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Jon Snow to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Game of Thrones star to become a superhero?
Source:  IBTimes India
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:25

Recently Kit Harington spoke about the future of his character at the end of the show.

Chennai: 5 detained, but no arrests yet
Source:  Deccan Chronicle
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:16

LeT threat: Close screening of people, places.

Cost of NRC appeal may go up to Rs 50,000
Source:  Times of India
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:13

The costs incurred at a tribunal comprises two components — legal and administrative. The legal cost includes the advocate’s fee for filing (one-time) the appeal and for appearing (multiple times), which can run up to Rs 40,000 at the very least. The administrative expenses can touch Rs 10,000.

12 Oppn leaders of 9 parties not allowed to visit Valley
Source:  DailyExcelsior.com
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:10

Delegation submits memorandum to DM for Governor
Guv reacts, says no need for Rahul in Kashmir now
Rahul says was ready to go individually if there was Sec 144

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 24: A delegation of 12 Opposition leaders from nine political parties including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had to return to New Delhi this afternoon from Srinagar Airport as it was not allowed to visit Kashmir but submitted a memorandum to the District Magistrate Budgam saying they were in the Valley on public invitation of the Governor and described basis of their detention (at the Airport) as “undemocratic and unconstitutional� with Rahul stating that he was ready to go to meet the people alone if Section 144 was in place. They wanted their memorandum to be handed over to Governor Satya Pal Malik.
“We are here at the public invitation of the Governor who asked us to visit and see for ourselves the peace and normalcy that prevails. We are responsible political leaders and elected representatives and our intentions are entirely peaceful and humanitarian. We are here to express solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as well as to expedite the process of return to normalcy,� the memorandum signed by 12 Opposition leaders including Rahul and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, said.
The Governor reacted sharply to the visit of Rahul Gandhi to Srinagar.
“There is no need for him (Rahul) now. He was needed when his colleague was speaking in the Parliament. If he wants to aggravate the situation and come here to repeat the lie he told in Delhi, it is not good,” Malik told a news agency in Srinagar on the visit of Opposition leaders to Srinagar.

