Thousands of people attending the fourth day ceremonies after Ashura in Sankoo near Kargil turned into protest against the recent killings of Muslims in different parts of the world including Kashmir valley.
Anjuman-e-Sahib Zaman spokesperson Agha Ahmad Rizvi in a statement appealed for meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir to restore peace and normalcy. “Today worst atrocities are being perpetrated in Kashmir including on women and children and Kashmir has been converted into big jail and we strongly condemn it,” the statement said.
The procession organised by Anjuman-e-Sahib Zaman Sankoo passed through the main bazar denouncing the recent killings in Kashmir.
Mourners were also carrying placards with slogans expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
The procession started from Zainabia thang Imambargah and marching through main bazar Sankoo culminated at Musalah e Mehdia.
In a significant development, Independent councillor Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan today withdrew support to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, headed by National Conference (NC) councillor and Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) Haji Mohammad Haneefa Jan.
The LAHDC, Kargil, governs the district politically and withdrawal of support by Kacho Khan, councillor from Yurbaltak constituency who is a former CEC, has led to a political crisis in the council.
Official sources told The Tribune that the Independent councillor shot off a letter to Kargil Deputy Commissioner Hassan Khan, the Chief Executive Officer of LAHDC, Kargil, informing him about the decision and requesting “necessary action”.
“Congress councillors and Kacho Khan have sought dissolution of the LAHDC executive body immediately,” sources said.
The LAHDC, Kargil, has 26 elected and four nominated councillors. Nominated councillors have voting rights in the council.
Till now, CEC Haneefa Jan had the support of 16 members — eight of the NC, four Independents and four nominated councillors.
With today’s development, the NC is left with the support of only 15 members and requires the support of one more councillor to remain in majority. The principal opposition party, the Congress, claimed the support of 14 members — 11 members elected on the party ticket and three Independents.
Kacho Khan had joined the Peoples Democratic Party last year in the presence of then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
“We have come to know that he (Kacho Khan) has withdrawn support and conveyed his decision to the Deputy Commissioner, who will take the final decision. He may write to the Ladakh Affairs Department and ask us to prove majority in the council again. We are hopeful of doing it,” the CEC told The Tribune over phone from Kargil.
Haneefa Jan won the CEC election on April 13 last year by polling 15 votes. His rival and Congress candidate Mohammad Aamir, Independent councillor from Khangral, got 14 votes with one council seat vacant at that time.
Village in Turtuk still part of Pakistan in revenue records: Namgyal
A delegation of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, called on Governor NN Vohra at the civil secretariat here today and submitted him a memorandum highlighting various demands and issues of people of Kargil district.
The delegation led by Muhammad Haneefa Jan, Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC-Kargil, urged the Governor to maintain the existing scale of rations supply to Kargil district under the National Food Security Act; sanctioning of additional quota of kerosene to Kargil district; inclusion of Kargil under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation; funds for restoration of damage to irrigation infrastructure, roads and buildings and sanction of relief to apricot growers affected due to floods last year; and restoration of infrastructure damaged due to bursting of blockage at the Phuktal in Zanskar last year.
The delegation sought construction of a 200-bed hospital in Kargil for improving healthcare facilities in the district; construction of Council Secretariat at Kurbathang; construction of small hydroelectric power projects; road from Spangla to Amarnath cave; early commissioning of lift irrigation project at Sodh; special package for clearance of liabilities on account of works done under district plan and resolution of issues related to scholarships to students as early as possible; arranging IL-76 sorties for airlifting patients and passengers at the time of emergency.
The delegation raised various demands relating to Zanskar region, including opening of State Bank of India branch at Padum, Zanskar; special package for development of tourism-related infrastructure for the region; opening of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya; increase in tonnage units for helicopter to facilitate people; network facility as per Mission Digital India; construction of an airstrip at Ufti, Zanskar; early completion of Nimoo-Padum Darcha road; and early establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendra.
The Governor asked the Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner (Ladakh Affairs) to urgently examine the issues raised by the delegation for necessary decisions and directions.
