Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Delhi to salvage Omar Govt from Dogra Certificate quagmire All permanent residents being declared entitled to benefit in recruitment

Delhi to salvage Omar Govt from Dogra Certificate quagmire 
All permanent residents being declared entitled to benefit in recruitment  
4/20/2011 12:33:25 AM

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz 

SRINAGAR, Apr 19: Taking separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s ultimatum on withdrawal of Dogra Certificate order seriously, Congress-led UPA government at the Centre is likely to come to the 
rescue of Omar Abdullah-led coal ition government in Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities in the union Ministry of Home Affairs are now working on a damage control exercise. Even as a subordinate judicial court in Budgam has admitted a petition against the order and the Bar Association in Jammu is reportedly planning to challenge this move in the High Court, MHA is likely to declare all permanent residents of the state entitled to the benefit in recruitment in all paramilitary forces. 
Highly placed authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that in follow up to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s threadbare discussion on Dogra Certificate issue with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and the UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, MHA had begun drafting of a notification that would declare all permanent residents of J&K state entitled to certain benefits in recruitments in CRPF, BSF and other paramilitary forces. This, according to sources, 
would automatically put an end to the practice of issuing ‘Dogra Certificate’ to residents of Jammu province who, until now, are the exclusive beneficiaries of the document being issued by Tehsildars 
Following complaints of some National Panthers Party legislators in the state Legislative Assembly over “delay” in issuing the certificate, Department of Revenue had issued Government Order No: Rev 
(LB) 69 of 2011 Dated 25-03-2011, notifying Tehsildars as the competent authority in issuing ‘Dogra Certificate’. It was later amended on April 7th when Government made it clear that Dogra 
Certificates to be issued by Tehsildars (Territorial) to residents of Jammu province would be only for the purpose of seeking certain relaxations in recruitment of staff in the central paramilitary 

As some right wing forces, led by Geelani in Kashmir and some opposition leaders in Jammu for conflicting purposes, begam stirring up the issue, a resident of Chadoura area challenged the order in the court of CJM Budgam. The court put the order in abeyance and issued notices to the state government. It is being widely speculated that Government itself was behind the move as its attorneys did not raise any objections. According to reports, a section of Bar in Jammu is planning to challenge jurisdiction of the CJM’s court in the High Court. Meanwhile, on April 18th, Geelani served an ultimatum while asking the state government to completely withdraw its March 25th order before April 30th or else face the consequences. 
Perceiving Geelani’s ultimatum as the first serious threat to six-month-long calm and a promising tourist season in the Valley, Omar Abdullah government, according to sources, decided to seek New Delhi’s help in salvaging itself from the quagmire. As of now, a sense of public outrage is absent in both Kashmir (over March 25th order) as well as in Jammu (over the suggestion of revocation), but situation 
analysts have just begun drawing parallels between May 2008 and May 2011. 

“Geelani had begun the embryonic stage of 2008 Amarnath Pilgrimage 
row with a simple statement over the need to keep the environment on the Yatra route free of pollution”, reminded an analyst. He asserted that the octogenarian separatist hawk had the capacity of stoking the regional fires with the fuel of Dogra Certificate in one or two months---beginning of the hyper-sensitive pilgrimage season. Withdrawal of the order was perceived to be impossible as such a notification had the potential of an ignition in Jammu. The political executive from Srinagar to New Delhi seems to be unanimous over the central intervention as an order declaring all permanent resident 
certificate holders entitled to the recruitment benefit could offset issuance of Dogra Certificate. 


