Land Allocated to Shrine Board for Exclusive Use!!
Following is the test read out by Governor’s adviser Dr S S Bloeria and SASS convenor Leela Karan Sharma during a joint press conference soon after the forth round of talks concluded during the wee hours here today.
Text read out by Dr S S Bloeria
a) The state government shall set aside for the use by SASB exclusively the land in Baltal and Domail (compartment No 63-S Sindh forest division) comprising an area of 800 kanals traditionally under use for the annual Yatra purposes.
b) The propriety status /ownership/title of the land shall not undergo any change.
c) The board shall use the aforesaid land for the duration of the Yatra including the period of making the required arrangements and winding up of the same for the purpose of user by various service providers according to its needs and priorities.
d) The aforesaid land shall be used according to the board’s requirements from time to time including the following:
i) Raising of temporary pre fabricated accommodation and toilet facilities by the board ii) Establishment of tented accommodation by private camping agencies (locals, permanent residents of the state) iii) Setting up of the shops by shopkeepers (Locals, permanent residents of the state) iv) Facilities for pony owners and pithu walas.
v) Provision of health care and medical facilities
vi) Setting up of free Langers by private persons and groups which are licensed by the board vii) Facilities of helicopter operations/parking of vehicles. viii) Arrangements of security by local police/para military forces and other security agencies as per the arrangements in place hereto fore and x) Undertaking taking measures relating to soil conservation, land protection and preservation of ecology. It has further been agreed that the board shall continue to function for the over all Yatra arrangements for the pilgrims on all routes during the period of Yatra by the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) as mandated by the provisions Amarnath act 200 AD
Text read out by SAYSS Convener Leela Karan Sharma Apart from the above the committee set up by the Samiti during the course of discussion projected 14 point chatter of demands for consideration by the state government. The main demands are related to the withdrawal of criminal cases against various persons during the period of agitation provisions of compensation to the families of the deceased and to the injured and working out of appropriate package of financial assistance to the traders and transporters who suffer damages during the agitation period.
Suspension of Bandh and the same will be called off after the demand of suspension of SSP Kathua and enforcing the demands agreed in the agreement. Government has also agreed upon for setting up of a working group who will examine the losses to the traders and transporters in both the regions and will recommend for the appropriate action.
SAYSS acknowledges Pandits role in Jammu Agitation
Leela Karan Sharma Convener of SAYSS rejected media reports over Kashmiri Pandits not participating in the Jammu agitation for restoration of land to SASS and said it was a plan to break the unity of the Jammuites and Kashmiri Pandits, reports noted journalist,KING C BHARATI
THE CAUTION sounded by a scribe a few days back about the government hiring goons and some so-called intellectuals trying to break the unity among various constituents of Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS) has come true. Certain writers were trying to divide the people of Jammu saying that the Kashmiri Pandits were not supporting the Jammu cause.
The wrong impression thus created was immediately cleared by Leela Karan Sharma, convener Sangharsh Samiti by condemning such write ups and warning such writers of serious consequences if they tried to break unity of the Samiti constituents.
Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) while acknowledging the tremendous role played by Kashmiri Pandits in the Jammu mass movement for restoration of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASS) has rejected media reports in a section of the national press that Kashmiri Pandits did not participate in the Jammu agitation.
Warning such writers of serious consequences Leela Karan Sharma Convener of SAYSS said that it was a design to malign the agitation and divide the unity of the Jammuites and Kashmiri Pandits to break the two month long agitation.
He said that Pandits have played a great role in the success of the Jammu agitation and cited the examples of Muthi, Durga Nagar, Anand Nagar among others where the agitation was at its peak. A meeting of prominent Kashmiri Pandits was held today (August 26) in the office of SAYSS, which was presided over by Shri Leelakaran Sharma, Convenor, Sangharsh Samiti to discuss the issue arising out of the media reports.
The prominent Pandits who attended the meeting included Shri Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, HL Chatta, RL Bhat, prof ML Raina, RK Raina, HL Bhat and Ashok Kangan. The meeting resolved to intensify the struggle launched by the Sangharsh Samiti and take it to the logical conclusion and not stop till the goal is achieved.
