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Jammu & Kashmir

Four IS militants among six killed in J&K gunfight

In the first gunfight with security forces after Jammu and Kashmir was put under Governor's rule, four militants belonging to the Islamic State terror group were killed on Friday in Anantnag district, Director General of Police S.P. Vaid said.

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4 militants, cop, civilian killed in J&K gunfight
 
 
In the first gunfight with security forces after Jammu and Kashmir was put under Governor's rule, four militants belonging to the Islamic State terror group were killed on Friday in Anantnag district, Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid said.
 
This is the first official confirmation of any IS militant being killed in Kashmir.
 
In a significant development, the police chief tweeted: "The slain terrorists were reportedly affiliated to Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK)."
 
On its website in 2017 the Islamic State had said that its Indian affiliate, Ansar Gazwatul Hind was being headed by Zakir Musa, a Kashmiri militant commander.
 
A civilian and a policeman were also killed in Friday's gun battle that erupted in Srigufwara area early in the day after information about the four militants holed up in a house in Khiram village was received by the security forces.
 
With days left for the highly awaited Amarnath Yatra the security forces laid a cordon around the village following specific information about the presence of the militants.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired, triggering the encounter," a police officer said.
 
Vaid said: "The bodies of the slain terrorists can be seen inside the house where they were hiding. We are retrieving the bodies."
 
The house owners also came in the line of fire. While the husband Muhammad Yusuf was killed, his wife Hafeeza sustained a gunshot injury. She was shifted to hospital for treatment, police said. 
 
Of the four militants killed, one has been identified as Majeed Manzoor from Talangam village in Pulwama district while another was from the HMT area in Srinagar. The other two are yet to be identified.
 
A member of the special operations group (SOG) of the state police was also killed during the operation, while three other security personnel were injured, the police said.
 
Earlier dozens of youth had started pelting stones at the security forces some distance from the encounter site as the gun battle progressed.
 
Authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in the district to check the spread of any kind of rumours. 
 
IANS
 
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Hundreds attend slain journalist Shujaat Bukhari's funeral

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bukhari in his ancestral hometown of Kheeri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bukhari in his ancestral hometown of Kheeri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, state Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz, local journalists and other members from all sections of society attended the funeral.
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was also present in Kheeri.
 
Three motorcycle-borne militants killed Bukhari and two of his security guards as he was getting into his car in Srinagar's Press Enclave area at around 7.15 p.m. on Wednesday to reach home in time for Iftar.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
 
State police chief S.P.Vaid said that it was around 7.15 p.m., the Iftar time, that Bukhari came out of his office in Press Enclave and was getting  into his car when he was attacked by militants.
 
"Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards. Bukhari and one guard were killed and another security guard critically injured," he said.
 
The killing drew wide condemnation from politicians across India and media organisations.
 
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said: "Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family." 
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in a tweet, recited the Muslim prayer on hearing about a Muslim's death, and said: "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time."
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed it an "act of cowardice".
 
"The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," he said on his Twitter handle.
 
The Congress said it was anguished, with party President Rahul Gandhi terming Bukhari "a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace".
 
"He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu and Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed," Gandhi said in a tweet.
 
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "Anguished beyond words. Security situation in J&K has hit its nadir. Demand the Centre to take swift action to nab the killers. They can silence us but not our thoughts." 
 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday expressed shock.
 
"Saddened and shocked at the brutal killing of respected editor and senior journalist @bukharishujaat. With a few hours to go for Eid this is terrible," Banerjee tweeted.
 
Several journalist bodies condemned the killing and demanded swift action against the forces responsible for his killing. 
 
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Condemning what it called a "dastardly attack", the Editors Guild of India said that Bukhari was "a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir". 
 
"The guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure safety and security for the media in the state," it said in a statement. 
 
It added that an attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir that is going through militancy, and called upon the state and Central government to enhance security for all journalists in the state. 
 
"Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country," it added. 
 
The Press Club of India also "strongly condemned" the killing in the holy month of Ramadan and said that "forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley had silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace".
 
"Press Club of India deeply mourns the loss of Shujaat Bukhari's life and extends its condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of crisis," it said in a statement.
 
It added that the "terror attack" showed that lives of journalists were not safe.
 
"Press Club of India has time and again underlined the threat to the lives of journalists working under difficult and challenging circumstances and demanded protection for them," it said.
 
The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association and Federation of Press Club of India also expressed "deep shock and outrage at the brazen murder" of Bukhari. 
 
They said that Bukhari was a respected journalist known for his wide range of analytical writings on Kashmir and that he continued to write actively despite the death threats issued to him. 
 
"His murder can only be viewed as yet another attempt to muzzle the media and the freedom of the press in the valley," a joint statement said. 
 
Bukhari started his career as a young reporter with Kashmir Times and moved to The Hindu in the 1990s. Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir.
 
IANS
 
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Senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
 
State police chief S. P. Vaid said that it was around 7.15 p.m., the Iftar time, that Bukhari came out of his office in Press Enclave and was boarding his car when he was attacked by militants.
 
"Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards. Bukhari and one guard were killed and another security guard critically injured," he said.
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock at the killing.
 
"Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family," she said in a tweet.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed shock at the gruesome murder of this senior Kashmiri journalist. Reciting the Muslim prayer on hearing about a Muslim's death, he said: "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time."
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed shock at the incident.
 
