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Let ‘Hindustaniyat’ triumph over imported terror in Kashmir – Jammu Voice

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Security personnel guard near Nunwan base camp, a day after the militants attacked Amarnath pilgrims in a bus. Photo: PTI

The darkest hour is just before the dawn, or so goes the saying. Even today, amid all the bloodshed in Kashmir, some people are hoping for a ray of light. They are not wrong.

Let me begin by talking about Sandeep Sharma, aka Aadil. Born in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, Sandeep was a welder by profession. Work opportunities took him to Kashmir. Here he met members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. They planned to use his skills to break into ATM machines. Sandeep considered it preferable to working as a welder in the searing heat, which would damage his eyesight. At around the same time, he met a Kashmiri girl. They got married and he converted to Islam. The possibility that the Lashkar had hatched a conspiracy to mislead Hindu boys from western Uttar Pradesh cannot be ruled outAre those fighting with the so-called ‘love jihad’ sensing a new challenge here? They will now have to keep a close watch not just on the girls but on boys as well.

Sandeep’s story isn’t a crime thriller full of twists and turns. If the Lashkar militants are using ‘non-believers’ to break into ATMs, it can be interpreted in a number of ways. Is a shortage of cash compelling them to rob cash machines? When their separatist movement was dying down, militants in Punjab had adopted similar tactics to try make a fast buck. That was the beginning of their downfall.

If you remember, I had mentioned Dehradun’s Danish Ahmed four weeks ago in this column. He had come in contact with Kashmiri militants through social media. He had affirmed that in the garb of militants, certain people are busy extorting money and creating the impression of being macho. Sandeep Sharma’s story appears to be the next episode of the same story. This is because until now the militants described themselves as mujahideen. They used to justify bloodshed in the name of jihad. Their attempt was to make the issue of Kashmir’s independence synonymous with Islam so that the unity and sovereignty of India could be challenged by internationalizing regional dissent.

There was a time when it was perceived that most personnel of the Kashmir police sympathized with the separatist cause. But the manner in which the Jammu and Kashmir police personnel have recently come under attack has unleashed a wave of anger and sorrow across the state. “Is this the azaadi we were fighting for,” asked the sister-in-law of Ayub Pandith, who was killed outside the Jamia mosque in Srinagar. A few days before that, the barbaric manner in which the bodies of six policemen from Kashmir police were mutilated also raises the question whether it is holy war (jihad) or terrorism that is being foisted upon us in the name of jihad.

This is where the role of politicians in Kashmir comes to the fore. Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti may say with a heavy heart that the murder of seven Amarnath pilgrims has brought shame upon Kashmiriyat, but she has to sow the seeds of such emotions in the hearts of the common people. Are the ministers, members of the legislative assembly, leaders and activists of her People’s Democratic Party in a position to confidently ask the people on the street to boycott those spreading terror in the name of Kashmiriyat? Why doesn’t she seek the cooperation of the National Conference and other regional parties for the sake of peace in Kashmir? Why doesn’t Mehbooba request spiritual organizations and religious leaders at mosques not to issue statements in favour of terrorists, and to speak about the well-being of Kashmir? If she fails, her failure won’t just be that of a leader, but the failure of an entire political system.

Here, I draw hope from people in the rest of the nation. Even I have been distressed by the attack on the Amarnath pilgrims. But instead of spreading sensational or self-destructive rumours, let us keep our faith in the system. We have good reason to do this. At the centre, apart from a government armed with a majority in the Lok Sabha, we have a national security adviser of the calibre of Ajit Doval. Doval has spent more than five decades of his life fighting terrorism and separatism. Rather than engaging in needless criticism and pontification, let us allow him to do his work.

We have to keep believing that in the ultimate analysis, Hindustaniyat will triumph over imported terror. This is what our 5,000-year history teaches us.

Shashi Shekhar is editor-in-chief, Hindustan.

His Twitter handle is @shekharkahin.

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Kathua rape, murder case: Clashes continue in Kashmir

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Security forces on Saturday burst teargas shells to disperse the demonstrators, including students, at some places in Kashmir valley, protesting against rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu.

Scores of youth hit the streets at main town Sopore in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, demanding death penalty for culprits in Kathua case.

