After Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to a group of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that he wanted to remove “dil ki doori and Dilli ki doori” — distance between hearts and the distance with Delhi — National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that both Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah assured that they were committed to the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.
Talking to reporters after the meeting on Thursday, Abdullah, however, said that “Ek meeting Se Dil Ki Doori Nahi Mitati”, and asked the government to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.
The NC leader Omar Abdullah said, “there has been a breach of trust between Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre” and it is the union government`s duty to restore it.”
He further said, “As it was an open discussion, we have put our views openly. We told Prime Minister that we don`t stand with what was done on August 5, 2019. We`re not ready to accept it. But we won`t take the law into our hands. We will fight this in court, and hope that we`ll get justice there.”
Abdullah said, “We also told Prime Minister that there`s been a breach of trust between the state and Centre. It`s the Centre`s duty to restore it, and for that whatever Prime Minister thinks best, he should do. The Prime Minister listened to us in a good and peaceful environment. We told him that it is important to reverse the decisions that were taken and are not in favour of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The former Chief Minister said Jammu and Kashmir was given the status of a Union Territory and “people don`t like it”, adding “They want full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir with Jammu and Kashmir cadre restored.”
“Both Prime Minister and Home Minister said the work for elections and restoring statehood should start soon. However, Azad Sahib said that first statehood should be restored and then elections should be held. On this Prime Minister didn`t say anything,” Abdullah added.
As many as 14 prominent leaders from Jammu and Kashmir took part in the meeting, the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
Train crushes man to death
A man was crushed to death by a train at Qazigund in south Kashmir district of Anantnag on Friday.
Official sources said that panic gripped Badragund in Anantnag when a man, identified as Ghulam Nabi Chopan, was crushed to death by a train on Srinagar-Banihal route at around 1100 hrs on Friday. The locals immediately informed the police, they said, adding a team was rushed to the area and the body was taken away.
After completing all the legal and medical formalities, the body was handed over to his relatives for last rites.
Police have registered a case and initiated investigation into the incident
Bridge, roads damaged in flash flood in Kupwara
A bridge and some roads were damaged while a vehicle was washed away in a flash flood triggered by heavy rains in north Kashmir district of Kupwara in the wee hours on Friday.
Several residential houses and shops were inundated due to the flash flood, though there was no report of any loss of life in Kupwara, which recorded the highest 22.1 mm rain during the last 24 hours in the valley.
Official sources said that panic gripped village Khumriyal after the flash flood, triggered by heavy overnight rain. “A bridge and some roads were damaged in the incident,” they said, adding a tipper, which was parked near a petrol pump, was washed away.
Water also entered several residential houses and business establishments. “Official from State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and other concerned departments have reached the spot and launched restoration work,” they said.
A Met department spokesperson said that rain and thundershowers would occur at most places in Kashmir valley during the next 24 hours.
Situation normal after cloudburst near Amarnath shrine
Situation is under control on Thursday following improvement in the weather after cloudburst in the higher reaches due to which nallah near Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas had started flowing heavily.
The shrine was safe, official sources said, adding there was no pilgrim in the area as Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has already cancelled the pilgrimage 2021 in the wake of COVID-19.
Personnel from different agencies are now busy removing stones and mudslides from the area, where tents of security forces, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), health department and SDRF were located near the shrine.
Weather has improved today as compared to yesterday when 22.8 mm rainfall was received at Pahalgam during the past 24 hours, sources told UNI.
Meanwhile, an official spokesman said due to cloudburst in higher reaches, there were gusts of water near the Holy Cave area of Shri Amarnathji Shrine and the nallah adjoining the Holy Cave started flowing heavily yesterday afternoon.
The joint team of SASB, Police and Army acting swiftly, evacuated all the staff present close to the Nallah. No loss of human lives or property is reported.
The Holy Cave shrine is safe, he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, who briefed him about the present situation and efforts made by the joint team of officials, Police and Army.
‘The situation is under control and the flow of water in the nallah is normal. A team of SDRF is camping at Baltal and on stand-by to meet future challenges. An NDRF team is also on stand-by in Srinagar to tackle natural calamities due to incessant rain in the region. The SASB and the administration are closely monitoring the situation,’ Lt Governor said.
In 1969, 40 pilgrims died due to cloudburst in Pahalgam and in 1996, 214 yatris died on traditional pilgrimage Pahalgam route due to heavy rain and cloudbursts.
Two pilgrims were killed on July 27, 2015 at Baltal, base camp due to landslides. In 2018, three yatris were killed due to landslides at Brari Marg Railpatheri on shortest Baltal-cave route.
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