Shri Leelakaran Sharma, in his address, said that the agitation has received tremendous support from the Kashmiri Pandit community from the very beginning. While the Kashmiri Pandits have involved themselves fully in the struggle in Jammu, the people living outside the Jammu and Kashmir state have also given their best to the struggle launched by the Samiti.
The Pandits have not only contributed by their active physical participation in the struggle, but have also provided an ideological content to the agitation as well. It is gratifying to note that the programmes of the Samiti were organised at Delhi and other places by the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Any statement attributed to the Samiti, which has appeared in a section of the print media giving a false impression regarding the struggle, is completely disowned by us. It is a figment of someone’s imagination, which cannot be accepted by the Samiti. We acknowledge the role played by the Pandit community.
The prominent Kashmiri Pandits present in the meeting made it be known that the Amarnath Shrine and the present struggle are core religious and cultural issues for the Hindu community at large. Kashmiri Pandits being the indigenous people of Kashmir have a profound duty to fight for the rights of the community and the Hindu fraternity at large. The community is always prepared to sacrifice anything for the issues of concern in this regard.
"If Kashmiri Muslims have a problem ... emigrate to that Islamic country"
If Kashmiri Muslims have a problem living with us let them emigrate to that Islamic country across the border. Whoever wants to go must be helped to go. But, there will be no more changing of India’s borders. The more belligerent say let the Kashmir Valley go to Pakistan but then there will be no room in India for Muslims, says, Tavleen Singh
As an ‘argumentative Indian’ it pleases me when someone starts an argument with me. It pleases me even more when the challenger is a respected intellectual with more years of journalistic experience than little old me. So I was flattered that Prem Shankar Jha should consider it worthwhile to write a long, thoughtful piece in this newspaper last week to disagree with what I said on the current situation in Kashmir. What I said in this space was that it was disturbing not to hear Kashmir’s supposedly moderate leaders speak in a moderate voice at a time when sensible voices were so badly needed.
Mr Jha accused me of being “both simplistic and unjust”. In his critique of my piece he gave a lengthy account of the history of the Amarnath Yatra but ended up half agreeing with me: “Ms Singh is right when she says that (Yasin) Malik, the Mirwaiz, Geelani and even Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti fanned the agitation by joining it. But had they not done so they would have written their own epitaphs in Kashmiri politics.”
My answer is they should have. Kashmir needs leaders not politicians in its present crisis. If all that the ‘moderates’ can give us is politics and political expediency it would be better if they wrote their epitaphs quickly. It would make it easier for us to deal with the secessionists and jihadis who should under Indian law be tried for treason. Ten years ago I wrote a book that blamed the Government of India squarely for denying Kashmiris their democratic rights, thereby driving them towards armed insurgency. I believe this gives me the right to say that this time the Kashmiris have no cause.
No country could have dealt with a secessionist movement more gently than India has after those initial mistakes in the early nineties. The movement for azadi turned into Islamist terrorism and India did nothing. Kashmiri Hindus were ethnically cleansed from the Valley and India did nothing. Jihadis came across our borders and turned Kashmiri Islam into a Saudi facsimile and India did nothing.
This is why when something as absurd as the Amarnath land row should have brought thousands of Kashmiris into the streets carrying Pakistani flags and shouting jihadi slogans the reaction from Indians has been: get out. Enough is enough. In Delhi’s liberal drawing rooms they put it diplomatically. We should have a referendum, they say, and if the Kashmiris want to go to Pakistan then it’s time to let them go because, poor dears, they have suffered so much for their azadi.
As a reporter who prefers to listen to what ordinary people say let me tell you what I hear when I put my ear to the ground. I hear people say that anyone who wants to go to Pakistan must be allowed to leave and never allowed back into Kashmir. I hear people say that they are not prepared to surrender another inch of Indian territory. If Kashmiri Muslims have a problem living with us let them emigrate to that Islamic country across the border. Whoever wants to go must be helped to go. But, there will be no more changing of India’s borders. The more belligerent say let the Kashmir Valley go to Pakistan but then there will be no room in India for Muslims.