"The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," he said on his Twitter handle.
 
The murder also sent shock waves in the media fraternity.
 
IANS
 
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16 trapped in landslide in J&K as authorities issue flood alert in state

At least 16 persons were believed trapped after a landslide buried several houses in the Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir on Monday even as the authorities issued a flood alert after incessant rains in the state since Saturday.

 
Water level in Jhelum rises in Kashmir, rescue efforts underway
At least 16 persons were believed trapped after a landslide buried several houses in the Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir today even as the authorities issued a flood alert after incessant rains in the state since Saturday.
 
The police and the army, along with the people of the area, have launched a major effort to rescue those feared trapped under the tons of mud in Laiden village of Chadoora area, official sources said.
 
The continuous rains of the past few days have raised fears of a repeat of the devastating floods that hit the state in September last year -- the worst in six decades.
 
But officials said the rain gods had relented a bit today and they were hopeful of an improvement in the situation.
 
However, the Jhelum was flowing close to the danger level in many areas and the authorities have alerted those living on its banks to be vigilant and be prepared to move to safer areas if necessary.
 
Schools have been closed for the next two days as a precautionary measure, they said.
 
In New Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it was in touch with the state government and closely monitoring the situation of increasing water levels in the Jhelum. No breach of embankment has been reported, it said.
 
'However, as a precautionary measure, to assist the state government authorities, two teams of NDRF have been deputed and another four teams kept stand-by. 
 
"The state government has been asked to indicate the assistance required by them," an official press release added.
 
Officials said they had learnt from last year's disaster and are taking several precautionary steps to prevent a repeat of that kind of tragedy. Boats, sandbags and other facilities are being made available in all the vulnerable areas.
 
In particular, a close watch is being kept on the embankments of the river, which had suffered breaches at many places last year and which were not plugged fully yet.
 
"There is no reason for panic, but we have asked the people to be alert," the officials said.
 
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed went around some parts of Srinagar to take stock of the situation.
 
Meanwhile, with the meteorological department forecasting more rains over the next few days, the civil administration has reached out to the Arm for rescue and relief efforts in Srinagar and Pulwama districts.
 
The Army is keeping a close watch on the situation and 20 columns with rescue boats and other equipment have been kept on alert.
 
An official spokesperson said the Army was assisting the civil administration in flood control measures in Baramulla since yesterday and a relief operation is under progress in South Kashmir to rescue people trapped in collapsed houses. 
 
Army engineers are also undertaking strengthening of identified weak spots on the bunds of Jhelum river near Sonwar in Srinagar. 
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the situation in the state with Mr Sayeed and assured him of full Central assistance to tackle any eventuality.
 
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A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) was held here today under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Ajit Seth to take stock of the situation and to review the arrangements made or required to be made to deal with it.
 
The meeting was attended by the Secretaries and other senior officers of the relevant departments of the Government of India. The Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir and other officers of the State Government participated through video conferencing. 
 
The Chief Secretary gave an account of the ground situation indicating that the Jhelum is flowing above the danger mark at certain places and as a result, flood alert has been issued by the State Government.
 
He said the State Government was geared up to deal with the situation and all steps had been taken to safeguard life and property from the flood waters. They have adequate sand bags and river bank reinforcement material. As a precautionary measure adequate quantities of rice, potable water and medical supplies are being stocked at various locations. There is no shortage of various types of fuel as there is a minimum stock level of all varieties of fuel for 10 days. 
 
The National Highway 1-A between Jammu and Srinagar, which is blocked due to landslides, is likely to be cleared for vehicular traffic later today.
 
Mr Seth reviewed the preparatory arrangements made to handle the flood situation and issued necessary directions to all departments of the Government of India to provide all possible assistance to tide over the crisis. 
 
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Centre not consulted, informed: Modi tells Lok Sabha on Masarat Alam's release

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Lok Sabha on Monday that the Centre was not consulted or informed by the Jammu & Kashmir government on its decision to release separatist Masarat Alam and made it clear that he shared the anger of the house on the issue.

 
Modi says Centre not consulted on Masarat Alam release
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told the Lok Sabha that the Centre was not consulted or informed by the Jammu & Kashmir government on its decision to release separatist Masarat Alam and made it clear that he shared the anger of the house on the issue.
 
"There is outrage in the house and outside and I would like to add my voice to that," he said after the Congress and other Opposition parties raised the issue, demanding a statement from the Prime Minister clarifying the Government's position on Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's decision.
 
Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a partner of Mr Sayeed's People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the J&K government.
 
"This country, on the issue of separatism, terrorism, does not think in partisan terms and will not do even now," he said, noting that the house had expressed its outrage in one voice today.
 
"I wish to assure the house, the people of the country that whatever steps, decisions have been taken in Jammu & Kashmir, were not taken in consultation with Government of India  and they were done without informing the Government of India," he said.
 
He urged members not to politicise the issue, though he acknowledged that they had the right to criticise the BJP as a partner in the J&K government.
 
"But let us not speak in different voices on issues related to national security, let us not give that message to the world or to Jammu and Kashmir or to the rest of the country.
 
"That is why I would like to assure the house and the entire country that this government will not accept any such steps. We do not approve of any compromise with the unity and integrity of the country," he said.
 
