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PDP, BJP on warpath as Mehbooba invokes 1987; Madhav hits back

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The PDP and BJP, who were yet to complete a month of separation, today mounted scathing attack against each other with PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti warning New Delhi, which is ruled by the BJP, of “extremely dangerous consequences” like the one in 1987 if any attempt was made to split her party and the BJP striking back reminding Mehbooba that her father late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was part and parcel of 1987 Rajiv-Farooq accord.
BJP top brass also jumped into strong war of words between erstwhile coalition partners, who had fallen apart on June 19, with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying the BJP was neither trying to break the PDP nor indulging in horse-trading while her Ministerial colleague Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi charged Mehbooba with “exposing her proximity to separatists”. Click here to watch video
In her first public appearance after resigning as the Chief Minister on June 19 following withdrawal of support to her Government by the BJP, Mehbooba told reporters after paying tributes to 1931 martyrs that any attempt by the Centre to engineer a split in her party will have “extremely dangerous consequences”.
She recalled that the events post the 1987 Assembly elections had created Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based supremo of banned Hizbul Mujahideen, and Mohammad Yasin Malik, the JKLF chief.
Within minutes, BJP national general secretary and party’s pointman on Jammu and Kashmir posted a photograph on the twitter with tweet reading: “a 1987-vintage picture. ‘Delhi’ with Farooq Abdullah. D (The) other leader in picture is easily recognizable, at least by Mehbooba ji, who accused, wrongly, `Delhi’ for her own party’s internal problems”.
The photo showed then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi walking with Dr Farooq Abdullah on his left and late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on the right. Madhav wanted to convey strongly to Mehbooba that her father Mufti Sayeed was also part and parcel of 1987 Rajiv-Farooq accord followed by allegedly rigged Assembly elections.
As National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, targetting Mehbooba, tweeted that it takes your estranged friends and allies to remind you of your family history when you talk about 1987, Madhav reminded him (Omar): “incidentally, we were also allies for a couple of years Omarji”.
Omar admitted writing: “We were but Vajpayee Sahib Ka Zamana Kuch Aur He Tha, Us Daur Ka Kya Kehna. Those days it was ‘Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat aur Kashmiriyat”.
Madhav replied: “From our side it continues to be Vajpayee principle of Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat n Kashmiriyat only. D (The) other side talks of Salahuddins n Yasin Maliks”.
Other Central BJP leaders also reacted strongly to Mehbooba’s statement.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was wrong to say that the BJP is trying to break the PDP.
“The BJP isn’t interested in breaking PDP. The BJP isn’t indulging in horse-trading,” she said.
Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Mehbooba has exposed her proximity with separatists by warning that if her party was split it would create more terrorists in the state.
He said with her statement, Mehbooba was “trying to give oxygen to terrorists”.
“Knowing or unknowingly she has only exposed her proximity to separatists,” the BJP leader said.
Earlier, Mehbooba said any attempt by the Centre to engineer a split in her party will have extremely dangerous consequences.
“If Delhi tries to dismiss the voting rights of people like 1987, if it tries to create divisions and interfere like that then I think just like a Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik were born in 1987…if it tries to break PDP like that then outcomes will be dangerous,” said Mehbooba while talking to reporters in Srinagar.
She said that her party is strong and differences can be resolved but warned of dangerous consequences if a spilt is engineered. “My party is strong, there are differences which can be resolved. However, if there are any attempts to engineer a split in the PDP like it was done in 1987 to commit robbery on people’s vote and to crush the MUF (Muslim United Front), the results will be extremely dangerous,” she said.
Mehbooba also recalled that the events post the 1987 Assembly elections had “create” Syed Salahuddin, the supremo of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen and Mohammad Yasin Malik, the JKLF chief. Salahuddin is now based in Pakistan. “There can be no splits without Delhi’s involvement. In 1987, the robbery on people’s vote created one Salahuddin and one Yasin Malik,” the PDP president said.
This was her first public appearance in the State after she resigned as the Chief Minister. After the Government fell, several PDP legislators raised a banner of revolt against Mehbooba’s leadership and accused her of nepotism and favouritism during her tenure as Chief Minister.
Reacting to Mehbooba’s statement, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it would not matter to Kashmiris if the PDP breaks up. “Let me put this out here for all to remember not one new militant will be created with the break up of the PDP. People will not mourn the demise of a party created in Delhi only to divide the votes of Kashmiris,” he tweeted.
The dissident PDP legislators led by Imran Raza Ansari, the former Minister in Mehbooba Government hit out at the party president Mehbooba for her remarks.
Addressing a press conference immediately after Mehbooba’s statement here in Srinagar, the dissident legislators alleged that her controversial remark has put their families at risk and created doubts about their representative character as MLAs.
Ansari, the PDP MLA from Pattan, said: “Our conscience has woken up and we are deadly against family rule be it Mehbooba Mufti or Omar Abdullah. So far both Mehbooba and Omar have played their cards well to strengthen family rule in the State.”
PDP MLC Yasir Reshi said: “Cinematographer from Mumbai was brought over our heads, nominated MLC and inducted in the Cabinet as a Minister. Leaders like Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Taria Hamid Karra, Ghulam Hassan Mir and Qazi Mohammad Afzal have been either thrown out or discredited in the party. We are against dynasty politics be it Muftis or Abdullahs.”
Present at the presser PDP MLA from Baramulla and cousin of top PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Javaid Baig said: “The remarks of Mehbooba Mufti have put our families at risk. We are not the sponsors of either the separatists or militants. We are not purchasable commodities and can’t go against the mandate given to us by the people. Mehbooba Mufti’s remark has endangered the lives of our workers and is very unfortunate and highly condemnable.”
Present at the presser were also MLC from Khansahab Saifudin Bhat and MLA from Noorabad Abdul Majeed Padroo.
Rebel PDP leader Imran Raza Ansari, former Minister also accused Mehbooba of being “a white collar killer”.
In a series of tweets, Ansari attacked his former party leader in the backdrop of Mehbooba’s threat to Delhi not to break PDP.
“I am one of the dissenters. Are you Mehbooba telling me that Delhi convinced me to rebel against you, wake up from your slumber, you humiliated me for three years,” Ansari tweeted.
“Are you telling me Mehbooba Mufti that people will take to guns because you and your cronies have been driven out of power. It is an end to cronyism. People are celebrating wake up,” he further tweeted.
In an another tweet, Ansari said “Don’t tell me Mehbooba Mufti that you are a novice and don’t know that painting rebellion as a Delhi exercise puts rebels lives at a risk. Stop being a white collar killer.”
“What ninety are you talking of Mehbooba Mufti. You have already surpassed ninety in your tenure. Stop issuing threats and stop blackmailing. There is no appetite for all this song and dance,” Ansari said.