What I also hear is huge support for the movement in Jammu. So when our political leaders and politically correct TV anchors equate the two agitations they make a serious mistake. The way ordinary Indians see it is that we have one set of protesters who carry Indian flags and are ready to die for Bharat Mata and they cannot be equated with those who openly state their allegiance to Pakistan.
It is no longer about the Amarnath Yatra. It is about whether the Indian state has the courage to defend India from breaking up. And, defend the values India stands for. We stand for democracy, secularism and fundamental human freedoms that include the freedom of worship. These are good values and we must defend them against those who would have us make compromises with religious fanatics and traitors.
Those who do not share our values have every right to leave and find a country more suited to their way of thinking and their beliefs. But, if they choose to stay in India they must abide by the values of this land. In the name of ‘secularism’ Dr Manmohan Singh’s Government has made too many concessions to jihadis and other lowlifes. This is being seen as a sign of weakness by those who have no compunction about waving Pakistani flags on Indian soil. If this is a ‘simplistic and unjust’ assessment of the situation in Kashmir so be it.
And the culprits are: NDTV 24X7, CNN-IBN, and Headlines Today
The tragedy of Republic of India has been that under the garb of freedom of speech and press, armchair pseudo-secular journalists / electronic media channels have been shamelessly advocating the idea of aazadi (freedom) in Kashmir, without even realizing the gravity of what it means for the country.
In a country where you’ve journalists like Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghosh, Rajdeep Sardesai, and the likes of them, we’ve a danger within, of having a school of thought, which only presents a lop-sided pro-jihadi, pro-separatist viewpoint on Kashmir. If they have their way, balkanization of India, starting with secession of Kashmir, should be kick started at the earliest under the garb of addressing the so-called genuine aspirations of the people of Muslim-majority Kashmir.
The need of the hour is for all honorable nationalistic forces to rise to the occasion and call a bluff to the malicious disinformation campaign unleashed by these pseudo-secularist forces in the mainstream Indian media, at any cost. Joining their bandwagon is Arundhati Roy, so-called social activist and celebrated author, who standing on the same platform as Syed Ali Shah Geelani, openly dared to declare their support to the separatist elements in Kashmir – what worse can be the tragedy and misfortune of this nation.
All the so-called Indian electronic media channels have only Kashmiri Muslims as their reporters / correspondents in Jammu and Kashmir – as such the pro-anti-national bias in their coverage is understandable.
The sentiments of the pro-India forces in Jammu have been so hurt that NDTV office in Jammu was targeted, with a police handout saying that the SAYSS activists vandalized the office causing extensive damage to the property of the office. To defend its biased coverage, within few minutes, NDTV came out with a handout, which denied that there was extensive damage to the property of their office.
If NDTV 24X7, CNN-IBN, and Headlines Today have any sense of responsibility they should present facts without getting opinionated in favor of antinational forces. Otherwise the nation and the people of this country will never forgive them. Better late than never.
SKARDU: Baltistan Students Federation's services for the subjugated people of the region in attaining their basic rights during the last 23 years have been historic and praiseworthy. BSF has also created political awakening among the people of the region besides providing a platform for the nationalist parties of Gilgit-Baltistan.This was stated by Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) Manzoor Hussain Parwana while addressing the central convention of BSF here.
He said the leadership of BNF, GBDA and GBUM had earlier worked in the platform of the BSF. He said some elements were out to harass the students of Baltistan and keep them away from their efforts to achieve national rights.He advised the students not to give an ear to such elements because remaining slaves does not suit the sons of Ali Sher Achan, adding the day was not far when the youth of the region would be in the forefront of the struggle for independence by following in the footsteps of Ali Sher Achan.Mr Parwana said the BSF was a students' body which did not believe in ethnicity, sectarianism and prejudice.