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"Decisions can be taken only within the limits of the Constitution, now and in the future also," he said.
 
Mr Modi said it was wrong to suggest that he was staying silent on the issue because he had spoken about such issues only a few days ago in the house.
 
"We are those people, who for these principles, had sacrificed the life of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Therefore, kindly do not give us lessons in patriotism," he told the Opposition.
 
Mr Modi said the Centre had sought some clarifications from the state government on the decision and would provide more information to the house as and when they are received.
 
"This is not the anger of any one party, but of the entire country...not of those benches or these benches, it is of the entire house," he said.
 
"And in one voice, we want to convey to separatist forces, their supporters and those who misuse the law, our outrage. This house is committed to the unity and integrity of the country and the government will take all the steps needed in this regard," he added.
 
The Congress was not fully satisfied with Mr Modi's statement, suggesting that, if he felt so strongly about it, the BJP should withdraw its support to the PDP.
 
Earlier, Mr Rajnath Singh said the Home Ministry had sought a report from the J&K government on the release of Alam and some clarifications.
 
He said that, after receiving the clarifications, the Centre would take appropriate steps in the matter.
 
Alam, 44, had been arrested by the previous Omar Abdullah-led government in J&K in 2010 for his alleged role in fanning trouble during street protests, in which more than a hundred people had died. He was released on Saturday from the Baramullah jail, within days after Mr Sayeed assumed office.
 
The PDP has justified the release, saying it was part of its efforts for reconciliation and that the government could not engage with separatists and bring them into the mainstream when they were in prison.
 
Mr Sayeed had caused the BJP some embarrassment within hours of being sworn in on March 1 when, addressing mediapersons, he thanked "people from across the border", which was taken as a reference to Pakistan and militants -- for allowing the smooth conduct of the recent Assembly elections in the state.
 
The Congress and other parties had raised a similar ruckus on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, too.
 
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Three IS militants killed in J&K gunfight: Police

 
3 militants, cop, civilian killed in J&K gunfight
 
 
The three militants killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Anantnag district belonged to the Islamic State terror group, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid said on Friday. This is the first official confirmation of any IS militant being killed in Kashmir.
 
The DGP said the militants were killed in the Khiram village encounter in Srigufwara area.
 
Vaid said: "The bodies of the slain terrorists can be seen inside the house where they were hiding. We are retrieving the bodies.
 
"A police constable also died during the encounter while we also lost a civilian."
 
In a significant development, the police chief tweeted: "The slain terrorists were reportedly affiliated to Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK)."
 
On its website in 2017 the Islamic State had said that its Indian affiliate, Ansar Gazwatul Hind was being headed by Zakir Musa, a Kashmir militant commander.
 
In all three militants, a civilian and a policeman have been killed in the Anantnag gunfight.
 
Police sources said the civilian was identified as Muhammad Yusuf, the owner of the house where the militants were holed up. The gun battle is on.
 
"Hafeeza, the wife of the slain house owner has also sustained gunshot injury. She was shifted to hospital for treatment," police said.
 
Other than this, a member of the special operations group (SOG) of the state police was also killed during the ongoing operation, while three other security personnel were injured.
 
Earlier, the security forces laid a cordon around the village following specific information about presence of four militants hiding in the house.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired, triggering the encounter, which is still underway," a police officer said.
 
Friday's is the first gunfight after the state was put under the Governor's rule.
 
Dozens of youth have started pelting stones at the security forces some distance from the encounter site.
 
Authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in the district to check spread of any kind of rumours.
 
IANS
 
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Two militants, cop, civilian killed in J&K gunfight

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Two militants, a civilian and a policeman were killed on Friday in an ongoing gunfight between security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district.
 
Police sources said the civilian was identified as Muhammad Yusuf, the house owner where the militants were holed up. The gun battle is on in Khiram village of Srigufwara area.
 
"Hafeeza, the wife of the slain house owner has also sustained gunshot injury. She was shifted to hospital for treatment," police said.
 
Other than this, a member of the special operations group (SOG) of the state police was also killed during the ongoing operation, while three other security personnel were injured.
 
Earlier, the security forces laid a cordon around the village following specific information about presence of four militants hiding in the house.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired, triggering the encounter, which is still underway," a police officer said.
 
Friday's is the first gunfight after the state was put under the Governor's rule.
 
IANS
 
 
 
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Policeman injured in Srinagar militant attack on June 15 succumbs

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A policeman injured in a militant attack here in Jammu and Kashmir on June 15 succumbed to critical injuries in a hospital on Friday.
 
Police said head constable Habibullah who was injured along with another policeman and two civilians in a militant in Kaka Sarai area has succumbed to injuries in the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Gunfight breaks out in Anantnag district of J&K

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A gunfight started on Friday between the security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, officials said.
 
Police said security forces laid a cordon around Srigufwara village following specific information about the presence of militants there.
 
"As the security forces tightened the cordon around hiding militants, they fired, triggering an encounter which is underway," a police officer said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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BSF, Pakistan Rangers hold flag meeting on IB

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A flag meeting was held on Thursday between officers of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers on the International Border (IB) in Jammu district.
 
The BSF officials said the flag meeting was held on the request of Pakistan Rangers.
 