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The Governor was apparently referring to the speech of Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, who had made controversial remarks on Kashmir.
Earlier in the day, the delegation of 12 Opposition leaders reached Srinagar from New Delhi. However, they were not allowed by the administration to come out of the Airport. They stayed at the Airport lounge for quite some, submitted a memorandum to the District Magistrate Budgam to be handed over to the Governor and made a brief appearance before the media, which had managed to reach the Airport before being asked to return to New Delhi.
The Opposition leaders were served an order by the administration expressing apprehensions about their movement outside the Srinagar Airport, which the delegation members described as baseless.
“The objections to the delegation’s movement outside Srinagar Airport and the apprehensions expressed in the order are baseless. They are tantamount to allegations against the purpose of our visit,â€� the memorandum submitted by the Opposition leaders said.
It added: “We are here at the public invitation of the Governor who asked us to visit and see for ourselves the peace and normalcy that prevails. We are responsible political leaders and elected representatives and our intentions are entirely peaceful and humanitarian”.
The memorandum said the tone and tenor of the order read out attributes to our motives which are baseless and lack substance.
“We record our strong objection to the basis of our detention, which prima facie is undemocratic and unconstitutional. This denial of our movement in Srinagar also amounts to violation of our fundamental rights,� it added.
The delegation of Opposition leaders comprised Rahul Gandhi, MP, former AICC (I) president, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha, KC Venugopal, AICC general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, general secretary CPI (M), Tiruchi Siva, Leader of DMK in Rajya Sabha, Sharad Yadav, former Union Minister and president LJD, Dinesh Trivedi, former Union Minister and leader TMC, D Raja, general secretary CPI, Majeed Memon, MP and leader of NCP, Manoj Jha, MP Rajya Sabha and leader of RJD and D Kupendra Reddy, MP and leader of JD (S).
The delegation leaders wanted to visit Kashmir valley to take stock of the situation there after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions but were not allowed to leave Srinagar airport by the State administration and had to return to the national capital. Yesterday, the State Government had issued a statement asking political leaders not to visit the Valley as it would disturb the gradual restoration of peace and normal life. The leaders lashed out at the Government, questioning its claim of “normalcy” in the Valley.
“The Government has invited me. The Governor has said that I am invited. Now that I have come, they are saying you can’t come. The government is saying that everything is normal here, so if everything is normal then why are we not allowed to go in. It is surprising,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told reporters at the Srinagar airport.
Rahul said they wanted to go to any area which is peaceful and talk to 10-15 people.
“If there is Section144, I am ready to go individually. We don’t have to go as a group,â€� he said.
Before emplaning for Srinagar from New Delhi, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad said three former Chief Ministers of J&K including Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are under house arrest and he has not been allowed to visit either Kashmir or Jammu by the administration earlier.
“This shows the Government has something to hide,” Azad said.
CPI general secretary D Raja, who was part of the delegation, said the fact that they were denied entry into Srinagar showed that the Government was “lying” about the “normalcy” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We were asked to go back after we were shown an order. We had gone there on the invite of the Governor and despite that we were asked to return. Where is the normalcy that the government promised?” asked Raja.
A statement issued by the CPI (M) said that the delegation had planned to visit various parts of the State over the next few days, talking to various people and sections of the populace and shades of political opinion to ascertain the situation existing on the ground and the difficulties that they are encountering as a result of the shutdown in the Kashmir valley.
“The denial of entry to well-known leaders of recognized political parties is an outright attack on the rights of leader to meet and address their constituents. Denying entry is day light robbery of rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” the statement said.
“If ‘normalcy’ exists in the Valley as claimed by the government, why is it stopping representatives of political parties from meeting the people?” the CPM statement asked.
It said that the people of the country were watching this “blatant trampling upon of the democratic rights of people and their representatives by a party which seeks to impose a totalitarian regime”
The State administration had last night stated that the visit by politicians would be a violation of restrictions that have been imposed in many areas of the Valley.
On administration’s decision not to allow Opposition leaders to visit the Valley, Principal Secretary and Government’s official spokesman Rohit Kansal said the priority is to maintain security and law and order at a time when the threat of cross-border terrorism continues to exist.
“They had been requested not to visit the Valley,” he said.
The joint delegation of the opposition had flown to Srinagar around noon today to meet the people of Jammu and Kashmir and assess the situation there following imposition of restrictions after the Centre withdrew special status to the State and bifurcated it into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The post 12 Oppn leaders of 9 parties not allowed to visit Valley appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K.


BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley dies at 66
Source:  DailyExcelsior.com
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:09

Prez, PM, others pay tributes

NEW DELHI, Aug 24:
Arun Jaitley, who as Finance Minister ushered in India’s biggest tax reforms and was the chief trouble-shooter of the BJP and the Modi Government, died at the AIIMS here today after battling multiple health issues for the last several months.
He was 66.
In a brief statement, the hospital said Jaitley breathed his last at 12.07 pm. He was admitted to the hospital on August 9 following complaint of breathing difficulty.
The cremation will be on Sunday afternoon at the Nigambodh Ghat.
Known as a consensus builder, Jaitley was the BJP’s man for all seasons and acted as the key strategist for Narendra Modi Government in its first term. He helmed the Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Ministries.
Leaders across the political spectrum paid rich tributes to Jaitley, a quintessential moderate who was never associated with the hard edges of Hindutva politics.
He became a trusted friend of Narendra Modi as he smoothed the path for the Gujarat leader’s rise in the BJP by helping him win key allies.