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J&K

NEWS 225 Govt officers punished for non-performance

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As many as 225 Central Government officers have been punished for non-performance, the Government said today.

The performance of a total of 25,082 Group ‘A’ and 54,873 Group ‘B’ officers has been reviewed up to May 2018, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Of these, the relevant rules were invoked against 93 Group ‘A’ and 132 Group ‘B’ officers, he said.

In reply to another question, the minister said during 2017 and March 2018, vigilance clearance has been denied to 80 officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on the ground of filing Immovable Property Returns after prescribed time or failing to file it.

He said that from the year 2014 onwards, sanction for prosecution has been granted against three IAS officers on account of having disproportionate assets.

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Yatra resumes, 7351 perform darshan

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After remaining suspended due to inclement weather and rains from both the tracks yesterday, the holy Amarnath yatra was resumed from both shortest Baltal and traditional Pahalgam tracks early this morning.
On 21st day of the yatra, 7,351 pilgrims paid obeisance at cave shrine situated in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag at an altitude of 3880 meters today.
Till date, 2,08,933 pilgrims have paid obeisance at cave shrine since the two month long yatra started on June 28, an officer on yatra duty said.
He said the yatra is going on smoothly from both the tracks and after being suspended yesterday, it was resumed from twin tracks today.
He said the weather during the day remained dry but cloudy and yatra plied smoothly. However it rained in the evening.
The officer said over 6000 pilgrims left for holy cave from twin tracks and by chopper today. Out of this 3719 pilgrims left from Baltal base camp to holy cave by foot this morning while 1004 left by air.
Besides, 2100 pilgrims left from Nunwan -Pahalgam base camp towards holy cave this morning. Over 10,000 pilgrims are staying at Baltal for night halt today while 4653 pilgrims left for Srinagar on way to their home States today. Besides over 5000 pilgrims are putting up at Pahalgam and Nunwan for night, he added.
He said the yatris having night halt at transit camps of Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni also left for their onwards sojourn early this morning.
While the yatris who left Panjtarni this morning performed their darshan in the holy cave today, those from Chandanwari and Sheshnag will spent one to two nights in the next transit camps.
The officer said that out of over two lakh pilgrims who have performed the darshan during last 21 days at holy cave, majority have reached their home States while others are on way back.
The two -month long yatra will culminate on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 26 when holy mace led by Mahant Deepender Giri Ji Maharaj, its sole custodian, will reach cave shrine from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar.
Meanwhile, the 18th batch of 1,983 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in a fleet of 59 vehicles under tight security cover in the wee hours today for twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley.
These yatris will leave for onwards journey form their respective base camps early tomorrow morning.
Yatra Nodal Officer, Jammu, Arun Manhas said that 2178 pilgrims were registered at three registration counters here today. He said over 3000 yatris are camping at Jammu in various lodges, community centers and Yatri Niwas and they will leave for their respective base camps in Kashmir valley early tomorrow morning.

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J&K

Don’t pelt stones at army, stay away from encounter sites: Appeals 15 Corps GoC

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While Army chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the security situation and operational preparedness of troops in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, a senior army commander appealed youth to not pelt stones at the troops and urged them to stay away from the sites where anti-militancy operations are launched.

General Bipin Rawat, accompanied by Northern command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, visited Akhnoor sector on Saturday to take stock of the ground situation in the region.

“He was briefed by General Officer Commanding (GoC) 14 Corps Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh and other army officers about the operational preparedness, prevailing security situation and actions being undertaken to ensure a robust and effective counter infiltration grid,” defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Col Devender Anand said.

The army chief, he said, also reviewed the measures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted and being followed by troops.

Meanwhile, GoC of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A K Bhatt said army regrets the civilian killings during security operations in Valley.

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