"Today at about 10.35 a.m., a Sector Commander-level flag meeting was held between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers at zero line on Octroi border outpost in Suchetgarh sector," the officials said.
 
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) BSF frontier headquarters Paloura, Jammu, P.S. Dhiman and 11 other officials participated from the Indian side. Brigadier Muhammad Amjad Hussain and seven other officials of Pakistan Rangers came from the other side.
 
"During the meeting, various issues related to the border were discussed. BSF cautioned the Pakistan Rangers about the snipping acts and unprovoked ceasefire violations from Pakistan, asserting that the BSF will not tolerate these cowardly acts in future. 
 
"Pakistan Rangers denied all the allegations and said that no snipping was done from their side," the officials said.
 
Both sides agreed to work together for maintaining peace and harmony along the IB and intimate each other before carrying out any construction work along the border.
 
The BSF also told Pakistan Rangers that no movement of armed persons along the IB should be noticed during late hours.
 
"Meeting was held in a conducive atmosphere with prime focus on maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border. Both sides agreed to develop confidence between them," the BSF officials said.
 
The meeting ended peacefully at 12 noon.
 
IANS
 
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Separatist leaders detained, shutdown hits life in Kashmir Valley

Authorities on Thursday placed senior separatist leaders under detention in the summer capital Srinagar to prevent their participation in a protest shutdown that derailed life in the Kashmir Valley.

Shops remain closed in Srinagar during a shutdown called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a grouping of separatists headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, against the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and continuing killings of civilians in Kashmir in Srinagar on June 21, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Shops remain closed in Srinagar during a shutdown called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a grouping of separatists headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, against the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and continuing killings of civilians in Kashmir in Srinagar on June 21, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Authorities on Thursday placed senior separatist leaders under detention in the summer capital Srinagar to prevent their participation in a protest shutdown that derailed life in the Kashmir Valley.
 
Police took Muhammad Yasin Malik, Chairman of pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), into preventive custody here to stop him from taking out a protest march in the city.
 
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani were placed under house arrest at their residences on the outskirts of Srinagar.
 
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a grouping of separatists headed by Geelani, Mirwaiz Farooq and Malik, called for the shutdown against the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and continuing killings of civilians in Kashmir.
 
Bukhari, editor of "Rising Kashmir" newspaper, was shot dead along with two security guards in Srinagar on June 14.
 
Shops, public transport, other businesses and educational institutions remained shut on Thursday at most places in Srinagar while attendance in banks, post offices and government offices was thin due to non-availability of public transport.
 
Private transport and some three-wheelers, however, plied in uptown areas of Srinagar.
 
Taxis and buses carrying tourists to Sonamarg, Pahalgam and Gulmarg hill stations operated as usual. Train services were suspended in the Kashmir Valley as a precaution.
 
No incident of stone pelting was reported in the Valley.
 
The shutdown also derailed normal life in all other major cities and towns of the Valley, where a separatist campaign has been raging since 1989.
 
Despite the shutdown, Governor N.N. Vohra and all senior bureaucrats of the state government attended their offices in the Srinagar Civil Secretariat on Thursday.
 
Vohra had on Wednesday too visited the Civil Secretariat and was presented a guard of honour by police though June 20 was a public holiday in the Valley on account of the annual festival at the Mata Kheer Bhawani shrine, the holiest for Kashmiri Pandits.
 
Vohra took charge of the Jammu and Kashmir administration after the PDP-BJP coalition government collapsed following the BJP's withdrawal of support to the PDP.
 
IANS
 
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Separatist shutdown hits life in Kashmir Valley

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A shutdown called by separatists affected life across the Kashmir Valley on Thursday.
 
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a grouping of separatists headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, called for the shutdown against the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and continuing killings of civilians in Kashmir.
 
Shujaat was killed along with two of his security guards in Press Enclave in Srinagar on June 14.
 
Shops, public transport, other businesses and educational institutions remained shut at most places while attendance in banks, post offices and government offices was thin due to non-availability of public transport.
 
Private transport and some three wheelers, however, moved in uptown areas of Srinagar.
 
Reports from other cities and towns in the Valley also indicate that the shutdown derailed normal life there too.
 
Rail services have been suspended as a precaution.
 
IANS
 
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Create congenial atmosphere to hold election in J&K, Congress to Centre

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A day after the BJP ended its alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir and the state came under Governor's rule, Congress on Wednesday accused both parties of "betraying" the people's aspirations in the lust for power and demanded that the Central government ensure a "congenial atmosphere" for conduct of fresh elections.
 
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said: "At the moment there is Governor's rule. By when will the Centre and the Governor create an atmosphere and ensure that the security scenario will change and law and order is maintained so that we can have elections. 
 
"We don't want to have elections like we had during (Srinagar) Lok Sabha bypoll, where the poll percentage was 7 per cent."
 
"We would definitely like to have a government representing the people of the state. The Governor and the government of India must create a congenial atmosphere for the elections," he said to a query about early elections in the state.
 
Azad also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of betraying the people of Jammu and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) of betraying the people of Kashmir by "forging an unethical alliance" in the state while the BJP central leadership has "betrayed the people of the country".
 
Also accusing the BJP of setting the state on "a fire of anarchy and radicalization" in its three-year coalition rule with PDP, the Congress sought to know from the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as to what plans they had for bringing normalcy and peace back to the state.
 
