring the genuine claim of Billawar district. Jalmeria said that this area has dimension of 250x150 kilometers covering three tehsils.
The Billawar Zila Andolan Committee decided to hold one day Protest Dharna on 24th April 2013 at tehsil ground Billawar against the State Govt. decision of the rejecting the demand for creating Billawar District. Sarpanchs of Bhaddu (Naresh Kumar Sharma), Dadwara (Jatinder Singh Bhadwal Advocate) and Durang (Birendera Singh Advocate) organized meetings in their respective Panchayats.
During the two days' campaign, Jalmeria was accompanied by BR Upadhyay, Ram Dhan, Bishan Dass Sharma, Raghunath Singh, Bhagwan Singh, Prem Singh Bhadwal, Mohinder Kumar, Kamal Singh Jamwal, Arvind Singh Jalmeria, and Khayali Ram. They called upon the people to join the 24th April protest dharna in large numbers.


SNM organizes camp on World Health Day

LEH, APR, 8: On the eve of World Health Day, District Health Department Leh organized a health camp on the theme "Control your blood pressure, control your life" for elderly people at Sonam Norboo Memorial Hospital (SNMH) Leh.
The LAHDC Chief Executive Councilor Rigzin Spalbar was chief guest on the occasion while Executive Councilor for Health Dr. Sonam Wangchuk was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Lauding the Health Department for holding the Camp, CEC advocated for holding such camps in the remote villages particularly in the winter months when people are free so that they can avail maximum benefit from such camps. Holding individual manners and habits responsible for causing various types of diseases, the CEC stressed upon adhering to "prevention is better than cure".
He also inspected the stalls displayed by the medical staff and while conducting a round of medical wards he interacted with the indoor patients to know about their well being.
Speaking on the occasion Executive Councilor Dr. Sonam Wangchuk mentioned in detail about the two types of diseases communicable and non-communicable dieses and its precautions method.
Deputy Commissioner Leh Tsering Angchok expressing satisfaction over functioning of Health Department informed that about R 45 crore has been sanctioned under PM package to complete the three New Blocks at SNM Hospital.
Earlier presenting the welcome speech, District Health Officer Dr. Morup Dorjay informed about the establishment of World Health Organization (WHO) and its functions.
A scintillating culture programme was presented by the medical staff to spread health awareness message on the occasion.
Presenting vote of thanks on the occasion Dr. P. Tsering, Medical Superintendent highlighted the issue of medical staff shortage at SNM Hospital.


'Rs 1.10 cr DPRs for up-gradation of power infrastructure'

JAMMU, APR 8: Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmad Khan today directed the executing agencies to ensure time-bound completion of Core sector projects taken up in Rajouri district to upgrade the basic amenities.
During his extensive tour of Rajouri district, the Minister took stock of people's problems and also inspected the pace of progress on Patarora-Gambair Muglan, Gambair Muglan to Htansari and Gambair Muglan to Baroote roads.
The Minister was apprised that these road projects are being constructed at a cumulative cost of R 13.84 crore under PMGSY and after completion would provide road connectivity to over 20,000 population of these border areas.
The Minister instructed the concerned Engineers to redouble their efforts and accelerate the pace on the on-going projects to ensure time-bound completion and utilization of quality material.
During the tour, the Minister conducted Public Darbar at Gambair Muglan and listened to people's problems and developmental needs. He issued on-the-spot instructions to the concerned officers for mitigating genuine problems and developmental needs of the people well in time. He instructed officers to conduct frequent visits to remote and border areas for timely redressal of people's needs besides close monitoring of the developmental projects. He also directed concerned officers to ensure that the benefits of welfare schemes percolate down to the deserving people.
The Minister said that government was committed to develop hilly and remote areas at par with urban areas, adding that in this regard several innovative measures are already underway in these areas.
He informed that the power infrastructure in the area would be upgraded and for the purpose DPRs of s 1.10 crore has already been formulated under RAPDRP.
He said government was also considering establishment of more health centres in the State this year with special focus on the hilly and remote areas.
The Minister during his visit addressed series of public meetings in the area and called upon the people to take full benefits of government launched welfare schemes and flagship programmes for their socio-economic transformation.


Teachers have pivotal role in transformation of Society: Dy CM

SRINAGAR, APR 8: Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand today urged teaching fraternity to come up to the expectations of the people by utilizing their experience, skills and qualification for the welfare of society.
Tara Chand assured that teachers who perform well shall be awarded while stern action shall be taken against the poor performers. He directed for constituting a committee which shall examine the teachers on the basis of their performance during last three years.
This was stated by Tara Chand while responding to the demands put forth by the various deputations of Teachers forum, Lecturers forum and other representatives who called upon the Deputy Chief Minister at Winter Secretariat here today.
To streamline the education policy for restructuring the quality education and better results, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the Government has set up a panel of educationists to give suggestions for framing an education policy for the State and directions have been already given to constitute a committee for recommendations in this regard.
Responding to the demands put forth by the deputationists regarding the transfer of Lecturers, Teachers and Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers, the Deputy Chief Minister said that their demands shall be looked into on priority. He also said that the period of service rendered by the teachers in remote and far-flung areas shall be curtailed by one year.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that teaching is a noble profession and teachers are the nation builders so they should deliver their best with dedication and devotion and come up to the expectations of the society.
While hailing the efforts and steps taken by Tara Chand in reforming the School Education Department all the representatives unanimously said that Tara Chand has actually taken steps on ground rather than hallow promises. They said that various issues including departmental promotions which was a long pending demand of teachers, Masters and Incharge lecturers have been fulfilled.
The Director, School Education, Kashmir, Mohammad Shafi Rather was also present on the occasion.