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Jaitley played an instrumental role in implementation of Modi’s various ambitious schemes and programmes after the BJP came to power in May 2014.
His most important legacy will be rolling out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017, the biggest tax reforms after Independence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-nation tour, said he had lost a valued friend and conveyed his condolences to Jaitley’s wife and son.
“With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!” the Prime Minister said.
In his two brief stints as Defence Minister, Jaitley cleared the path for ushering in a raft of long-pending reforms in the armed forces and came out with key policy initiatives with an aim to make India self reliant in defence production.
He was perhaps among the BJP bigwigs who made a smooth transition from the Atal-Advani era in the party to the one where Narendra Modi dominated, ushering in the rise of new generation leaders.
His death is another jolt to the BJP after the demise of Sushma Swaraj, a contemporary of Jaitley and one of its prominent faces, on August 6.
Party leaders mourned Jaitley’s loss, remembering him as a dear colleague, mentor and guide and hailing his contribution to the growth of the party and the nation.
Jaitley, an urbane and media-savvy leader and a legal luminary, was one of the sharpest political minds not only within the BJP but also in the larger political spectrum where he made lifelong allies cutting across the ideological divide.
Paying homage to Jaitley, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders said his contribution to public life will be remembered forever.
A gifted raconteur whose interest spanned from politics to Bollywood to sports, his informal gatherings were always a full house as journalists, friends and politicians enjoyed his wit, sarcasm- which singed his colleagues and adversaries alike- and grasp of issues that he delivered in his ever relaxed and warm demeanour.
Jaitley was the bridge that the BJP used to win over new allies, and also its warm, affable and persuasive face to bring opposition parties around on key issues.
JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was his personal friend for decades after he played a key role in ensuring that he is projected as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
In his condolence message, L K Advani said Jaitley was known and respected for his “sharp, analytical mind and everyone in the BJP always depended on him for finding solutions to complex issues.”
“He was also someone who valued and nurtured his friendship with people across the political spectrum. As a person, Arunji will be remembered as a soft-spoken, erudite and warm hearted person,” he said.
“A food lover, he never failed to recommend good restaurants to me. Also on every Deepawali, he made it a point to come with his family to our home to wish us,” Advani added.
Jaitley had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS, and his health condition gradually worsened, forcing him to take frequent breaks from his work. He was also diagnosed with soft tissue cancer.
He opted out of the second term of the BJP-led NDA Government as Modi led the saffron party to a landslide win in May this year.
Jaitley, who had lost the 2014 general election did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, because of his ill-health.
He was serving his fourth straight term in Rajya Sabha, where he entered in 2000 and went on to become the Leader of the Opposition and then the Leader of the House as the BJP came to power in 2014.
He stopped attending office since early April last year, but was back in the Finance Ministry on August 23, 2018.
In September 2014, he had undergone bariatric surgery to shed weight he had gained because of a chronic diabetic condition.
After his demise, Jaitley’s body was taken to his South Delhi residence where several top leaders paid floral tributes.
On Sunday morning, his body will be taken to the BJP headquarters before the final journey.
President Ram Nath Kovind also condoled the death and said he was extremely saddened.
“A brilliant lawyer, a seasoned Parliamentarian, and a distinguished Minister, he contributed immensely to nation building,� he said.
“Shri Arun Jaitley possessed a unique ability of discharging the most onerous responsibility with poise, passion and studied understanding. His passing leaves a huge void in our public life and our intellectual ecosystem. Condolences to his family and associates,� Kovind said.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said he was deeply shocked to learn about the demise of Jaitley, whom he described as “a long time dear friend and one of my closest associates�.
“His death is an irreparable loss to the nation and a personal loss to me. I have no words to express my grief,� he said.
BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Jaitley’s death was a personal loss for him.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Arun Jaitley, Jaitley’s departure is a personal loss for me. As him, I have lost not only a senior leader of the organization but also an integral member of the family whose support and guidance I have been receiving for years,� Shah tweeted.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track. The BJP will miss Arunji’s presence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.�
BJP ally and Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan remembered him as one of the tallest leaders and also a fine human being.
Jaitley was also a reliable troubleshooter for the BJP, he said, recalling his contribution during the first BJP-led NDA Government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Congress said, “We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Arun Jaitley. Our condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief.�
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Jaitley’s demise a huge loss for the nation.
“Untimely demise of former FM and senior leader Sh Arun Jaitley ji is a huge loss to the nation. A legal luminary and an experienced political leader known for his governance skills will be missed by the country. Thoughts and prayers with his family in this moment of grief. RIP,� he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding Parliamentarian & a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends & admirers.� (PTI)

The post BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley dies at 66 appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K.


