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Justice for Kashmir’s Nirbhaya

Kashmir’s Nirbhaya has finally been delivered justice. A local court sentenced the accused to death on Saturday, for raping and murdering the six-year-old in 2005.The case dates back to July 2005 when the accused, Farooq Ahmad Pinzoo, enticed a six-year-old girl to his home and raped her till she died. He later dumped the body in a trench and tried to burn her clothes to destroy the evidence.After one month, he was arrested and after spending four years in prison he was granted interim bail. Last month he was arrested again after he tried to jump the bail and flee.”The accused was 40 years old when he committed the crime. The victim was his neighbour and he enticed her to his home. He raped and smothered her to death. Postmortem has proved that even after her death, he continued to rape her,” said Mujeeb Andrabi, additional public prosecutor in the case.After hearing the arguments, second additional session judge Srinagar Tahir Khurshid Raina convicted the accused for rape and murder and sentenced him to death terming it as rarest of the rare case.”The events unfolded from July 31, 2005 when deceased went missing till his arrest and his disclosure and recovery reveal a saga of shock and dismay in the whole vicinity… The whole chain of evidence before this court when tested on the touchstone of principle quoted above put this case in the rarest of the rare category… Accordingly convict is awarded capital punishment. He shall be hanged till death,” said Judge Raina.Judge Raina noted that there is in fact a steep rise in the sexual offences against the women and children. “When child is a victim of such horrendous act, then the court has to speak in the manners which match the collective conscience of the society, and also to act as a deterrent,” he said.Judgespeak“A little doll of just six who was yet to bloom and add to the beauty of the world was crushed to death in the most horren-dous and barbaric manner “After the detestable act, he wrapped the body in a sack and threw it in a trench to conceal it from the eyes of the world,” the judge said.

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Day 2 in J&K: Centre’s interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma meets youngsters even as big names stay away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The big names stayed away but the Centre’s special representative on Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma held a series of meetings with civil society and youth groups today, day two of his visit to the Valley.Sharma, the former director of the Intelligence Bureau who is on a five-day visit to the state, is expected to meet political leaders here tomorrow as part of efforts to talk to various stakeholders and find lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir.He is spending three days in the Kashmir Valley and two days in Jammu, where he will hold talks with Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and various delegations.All separatist parties, including both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) have ruled out engagement with Sharma, saying his appointment is only a time buying tactic.However, away from the media glare, Sharma was busy meeting delegations arranged by Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan at the heavily-fortified Hari Niwas state guest house near the Dal Lake.Officials privy to the parleys said Sharma’s engagements have so far been aimed at assessing the feelings of local residents, who have suffered the most in the decades of violence in the Valley.A PDP youth leader, a delegation of youths from downtown Srinagar, a Sikh group and traders were amongst those who have met Sharma.Waheed Para, PDP youth leader and secretary Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, discussed problems faced by the youth and steps needed to be taken by the Centre to wean students and youth away from the cycle of violence, officials said.Para later told PTI that steps should be taken to ensure that the present process of dialogue gives dignity to people of the state.”There is anger and alienation on the ground because of the uncertainty. This needs to be addressed,” Para said.Sharma, he said, should reach out to those who have for years suffered because of the violence. “Their wounds should be nursed as soon as possible.”Talks, he said, should be held with every shade of opinion.A group of youth from downtown Srinagar met Sharma quietly last night and discussed their problems. Some suggested that the presence of security personnel should be reduced once the situation attains some sense of normalcy.While major trade associations like the Kashmir Economic Alliance and the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry have refrained from meeting Sharma, smaller trade bodies from various districts quietly called on him, officials said.They discussed problems, including taxation related issues, repayment of bank loans and difficulties in transporting of fruits.Issues regarding lack of employment opportunities and basic amenities, nepotism and the non-implementation of many central policies were also raised.A Sikh delegation, led by All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee Jagmohan Singh Raina, also met Sharma and flagged its concerns.”We told him about our demand for minority status. It has been the commitment of the state government but no steps have been taken in this regard either by the state or the Central government,” Raina said.He said the delegation impressed upon Sharma the need to hold dialogue with separatists groups if the Centre was “serious and sincere” about restoring peace in the state.Sharma, who also met several senior media personalities, is expected to meet political leaders tomorrow. These include Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress chief G A Mir, CPM leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami and independent MLA from Khansahib Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen.His meeting with National Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah has not been confirmed.Some National Conference leaders have said the entire process of talks has been “badly handled” as there has been no formal invitation from the special representative.Soon after his appointment on October 23, Sharma had said his aim was to nurse the wounds of common Kashmiris for which he would take help of all stakeholders, including political parties — both ruling and opposition as well as smaller regional parties.