LPG home delivery in all towns by May 30: Ramzan

JAMMU, APR 8: With the successful implementation of home delivery in Jammu and Srinagar, Minister for Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution and Transport, Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan today directed Oil & Gas Companies to ensure LPG home delivery in all towns of the state by May 30, 2013 positively.
The Minister said this while reviewing the supply position of LPG in the state and implementation of home delivery in twin capitals of the state at a high level meeting here this morning.
Minister of state for Technical Education, Information and CAPD, Vikar Rasool was also present in the meeting.
The Ministers directed the Oil & gas Companies to ask their dealers to set up infrastructure for the purpose in advance and publicise the contact numbers of their respective gas agencies in print media to facilitate the consumers.
He further directed that there would be no point delivery after launching the home delivery in the towns.
The Meeting also discussed the setting up of new gas agencies at block level and asked the secretary CA&PD to visit the locations identified by the oil and gas companies under RGGVY to ensure that every block of the state was covered under the programme.
Secretary CA&PD, Mohammad Abass, Director CA&PD, Jammu, State Level Coordinator, IOC, J&K, Mr R.K Shahab, Sr. Regional Manager, HPCL, J&K, Ashwani Kumar, Manager IOCL, Jammu Ajay Wazir, Manager ( sales) BPCL, Jammu, Ankur Mishra were present in the meeting.


Fast Track Courts to be established: Saifullah

JAMMU, APR 8: While addressing the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts held at New Delhi, the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Mir Saifullah, representing J&K dwelt in detail on the initiatives taken by the State Government to reduce pendency in the High Court and Subordinate Courts. The initiatives, he said, include filling up of vacant positions in the High Court and Subordinate Courts, creation of new courts and establishment of Dehi Adalats.
The Minister also said that establishment of Fast Track Courts is under active consideration of the State Government to facilitate speedy disposal of cases and early dispensation of justice. He said that the State Government has also taken various steps to upgrade the judicial infrastructure in the State adding that the government was considering increasing the funding to meet this goal. He informed that the State was keen to ensure Juvenile Justice and for the purpose Care and Protection of Children Bill, 2013 has been passed by the State Legislature in the recently held Budget Session. It will be new beginning for welfare of needy juvenile in the State and its implementation process would be initiated soon, he added.


CA&PD dealers call on minister, highlight demands

DODA APR 8 : A deputation of Dealers Association of district Doda called on the minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Choudhary Mohd Ramzan at Jammu today and apprised him of the difficulties being faced by them in Doda. They presented a memorandum of demands including enhancement of their commission, payment of rent of the shops/ buildings in which CA&PD outlets are situated, waiving of cost of empty jute bags and overcoming the losses due to shortage of food grains in transit. The deputation also raised the demand of bringing the dealers of CA&PD under the purview of service rules so that a job security and benefits of post active service are extended to this category of employees.
The minister gave a patient hearing to the deputation and assured the dealers of sympathetic consideration of their genuine demands. The minister said that he has called a meeting of the higher authorities of the department and the demands presented by the Dealers Association Doda would be included in the agenda of the meeting for further discussion and decisions. The minister appreciated the deputation for taking up the cause of the dealers of CA&PD which will benefit the dealers of other parts of the state also.
The deputation was led by Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy MLC while Chaman Lal Bhagat Ex-MLA, Niaz Ahmed Zargar President Dealers Association Doda, Anayat-Ullah Dealer Koti, Akhter Hussain Marmat, Mohd Shafi, Daali and Hari Krishan dealer Dessa were also in the deputation.



Rana visits Talab Khatikan, interacts with prominent citizens

JAMMU, APR 8: Provincial President National Conference Devender Singh Rana today extensively visited Talab Khatikan in the interiors of the Jammu city and interacted with prominent citizens of the area.
Accompanied by Ajaz Jan, MLA Poonch, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Provincial Secretary, Abdul Karim Wani, Mohammad Ayub Malik, Peer Hussain Nisar Shah, Rahim Dad, Rajesh Bakshi, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Surinder Singh Bunty,Pardeep Bali, Dilshad Begum, Rita Gupta,Pankaj Kohli, Rakesh Chib, Mudasir Zargar, Sanjay Gupta, Narinder Singh Talwar, the Provincial President was apprised about the progress on widening of the approach road to Jamia Masjid.
He assured the Intzamia of the Masjid that the issue with regard to early completion of the road widening in the mosque periphery will be taken up with all concerned for its timely completion. He emphasized the importance of the area and said this is required to be developed in a befitting manner keeping in view its aesthetic grandeur and historic significance.
Rana said that development of Talab Khatikan as per the Jammu City Master Plan will add a new feature to the grandeur of the city which remains hub of business activity round the year, particularly during the winter months.
Interacting separately with prominent citizens and party workers, the Provincial President reiterated his party's commitment to socioeconomic uplift of all the segments of society and equitable development of the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir and urged the people to cooperate in achieving this cherished agenda.
Rana spoke about the various initiatives taken for the faster development of the Jammu city and said that its strategic importance as gateway to the scenic Kashmir Valley and base camp for the pilgrims call for the holistic development, maintenance of health and hygiene besides availability of facilities in terms of infrastructure in the capital city.
He assured the people of the area that he will take up all these issues with the government and all concerned for expeditious implementation.
Rana also spoke at length about the achievements registered by the coalition government under the leadership of Omar Abdullah and said this journey will continue for all round development of the State. He said National Conference has been striving for inclusive development of all the areas in order to enhance the quality of living of the people.
Prominent among others who were present on the occasion included Talat Niaz Qazi, B.A. Rafiqui, Sheikh Zahoor, Salim Khan, Mohsin Salaria, Imran Salaria, Sadiq Malik, Parvez Malik, Mohammad Reyaz, Rahil Malik, Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Sadiq.