Opposition to Dogra certificate ill-motivated Gist Of Govt Order

Opposition to Dogra certificate ill-motivated
Gist Of Govt Order  

4/20/2011 12:24:28 AM

JAMMU, Apr 19: Syed Ali Shah Geelani has asked the state government to withdraw its order concerning the issuance of Dogra certificates to the Dogras of Jammu province latest by April 30 and threatened an agitation in the event of the authorities not accepting his dictate. Geelani has, in addition, said: “Kashmir has been trapped under a colonial power after the oppression of Dogra autocracy. Slaves fail to understand the deceptions of colonial powers. They are shown the mirages of development, roads, elections, etc. But we need to understand that without getting rid of slavery, none of our problems will be solved…We cannot pick up guns because we don’t have a state, Army or resources to back up our struggle. Therefore, a peaceful struggle is the best way to end the illegal occupation of India.” In other words, he has – apart from demanding revocation of the order regarding the issuance of Dogra certificates – also condemned the Dogras. And, what he said was not altogether unexpected. 
Geelani’s demand is ill-motivated and his threat unwarranted, rabidly anti-Dogra and highly provocative. It would be an evil day if the state government would obey his dictate and take cognizance of his threat. If at all the state government succumbs to the Geelani’s blackmailing tactics, it would obviously means that it has abdicated its authority and recognized that it is Geelani who is in the driver’s seat and not the government of Omar Abdullah. To be more precise, it would mean that Geelani is the chief determinant and Omar Abdullah a mere figurehead, something no Chief Minister worth his name would ever tolerate. There is no doubt whatever that Geelani and others of his ilk are simply making mountains out of the moll-hills and seeking to create an environment that would surely set the Dogras against the Kashmiri Muslims and the vice-versa and vitiate further the state’s already rather vitiated religio-political scene. 
It would be only appropriate to reproduce here the official gist of the March 25, 2011 order concerning Dogra certificate to call the Geelani’s bluff and put things in perspective. The gist of the government order reads like this: “1. The relaxation in standards of height (by 5 cm) and chest expansion (by 2 cm) in recruitment to CPMF (Central paramilitary forces) is applicable to certain states/communities and governed by the CMPF Recruitment Rules adopted by the SSC. 2. This benefit of relaxation under these rules is also applicable to the residents of Kashmir Valley and hill areas of Leh and Ladakh. 3. Some candidates of Jammu division need Dogra Certificate to avail this relaxation in height by 5 cm and chest expansion by 2 cm. 4. No inhabitant of Jammu region can be denied the Dogra Certificate on the basis of religion/caste or creed. It is more related to a region rather than a religion/community/caste/creed. 5. This certificate is only for seeking relaxation in the standards of height and chest in recruitment to CPMFs. No benefit of recruitment in any job in J&K flows out of it. 6. This certificate does not give a ‘preferential claim’ to any one in getting recruited in CPMF, but it only enables a limited number of candidates to avail relaxation in chest and height standard dimension who need it. 7. This certificate does not in any way change anyone’s ethnicity/culture. 8. This certificate is optional and is sought only by those candidates who are desirous of joining CPMF. 9. The Tehsildars of Jammu Division have been issuing the ‘Dogra Certificate’ to the permanent residents of Jammu Division on different proforma. This procedure needed to be streamlined and made uniform across the Jammu Division.” 
The gist is self-explanatory and suggests that the government order is in no way discriminatory. Hence, no further elucidation. Suffice it to say that the likes of Geelani are all out to provoke the Jammu Dogras and create troubles for the government. It is for the government to act appropriately and show the likes of Geelani their rightful place. They do enjoy any popular support and it has been established beyond any shadow of doubt by the very heavy turn out during the ongoing election process set-in-motion to elect panchayats. 

Limiting the area of strife is always better Interlocutors In Srinagar

Limiting the area of strife is always better
Interlocutors In Srinagar  

4/20/2011 12:23:30 AM

JAMMU, Apr 19: The problem is in Kashmir. It is patently communal and the bottom-line is secession. New Delhi knows it. The Kashmiri leadership, the Kashmir-based media and intellectuals, and even the Delhi-based commentators and think-tanks know all this. They also know that the area of influence of those demanding separation from India is limited to a few pockets in the Kashmir Valley and that an overwhelming majority of the Kashmiri Muslims has nothing to do with the ongoing secessionist movement in the Valley. Besides, they also know that whatever has happened in the Valley during the past over 20 years is the outcome of the subversive, anti-humanity and anti-India activities undertaken by the followers of a one particular religious sect and this sect is instigated, motivated, indoctrinated and supported by Pakistan that wants to accomplish the “unfinished agenda of partition” and annex Jammu and Kashmir. They also know that it is this sect that has been ruling the roost and exploiting the people of Jammu and Ladakh and the Kashmir-based religious and ethnic minorities, including the Shiite Muslims, the Gujjar and Bakerwal Muslims and the Pathowari-speaking Muslims since October 1947. They also know it full well that it was the followers of this particular sect to which Geelani, Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz, Shabir Shah, Bilal Lone, Sajjad Lone, Abdul Gani Bhat, Ashia Andrabi, Abdul Qayoom, Bitta Katate, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, to mention only a few, belong who were basically responsible for the wholesale exodus of the miniscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus in the early 1990. 

It is indeed disturbing that New Delhi continues to commit blunders and complicate further the already rather complex situation in the state by appeasing and pleasing this section that has unleashed a no-holds-barred misinformation campaign to implement its pernicious break-India agenda. 

New Delhi, the Kashmiri leadership, the Kashmir-based media, and even the Delhi-based commentators, trouble-shooters, peace activists and think-tanks also know it full well that the people of Jammu province and Ladakh, who inhabit over 88 per cent of the state’s geographical area and constitute more than half of the state’s population, are vehemently opposed to the idea of the state getting more autonomy or getting self-rule or merging with Pakistan or becoming independent of India. (Leave alone the fudged census figures, which show that the population difference between Kashmir and Jammu is to the tune of 1.7 million.) They know that the people of Jammu and Ladakh are out-and-out pro-India and that they would not accept only that solution that merges them fully with India and empowers them to exercise all those civil and political rights that are available to all other Indians. The policy-planners in New Delhi and others who comment on Jammu and Kashmir know all this, but sadly they do not take these stark realities into consideration while working out formulas designed to end the unrest in the state. They continue to hold the view that the meeting of the urges of the vocal section of the Kashmiri population would help them end the crisis. 