However, when the youth tried to take out a protest march, security forces deployed in the area stopped them from moving ahead.
As the demonstrators didn’t back down, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between security forces and students, who took to streets at Chadoora in central Kashmir district of Budgam and protested against the Kathua incident.

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Kathua Factories ‘Linked’ to Ex-Minister Lal Singh Raided | Crores of Rupees was Seized.

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“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Three factories in which ousted BJP minister Lal Singh is believed to own a share were raided by the police on Friday and acacia catechu (kattha) worth crores of rupees was seized.

“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Sources said that the raids came after major reshuffle in the Forest department carried out by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who took over charge of the department from Choudhary Lal Singh.

The former Forest Minister was compelled to resign by his party high command alongwith Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga following their controversial remarks in Kootah’s Hindu Ekta Manch Rally against Crime Branch probe in the brutal rape and murder case at Rasana.

Sources said that the Forest Vigilance team along with Police jointly conducted raids at J K Integrated Park in Kathua (close aide of Choudhary Lal Singh) and another factory of Katha wood in Kathua.

The raids were carried out on the Katha wood factory, where medicines are extracted. The State government has banned the export of wood out of the State, while a mafia runs the trade illegally.

Sources said that the former minister “was using his influence and most of the contractors were his close aides and the factories, which were given licenses, were run by close relatives of former Forest Minister”.
During the raids, sources told Rising Kashmir, records were checked, and seized by the Forest Department officials, and it was also learnt that large quantity of raw material was seized from the spot.
“Illegal registration has been given to some factories which processed the Khair wood more than the approved capacity,” said the sources citing the complaint.

Initially there were only three units of Khair wood— JK Katha, Guru Nanak, and BK Katha (Govt contractor) at Gangyal— but now the number was much higher. The case against Lal Singh was based on the fact that he instead of renewing the licenses had given the permissions to his kith and kin to start the work of extraction.

The involvement of former Minister started after 1994, sources said, as another unit was established with the name MS Industry and it was opposed by all three previous units who lodged a complaint with the Vigilance and later the matter went to the court.
Sources said that the court gave a ruling and directed the Government to form new policy and issue fresh licenses on the bases of raw material availability without hurting ecology or environment.

Sources told Rising Kashmir that the court directions were violated and the licenses to four units were not renewed by the Forest Department by Lal Singh. The licenses were also issued in violation of rules.

Meanwhile sources said that the BJP high command is unhappy with the former Forest Minister who is openly conducting rallies in support of a CBI inquiry in the Kathua case.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that the rallies by a senior BJP leader has put the alliance partner in a tight spot as these actions by Singh are being viewed as an “open revolt” after he was forced to resign over his participation in a pro-rape rally in Hiranagar last month.

“His campaign was seen as revolt in BJP by many and, he took out a march from Jammu City to Kathua and in Udhampur where some of his supporters shouted slogans against the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh,” sources said.
Lal Singh, sources said, is considered to be the close aide of Jatinder Singh, who is Minister of State in PMO. On Thursday, brother of Lal Singh held a press conference in Kathua and demanded that Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh should step down.

Rajinder Singh Babbi demanded that Jitendar Singh should be made Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said that the BJP high command was unhappy with the activities of Lal Singh after he lost portfolio in the Government and started taking out protest rallies demanding CBI probe in Rasana case. His stand has put the government in trouble as people in Kathua and Samba, and Bar Associations are openly demanding CBI probe.
Sources said that Lal Singh “will not be taken back in the cabinet of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti due to his rallies against the Government.”

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Asiya Andrabi, associates arrested in Anantnag in south Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi along with her associates from Anantnag district late last night.

An official said that Andrabi and her associates were arrested from Anchidora area of the district for their alleged role in female student protests and subsequent stone-pelting on the forces.

Many other youth were also rounded up by the police during nocturnal raids in Anantnag town.

Asiya was detained at 10.00 pm yesterday after which raids followed, said the official, wishing anonymity.

Those arrested include Tehreek-e-Hurriyat tehsil Saddar Anantnag Aashiq Hussain.

Massive student protests against Kathua incident erupted earlier this week in south Kashmir, especially Anantnag town, where protesters clashed with the forces, leaving dozens of them injured.

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