Enhanced basic services being extended on priority: Bhalla

JAMMU, APR 8: Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture, Raman Bhalla, today said that present Government has registered unprecedented development during last four years with expansion of improved basic amenities in the state with emphasis on unattended parts.
This was stated by the Minister while addressing a large gathering at Rakh Gaddigarh after inaugurating R 7 lakh development works.
The Minister said government has launched various schemes to upgrade the living standards of the poor lot of urban pockets in the State. He called upon the poor to avail the benefits of schemes like Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) and Indira Awas Yojna (IAY).
Listing the measures taken by the Government in Bhour camp and Gaddigarh, Bhalla said the Government has earmarked s 4.77 crore for construction of two Primary Health Centres (PHCs), one each at Lower Gaddigarh and Bhour Camp adding the hospitals would be dedicated to the people soon with all latest healthcare facilities at par with Gandhi Nagar hospital.
To ease rush at Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh hospital (SMGS) in Shalimar, a 7-storey maternity hospital costing s 70 crore is in progress at the available land near Government Gandhi Nagar hospital which is expected to be completed by next year.
Deliberating upon other measures being taken by the government, Bhalla said the Government has also approved s 1.53 crore for construction of cremation ground with facilities of waiting shed, approach road, bath ghat and s 1.40 crore for Revenue Complex at Lower Gaddigarh. He asked the executing agencies to put their sincere efforts in completing the projects within stipulated time frame for convenience of the general masses.
The Minister further informed that the Government has earmarked s 1.50 crore for construction of multipurpose community hall near Kanshipuram ashram, adding that on its completion the locals would be able to arrange their social as well as religious functions on nominal fee.
Bhalla assured the people that all their genuine demands and development needs would be fulfilled in a phased manner.
For development of surrounding areas of ancient Ranbir Nath Ji temple near Jammu airport, the Minister said the Government has released s 89 lakh for construction of approach road, landscaping, toilet complex, illumination, seating, jogging track and car parking facilities for the visitors. He said the project is being executed by tourism department under Border Area Tourism Development Programme, Suchetgarh and would be completed by December this year.
Regarding up gradation and expansion of Jammu Airport, the Minister informed that centre government has approved s 71 crore for this purpose adding the project envisages upgradation of facilities at par with International standards.
Later, at Central Mohallah in Bahu Fort, Bhalla also launched construction work of approached steps including retaining wall and surface drain from central Mohallah to Qasim Nagar, for which Government has earmarked s 9 lakh.


7 PoK guests arrive, 17 Kashmiris cross over

SRINAGAR, Apr 8: Seven fresh guests from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) arrived here this afternoon while 17 Kashmiris crossed over to other side of the Line of Control (LoC) at Kaman post, the last Indian military post in Uri sector.
Eight PoK residents also returned to their homes after completing their stay in Kashmir with their relatives, separated in 1947, official sources said here.
They said seven PoK residents, including four women arrived at Kaman post after crossing the Aman Setu, peace bridge, on foot this afternoon.
They said 17 Kashmiris, including nine women and a child, crossed over to PoK to meet their relatives.
So far 42 PoK residents and 126 Kashmiris have crossed sides on LoC in the Karvan-e-Aman bus operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of PoK since April 7, 2005.
The service has helped thousands of families divided in 1947 due to partition to meet each other.


Div Com finalizes Baisakhi Festival arrangements

JAMMU, APR 8: A number of mega cultural events are being organized during Baisakhi Festival from April 13 to 15 in Jammu city, Akhnoor, Mansar, Surinsar and Billawar by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with other departments.
This was informed in the high level meeting convened here today under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner Jammu Pardeep Gupta.
The meeting was attended by Director Tourism Jammu Soujanya Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Jammu Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Deputy Commissioner Samba Mubarak Singh, Joint Director Information Jammu Smita Sethi, XEN PHE Ashok Gandotra, XEN PDD A. K. Chibber, other senior officers of Police and various departments besides Chairman Jammu Vikas Pariatan Mandal Ravi Mahajan, President Jammu Hotels and Lodges Association Inderjeet Khajuria, President Khatika Talab Hotel Association Jammu Ashiq Hussain and President Businessman Association Jammu B. B. Kotwal.
Spelling out the details in the meeting, Director Tourism Jammu informed the meeting that Tourism Department has proposed Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Jeo Potha River Front, Akhnoor, Mansar/Surinsar and Naj Ground Billawar as the main venues for holding varied Cultural and other events during the three-day Baisakhi Festival. He said inauguration of the festival would to be held on April 13 evening at Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex.
The main attractions of the event are Heritage Miniature Camp at Mubarak Mandi Complex, cultural programmes in all the three days, Heritage Photo Exhibitions, illumination of Mubarak Mandi Complex, Audio visual historical feature, Dogra Food Stalls and Fire works on April 15, etc.
He said that during Festival at Jeo Potha river front Akhnoor, organizing of Arti at the banks of river Chenab would be the main event on April 13, 2013. The events to be held at Mansar and Surinsar include cultural programmes, Dogra Food Stalls J&K Indian Style Wrestling Competition-Surinsar on 13 April at 3 p.m.
Regarding the arrangements made for smooth conduct of the festival and facilitating the visitors during the festival days, the meeting was apprised that all necessary arrangements have been made by the Tourism and other departments involved in the conduct of the festival.


Cleanliness Drive initiated in Tingmosgang

LEH, APR 8: In order to keep the fragile environment neat and clean, villagers of Tingmosgang, led by Nambardar Tashi Dorjay in collaboration with Primary Health Center Tingmosgang initiated Cleanliness Drive on Sunday.
In the Cleanliness Drive, a large number of School children, villagers, youth, Ama Tsogspa headed by its President Tsering Lazes, Medical staff headed by Dr. Shamim and other volunteers were present. Drive was carried out in all the surrounding areas, including the main stream (Tokpo) which was badly damaged during the 2010 flash flood and tons of garbage was removed from the spot.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shamim asserted upon keeping a neat and clean surrounding to avoid viral infection and other communicable diseases in the areas. He said that Tingmosgang is a booming tourist place and responsibility lies on all the residents to keep the area clean, which would also set an example for other villages.
Expressing happiness over mass participation in the drive, Nambardar Tashi Dorjay advised the students not to throw paper waste and other wrappers everywhere and instead make proper use of dustbin.
While distributing pamphlets with cleanliness and personnel hygienic tips to the students, Dorjey pressed hard for the implementation of the same in letter and spirit.