"The BJP, in its pursuit of power and political opportunism, in the past three years, disrupted the ongoing constructive engagement with the people of the state and has imperiled the security situation, setting the state of Jammu and Kashmir on a fire of anarchy, radicalization, malgovernance and corruption," Azad and party colleague Ambika Soni said in a statement after a meeting of party's core group on Jammu and Kashmir held at the behest of party President Rahul Gandhi. 
 
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram and Karan Singh also attended the meeting.
 
The Congress said that both BJP and PDP share "equal blame" for undoing all the progress towards normalcy achieved during the United Progressive Alliance government.
 
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Slamming the Modi government's "directionless, agenda-less and clueless policy", the Congress asked: "How does Prime Minister Modi propose to ensure peace and normalcy in the state?"
 
It also sought to know the economic roadmap for inclusion and progress for the state's people, proposals to prevent the radicalization of youth as well how the Modi government proposes to engage with various sections of the state "in order to win their hearts and minds". 
 
"We caution the Modi government to correct its flawed approach and work for rebuilding the trust and restoration of normalcy in the state," it said.
 
Noting BJP leaders and ministers have been citing national interest as a reason for breaking the alliance, Azad said he thanked them for "accepting that they were working against national interest in the last three years". 
 
Congress' state chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir said: "It was expected from the day the alliance was formed that it would break. People of the state did not accept this alliance. Both the parties PDP and BJP betrayed their own voters by this alliance. Hence, it led to political alienation which it was increasing.
 
"As an opposition, we supported their Agenda of Alliance. But it was also a false promise. Modi's promise of Rs 80,000 crore to the state was not a 'package' but it was 'packaging'. The alliance was broken keeping 2019 elections in mind." 
 
IANS
 
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Governor's rule not to affect anti-terror operations: Army chief

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The political change in Jammu and Kashmir will not affect anti-terror operations which will continue as they did before the Ramadan ceasefire, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said here on Wednesday.
 
"We do not think there will be any change. We don't have any political interference. There has never been a stop on how Army has to carry out its operations. We have very strict rules of engagement and we have been taking actions in accordance with those and will continue to so in the future," Gen Rawat said on the sidelines of an event.
 
He was asked if the change in the political situation in the state following imposition of Governor's rule will impact Army's operations. 
 
Gen Rawat said operations were being carried out in the past and there was cessation during Ramadan. 
 
"We wanted that during Ramzan, the local residents get a chance to offer their prayers in a proper way (so that) they do not face any difficulty. But the terrorists continued their actions and this led to withdrawal of the move of suspension of operations. 
 
"We will again start the operations. The actions will be carried out as were being done in the past," he said. 
 
Governor's rule has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following recommendation of Governor N.N. Vohra. The BJP had on Tuesday pulled out of the alliance government in the state with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
 
The Centre had earlier this month decided not to extend its unilateral initiative, declared on May 16, to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan as terrorist activities continued in the Kashmir Valley. 
 
IANS
 
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Vohra puts J&K Assembly under suspended animation

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Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra on Wednesday placed the state Assembly under suspended animation.
 
After the imposition of Governor's rule, Vohra exercised his powers under the Constitution.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had demanded the dissolution of the Assembly so that the process of holding early elections in the state could be started.
 
On Tuesday, the BJP suddenly withdrew its support to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and pulled out of the ruling PDP-BJP coalition, causing the government to collapse.
 
After all major political parties including the PDP, National Conference and the BJP said they would not explore the possibility of forming an elected government in the state, Abdullah said horse trading could not be ruled out unless the Assembly was dissolved.
 
In the 87-member Assembly, the PDP has 28 seats, the Bharaiya Janata Party 25, National Conference 15, Congress 12, CPI-M 1, Peoples Conference 2 and Peoples Democratic Front 1. There are also three independent MLAs.
 
IANS
 
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The Indian Hotels Company announces its second hotel in Katra, J&K

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Hospitality major The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has announced the signing of a Vivanta in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir with the Delhi based DMG Group.
 
Suma Venkatesh, executive vice president – real estate and development, Indian Hotels Company, said, “We are pleased to partner with DMG Group in bringing the Vivanta brand to Katra. This announcement is aligned to our strategy of expanding our footprint and driving growth across popular pilgrimage and tourist destinations.”
 
Located in Katra - the base camp for the holy pilgrimage of Vaishno Devi, the hotel is conveniently located 42 kilometres from the Jammu airport. The 80-room hotel, spread over eight acres, offers views of the Holy Shrine and Trikuta Mountains. 
 
The hotel features an all-day restaurant, banqueting and recreation facilities including a gym, swimming pool and badminton court, a press release from the company said
 
Sushen Gupta, managing director, DMG Group, said, “We are delighted to partner with Indian Hotels Company. We look forward to working with them to bring their unique Vivanta brand and legendary experience to visitors to the holy shrine.”
 
Vaishno Devi is one of the holiest religious destinations in India. As many as 8.2 million pilgrims visited Katra in 2017. Katra has the potential to develop as a leisure destination with its close proximity to many local attractions including Patnitop, Nathatop, Mansar Lake, Shivkhori, Nau Devi, Baba Dhansar and Sanasar Lake.
 