People of Srinagar, Baramulla, Leh, Kargil to get ration at old rates
The Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department has deferred the implementation of National Food Safety Act (NFSA) in areas, where large scale irregularities have come to the notice of the government in updation of consumer data.
Sources said ration will be provided at old rates in the districts of Srinagar, Baramulla Leh and Kargil due to large scale irregularities in the updation of data.
As per the NFSA rates, the BPL families will get rice and atta at Rs 3 and 2 per kg per kg respectively while the old rates is of Rs 6.5 per kg for the BPL families.
“In other districts, government has directed that the benefits of subsidy shall not be passed on to the consumers, who have fraudulently managed their ration cards,” sources said.
They said the government has decided to carry out house-to-house survey through Tehsil Committees to remove the discrepancies in the updation of ration cards.
Sources said government has come across irregularities in updation process across the Valley. “Over 10 lakh bogus ration cards have been issued across the State”.
They said even former ministers and top bureaucrats have managed to the get the ration cards in the Non Priority Household (NPH) category enabling them to get the subsidized food grains.
Sources said the government has taken a serious note of the laxity shown by Director CAPD in updating the consumer data base to meet the February 15 deadline.
According to officials involved in the updation process in districts of Srinagar, Baramulla and Ladakah region, the number of ration card holders will exceed the census population of 1.25 crore in the state.
“The data base is replete with errors with multiple entries. People, who should have figured in the exclusion category, have managed to get the NPH ration cards. The irregularities have marred the entire process to create a transparent food distribution mechanism,” they said.
Officials said the irregularities are there despite the fact that government had hired private vendors to create a digital record of the ration cards with Rs 8 being paid for working out the computerized record of each new ration card and Rs 5 for the old card holders.
Sources said in view of the irregularities, only 2.9 lakh people figure in the exclusion category against the target of 6.5 lakhs.
“The government had earlier issued an order that the gazetted cadre officers and those holding constitutional positions and in possession of large land holdings will figure in the exclusion category. However many people have managed to fraudulently get the ration cards,” they said.
Former CAPD Minister, Chaudhary Zulfikar, said the government was implementing the NFSA act in the haste.
“If we come back to power, we will ensure that ration scale of the families is increased,” he said.
Joint Director CAPD Kashmir, Mohammad Qasim Wani, said people, who have figured in the ration cards in violation of norms, will be deleted from the data base.
“We plan to display the list of ration card holders in different areas to remove any fraudulent entries,” he said.
Terming Kargil one of the two strategic towns of the Ladakh region which should be given a fair treatment, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked the Central government to consider the “battlefield of 1999 Kargil War” under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
Azad has written to Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu asking him to include Kargil under AMRUT. He has forwarded a letter of Kargil MLA Asgar Ali Karbalai to the Union Minister and gave brief account of the importance of Kargil town and its people.
“People of Kargil are highly patriotic who have time and again rebuffed the nefarious designs of Pakistan and have always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the armed forces against any external threat. Such credential shouldn’t have deprived them of their due share in the national resources,” Azad wrote.
Welcoming the Union Government’s decision to cover Leh under AMRUT, Azad said: “Non-inclusion of Kargil under the mission has disappointed people, fuelling a sense of anguish and alienation over there. Leh town has already received Rs 200 crore under JNNURM of UPA for upgrade of urban infrastructure. It is desirable to spend as much money as is possible for beautification of Leh, but it needs to be seen that Kargil town is treated with fairness and equity.” He said this act of Central Government didn’t resonate with the slogan of “Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas” (the punch line of development) expounded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Traffic Police today issued a new schedule for the commuters in view of the bad condition of the Sonamarg-Drass road around the Zojila axis.
In a statement issued here today, the Superintendent of Police (SP), Traffic (Kashmir-Rural), said the traffic from Drass to Sonamarg would be allowed on odd days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) while traffic from Sonamarg to Drass would be allowed on even days (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) of the week.
The SP further said, for the traffic moving from Drass to Sonamarg, the cut-off time to reach Drass would be10 am and Minimart 11 am, while for the commuters moving towards Drass the cut-off time to reach Sonamarg would be 10am.
He further said light motor vehicles would be allowed to move first, followed by vehicles of security forces and heavy civil vehicles.