AISF demands building for GDC Kihotran

DODA, APR 8: All India Students Federation (AISF) unit Gandoh Bhalessa held a meeting with the students of Government Higher Secondary School Gandoh, under the Chairmanship of AISF District Vice President Mohd Saleem.
In the meeting various issues and problems related to the students were discussed which included construction of Building for Government Degree College Kihotran, Half fare charges for students, lack of staff in different Higher Secondary Schools etc.
Speaking on the occasion, a student said that in the absence of the other optional subjects like EVS and Physical Education in the School, the students are compelled to study Mathematics in Class 12th as Additional Subject.
Addressing the gathering, Saleem assured the students that their demands would be highlighted before the concerned authorities for the earlier redressal. Saleem appealed to the Government for constructing the building of Government Degree College Kihotran at the earliest, failing which the students will hold protest.
Others present in the meeting included Mohd Ashraf, Pardeep Sharma, Mohd Younis, Koshal Kumar, Balinder Singh, Liquat Ali, Rajan Manhas and Koshal Rathore.


PDP flays Govt for apathetic attitude

JAMMU, APR 8: PDP Migrant Wing convened a meeting at PDP Office Gandhi Nagar, here today. All the members present in the meeting have condemned the attitude of Government for not passing the temple and shrine bill.
Speaking on the occasion, the leaders alleged that this pathetic attitude has once again punctured the hollow slogans of the State Government, regarding the return of Kashmiri Pandits to valley. The unholy intention of the Government to root out the last symbols of the community of which the Sufi's and saints where proud of, by not passing the temple bill and deliberately left the temples at the mercy of God.
The syndrome developing in the minds of ruling Government against the community has crossed the limits. It recalls the period of Monarchs' at that time the people were treated in the same way. This is clear message to the KPs from the Government, who do not bother for the sentiments of the community and are only after the slaughtering of Kashmiriyat, for their vested interests. It is time to wake up and show your presence generously in political arena and consolidate the big vote bank of four lakh people and change the fate of the people of the State in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular by way of express your inner wish in 2014 against the corrupt, callous, in-human Government. Well said in all pious religious scripture it is foolishness to test once again to those, who have been already time test. Those who spoke in the meeting included Ashok Bhat, R K Pardesi, P K Sharma, Sunil Bhat, Ashok Sidha, S K Raina, J L Raina, Anju Bhan, Anil Pandita and Nana-Jee Wattal.


AJKUTF holds convention to highlight problems

RAJOURI, APR 8: A one-day convention of All Jammu Kashmir United Teachers' Federation (AJKUTF) was held here today to discuss various problems of teacher community, particularly recent promotions/ transfer policy, salary issue of SSAs etc.
The convention was presided over by Satish Sharma President AJKUTF.
Speaking on the occasion, Sharma expressed his concern over the pending salaries of the teachers/Masters since months and urged upon the Government to draw their salary without any further delay.
He also expressed anguish over the irregularities adopted by the employees of Education Department, over the recent promotion lists which were issued without any scrutiny or verification. He added that the war footing promotions of retired /already promoted and even dead ones have been made the by the Department due to the negligence of staff deputed for preparing these lists.
Chairman Regional Employees Front Shahbaz Khan, said there are so many irregularities and mistakes in seniority list. Some masters who are working as masters since six to ten years have been shown as teachers in this list which clearly shows negligence on the part of concerned employees, who have not scrutinized the seniority lists and have not bothered to verify the present position.
Leaders alleged irregularities and gross violation by the staff engaged for preparing fixing of seniority for promotion
Khan demanded probe in fixing of the seniority for promotion of +2 lecturers by employees of the Department. He also suggested that while promoting teachers as lecturers, the seniority must be considered from date of passing the post graduate examination, instead of the date of first appointment if Government is really sincere to raise the standard of education.
Khan expressed his concern over the fact that the Post Graduate Teachers/Masters in all streams particularly in Sociology with professional Degree were not promoted inspite of completing more than 25 to 30 years in the Department, which clearly shows the seriousness of the Department in raising the standard of Education.


BJP demands bifurcation of Rajouri

RAJOURI, APR 8: Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has demanded bifurcation of Rajouri district to form Nowshera and Sunderbani as two separate districts.
In a press statement issued here after completion of two days extensive tour of Nowshera Sub-Division, State Vice-President of BJP Vibodh Gupta said that the area is facing a lot of problems, pertaining to power, water, shortage of medicare and road connectivity, and the same are going to escalate in upcoming summer season.
Demanding district status to Nowshera and Sunderbani belt, Gupta said that bifurcation of the District would help the population of both the areas. He also said that inspite of having MLAs from ruling parties, the condition of power sector is grim and that of roads is dilapidated, making locals to suffer the most.
Gupta also said that during his two days tour of Nowshera division, he interacted with locals of far flung areas who apprised the party cadre about the problems being faced by residents.
Those who accompanied him during his visit included Mandal President Mool Raj Sharma, Surinder Anand, Narinder Sharma, Vishal Gupta and others.