The DMG Group hotel at Katra is an existing property. The owners will further invest approximately Rs. 10 crore to bring the hotel to Vivanta brand standards by early 2019.
 
Vivanta Katra will be the third IHCL branded hotel in Jammu and Kashmir, strengthening the company’s presence in the state. The company also manages the Vivanta Dal View in Srinagar and Ginger in Katra, the release added.
 
NNN
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Additional Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh posted to J&K

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B.V.R. Subramanyam, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) in Chattisgarh, was posted to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday following the imposition of Governor's Rule in the state
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared his posting on Tuesday evening.
 
Governor's Rule was imposed in the state on Wednesday with President Ram Nath Kovind approving the measure after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led state government which was immediately followed by the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
 
Subramanyam is an IAS officer of the 1987 batch. He has served as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's personal secretary from 2002 to 2007.
 
It was not immediately clear if he would be appointed as an advisor to Governor N.N. Vohra or as the chief secretary of the state.
 
IANS
 
 
 
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J&K placed under Governor's Rule after President's approval

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor's Rule on Wednesday following President Ram Nath Kovind's approval.

File photo of N. N. Vohra
File photo of N. N. Vohra
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor's Rule on Wednesday following President Ram Nath Kovind's approval.
 
Governor, N.N. Vohra sought Kovind's approval on Tuesday after the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) decision to pull out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led state government which was immediately followed by the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
 
Vohra's recommendations for imposition of the Governor's Rule was made under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which allows the state to be placed under the rule for six months.
 
If an elected government fails to take office within the six-month period, the state can then be placed under President's rule.
 
Jammu and Kashmir has a constitution of its own which runs concomitantly with the Indian Constitution.
 
It is for the fourth time that Vohra will be running the affairs of the state administration directly.
 
Governor's Rule was first imposed in the state by then Governor L.K. Jha on March 26, 1977, when the Congress withdrew support to the minority government headed by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
 
In March 1986, it was imposed for the second time following the withdrawal of support by Congress to the G.M.Shah-led government.
 
In January 1990, Governor's Rule was imposed for the third time when the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah resigned following the appointment of Jagmohan as the Governor of the state.
 
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It was imposed for the fourth time in October 2002 when Farooq Abdullah refused to continue as the caretaker Chief Minister following his party's defeat in the Assembly elections.
 
This was the first time Vohra took over as the Governor.
 
In June 2008, the Governor's Rule was imposed following the withdrawal of PDP's support to the Ghulam Nabi Azad-led government.
 
In January 2015, following his party's failure to get a majority in Assembly elections, Omar Abdullah refused to continue as caretaker Chief Minister pushing the state into the Governor's Rule for the sixth time.
 
Following the death of the former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7, 2016, Vohra assumed reins of administration imposing Governor's Rule for the seventh time.
 
Vohra's term of office was slated to end on June 25. Kovind however, extended Vohra's term of office for three months.
 
Informed sources told IANS that Vohra has expressed his desire not to seek another term of extension. He will be completing 10 years in office on June 25.
 
Unless Vohra agrees to continue, the appointment of a new Governor would become unavoidable by September 25.
 
IANS
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3 militants killed, 5 security men injured in J&K gunfight

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Three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were killed and five security men injured in a gunfight in Tral area of Pulwama district, police said.
 
The gunfight had started on Tuesday and ended late last evening.
 
The police have confirmed that all the three JeM militants hiding in Nazneenpora village of Tral area have been killed by the security forces.
 
"The slain militants include one Pakistan national and two locals.
 
"Five security personnel including one CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) jawan and four army soldiers have been injured in this encounter," the police said.
 
Following specific information about three militants hiding in Nazneenpora village of Tral area, troops of Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Jammu & Kashmir Police surrounded the village.
 
As the security forces tightened the cordon around hiding militants, they fired at the security forces triggering a gunfight that ended with the killing of the three JeM militants.
 
This was the first anti-militancy operation in J&K after the Bharatiya Janata party withdrew support from the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti.
 
IANS
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Kashmir in political crisis as BJP-PDP government falls

Jammu and Kashmir was pushed into a major political crisis on Tuesday after the BJP suddenly pulled out of the ruling combine with the PDP, bringing down Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's 27-month-old government amid surging violence in the state.

 
BJP pulls out of J&K Government, ends alliance with PDP
 
 
Jammu and Kashmir was pushed into a major political crisis on Tuesday after the BJP suddenly pulled out of the ruling combine with the PDP, bringing down Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's 27-month-old government amid surging violence in the state.
 
The decision, which surprised the Mufti-led People's Democratic Party (PDP) and came days after the Central government decided not to extend the Ramadan ceasefire, made another round of Governor's Rule imminent in the state where no political group or alliance won enough seats in the December 2014 elections to form a government on its own.
 
Mehbooba Mufti stepped down as the Chief Minister immediately after BJP announced its decision in a televised news conference. She made it clear that the PDP wasn't interested in forming an alliance with the National Conference or the Congress for a new government.
 
BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, announcing his party's decision in Delhi, said the state government had failed to curb growing terror and radicalization in the Kashmir Valley, making the continuance of its alliance with the PDP "untenable".
 