He said those who at the behest of security agencies were trying to push the students towards ethnic and regional prejudices would never succeed in their designs. He expressed the hope that the BSF leadership would foil all such conspiracies through judicious decisions.
He said under a conspiracy, the students of the region were being kept away from their culture, language and tradition. In this regard, he added, the politicians and intellectuals of the region were also responsible in one way or the other. He said our politicians have been boasting that they have got the region's succession with Pakistan but they do not tell the masses if the area had ever acceded to Pakistan who was responsible for taking this decision, where and when such an agreement was signed and with whom.
If there exists such an agreement then why we have no representation in parliament of Pakistan, why the name of Gilgit-Baltistan is not mentioned in the constitution of Pakistan, why Pakistan considers Gilgit-Baltistan a disputed region and why the Supreme Court of Pakistan considers the area part of Kashmir?
He said Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) was about to bring a resolution calling for accession of the region with Pakistan. If such a resolution is tabled and passed by the house it would be the last knell in the coffin of our slavery, he warned, asking the people to be ready for foiling such a step.
Jammu, the city of temples, is now burning because Jammuites have been denied their due share for long. The region has been made to play a second fiddle to respective state administrations, headed by individuals belonging to the Valley.....
JAMMU, THE winter-capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir has had a lame-duck status in any given political dispensation, and time and again, one way or the other, the region has been made to play a second fiddle to respective state administrations, headed by individuals belonging to the Valley.
As long as one can remember, it has always been the state of affairs. In other words, it was never in dispute that J&K consisted of three distinct geographical and ethnic regions – Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Jammu, without doubt is an essential ingredient, and has played a crucial role in past one and a half decade of turmoil, to act as a deterrent to the overt and covert manoeuvres of the separatists in the Valley. It goes to the credit of the people of this historical city, who have stood tall, despite all odds, and given a befitting reply to the separatists and secessionist elements, which are hell bent upon destroying the secular fabric of the state.
The essential count, which needs to be done to protect Jammu area from being nibbled away, is to make certain that Jammu stays on a level keel, politically speaking. A rational study is indicative that Kashmir acquires the lion’s share in the political, and as well as the administrative domain. The Central endowments made to the state, have in the past not been disseminated equally between the three regions, depriving Jammu and Ladakh of the ways and means to make progress evenly with the Valley. Kashmir, which has a land area of 15,853 sq km, and inhabits less than half of the state’s population, returns 46 legislators to the 87 – member Legislative Assembly, the Jammu region, in contrast, spread over 26,293 sq km and with a population more or less equivalent to Kashmir, has the right to return only 37 legislators.
This political disparity in the dispensation is another major cause of resentment for the people of Jammu. Between 1966 and 1981, the state government had set up with much fanfare three commissions to placate the Jammu populace: Gajendragadkar Commission (1967), Qadri Commission (1972) and Sikri Commission (1979). While the first two were to look out the grievances of the Jammuites and propose measures to resolve the regional one-sidedness, the Sikri Panel was to scrutinise the demand for formation of more districts in the Jammu region. The subsequent regimes never implemented the recommendations of these commissions, and reduced the findings to the ’history dustbin.’
Amarnath Controversy: Step forward
Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government should immediately recall governor of Jammu and Kashmir, NN Vohra, for his partisan role in cancellation of 800 kanals of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). Congress-led UPA government should also immediately restore the 800 kanals of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), without any further delay. The decision to cancel allocation of land to SASB by Congress-led Ghulam Nabi Azad government, with the tacit support of the Congress-led UPA government, is an extremely sad and partisan decision aimed purely at appeasing the secessionists, fundamentalists and anti-national elements in Kashmir.
Fact remains that state governments in India do, from time to time, divert thousands of acres of land to departments like telecom, power development, tourism, public works, etc. There is no reason, why only these 800 kanals of forest land should become an issue. And that too when the decision in the first place was given a go-ahead by forest and law departments headed by two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ministers, Kazi Mohammad Afzal and Muzzaffar Hussein Baig, respectively. And, subsequently unanimously adopted by the cabinet of the Congress-PDP regime in the state.