Court acquits accused in NDPS Case

JAMMU, APR 8: Principal Sessions Judge Kathua MK Hanjura today acquitted one Narotam Singh, S/o Janak Singh who was allegedly involved in NDPS case, as prosecution miserably failed to prove its case.
According to the police, on April 5, 2007 a tanker, bearing registration No. HR-38F-7013, on way from Jammu to Lakhanpur, was stopped by a Police patrol party during routine checking at Naka post Kalibari. At the moment Laxman Singh (dead now) was driving the tanker while as the accused Narotam Singh was travelling in the cabin. On checking the tanker, it was found loaded with ten packets containing poppy straw. These were concealed in the showcase fabricated near the engine. Each packet weighed one kg. A sample of 60 gm was taken out of each packet for chemical analysis. The accused were detained. A case for offences u/s 8/15 NDPS Act bearing FIR no: 91 year 2007 was registered at the police station Kathua. The investigation of the case ensued. During the investigation the complicity of the accused in the alleged offences was made out. The accused were found transporting the poppy straw powder, weighing 60 kg, without valid documents. On the completion of the investigation of the case, a charge sheet for the offences under section 8/15 NDPS Act was preferred against the accused in this court.
After hearing Advocate Ganga Ram for the accused person, Public Prosecutor Ravi Gupta for the state, Principal Sessions Judge Kathua MK Hanjura observed that the cumulative effect of all that has been said and done above is that the prosecution has not presented its case in a manner beyond any shadow of doubt. It has not been proved that the seized contraband belonged to the plant papaver somniferum. The percentage of morphine found in the contraband has not been stated by the chemical analyst. The link evidence is missing in the case. There is disparity in the weight of the samples allegedly taken by the police authorities and sent for chemical analysis. Viewed in the total context the prosecution case straightaway merits the acquittal of the accused. Accordingly, the accused is acquitted of the charges levelled against him and stands released from bail bonds. (JNF)


DB issues notice in review petition against enhanced water charges

JAMMU, APR 8: A Division Bench of J&K High Court at its Jammu Wing comprising Justice Mansoor Ahmed Mir and Justice DS Thakur today issued notice returnable within four weeks to State of J&K through Commissioner/Secretary PHE, Chief Engineer PHE and AEE PHE in a review petition filed by Sat Pal Rathore who earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation against the enhanced rate of water charges i.e. R920 instead R360 per year.
In the review petition it has been submitted that there is an error apparent on the face of the judgment because in the title it is mentioned that for the petitioner nobody was present, whereas Division Bench has mentioned that DB heard the counsel appearing for the parties and this is an error apparent on the face of the judgment. In has been submitted that the respondent state cannot do an act without any basis and state cannot use the powers in an arbitrary manner. No reason has been assigned for sudden increase in the water usage charges from R360 to R 800 and for the year 2012 it has been fixed as R 920 per annum that too for 100 LPCD. LPCD means per capita per day which means 100 litres of water will be provided per day. The rate so fixed is highly arbitrary and the state of Jammu & Kashmir has a custom of supplying free water to its subjects and even there was a custom of Chhabeels so that the water could be supplied to thirsty people which mostly include the public moving on the roads and the labourers earning their livelihood by dint of physical hard work. (JNF)


DB issues notice to UOI, State, cable operators

JAMMU, APR 8: In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Rajeshwari Katoch against the installation of set-top boxes in the Jammu, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice MA Mir and Justice DS Thakur after hearing petitioner in person issued notice to Union of India through Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Chairman TRAI, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Additional Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Take One JK Media Private Ltd and Space Communication Network with ASGI KK Pangotra waiving notice on behalf of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Advocate Ravinder Gupta waiving notice on behalf of Chairman Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India and Sr. Additional Advocate General Gagan Basotra on behalf of Deputy Commissioner Jammu and Additional Deputy Commissioner Jammu. Now notice shall go to Take One JK Media Private Ltd and Space Communication Network returnable within two weeks. The Bench directed the Registry to List the case after two weeks.
In the petition it has been submitted that the matter is of great public importance as also urgency as with every passing day, private respondents are coercing people to install set-top boxes, in Jammu much ahead of the scheduled time and making them enter into agreement to their disadvantages. (JNF)


Agriculture is the backbone of economy: Mir

SRINAGAR, APR 8: Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir today reiterated that the use of modern methods of agriculture production shall boost the economy of farmers in the state. He said that agriculture is the back bone of our economy and as many as 80 percent of the people are associated with agriculture sector, urging the use of modern technology and latest methods in the sectors of Horticulture, Floriculture, Apiculture, Pisciculture and other allied sectors, the Minister assured self sufficiency and sustenance for the farmers.
The Minister on the occasion asked the educated and unemployed youth of the state to work for creation of job awareness in the agriculture sector by establishing their income generating food processing units.
This was stated by the Minister at the inaugural sale exhibition of Farm Tractors organised by Escort Limited, Valley View Automobile Agency at Hotel Silver Star near Nougam Bye-pass.
The Minister also said that subsidy was provided for the sale of 800 tractors during last financial year by Agricultural Department. He said that every effort is being made for the mechanization of agricultural sector, besides awareness camps are being held for acquainting the farmers for adopting the high yield variety seeds for increasing the yield of crops so that the socio-economic condition of farmers are improved.


Police organizes awareness camp in Leh

LEH, APR 8: Police Post Khaltsi of District Police Leh in collaboration with Panchayat Halqa Skurbuchan and villages of Skurbuchan organized an one day awareness camp cum Police Public meeting at Skurbuchan yesterday on the topic "Role of Youth and Community in Eradicating Social Menaces".
Sarpanch, Panchs, Nambardar and youth of the Skurbuchan and surrounding villages attended the camp.
During the meeting, a number of prevailing social issues which lead to various crimes were discussed in detail.
Additional SP Leh Phunchok Sonam presided over the meeting. Incharge PP Khaltsi Jamyang Tsepal and eminent doctors attended the meeting and shared their views on the said topic.
Power point presentations on important social issues, need of people’s co-operation and relation with Police in maintaining public order and menace of Alcohol etc. were part of the awareness camp.
During the meeting, an open discussion was also held wherein several speakers amongst the audience shared views and threadbare discussion took place viz a viz role of police, community and youth in eradicating social menaces like drugs, alcohol, rash driving and need of improvement in relation between youth and police.
Addressing the gathering, Phunchok Sonam emphasized the people to co-operate with police in eradication of various social issues.