The New Delhi-appointed interlocutors are right now in Srinagar. They are holding a roundtable conference there to find ways and means that could help them diagnose what ails the state in general and Kashmir in particular. It is indeed deplorable that they have invited only those who are known sympathizers of Kashmiri separatists and communalists, with some of them even in favour of plebiscite, and who are hated in Jammu and Ladakh. If the interlocutors believe that they would be able to work out an acceptable framework after their meeting with the 50-odd biased persons who are taking part in the roundtable conference, then it can be said that they are still living in a fool’s paradise. The interlocutors are would to fail, as their modus opernadi is not holistic and inclusive. 
What could help them work out a workable and acceptable roadmap? Limiting the area of contention and strife to the very small Kashmir Valley alone could help them and the nation. It is always better to limit the area of contention and strife. This is always possible and this could be achieved by taking recourse to the process of segregation of the peaceful from the troublemaker. Former Union President R Venkataraman had given this sane counsel to Indira Gandhi. He had asked her to give what the people of Ladakh wanted, confer the status of statehood on Jammu province and deal separately with the Valley. The late Professor Bhawani Sangupta had also expressed similar views. BJP MP Ram Jethmalani, who supports the Musharraf’s formula, had also suggested sometime back the state’s trifurcation as a lasting solution to the “Kashmir problem.” Not only this, the late CPI General Secretary and former Union Home Minister Inderjit Gupta, too, had suggested the trifurcation of the state as one of the viable solutions to the “Kashmir problem.” 

The interlocutors would do well to take cognizance of the sane counsels of Venkataraman, Sangupta, Jethmalani and Gupta and limit the area of strife to the Valley, as what they had said were not off-the-cuff remarks. These were their well considered views. 

VHP steps-in, threatens to begin annual pilgrimage from June 15 Curtailment of Amarnath Yatra

VHP steps-in, threatens to begin annual pilgrimage from June 15
Curtailment of Amarnath Yatra  

4/20/2011 12:23:08 AM

Early Times Report 
JAMMU, Apr 19: Lashing at the Jammu and Kashmir government for curtailing the Amarnath yatra period by 15 days, VHP today threatened to commence the pilgrimage from June 15 if the Governor failed to "rectify" the decision. 
"We threaten to launch the Yatra and start this year’s annual Amarnath Yatra ourselves from June 15 if the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board headed by its chairman and Governor N N Vohra did not rectify the decision at the earliest," VHP National Spokesperson, Prakash Sharma told reporters here. 
The Yatra traditionally and annually commences from June 15 and ends on August 13 - on Raksha Bandan. "But the Board decided to cut the Yatra period by 15 days and start it on June 29, hurting (the sentiments of) crores of Hindus in the country," the VHP leader said. 
The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) headed by the Governor as its Chairman had announced that the yatra will commence from June 29 instead of its commencement timing as per the religious calendar of Jaishta Purnima which falls on June 15. 
Sharma lashed at the State Government and Governor N N Vohra for triggering an agitation on the pattern of the Amarnath land row of 2008 and said "they have taken such a decision under the pressure of the separatists in Kashmir". 
"We urge the Governor to reconsider the decision immediately so that the Yatra is commenced normally. Otherwise, we also will launch an agitation across the country before starting the Yatra ourselves," he said. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kashmir population multiplies by leaps and bounds-Jammu and Ladakh stagnant-Census 2011: Kashmir's population touches 1.25 crore

Srinagar, April 7 (IANS) The population of Jammu and Kashmir has grown to 1.25 crore from 1.1 crore recorded in 2001, according to the provisional census figures released here Thursday.

"The total population of the state has increased to 1.25 crore with 66.65 lakh males and 58.83 lakh females," said Farooq Ahmad Faktoo, chief principal census officer of the state.

"This is against the previous population figure of 1.1 crore recorded during 2001 census operations," he added.

Faktoo said the decadal variation in population as per the provisional census is 23.90 percent.

"The population density per square kilometre is 124 while the sex ratio is 892. The density was 100 per square kilometre in 2001 and the sex ratio was 886," he said.

"The literacy rate among the males is 78 percent while it is 58 percent among the females," the officer said.

Significantly, the population of the Kashmir Valley has gone up to 70 lakh while that of the Jammu region is around 53 lakh. The population in the Ladakh region is 2.80 lakh.

Interestingly also, there has been a drastic fall in child sex ratio as per the provisional census data.

"The child sex ratio (0 to 6 years of age) has fallen from 941 in 2001 to 859 in 2011 in the valley while the state's overall sex ratio has been pegged at 883 females per 1,000 males, indicating a fall of nine points compared to 2001 census," the principal census officer said.

"The census was done in two phases, first phase related to house listing, and the second phase to population enumeration. In the snowbound areas of Leh and Kargil, both the house listing and population enumeration operations were taken up simultaneously," Faktoo said.

"At least 27,500 enumerators and supervisors were trained for the census operation. We covered 21 lakh households, including institutional households like hostels and jails," the official said.

Jammu Kashmir & Laddakh

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