Panun Kashmir urges RSS to bat for abrogation of Article 370

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Panun Kashmir, an organisation of displaced Kashmiri pandits advocating carving out of a separate homeland for the community in the valley, today urged the RSS to consider abrogation of Article 370 in J&K during its three-day long conference here. “Since the most important meeting of the RSS takes place in Jammu at a very important time, we take an opportunity to make an appeal to the leadership of the RSS to consider the issue of abrogation of Article 370 from the Indian Constitution”, president Panun Kashmir Ashwani Chrungoo told reporters here today. He claimed the Article 370 of the Constitution infringes the fundamental rights of the Indian citizens “in context of Jammu and Kashmir state in many ways”. “It is this Article that has provided a constitutional mechanism to perpetuate the concept of secession in J&K and which justifies a psychological drift from the national mainstream giving rise to absurd theories of sub- nationalism in Kashmir,” Chrungoo said. Article 370 grants special autonomous status to J&K. Chairman, Political Affairs Committee, M L Raina said the Kashmiri Pandits continue to live as refugees in their own country for the last 28 years. “Their pain and agony are unparallel in the post freedom era of our country,” he said, adding that “it would be great if the historic meeting of the RSS gives a clarion call for their resettlement in the valley as per their geo-political aspirations as enunciated in the Margdarshan Resolution of 1991”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

KPs demand CBI probe into murder of constable Sameer Ji Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Displaced Kashmiri Pandits today demanded a CBI probe into the alleged murder of constable Sameer Ji Kumar by his fellow policeman last month in north Kashmir. President All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) Ravinder Raina said the case should be immediately handed over to the CBI for an “impartial investigation”. Sameer, who was posted in Srinagar, had gone missing on May 14. His body was recovered in the first week of June. Police said that he was xallegedly murdered by his colleague as a revenge for sodomising him. “Constable Sameer Ji Kumar, who went missing on May 14, was killed by SPO Aijaz Ahmad after Kumar resorted to sexual act with Ahmad,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, central Kashmir range, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, had told reporters in Srinagar on June 1. A case of murder was later registered against Ahmad, a special police officer (SPO) posted in Srinagar. While denouncing the “tardy” approach of the state government, The ASKPC leader said, “We demand probe by the CBI because we have no faith on the police investigation which has changed statements twice”. “The first statement of the police said he committed suicide under the influence of liqour and in the second said he was murdered,” Raina told reporters here today. Almost all organisation of the displaced Kashmiri pandits, amassing over 1500 people, participated in the 10th- day death rituals of Sameer. They expressed their resentment on the “indifferent and callous manner” of the state administration with which the disappearance and subsequent murder of the cop was handled. “ASKPC has apprehensions that such acts in the valley are solely directed at discouraging the community youth in joining their postings in the valley and is a part of the grand plan of the anti-national elements in subverting the return of the community to their roots,” it alleged. Terming the murder as a “conspiracy” to stall the return of pandits to the valley, Panun Kashmir leader Agnishekhar said, “It was a plan to Islamise Kashmir valley and establish the caliphate, which is evident from the current situation in the valley as government of India is in deep slumber, with no concrete policy towards the Kashmiri Pandits who are the worst sufferers of the turmoil in Kashmir”. The KPs also demanded adequate compensation to be paid to the family of the deceased cop. Later, a large gathering of KPs also blocked Akhnoor road for impressing upon the state government to act swiftly on the issue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC for continuity in service to 43 Kurukshetra cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab and Haryana High Court has applied the principle of equal treatment by directing the Haryana government to extend the benefit of continuity in service with 50 per cent back wages to 43 Kurukshetra police officials. The verdict by Justice Rajiv Narain Raina followed allegations of discrimination by the Haryana government against the appellants, who were on probation when discharged from service. Their counsel had argued that several employees were discharged and dismissed from service on the ground of same conduct. The statewide strike was resorted to by policemen in 1991. While regular employees were taken back in service with 50 per cent back wages without punishment in districts other than Kurukshetra, but same yardstick was not followed for them. Justice Raina observed “the basic issue was that the punishing authority did not care to treat the plaintiffs as similarly situated employees were dealt by the police department.” “When the principles of unfair discrimination are invoked and proved beyond doubt, the civil court ought not to sit back and refuse to apply the principles of Article 14 of the Constitution,” the justice noted. He further observes that if the principle was to be upheld with eyes shut, there would be further invidious and hostile bifurcation among homogeneous class of discharged probationers. He observed that “this means that there will be intra- class discrimination between the probationers and appellants and regular police officials involved in the same incident, pardoned by the state in a compromise between the Haryana Police and the state government.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Reach out to Kashmiris, Amit Shah tells party MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Saturday reminded his party legislators and ministers that the nation comes first, and asked them to reach out to the people of the restive Kashmir Valley. He also said that restoring normalcy in the Valley was the priority and talks would follow it.Shah, who arrived in Jammu to kick off 95-day Vistaar (expansion) Yatra, was given a grand welcome in the city of temples. From bike rally to motor rally, Shah was taken to the government convention centre in a huge cavalcade. Throughout the route, BJP supporters had lined up to welcome Shah. He was profusely garlanded and en route people showered flower petals and shouted pro-BJP slogans.Soon after his arrived in Jammu, Shah went into a huddle with party office-bearers, legislators and ministers where he asked them not to confine themselves to their constituencies or to Jammu but reach out to the people in Kashmir Valley as well. Shah, sources said, told his party colleagues that nation comes first and the government comes later and urged them to expand their base.”Kashmiris are our brothers and we have to ensure their safety and security. He said we will restore peace and normalcy in Kashmir and then we will think of talks,” said Ravinder Raina, BJP MLA from Nowshera.Sources said Shah expressed concern over the ongoing unrest and directed the ministers to visit different constituencies in the Kashmir Valley at least twice in 15 days to strengthen the party base.”He told his ministers to start Kashmir outreach programme and meet general public. It is the BJP’s stand that nation always comes first. There’s nothing new about it,” said Khalid Jehangir, BJP spokesman for Kashmir.BJP legislators have been asked to visit the constituencies where the party had lost in last elections in order to expand cadre base. “Guns, stones and talks cannot go hand in hand. Talks cannot be held with separatists and India bashers. BJP believes in democracy and will not go for governor’s rule,” said RainaLater while addressing a gathering of intellectuals, Shah said, “Can anybody tell me who will be the president of BJP after me? Who will become the president of Congress after Sonia Gandhi? (Audience bursts into laughter). Farooq Sahab’s succession is complete in his lifetime. BJP and Communists are the only parties who have kept the internal democracy alive,” he said.Shah said only the party which believes in internal democracy can safeguard the democracy and further democratic values in the country. “The party which is limited to family’s interests cannot do any good for nation. The party which has internal democracy can only remain dedicated to national interests. BJP is only party where internal democracy is alive,” he saidShah also hit out at Congress saying the party has not been formed on any ideology, and Gandhiji had called for dissolution of the party after independence and sought to form the parties on ideological bases to seek mandate accordingly from the people.”If you analyse the Congress history, you will find that it is not the ideological party. It was a group of intellectuals and since it was fighting for India’s freedom many people with varied ideologies be it Muslim League, Hindu Maha Sabha, Communists joined in. Congress was a mass movement not an ideology. And that is why Gandhiji called for dissolving the party and forming new one on ideological basis to seek mandate from the people,” he said.Shah said the parties which came into being after independence came from the Congress because the leaders felt choked before one family. “Regional parties have no ideology. Our founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was a finance minister in Nehru government but he felt that the principals did not have the smell of our nation. So eight to 10 people formed Bharatiya Jan Sangh to create a viable alternative to Congress,” he said.

