Ready to resist any move to revoke Article 35A: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said that the situation developing on ground over the past week with deployment of thousands of additional forces and government orders circulating has alarmed people and they have become apprehensive of something happening. Addressing Friday congregation at historic Jama Masjid in Srinagar he said, “Speculations are rife including removal of Article 35A to change the demography of the state and its Muslim majority character. For the past three years there has been a great push towards it since when various PILs were…

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Week after 10000 central forces moved in, 28000 more troops being sent to Kashmir

Over 280 companies of security forces are in the process of being deployed in the Kashmir valley, officials aware of the development said on Thursday. The security forces, mostly CRPF personnel, are being deployed in vulnerable spots in the city and other parts of the valley, they said. However, no reason was given for the sudden deployment of over 280 companies (28,000 troops) late in the evening, the officials cited above said. All major entry and exit points of the city have been taken over by the Central Armed Paramilitary…

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Article 35A the last vestige of real autonomy for Kashmiri people

Kashmir valley has lately been aswirl with rumours of an impending move by the central government to scrap Article 35A of the Constitution. The article, which prevents anyone who is not a state subject of Jammu & Kashmir from purchasing property and settling in the state, is seen as a vital safeguard for the autonomy of J&K. Its removal, Kashmiris fear, would pave the way for a demographic transformation of the Valley. While the article has been on peoples’ mind owing to petitions in the Supreme Court challenging its validity,…

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Kashmir on precipice, Farooq Abdullah seeks appointment with PM

Kashmir on Monday remained on the edge as fresh orders issued by Jammu and Kashmir administration officials stoked speculation about the possibility of the BJP-led government at the Centre taking a major decision with regard to the special status of the state. As uncertainty loomed in the Valley, mainstream political parties also started making efforts to seek clarity from the Centre on the issue with National Conference president Farooq Abdullah requesting an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The administration has issued an order directing five zonal superintendents of police…

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Beyond Bullets and Bombs, Kashmir has a new enemy called Drugs

In Srinagar, a mother’s struggle to help her teenage son overcome heroin addiction is evidence of an insidious drug problem that has affected Jammu and Kashmir. The boy in question, a Class 9 student living in one of the city’s uptown areas, has been using for eight months – since his neighbor offered a free sample. Once hooked, he began spending massive amounts of money – Rs. 2,000 per gram – to feed the habit. “I am helpless. Just because of one person the entire neighbourhood has been ruined. My…

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Under Central Rule, Kashmir witnessed marginal drop in stone-pelting cases

The number of stone-pelting incidents in the Kashmir valley has dipped under direct federal rule compared to the number reported under the two previous political administrations — the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party (PDP-BJP) coalition that was in power between 2015 and mid-2018, and the National Conference-Indian National Congress (NC-INC) alliance that stayed in office between 2009 and 2014. Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on June 18, 2018 after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP, forcing chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to resign. A total of 349…

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‘Smart City Transformation’ Srinagar misses crucial deadlines

The state’s summer capital, Srinagar, has missed crucial deadlines to transform into a Smart City as the Project Management Consultancy (PMC) has not been put in place till date. The deadlines were decided upon in the Smart City proposal of Srinagar, approved in June 2017, official sources said. The missed deadlines include both the area-based development components as well as pan-city development components. The Srinagar Smart City proposal had promised to transform the city into an eco-friendly, resilient and socio-economically vibrant city that would celebrate its natural and cultural heritage.…

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Windstorm, Heavy rains wreaked havoc in parts of north Kashmir

Windstorm followed by heavy rains and hailstorm wreaked havoc in parts of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday by damaging trees and residential houses. The storm caused extensive damage to standing crops and apple orchards mostly in Zaingeer belt including Mundji, Hardishiva, Takiya khan, Duroo, Warpora, Janwara and other villages. Reports quoting locals said that heavy rain, strong winds and hailstorm lasted for half an hour. It uprooted dozes of apple and willow trees and damaged rooftops of several residential houses. The area has witnessed adverse weather several…

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Pellets to Sound Cannon: BJP’s ‘Non-Violent’ methods to handle Kashmir Conflict

Calling protesters “human obstacles”, media reports suggest that the government forces in Kashmir will switch to a sonic weapon – sound cannon or Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) – from shotguns used to shoot pellets at the protesters. On June 24, 2019, news about the use of the sound cannons appeared in a newspaper. The report said that Ministry of Home Affairs headed by Bhartiya Janata Party’s former president Amit Shah has approved the use of the sonic weapon in Kashmir to shoo the protesters away. Experts say that LRAD…

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Probe human rights violations in Kashmir: UN Report

The United Nations has accused India again of human rights violations in Kashmir and has called for the formation of a commission of inquiry into the allegations. A 43-page report released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Monday also called out Pakistan for detaining Kashmiri separatists in its portion of the disputed region. The Muslim-majority region of Kashmir is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan, who have fought two wars so far over the Himalayan territory. The two countries came…

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