Madhav said the murder of senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar implied how the situation was in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
"Three years ago, the BJP formed a government in Jammu and Kashmir with the PDP with some goals. But it has become untenable for the BJP to continue the alliance in the situation that has developed today.
 
"Terrorism and violence have increased in the valley and radicalization is fast spreading. Fundamental rights of citizens and right to free speech of people have come under threat in the valley as symbolized by the murder of ... Bukhari in broad daylight," Madhav said in a hurriedly called press conference.
 
Immediately after learning about the Bharatiya Janata Party's decision, Mehbooba Mufti rushed to the Raj Bhavan and submitted her resignation to Governor N.N. Vohra -- who has already had three stints of enjoying Chief Minister's executive powers in 2008, 2015 and 2016.
 
The political crisis set the stage for another round of Governor's Rule in the state which has seen three such administrations since 2008 and seven since 1977.
 
No regional or national party has 45 seats in the 89-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. The PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, followed by the BJP with 25 in the last elections. The National Conference won 15 and the Congress managed 12.
 
The BJP and the PDP came together after weeks of negotiations and formed the government on March 1, 2015. The alliance, which brought the ideologically different parties together, was always rocky. 
 
After her father's death on January 1, 2016, Mehbooba Mufti reluctantly continued the PDP's alliance with the BJP and formed a new government only on April 4, 2016.
 
Their ties worsened in April this year after the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Muslim community in Kathua district near Jammu.
 
With Governor Vohra's tenure, which began at the height of the deadly Amarnath land row on June 25, 2008, set to conclude by the month end, sources in Delhi told IANS that he was likely to get an extension of at least six months to enable a smooth transition of administration in the troubled state.
 
The President of India, unlike in other states, cannot rule directly the state which has its own constitution. A Governor in the absence of an elected government draws executive powers but has no legislative authority even as he or she can pass ordinances which necessarily have to be passed by an elected Assembly.
 
The BJP said it has recommended Governor's Rule in the state "keeping in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
 
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"In order to control the prevailing situation in the state, we have decided that the reins of power in the state be handed over to the governor," Madhav said.
 
Mehbooba Mufti after resigning told reporters in Srinagar that the PDP had not allied with the BJP for power. "We will continue to strive for dialogue and reconciliation in Jammu and Kashmir."
 
She asserted that the PDP had always maintained that a muscular security policy would not work in the state and reconciliation was key.
 
Counting her government's achievements, Mehbooba Mufti said the peace initiative of the unilateral ceasefire during the just ended Ramadan was the PDP's idea that brought a lot of relief to the people.
 
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the timing of the BJP's move was surprising even as he had signalled to Mehbooba Mufti to leave the coalition. "I wish she had listened to me and left with dignity instead of having the rug pulled from under her feet."
 
Abdullah said fresh Assembly elections should be held at the earliest.
 
The Congress said it won't ally with the PDP because Mehbooba Mufti's coalition with the BJP had "devastated the state, be it economically or socially".
 
"The alliance has left Jammu and Kashmir in a state of ruins," said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
 
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the "opportunistic BJP-PDP alliance cost the country strategically" while "damage will continue" under the Governor's Rule. "Incompetence, arrogance and hatred always fails," Gandhi said on Twitter.
 
IANS
 
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Governor's rule recommended in Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra on Tuesday evening suggested to the Union Home Ministry that Governor's Rule should be imposed for six months in the state after the PDP-BJP coalition collapsed, official sources said.
 
Officials in the national capital said that Home Ministry has received the recommendation which will be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.
 
The Jammu and Kashmir Constitution provides for Governor's Rule unlike other states which see President's Rule.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Omar Abdullah seeks early elections in J&K

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Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday demanded early elections in Jammu and Kashmir after the BJP pulled out of the PDP-led government, forcing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to resign.
 
Abdullah spoke to the media after calling on Governor N.N. Vohra following the fall of the PDP-BJP government in the troubled state.
 
"Today, suddenly around 2.30 p.m., news came that the BJP has severed its political relationship with the PDP.
 
"I have met the Governor just a little while back. I told the Governor that in the 2014 elections, the National Conference did not have the mandate to form a government and today also we don't have the mandate," he said.
 
"We have neither been approached nor have we approached any party for support to form a government in the state.
 
"The Governor has no option but to impose Governor's rule and improve the situation so that a democratic government is formed in the state after holding fresh elections," said Abdullah.
 
Abdullah said he had assured the National Conference's support to the Governor but added that the Governor and his administration must ensure that early elections are held to put an elected government in place.
 
"As a responsible political party, we will work for peace in all the three regions of the state."
 
Asked about the possible reasons for the BJP's pullout from the government, the National Conference leader said: "I can't speak for the BJP. They alone can explain what prompted their decision.
 
"Yes, I was surprised by the timing of the BJP decision. I expected this to happen later this year, but it happened sooner because of the deterioration in situation."
 
Asked whether the BJP had embarrassed the PDP by taking a unilateral decision, Abdullah said: "Whether PDP is embarrassed or not they would know, but I feel the BJP should have taken the PDP into confidence.
 
"But different parts function differently. They (BJP) claim radicalization and obviously they have better access to information than us. 
 
"We believe that both these parties have together pushed the state down the precipice."
 
Abdullah said that Governor Vohra, with his vast experience, can help pull the state out of the current crisis. 
 