Kerala man held for ‘links’ with Lashkar terror plot
Source:  Times of India
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:08

Rahim was arrested from the premises of Ernakulam first class judicial magistrate where he had come to surrender before the law, after his profile was put on lookout notices across the state. Police sources said, a woman hailing from Wayanad and reported to be Rahim’s partner, is also in custody since Friday and is being questioned by police.

Isolation of J&K allowed K-youth to be misguided, radicalised: PM
Source:  DailyExcelsior.com
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:08

Modi honoured with ‘Order of Zayed’ award

ABU DHABI, Aug 24:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked to end its “isolation” which allowed some of the youth to be “misguided, get radicalised and take to violence and terrorism”.
Defending his Government’s moves, Modi said it was India’s “internal steps” which was taken in a “completely democratic, open, transparent and constitutional” manner.
Modi, who is in the UAE on the second leg of his three-nation tour, in an interview with the Khaleej Times on Friday, said his Gover-nment scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution to end the isolation that had kept Jammu and Kashmir underdeveloped “to serve the vested interests of a few.”
“This isolation also allowed some of the youth to be misguided, get radicalised and take to violence and terrorism,” he said.
“We cannot afford to let these tendencies get any foothold in our harmonious society and distract us from the primary tasks of growth and development of the entire country. I appreciate the understanding the UAE and its leadership have shown for our steps and our reasons for taking them,” said Modi, who held talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday.
Responding to a question on the scrapping of Article 370 from the Constitution and whether the Gulf countries understand India’s concerns, Modi said, “As far as Article 370 is concerned, our internal steps were taken in a completely democratic, open, transparent and Constitutional manner. They were designed to end the isolation that had kept Jammu-Kashmir underdeveloped to serve the vested interests of a few.”
He thanked the UAE’s leadership for backing India on the issue.
The UAE has backed India on its decision to revoke provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the State into two union territories.
The Gulf nation’s ambassador to India Ahmad Al Banna had said that he viewed India’s decisions relating to Jammu and Kashmir as an internal matter of the country.
The BJP Government claimed that Article 370 was the cause of the lack of development in Jammu and Kashmir as it limits the Centre’s powers to implement special provisions and schemes.
On terrorism, Modi said, “India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism for over four decades. Both India and the UAE have a common interest in ensuring that the anti-humanity forces that shelter or promote terrorism in any way are compelled to give up their destructive policies.”
He said the UAE has shown “full understanding” of the strong steps India has taken against terrorism. “We have exemplary cooperation to ensure mutual security,” he said.
“Terrorism and extremism are a threat to humankind. It is the responsibility of everyone to oppose them with all the force at their command. India and the UAE have rapidly expanded their cooperation for security, based not only on their common concerns but also their shared values,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi said strengthening ties with the UAE remains one of the most important foreign policy priorities of his Government.
Talking about cooperation in all sectors between India and the UAE, he said, the rapport shared between the leaders has helped the countries break new ground.
“Tolerant UAE and secular India”, he said, are “natural partners”.
“To millions of Indians, the UAE is a second home. They feel welcomed in the UAE’s ethos rooted in respect for diversity. How many countries in the world have a separate Minister for Tolerance in the Cabinet? I am gratified that the UAE leadership consciously promotes co-existence and harmony. It is a landmark development to allot land for the construction of a temple for the Indian community working and living in the UAE. I truly appreciate this gesture by the UAE’s leadership.”
He said since the time of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, the country has been a beacon of enlightenment and forward-looking policies.
“That’s why the world has come to it and made this place its home and preferred business partner,” he said.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi was honoured with the ‘Order of Zayed’, the UAE’s highest civilian award, today in recognition of his pivotal role in building the strategic relationship between the two countries.
The award has earlier been bestowed on several world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Modi thanked the UAE Government for the honour and dedicated the award to the skills and abilities of 1.3 billion Indians.
The award was conferred on Modi by the Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.
“Humbled to be conferred the ‘Order of Zayed’ a short while ago. More than an individual, this award is for India’s cultural ethos and is dedicated to 130 crore Indians. I thank the UAE Government for this honour,” Modi tweeted later.
Meanwhile, Modi today discussed ways to improve trade and cultural ties between India and the UAE with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Welcoming Modi, the crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, expressed gratitude to his “brother� for visiting “his second home�.
“Had an excellent meeting with His Highness Crown Prince @MohamedBinZayed. We spoke about multiple subjects, including ways to improve trade and people-to-people relations between India and UAE,� Modi tweeted after the meeting.
The Prime Minister also said the crown prince’s “personal commitment� to strenghten the bilateral relations is “very strong�.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said there was a “new energy� in the relationship between the two leaders.
He quoted the crown prince as saying, “I am so grateful that my brother is coming to his second home.�
With robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about USD 60 billion, the UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner. It is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India.
In an interview to the UAE’s official news agency, WAM, Modi said India has found a “valuable partner� in the UAE to achieve its ambitious dream of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
He said the UAE-India relations are “at their best ever�, adding that the UAE investments in key sectors in India are growing.
“There has been an increasing interest in investments in India in sectors ranging from renewable energy, food, ports, airports, defence manufacturing and other sectors. UAE investments in infrastructure and housing (sectors) are being enhanced,� Modi said.
Both the countries are working closely and vigorously to implement the commitment of USD 75 billion investment by the UAE in India, he said. (PTI)