Youth join Congress in Bishnah

BISHNAH, APR 8: Satish Sharma Youth President LYC Jammu-Poonch conducted an extensive tour of Panchayat Pandorian in Bishnah Constituency, during which he addressed a number of public meetings. A large number of local youth also joined hands with the party on the occasion.
While addressing youth Sharma felt that the people residing in villages are not benefited from the ongoing development schemes launched by union Government and appealed to the State Government to empower the Panchayats.
Addressing a public meeting, Sharma said that Congress party believes in grass root governance and Central leadership has also given a clear cut message for the empowerment. He inspired the youth to take full benefit of the various skill development schemes initiated by Government of India through various agencies to earn a dignified livelihood e.g Himayat, Umeed, Hunar se Rozgar.
Sharma added there is a need to improve the quality of education in Government Schools as the GOI has opened the door of treasures to strengthen the education sector in the state through its flagship programmes like SSA, RAMSA. He also thanked Party high command particularly Sonia Gandhi Chairperson UPA, Rahul Gandhi Vice President AICC for re-appointing Prof. Saif-u-din Soz as JKPCC President in view of his honesty, commitment and meritorious services rendered to the party. Shashi Sharma also spoke on the occasion and raised the issues being faced by the locals.
Those present on the occasion included Charanjeet Cheeku, Rajan Sharma, Satinder Kumer AYC President, Pritam Singh Sarpanch, Sikander Sharma Panch, Rajesh Sharma, Gulshan Kumar, Nitish Mahajan, Gharu Ram and others.


Shia Federation highlights demands

JAMMU, APR 8: Shia Federation Subha Jammu today held a massive demonstration and dharna, to press their demands.
Over 200 members of Shia community from various parts of Jammu and Kashmir province joined the demonstration and dharna.
The protestors demanded restoration of Peer Mitha Police station premises to the community, for its inclusion back into the Karbla Complex.
The President of the federation Ashiq Hussain Khan complained that the premises where Peer Mitha police station (adjoining the Karbla Complex), has been constructed, originally belongs to the community and is a part of the Complex. It was unauthorizedly encroached upon by the administration.
He added that firstly a police post was set-up by raising a tent there, later a building was constructed at the spot for the police post, which was then upgraded to a police station and a new posh building has been constructed there.
Hussain further said that the state Governments, right from the times of Dogra rulers to the popular Governments, has been allotting lands to the religious communities for their shrines etc, but in this case the land which belonged to the community from the very beginning and formed part of Karbla Complex, was encroached upon by the Government for setting up police station there.
The protestors further demanded setting up of Shia Community Advisory Board, on the pattern of Advisory Boards set up for Gujjars, Bakerwals, Pahari people, SC and ST Boards etc. The demonstrators also demanded political reservations in elected bodies, for the Shia community.
Hussain announced that in case their demands are not conceded by the Government soon, the federation will be constrained to take the next drastic step of resorting to hunger strike in the first week of May.
The General Secretary of the federation Dr Iftikhar Husaain Jafri ruled out that neither due compensation has not been paid to the farmers, most of whom belong to Shia community, whose lands were acquired for construction of Baghaliar Hydel Project, nor the members of their families have been absorbed at jobs in the project, as assured. He demanded jobs for the young members of the families whose lands were acquired for the project.
Jafri also complained that under PMGSY many villages in Mendhar tehsil Poonch have not been provided road connectivity. These villages must be brought under benefits provided to residents of boarder area (RBA), he demanded.
The Shia Community members from Chanderkott, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Mendhar, Dalera, Mandi joined a large number of Shias from Jammu city and its surroundings in the dharna and demonstration.
The special feature of the protest demonstration and dharna organized by the Shia Federation was the active support from the members of all other communities, from politicians to trade organizations and civil society to the Shia Community. These included Ravi Mahajan President JPVM, Indeerjeet Khajuria President AJHLA, S Peter Chairman Christian Dalit Association, Paramjeet Singh Sikh Student Federation, Kulwant Singh Sikh Naujawan Sabha, Baldev Khullar President RBBA, Ashwani Kumar Gummat Bazaar Association, Atul Rajpal President Rajinder Bazaar Association, Advocate Bupinder Singh, Ashok Gupta of Congress, Mushtak Hussain Bukhari of NC and Jhangir Mir Congress MLC from Poonch.
Representatives of Shia Community from Kashmir who joined the protest included Liaqat Ali of Shia Youth Federation Kashmir.
Other prominent members of Shia Community from Jammu who joined the protest included Gulam Ahmed Gani, Sayeed Jalil Ahmed, Hasthan Mohammad Anwar, Vantoo, Professor Zulfkar Ali Professor Saleem, Dr Amir Hussain, Dr Mushtaq Zulfkar Sheikh Sajad Husain Rizivi Vice- President, Sayeed Mohammad Bilal Qazmi Secretary, Sayid Fida Hussain Spokesman, Bashir Ahmed Mir, Nishat Ali Khan Treasurer, Tanveer Qureshi, Zaki Hyder President Anjman Jafari Poonch, Sarver Khan, Nasir Ali and Sayeed Shabir Hussain Shah.