Asked about his party's earlier offer of support made to the PDP, he said: "That was a one-time offer and after they joined hands with the BJP, that offer ended."
 
Asked if his party was happy about the development, he said: "We do not celebrate this break- up. We are mourning the demise of democracy in the state".
 
Would he ask the Governor to keep the state Assembly in suspended animation or seek its dissolution? Abdullah replied: "That is the prerogative of the Governor and of nobody else."
 
IANS
 
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Congress rules out coalition with PDP

 
BJP cannot escape responsibility: Congress
 
 
The Congress on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of a coalition with the Peoples Democratic Alliance (PDP), making Governor's rule look imminent in Jammu and Kashmir after the BJP pulled out of the PDP-led coalition government.
 
Reacting to the development, senior Congress leader and former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the question of an alliance with the PDP "does not arise".
 
"Whatever has happened is good. People of Jammu and Kashmir will get some relief. They (BJP) ruined Kashmir and have now pulled out," Azad said.
 
He stressed that the question of Congress forming an alliance with PDP "does not arise". 
 
Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala pointed out that in the last four years, 373 security personnel and 239 civilians have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir due to heightened militancy.
 
"What did the nation get out of this?" Surjewala said in a tweet.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pointed out that the Modi government had claimed that demonetisation in 2016 had broken the back of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir but that did not seem true.
 
"Didn't BJP tell us that demonetisation had broken the back of terrorism in Kashmir? Then what happened?" he asked.
 
NNN
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BJP quits J&K government, ends alliance with PDP

More than three years after they formed an uneasy coalition, the BJP on Tuesday pulled out of the PDP-led Jammu and Kashmir government, citing growing terror activities and radicalization in the valley making its continuance "untenable".

 
BJP pulls out of J&K Government, ends alliance with PDP
 
 
More than three years after they formed an uneasy coalition, the BJP on Tuesday pulled out of the PDP-led Jammu and Kashmir government, citing growing terror activities and radicalization in the valley making its continuance "untenable".
 
Announcing the party's sudden decision at a hurriedly-called press conference, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Ram Madhav said that Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta and nine other ministers from the party have tendered their resignation to Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The state leaders were called to the national capital for urgent consultations. 
 
The move came less than a year ahead of the 2019 general elections and a couple of months after the BJP had replaced its Deputy Chief Minister in the wake of outrage over Kathua rape incident. 
 
It also came two days after the Centre decided not to continue with the ceasefire. 
 
"After reviewing the work of the government in the last three years and after consultations with the Home Ministry and the agencies and after consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, we have come to the conclusion that it is difficult for the coalition to move forward in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
"It has become untenable for the BJP to continue the alliance in Jammu and Kashmir in the situation that has developed today. Terrorism and violence have increased in the valley and radicalization is fast spreading. Fundamental rights of citizens and right to free speech of people have come under threat in the valley as symbolized by the murder of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in broad daylight in Srinagar," Madhav said.
 
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP formed a coalition more than two months after the December 2014 elections returned a hung verdict, in which the PDP got 28 seats and the BJP 25, while the National Conference with 15 and Congress managed to win 12 in a House of 89. The government came to power on March 1, 2015. 
 
The BJP leader said that the coalition was formed with an intention of restoring peace in Kashmir and encouraging fast development in all the three regions of the state including Jammu and Ladakh.
 
"The BJP did its best to give a good government. The Centre had also given a package of Rs 80,000 crore. The Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) had made several visit to the state and the central government had also appointed a interlocutor in a sincere attempt to resolve issues in Kashmir. On the border also, we took steps to contain violence by erecting 4,000 bunkers. Whatever the state government wanted we were ready to give," he said. 
 
But, Madhav said, they were sad that the government failed to discharge its responsibilities and the feeling of discrimination towards Jammu and Ladakh regions continued. 
 
"After three years, today we have come to the conclusion that in the interest of the entire nation of which Jammu and Kashmir is an inalienable part and in the interest of integrity and sovereignty of the country, keeping in mind the larger interest of the security, in order to bring situation under control, we have decided that is it time the reins of power be handed to the Governor for a spell of Governor's rule. After the situation is restored, we will consider what to do in the future and take the political process forward," he said.
 
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He said the ceasefire was announced by the Centre with the intention of bringing peace to the state and to give relief to the people of Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan. "It was our hope that we will get a good response from terrorists and separatist forces like Hurriyat. We were under no compulsion. It was a goodwill gesture and we did it from a position of strength," he said. 
 
In any case after the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, there was no question of extension of ceasefire. If terrorists can enter into the city and kill Bukhari in broad daylight in a high security area, there was no question of continuance of ceasefire, the BJP leader said. 
 
Madhav also said that over 600 terrorists have been neutralized in the last three years to stop radicalization. "Our campaign against terrorists will continue and there is no doubt about it. That is why we are going out."
 
Replying to questions, he said apart from the reasons given, there were no other reasons for the decision to pull out of the government. "We are not concerned about losing ground in the state."
 
He said the coalition was formed to respect the mandate of the elections and two parties came together and tried to give governance.
 
He said that state has faced such situation in the past when there was rising violence and periods of it being controlled. "All we are saying now is we have come to the conclusion that in present scenario and in the present juncture, we find our continuance untenable." 
 
IANS
 
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