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MHA to review J&K situation, re-organization on Aug 27
Source:  DailyExcelsior.com
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:07

Home Secy to chair high-level meeting

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 24: The Union Home Ministry will be holding a high-level meeting to review security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and discuss reorganization of the State into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on August 27. Top officials of the MHA and some other concerned Ministries are expected to attend the meeting.
This will be first meeting of the Home Ministry on Jammu and Kashmir which will be chaired by newly appointed Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, who will replace Rajiv Gauba, who has been appointed as the Cabinet Secretary.
Sources told the Excelsior that situation prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley in the aftermath of revocation of special Constitutional provisions of the State and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will come up for review during the meeting.
The Home Ministry has already announced that Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will come into existence on October 31.
“By then, the Home Ministry in consultations with the Jammu and Kashmir Government will be completing all formalities for switching over status of Jammu and Kashmir from a State to two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh,” sources said, adding that the MHA officials were on the job.
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Incharge Jammu and Kashmir Division, Gyanesh Kumar will also attend the meeting as his department deals general policy matters in respect of Jammu and Kashmir and security situation including the terrorism in the State.
The meeting would also be attended by several Secretaries of the Government of India, whose Departments were dealing with re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories as the Government of India had to complete all formalities in the next two months before formally declaring J&K and Ladakh as the UTs.
According to sources, security situation in Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley would come up for high-level review at the meeting as there were still restrictions in some parts of Kashmir and life was yet to return to complete normalcy. Restrictions have, however, been lifted in Jammu region, where life was normal.
The Government was, however, confident things would be normal in the Valley after few days.
“Ongoing operations against the militants will also be reviewed in the high-level meeting as during past 20 days, only one major encounter has taken place in the Valley in which just one militant was killed,” sources said but added that slowdown in anti-militancy operations was because of the fact that focus of the security personnel had shifted to maintenance of law and order situation following abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A and bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories on August 5.
However, according to sources, with situation normalizing to some extent, security forces will step-up operations against the militants.
“The Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), which is also monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs, could also come up for review in the high-level meeting,” sources said, adding the Central Government wants to give push to ongoing developmental works in the State under the PMDP to prevent further cost escalation.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to Kashmir on June 26 and 27 had also reviewed the progress of projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Package, both in Central and State sectors, and directed the administration to ensure that the projects are completed within the timelines set for them.
It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in November 2015 announced Rs 80068 crore worth Prime Minister’s Development for Jammu and Kashmir but its cost has already exceeded to Rs one lakh crore due to cost escalation of some of the projects for missing of deadlines.

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Will Be A Challenge To Follow Arun Jaitley's Ideals: Murli Manohar Joshi
Source:  NDTV News
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:06

Expressing condolences at the death of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Saturday said that it will be a challenge for everyone to follow the ideals and...