Peerzada stresses for time bound completion of projects

JAMMU, APR 8: Minister for Public Enterprises, Haj, Auqaf and Floriculture, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed today chaired a meeting to review the pace of progress on construction and widening of approach road to Jamia Masjid Talab Khatikan.
Addressing the meeting, the Minister directed the concerned for early acquisition of land and removal of structures coming within the alignment of road, besides disbursement of compensation to the affected persons to pave way for timely completion of the project. He directed the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) to formulate a Master plan for the development of Talab Khatikan area. He said the development of area as per Master Plan would help to give a face lift to the area and promote tourist and economic activities in the area.
Stressing upon the need for timely completion of work on widening of road from Rajinder Bazar to Talab Khatikan, Peerzada said that it would help to ease the traffic rush in the area.
The meeting was informed that JMC has already initiated the steps for acquisition and removal of structures coming within the alignment of the road. The meeting was further informed that the affected people would be paid compensation by the district administration.
Among others, Commissioner Secretary, Revenue, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Joint Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Assistant Commissioner, Revenue Jammu and Administrator, Auqaf Islamia, Jammu attended the meeting.


Govt committed for more services at Khidmat Centres: Feroz

JAMMU, APR 8: The Information Technology and Science Technology (ITST) Department has mooted a project plan to upgrade the Khidmat centres by connecting these with district, divisional and state level headquarters to facilitate the people of remote areas to get information about various services and schemes being offered by the Government.
The information was given at a meeting of the department functionaries chaired by the Minister of state for Information Technology and Science Technology (ITST), Feroz Ahmad Khan here today.
The meeting was told that the proposed project aims at to make available more online services at Khidmat Centres including the information about disbursement of Old age pension, registration of un-employed youth, sanctioning of development and welfare schemes for a particular area , lodging of complaints, filing of application for issuance of Voter Identity Card , besides strengthening the services already being offered at these centres, including payment of Power and telephone bills, booking of railway and air tickets, besides other services.
Addressing the meeting, the Minister stressed the need to promote e-governance in the state by connecting the government set ups at all levels. He also reviewed the pace of progress in the implementation of various projects being implemented by the department to achieve the goal of e-governance in the state.
The meeting was informed that IT sector is growing fast in the state and has proved a very effective tool in the development of society and growth of economy. There are 801 CSC's (Khidmat Centres) functioning all over in the State, the meeting was informed.
Giving details of achievements of the department, the meeting was told that the department introduced Biometric Attendance System at Civil Secretariat both at Jammu and Srinagar, Wi-Fi system, created State Data Centre (SDC), and introduced Mobile Governance in the implementation of Border Area Development Plan (BADP), Wi-Fi at IMPA, CSC, State Services Delivery Gateway SSDG, Establishment of IT Parks and State Wide Area Network (SWAN)
The Minister expressed his satisfaction over the functioning of the department. However, he said that there was always room for improvement in every sector. He said that with the explosion in scientific scenario and temperament, it becomes imperative for one and all to popularise science subject among new generation and also to take maximum benefit from the schemes launched by Centre and State Governments in IT sector.
The Minister directed the officers to work in unison and coordinate with other departments so that the scheme launched by the government are implemented in letter and spirit for the benefit of the masses living in urban as well as rural areas.
Commissioner Secretary IT, ST Vipul Pathak, System Executive Dara Singh, Incharge State E-Mission, Shafqat and senior officers of Science Technology and Information Technology department attended the meeting.


Delegations meet Governor, highlight demands

JAMMU, APR 8: Various delegations met the Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here today. These included Shaheed Major Rohit Sharma Memorial Society, Mandi, Poonch, All J&K OBC Mahasabha, Kashmiri Pandit Conference and All Jammu and Kashmir Christian Minority Welfare Association.
The 8-member Shaheed Major Rohit Sharma Memorial Society delegation led by Akbar Ali Bandey, General Secretary of the Society, briefed the Governor about the activities of the Society during the past year and those planned for the coming months. They thanked the Governor for taking keen interest in the activities of this organization and development of the State, particularly remote areas like Mandi.
The demands presented by the delegation to the Governor on the occasion included establishment of an ITI at Mandi, augmenting accommodation and other facilities for the pilgrims of Buddha Amarnathji Shrine and provision of office for the Society in Jammu to give further boost to its activities.
Usman Baba, a Member of the Shaheed Major Rohit Sharma Memorial Society, and local artist of Jammu, presented one of his paintings to the Governor. The delegation stated that the Society is planning to organize exhibitions of Baba's work on the theme of "Peace and Harmony" at Srinagar in August this year, coinciding with the Independence Day, and in Jammu on the occasion of Republic Day 2014. The Governor assured the NGO that its initiatives aimed at spreading the message of peace and harmony would be supported.
The delegation of the Kashmiri Pandit Conference led by Kundan Kashmiri, President presented a memorandum of demands to the Governor which included, interalia, early enactment of Hindu Temples, Shrines and Religious Places Bill; speedy implementation of the Prime Minister's Rehabilitation Package for Kashmiri migrants; representation to the Kashmiri Pandit community in the State Council of Ministers, Legislature and in the Rajya Sabha; provision of financial assistance to the overage Kashmiri migrant youth to set up their income generating units and financial support to those of the Kashmiri migrants who are suffering from serious ailments and cannot afford the cost of treatment.
Other demands highlighted by the delegation included augmenting water and power supply at Jagti Township; facilitating visits of pilgrims from the State to the Sharda Mata Temple in POK and augmenting accommodation facilities for Kashmiri migrants at Jammu and Delhi who are putting up in rented accommodation.
The Governor heard the delegation patiently and observed that the issues raised by them would be taken up with the State Government.
The delegation of the All J&K OBC Mahasabha led by Bansi Lal Choudhary, Convener presented a Memorandum of demands to the Governor. The main demands included, interalia, provision of political reservation to the OBCs in the State, 27% reservation to them in the Government jobs in J&K as per the Mandal Commission recommendations and taking all the required measures for their rapid socio-economic advancement.
The 10-member delegation of the All Jammu and Kashmir Christian Minority Welfare Association led by Michael Wazir, President also presented to the Governor a Memorandum of demands including, interalia, setting up of an Advisory Board for the development and welfare of the Christian community in the State, provision of reservation to the Christian community in Government employment as well as in the professional institutions and putting in place hostel facilities for the students of this community in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
The Governor gave a patient hearing to the deputationists and observed that he would address the Chief Minister in regard to the issues raised by them. Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor, was present in all the meetings.


