Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said that tourism activity and the number of flights to Kashmir cannot be taken as signs of normalcy.
National Conference vice-president Abdullah said that the state of fear is such that Kashmiri Pandit employees are ready to leave their jobs and flee from Kashmir.
Protests by Kashmiri Pandits have been raging in Jammu and Kashmir since the killing of community member and government employee Rahul Bhat by terrorists inside his office in Budgam’s Chadoora on May 12.
“Fighting and tourism are not (signs) of normalcy. The general situation is that there should be no fear and panic. Kashmiri Pandits should not run away. They are ready to quit their jobs. Is this normal?” He told reporters at his party’s office here.
He said Kashmiri Pandit employees met leaders of the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and demanded justice. “PADG leaders went to the Lt Governor to ensure that they do not leave the Valley. This is not a normal situation,” he said.
Responding to a question on the government’s claim that normalcy has returned in Kashmir as there has been a reduction in stone pelting with tourists and flights, he said that his government has also brought stone pelting under control several times.
“If an employee gets targeted in his seat in a busy office, or a cop is killed at home, if this is the new face of normalcy, I can’t say anything,” he said.
“We are sorry that innocent people are being murdered one after the other. Minorities are being killed. Policemen are being killed. Civilians are being killed in cross-firing and targeted killings,” he said.
Taking a jibe at the government’s claim that the situation would return to normal after the abrogation of Article 370, he said, ‘It has been two and a half years, where is the situation improving? Targeted killings had (in the past) stopped. I can’t remember the last time there was a round of targeted killings. Today people are not feeling safe in Kashmir. He said militancy is returning to places that were earlier cleared of militants, especially in and around Srinagar and north Kashmir.
There is a huge difference between what the government said and what it did, he said. The situation is getting worse day by day,” he said.
Asked whether the targeted killings started after the release of the film ‘The Kashmir Files’, he said such incidents had happened in the past and he had killed chemist Makhan Lal Bindu and Akash, son of the owner of popular food joint Krishna Dhaba. Mention the murder. Last year in Srinagar.
Abdullah said it is for the people to decide whether the film has contributed to improving the situation or making it worse.
Responding to another question on the ban on loudspeakers in Jammu, he said the authorities should take a middle path so that the sentiments of the community are not hurt.
Snowfall in Kashmir’s Highest Elevations
On Saturday, snow fell in some upper Himalayan sections of Kashmir, including the 3,880-meter-high sacred cave sanctuary of Amarnath in the Apharwat range.
However, severe rain lashed the plains, including Jammu and Srinagar, the twin capital cities. Snowfall was observed at Apharwat and Amarnath caves in Kashmir, as well as in the higher parts of Ladakh, according to IMD Director Sonam Lotus.
“The weather would be typically gloomy with periodic rain and snow over the upper levels until June 21,” he said.
He predicted that weather conditions would improve after June 21.
The showers in the Kashmir plains provided much-needed relief to locals as the temperature dropped significantly.
The holy Amarnath cave in the south Kashmir Himalayas saw light snowfall during the day, but there was little hindrance in continuing construction along the route ahead of the start of the annual 43-day yatra on June 30.
Snowfall was also reported in the upper ranges of north and south Kashmir, as well as sections of Jammu, including Sarkantha top in Gool and Aram Nakh and Angreez Thum mountain peaks in Ramban district’s Banihal area.
According to a Met department official, Batote in Ramban district received the most rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m., followed by Gulmarg hill resort in north Kashmir (35.2 mm), base camp Katra in Reasi district (30.8 mm), Jammu city (21.2 mm), and Srinagar (15.5 mm).
He stated that the maximum temperature in Jammu was 31.3 degrees Celsius (7.1 degrees below average for this time of year), while the maximum temperature in Srinagar was 19.3 degrees Celsius (9.1 notches below usual).
The maximum temperature in Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine, was 24.4 degrees Celsius, 10.6 degrees lower than the season’s normal.
During the following two days, the weatherman predicts widespread light to moderate rain and thunderstorms.
Thousands of students are at risk as 300 Jammu and Kashmir schools are scheduled to close.
