Why is there panic across Kashmir Valley?

Panic has gripped Jammu and Kashmir amid rumours of imminent abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution and after the deployment of thousands of extra troops to the Valley. Officials said that security has been withdrawn from some isolated shrines because of intelligence inputs that foreign terrorists are planning to target police guard there. Some langars for the Amarnath Yatra have also been closed. Summer vacations were preponed and educational institutions have been closed for 10 days starting Thursday. Local residents have started panic-buying essentials as they are linking the…

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What are Articles 370 and 35A? Why they are important for J&K

Rumours are afloat that the Modi-led government is set to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution, which prevents anyone who is not a state subject of Jammu & Kashmir from purchasing property and settling in the state. The rumours were triggered by reports of Centre deploying additional 10,000 paramilitary troops to address the likely fallout from the removal of the controversial Article 35A in J&K. The government has, however, said that these are precautionary measures in view of terrorist threats. The rumours reflect apprehensions in the Valley following Home Minister Amit Shah’s pointed statement in…

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As a sign of peace, India promotes Hindu pilgrimage (Amarnath Yatra) in Kashmir

India is pitching a Hindu pilgrimage to a snowy cave shrine in disputed, Muslim-majority Kashmir as evidence of peace in a state marred by decades of armed conflict amid popular resistance to Indian rule. The annual yatra, or spiritual journey, to the Amarnath shrine, the hallowed mountain cave where devotees revere an icy stalagmite as an image of Lord Shiva, presents an opportunity for the state of Jammu and Kashmir to show something beyond the frequent skirmishes between armed separatists and Indian soldiers that have cost tens of thousands of…

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A dangerous experiment is in the works in Kashmir

A dangerous experiment seems to be in the works in Jammu and Kashmir. It started innocuously enough and in the best traditions of a vibrant democracy. In the November 2014 state elections, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won 28 seats in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which a few months prior to that had decisively won the general elections, cruised to a comfortable majority of 25 seats in the Jammu region, which has a near equal mix of Muslims and Hindus. While the PDP did not…

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Kashmiri accused in blast cases return home, ‘We are acquitted but who will bring back our 23 years’

While acquitting them on Monday, the High Court said the prosecution had failed to provide evidence of conspiracy. It said the prosecution could not establish any link between them and the main accused, Dr Abdul Hameed, whose death sentence was upheld. The sky was overcast, but, for the first time in over two decades, they were no longer under cloud, as they stepped out of the Jaipur Central Jail Tuesday, a day after the Rajasthan High Court acquitted them in the 1996 Samleti blast case. At 5:19 pm Tuesday, Latif…

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Resistance group welcome US push for Kashmir dialogue

The Hurriyat leaders have welcomed the US push for dialogue on Kashmir even as the PDP leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the disclosures by the American President Donald Trump during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as a “huge policy shift”. “Being the most affected party, the people of Kashmir want an early resolution to the lingering Kashmir conflict. I have been urging for dialogue at all levels. Every effort, pushing India and Pakistan in that direction by @POTUS is welcomed by the people of…

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Local police senses lack in trust as NIA taking control of cases in Kashmir

As the government amends the law governing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to bring more crimes under its purview and even acts of terror originating overseas, its mission creep back home – in Jammu and Kashmir – has so far escaped scrutiny by the opposition and media alike. For the past two years – and probably for the first time since the inception of militancy in the state in the early 1990s – a central probe agency has been conducting raids in connection with the “funding of militants and separatist…

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Ailing Geelani’s health deteriorating, Hurriyat appeals people to pray for his speedy recovery

All Parties Hurriyat Conference, in a meeting held on Saturday, has expressed grave concern about the deteriorating health of its chairman Syed Ali Geelani and appealed people to pray for his speedy recovery. The meeting was presided over by Hurriyat Conference general secretary Ghulam Nabi Sumji at Hyderpora office, according to a statement issued by Hurriyat Conference. In an advisory meeting of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, scheduled to be convened under the chairmanship of Syed Ali Geelani, was presided over by its General Secretary Haji Gh. Nabi Sumji at Hyderpora,…

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Father of dead twins shares his agony, the doctor slapped, harassed my wife after we lost the kids

A poignant letter by a mourning father has shocked Kashmir as he accused the region’s main maternity hospital of medical negligence that caused the death of his new-born twins. The letter, addressed to Governor Satya Pal Malik and written by a journalist Abid Sofi, was posted by him on the social media. The letter accused the staff of the Lal Ded Hospital, the main maternity facility in Kashmir valley, and demanded an inquiry into the deaths “due to negligence”. The hospital administration, however, said that the standard operating procedures (SOPs)…

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Highway woes continue, even dead bodies not allowed

Imtiyaz Wani, KAS officer stopped from carrying father’s body A senior government officer was today forced to vent his anger and frustration in public after the ambulance carrying the body of his father was not allowed to move forward to Srinagar from the Jammu highway in view of the restrictions imposed on civilian traffic owing to Amarnath Yatra. The incident, which happened in the Nagrota area of Jammu along the Jammu-Srinagar highway, has generated shock, anger and outrage in the Valley. The ambulance carrying the coffin was on way from…

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