Week long Bakula Education Campaign takes off

LEH, APR 8: The weeklong Annual KG Bakula Education Campaign took off in Leh district today. The Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Rigzin Spalbar flagged off the Education Campaigners led by Executive Councilors and Councilors early this morning from the Council Secretariat from where they moved to various Sub Divisions and Blocks of Leh district to carry out the campaign.
Before flagging off the campaign teams for Nyoma, Durbuk, Nubra, Khaltsi and other blocks, Spalbar reiterated that "We need to put education system on the right track not by words but by action". The motive of this week long education campaign should be based on self introspection whether the teachers, parents and the policy makers really play their role proficiently or not, the CEC said adding that the need of the hour is to bring a positive change and ensure good results rather than only talking much about education.
Stressing upon the need for a potential education plan, strict implementation and close monitoring, Spalbar strongly felt the need to formulate action plan for all educational institutions indicating do's and don'ts, the current academic position, enrollment of students, strength of teaching staff, infrastructure facilities by devising a format carrying all statistics that could greatly help to review the functioning of each institution. In this context, the CEC directed the Chief Education Officer to create a website of Education Department displaying all the information concerning education as well as the measures and initiatives taken by the LAHDC in this direction.
Reiterating late KG Bakula Rinpochey's contribution in propagating the importance of education among the people of Ladakh in those days, the CEC said that what we have today in terms of educated people, development, luxuries and prosperity, all are the endowment of his wisdom bestowed to us.
Appealing to the media organizations to highlight the basic values of education and its importance through print and electronic medium throughout the year, CEC said that it will help to sustain the education campaign among the larger people and would truly bear fruits out of our efforts and endeavors. Spalbar felt the need to broadcast a regular education programme on AIR, Leh.
The Executive Councilor Health, Dr. Sonam Wangchok, EC, CAPD, Abbas Abidi, EC Agriculture, Sonam Dorjey, EC Tourism, Gyurmet Dorjey, the Councilors of LAHDC, Chief Education Officer, Leh, the ZEOs and the officers of ICDS were also present on the occasion.


Awareness camp organised on World Health Day

KARGIL, APR 8: World Health Day was marked by a programme organized by Health Department Kargil during which an awareness camp was held in the training hall at CMO office complex in Kargil. This year's theme for the day was "High Blood Pressure". Haji Gh. Hassan Khan Additional Deputy Commissioner Kargil was the Chief Guest on the occasion. During the camp Dr. Sajjad Hussain Surgeon Specialist CHC Sankoo and Dr. Nazir Ahmad Physician specialist NCD Clinic District Hospital Kargil delivered lectures on the theme through power point presentation. Dr. Shabir Hussain, Chief Medical Officer Kargil dwelt upon the aims, objectives and importance of the day and stressed upon the need to disseminate the message to people regarding the maintenance and prevention of High Blood Pressure. Hassan Khan Chief Guest of the occasion emphasized on imbibing the good health habits to maintain a good health.
Dr. Ibrahim Khan Deputy Chief Medical Officer Kargil, BMOs, Pharmacists, ANMs, AHSAs and the ANMT school students were also present on the occasion.


Panthers observe Rashtriya Chetna Diwas in Capital

DELHI, APR 8: National Panthers Party in cooperation with several social and political institutions and activists today observed Rashtriya Chetna Diwas for the first time in the history of the country. It was on 8th April, 1929 that S. Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt the two super revolutionary youth exploded a bomb inside the Parliament (Assembly) in Delhi where now stands the Parliament of India, warning the Britishers to quit India or face the wrath of the Indian youth. Both these youth were arrested inside the Parliament and taken to Raisina Police Station (Parliament Street Police Station). They were put on unjust trial and sentenced for life. They could not be sentenced to death because there was no casualty nor they had any attention to kill anybody it being only a warning explosion.
Addressing a distinguished gathering inside the Police Station at Delhi, Prof. Bhim Singh, paid tribute to the great martyrs but expressed regrets that national parties failed to bring this happening to the notice of the countrymen. He said S. Bhagat Singh was martyred in another case on March 23, 1931 whereas revolutionary Hero B.K. Dutt died in 1965. He doubted the sincerity of the national leadership towards the revolutionaries.
Prof. Bhim Singh also paid tributes to Shaheed Mangal Pandey who was hanged this day for having led the freedom struggle against the Britishers.
Prof. Singh declared that first freedom movement is over and the second freedom movement has started which shall be brought with the power of ballot and not the bullet. He called on the youth and the students to join the Rashtriya Chetna Abhiyan for the success of Second Freedom Movement through Ultimate Revolution.
Prominent among those who addressed the distinguished gathering in the Police Station included M/s. Sita Ram Yechury, MP & Sr. Leader of the CPM, Brig. Singh Deo, Former Defence Minister of India, Yoganand Shastri, Speaker in Delhi Assembly and GVG Krishnamurthy, Former Election Commissioner of India.


Ordnance celebrates 238th Corps Raising Day

UDHAMPUR, APR 8: Army Ordnance Corps celebrated its 238th Raising Day here today to commemorate its raising as the "Board of Ordnance" in 1775. The Corps is entrusted with the onerous task of managing a large and complex inventory and providing logistic support to the Army.
On this auspicious occasion, Lt Gen KT Parnaik, PVSM, UYSM,YSM, ADC, GOC-in-C Northern Command extended his greetings to all ranks, civilians and families of the Corps and lauded their professionalism, dedication and committed efforts to provide effective logistic support to the equipment intensive Field Army across a wide spectrum.
Maj Gen S Vayaboury, MG AOC Northern Command also felicitated all ranks and civilians of Northern Army Ordnance fraternity and exhorted them to rededicate themselves to the call of the Army with renewed vigour.

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