We’ve reasons to believe that certain vested interests have deliberately ensured a complete blackout in the mainstream media on the legitimate and just agitation carried out by the people of Jammu against the cancellation of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) – people of this country deserve to know the truth about the details of the just cause for which the people of the Jammu region have been fighting / agitating for the past many weeks. It is regrettable to note the double standards and hypocrisy of the mainstream media, who have made heroes out of secessionists, fundamentalists and anti-national elements in Kashmir – every time, Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik, Sajjad Lone, and the likes of them receive even a bruise, the inconsequential event or happening is developed into national headlines.
Overall Internal Security
The Congress-led UPA government has completely and comprehensively failed in addressing the internal security concerns of India - pressing need for tougher laws, to act as deterrent against terrorism have been repeatedly, time and again, overlooked in support of vote-bank politics and minority appeasement, in favour of a particular community. It is extremely distressing that while almost all the Western nations, including America and United Kingdom have put in place tougher laws to deal with counter terrorism, Congress-led UPA government in India, despite repetitive, umpteen attacks, across length and breadth of the country, continues to turn a blind eye on the menace of Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism, sponsored by our neighbouring countries across the border.
UPA government has time and again given only knee jerk reactions on terror attacks, rather than have a coherent, deterrent policy, as a result of which the Central government has failed to discharge its fundamental duty, in protecting the lives of the people, in this country.
Don't lie to yourself - Message to Anti National & Seperatist Elements
One is amazed by the manner in which a genuine mass movement in this region is being sought to be disparaged. According to People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former minister Tariq Hamid Qarra the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) has launched an "anti-Kashmir and anti-Muslim" tirade. He has claimed that he has "credible inputs that thousands of Sangh (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) parivar activists from Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have infiltrated into Jammu and it is they who are planning and spearheading the protests there." On all the counts he is wrong. Has he not gone through statements galore by Congress as well as responsible Muslim and Gujjar leaders declaring support to the agitation? Surely he must be familiar with the names of some of them who have been his colleagues in the erstwhile coalition ministry. On the other hand young National Conference president Omar Abdullah has blown hot and cold. One of his reported views is: "I have been quoted as having said that the situation in Jammu is the worst in my lifetime and that was correct at the time. I will now have to amend that to read the worst since 1947." What has taken place in this province in 1947 is part of history. To apply this analogy, however, to the current situation is blatantly erroneous and mischievous. Nothing of that sort is happening now --- mercifully despite highly provocative utterances by quite a few leaders across the Pir Panjal. His other opinion is evidently meant to set the personal record straight even though belatedly: "My party is neither regional nor communal and Jammu's interests are as dear to us as those of Kashmir."
It is strange that those leaders are preaching secularism to this region who have a lot to explain about their own role with respect to the exodus of the Kashmiri pandits from the Valley. It is perhaps about them that English writer and philanthropist Hannah More has observed: "The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible." The total involvement of the people of this region in pressing for the allotment of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board in the vicinity of the holy place in the Valley is historic. Yes, it has assumed the dimensions of an expression of no-confidence in those Kashmir leaders who have always been at the helm but have denied this region of political empowerment. In no way can this be interpreted to mean that it is "anti-Kashmir" or "anti-Muslim". Obviously the PDP leaders are intentionally whipping up communal passions with an eye on their electoral constituency in the Kashmir region. It is exactly about conduct --- rather misconduct --- like this that Greek statesman Demosthenes has prophesised: "Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true."
The NC gains nothing by behaving like the PDP. This is not the first time though that the State's premier political outfit has shown signs of nervousness. Whenever under pressure in the past its leaders have cried: "Being Muslims our credentials are suspect." So far as the inhabitants of this region are concerned they ought to believe in Bertrand Russell's advice: "No satisfaction based on self-deception is solid. Howsoever unpleasant the truth may be, it is better to face it once and for all, to get used to it, and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it."
Editorial on August 12, 2008, in Daily Excelsior, Leading English Daily from Jammu and Kashmir