According to local media, the State Investigative Agency (SIA) discovered these schools were implicated in the civilian uprising in Kashmir in 2010 and 2016.
Huzaif Ahmad, a 14-year-old Class 9th student in Jammu & Kashmir’s Budgam district who aspires to be an engineer, is now facing an unclear future.
He is one of 600 pupils and instructors at a secondary school in Budgam who are concerned that their school will be closed due to its previous association with a trust affiliated to a banned party that has been targeted by the Jammu and Kashmir administration in a current operation.
The school, like many others, was delinked from the Falah-e-Aam Trust, re-registered, and taken over by local community management in 2017. However, according to sources, the secondary school is one of 20 in the Budgam area that may be closed.
Thousands of pupils in Jammu and Kashmir, like Huzaif, are unsure what will happen if the union territory administration’s intention to close down approximately 300 private schools reportedly linked to a trust affiliated with the banned Jama’at e Islami organisation is carried out.
The administration has directed school administrators to close the schools within the next 15 days. The decision was made after the State Investigation Agency (SIA) allegedly discovered these schools were related to the Jama’at-backed foundation.
Huzaif’s school houses 400 kids, the majority of whom come from low-income families from around Jammu and Kashmir. Those who can afford it pay a monthly price of 2,500 for tuition and boarding, according to a management official.
In addition to operating a religious seminary (madrasa), the school follows the Jammu and Kashmir education board’s syllabus as well as the European Cambridge curriculum.
“We are following the curriculum developed and approved by the state board of education. We teach the Cambridge series up to class fifth, which is highly modern and connected to the modern era “Saleem Sidique, a teacher, agreed.
According to the ruling, all schools affiliated with the Jama’at-related trust have had their recognition revoked. The government labelled the Jama’at-e-Islami, a political-religious party, a prohibited organisation in 2019.
All district superintendents have been directed to close these institutions within 15 days and transfer pupils to government-run schools.
According to local media sources, the SIA discovered these schools were involved in the civilian unrest in Kashmir in 2010 and 2016, as well as teaching Jihadi literature.
According to the Falah Aam Trust, only seven schools are directly associated with them, and it denies any involvement in subversive or separatist activity.
“We have no idea why we were prohibited. We solely follow a government-approved curriculum and obey government orders “Showkat Ahmad Var, Director of Falah Aam Trust, stated
He stated that, with the exception of seven institutions, the trust has no administrative or academic influence over any other school.
Sajad Lone, head of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, has called the move racist and claimed that the government is deliberately targeting Kashmiris.
“Selectively targeting institutions with religious affiliations is both unfair and unjust. The administration must recognise that J&K is a Muslim-majority state. They cannot ban every institution because they are biassed against Muslims “Mr Lone stated.
Shri Amarnath Yatra: Insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for horses, ponies
Increase the registration of laborers and ponies to achieve the target before June 14, directed the officials of labor and animal husbandry departments to Pol of Divisional Commissioner (DivCom) Kashmir, Pandurang in a meeting here.
The Divisional Commissioner directed the Labor Department officials to register 16,000 laborers to achieve the target of 35000 laborers for providing services during the travel period.
Similarly, he also asked the Animal Husbandry Department to register an additional 5000 ponies for providing services for Shri Amarnathji Yatra.
The Divisional Commissioner also directed the Assistant Labor Commissioners and District Animal Husbandry Officers to organize camps for the registration of laborers and ponies in the districts.
Poll directed the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu to register the ponies coming from Marwah Vadwan, Dachchan areas and seven other districts of Jammu division.
He directed to identify fodder shops for cattle on both the routes leading to Amarnath Cave and also stressed on medical examination of animals before registration.
Meanwhile, Div.com said a full year insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh will be provided for the services of horses and ponies in the Amarnathji Yatra.
He directed the district officers to depute staff to assist the department for smooth execution of activities in Ganderbal and Anantnag.
DivCom stressed on the officials to ensure that the service providers do not overcharge the passengers.
Also asked to set up labor welfare camp at the service station of Amarnath Yatra.
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