BJP pulls up Omar for cornering Mehbooba Govt. post Srinagar violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today termed as ?unfortunate? the violence in Kashmir during the by-election and asserted that National Conference working president Omar Abdullah should condemned the act of separatists instead of putting the onus on Mehbooba Mufti?s government. BJP leader Ravindra Raina told ANI, “This is very unfortunate incident and I say these separatists are murderers of democracy. I hope Omar Abdullah will criticize these anti-democratic people.” Raina further stated that the Kashmiris were willing to cast their votes but the trouble creators forced them to remain in their houses. “The common masses in Kashmir were interested in casting their votes. Women, youngsters in large numbers came out of their houses and cast their votes. But unfortunately, the separatists, Pakistani elements created fierce psychosis atmosphere,” said Raina. Expressing confidence of winning both Anantnag and Srinagar seats in the by-polls, the BJP leader said that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Tasaduq Mufti should not succumb to pressure. On the other hand, Congress leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir said Tasaduq Mufti can?t decide on his own and postpone the Anantnag by-polls slated for April 12. “The voters should be allowed to exercise their votes. We alert the government in the all-party meeting ahead of the by-polls about the terror atmosphere in Kashmir. But now, we cannot postpone the election at the last moment,” Mir told ANI. Earlier in the day, Tasaduq Mufti, who is the brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, had called on the Election Commission to postpone the Anantnag by-polls. The development comes in the wake of the Valley being on lockdown following the death of eight civilians in clashes with the security forces. Following the escalation of violence on Sunday, internet services have been suspended in Kashmir Valley till the Anantnag by-polls on April 12. Besides, all Kashmir University exams scheduled to be held up-to the Anatanag by-polls have been postponed. New dates for the same will be notified separately.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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