Ordered over a month back, Traffic Police departmental enquiries yet to be completed
Source:  DailyExcelsior.com
Sunday, 25 August 2019 02:06

Dilly-dallying approach despite availability of factual reports
Death of 46 persons in Kishtwar, Mughal Road accidents

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 24: Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that departmental enquiries ordered by the Traffic Police Headquarters following major tragic accidents in Kishtwar and on Mughal Road, which claimed 46 lives, have yet not been completed despite lapse of over one month. The dilly-dallying approach in this regard is notwithstanding the fact that factual reports are already in the possession of the Enquiry Officers.
On June 27, 2019, a Tempo Traveller carrying students of Kashmir Institute of Technology, Surankote met with an accident near Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road resulting into death of 11 passengers and injuries to several others.
Similarly, on July 1, 2019, an extremely overloaded bus plunged into 350 feet deep gorge near Sirigwari in Kishtwar district leading to death of 35 persons and injuries to 16 others.
On the directions of Traffic Police Headquarters factual reports relating to both these accidents were sought from the concerned SSPs of Traffic Police. As far as Mughal Road accident is concerned, it was submitted by the concerned SSPs that Tempo Traveller was extremely overloaded and the DTIs/SOs concerned had failed to check the overloading, which amounts to gross carelessness and negligence towards their legitimate duties.
In view of this, a departmental enquiry into the matter was ordered by the Traffic Police Headquarters against Inspector Farooq Ahmed, DTI Pulwama-Shopian, Inspector Niaz Ahmed, DTI Mughal Road/Bufliaz and ASI Zulfqar Ahmad, the then SO (T) Surankote for their failure to conduct checking of the ill-fated overloaded vehicle.
“The enquiry shall be conducted by Tahir Sajad Bhat, Staff Officer to IGP Traffic J&K, who shall submit his findings within a fortnight for further course of action�, read the Order No.183 dated July 17, 2019 issued by Alok Kumar, Inspector General of Police Traffic J&K.
As far as Kishtwar accident is concerned, the factual report furnished by the SSP Traffic NHW Ramban revealed that mini-bus was extremely overloaded due to the failure of the concerned officer to check the menace. “This amounts to gross negligence, dereliction of duties and warrants disciplinary action�, the SSP mentioned in the factual report.
Accordingly, Traffic Police Headquarters on July 17, 2019 ordered departmental enquiry into the matter against Inspector Kesar Singh, DTI Kishtwar to be conducted by SSP Traffic City Jammu Joginder Singh within a period of 15 days positively.
Though both the Enquiry Officers were supposed to complete the proceedings relating to departmental enquiries within a period of 15 days from July 17, 2019 onwards (by August 1, 2019) yet they have not completed the assigned task despite lapse of over one month.
This can be gauged from the detailed affidavit filed by none else than the Inspector General of Police (Traffic) J&K Alok Kumar in compliance to the directions dated July 16, 2019 passed by the Division Bench of the State High Court in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled Intakhab Ahmed Qazi Versus State of J&K and Others.
The affidavit dated August 19, 2019, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, states: “In order to find out the lapse on the part of the Traffic Police officers/officials, a detailed factual report was sought from the subordinate units in whose area of responsibility, the ill-fated vehicles were plying on the days of incidents�.
“On receiving of the detailed factual reports of both the accidents, enquiries have been ordered by the Traffic Police Headquarters J&K on July 17, 2019, which are entrusted to Tahir Sajjad Bhatt, then SO to IGP Traffic and Joginder Singh, SSP Traffic City Jammu. These enquiries are under progress�, the affidavit further reads.
However, no justification has been given in the affidavit for not meeting the time-frame fixed for completion of departmental enquiries. “It is really a matter of serious concern that despite availability of the factual reports dilly-dallying approach is being adopted in completion of enquiries�, sources said, adding “prompt action in such cases is imperative so as to have deterrent effect�.
It is pertinent to mention here that Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sindhu Sharma, while expressing deep concern over the ‘dance of death’ on the roads in the hilly areas, had framed several questions to be answered by the State respondents including IGP Traffic Police J&K.

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