For 7 Years, I religiously waited for some evidence, but all in vain: Special CBI judge

Special CBI Judge OP Saini on Thursday rued that despite having “religiously” devoted seven years to 2G scam cases, no “legally admissible evidence” was placed before him by the CBI. The judge made the remark in his verdict acquitting former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and several others, including top corporate honchos, in three separate cases probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). “I may also add that for the last about seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the…

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Pakistan links Kashmir issue to Palestinian crisis at UNSC

Pakistan frequently raises the Kashmir issue at various UN forums. However, for the second consecutive year not a single other nation has come out in its support. Pakistan has raked up the Kashmir issue again at the UN Security Council, linking it to the Palestinian crisis and asserting that the world continues to watch these “egregious” situations without addressing them. Participating in an open debate at the UNSC, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi on Wednesday said challenges to international peace and security are intensifying at a time…

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‘Chillai Kalan’ Harshest winter period is here

There has been a respite in the cold wave in the Valley as the temperature has witnessed an increase. The temperature increased by as much as six degrees at some places due to rain. “The rise in temperature was due to the cloudy conditions last night,” said Director, Meteorological Department, Sonam Lotus. Meanwhile, residents are bracing up for ‘chillai kalan’, the 40-day harshest winter period, which begins tomorrow. During ‘chillai kalan’, which begins with the winter solstice, the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent. The weather remains cold…

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Ration shortage triggers protest in Jammu

The workers of Dogra Front & Shiv Sena (DF&SS) today held a protest demonstration in the city against Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Department over shortage of ration and deletion of names from ration card lists. Carrying empty utensils, the protesters led by DF&SS president, Ashok Gupta raised slogans against the government for not supplying ration in the government depots as also deleting the names of some ration card holders, especially the BPL families, from the list thus depriving them of the ration commodities. As per a press…

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HC asks PDA to consult experts for hotel renovations

The J&K High Court has directed the Pahalgam Development Authority to appoint and consult a technical expert for supervising the repair and renovation of any structure or hotels in and around the Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir. These directions were issued on Monday by a division bench of Justice Mohamad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey following public interest litigation on Pahalgam. Earlier in October, the court in its directions had sad that no fresh construction should be allowed in Pahalgam, and if any renovation or repair of…

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Allege bias, Ladakh leaders push for separation from Kashmir

Given the “discriminatory” policies of successive governments towards the remote Ladakh region, the regional divide has deepened to such an extent in Jammu and Kashmir that the elected representatives of Ladakhi people are now openly demanding “separation of Ladakh from the Kashmir hegemony”. Their grudge against the Kashmir-centric leadership lies rooted in the alleged decades-long discrimination against the people of Ladakh in every sphere, be it for jobs, education, benefits of schemes or political representation. “We want to be separate from Kashmir because Kashmir-centric leadership, Kashmir-centric policy and the Kashmir-centric…

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Governor returns Tassaduq Mufti’s papers with queries, Minister of State for Haj and Auqaf resigns

Governor NN Vohra has returned to the government with queries the nomination papers of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tassaduq Mufti to the Legislative Council. Sources in the PDP-BJP government said the Governor had raised certain queries over the procedure and the circumstances suggesting Tassaduq’s nomination as a member of the Legislative Council to fill the vacancy caused by resignation of PDP’s MLC Vikramaditya Singh from the House a few weeks ago. Vikramaditya had also quit the PDP to protest against what he alleged the discriminatory attitude of the government…

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Police admit ‘Misuse’ of pellets, top officer cautions SSP’s

The police have admitted that pellets fired by its men and other forces in Kashmir are hitting the protesters on their faces and above-waist in violation of the standard operating procedures governing crowd control. A communiqué issued by Kashmir range inspector general of police Muneer Khan to all senior superintendents of police reads that it has been observed that still in certain cases pellets are being fired above the waist and sometimes on the faces which is completely against the “prescribed SOP devised for the use of pellet guns.” “More…

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As tourist influx hits rock bottom hoteliers across valley forced to switch businesses

Owing to the continued slump in the tourist footfall, Kashmir hoteliers are switching their properties for other commercial use to recover the losses. Hoteliers also rue government’s attitude towards the industry in the backdrop of the financial losses they suffered for past many years. Abdul Wahid, President Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Owners Federation (KHAROF), said that they haven’t received any compensation from the government of the losses. “The government didn’t even compensate us for 2014 floods which.” Although Kashmir witnessed political upheavals in 2008 and 2010, the things settled down…

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An interlocutor’s doomed mission

Given the situation in Kashmir — continuing military operations, toothless polity — Dineshwar Sharma initiative appears futile. The Government of India’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma’s close-door interactions with individuals, groups and organisations in Jammu and Kashmir are certainly not an icebreaker, a prelude to some bigger and more serious political initiative for resolving the dispute. What, then, is the purpose of his mission? So far, he appears to be surveying the results of the BJP-led government’s iron-fisted policies on Kashmir. Previous such initiatives would be rolled out in sugar-coated rhetoric…

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