ON WEDNESDAY, J&K BJP President Ravinder Raina defended the Delimitation Commission’s draft proposal, saying that J&K is one and there is no separate Jammu or Kashmir.
The commission’s recent proposals suggesting six seats for Jammu and one for Kashmir has been severely criticized by the J&K political parties, accusing it of favouring the ruling BJP rather than considering the population while adding new seats.
BJP’s J&K chief, Ravinder Raina, when asked at a press conference today why only one seat had been added to Kashmir and six to Jammu despite the valley’s population is larger as per the 2011 census, said, “J&K is one, and there is nothing like (separate) Kashmir and Jammu. It is about J&K”.
While the majority of the J&K political parties have accused the commission of bias, Raina said the J&K Delimitation Commission worked with “dedication and transparency”.
“It is for the first time that Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste categories have got their due rights,” he said.
“People of Jammu and Kashmir are aware of the political motives of PAGD now, and no one is going to support them,” Raina said over the amalgam’s criticism of the Delimitation Commission.
Two feared dead after drowning in Chenab
Two Punjab residents are feared dead in river Chenab in J&K’s Ramban district, officials said on Friday.
According to an official the truck, two were travelling in, is parked on Jammu-Srinagar while the duo was seen by someone drowning.
“The person subsequently raised the alarm and massive searches headed by SSP Ramban Mohita Sharma and SHO Ramban Sandeep Charak were launched,” an official said.
A police officer identified the missing duo as Manjeet Singh son of Dalgeet Singh and Jatinder Singh son of Mangal Singh, both residents of Amritsar Punjab. When this report was filed, the searches in the area were going on.
New satellite image shows China constructing bridge on its side of Pangong lake in Ladakh
A new satellite image showing China building a bridge on its side of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh emerged on Monday amid the prolonged Sino-India military standoff in the border area.
People familiar with the development said the satellite imagery is on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control(LAC) near the Galwan valley region. The armies of India and China had created a buffer zone in Galwan valley following their deadly clashes on June 15, 2020.
On January 1, Indian and Chinese troops exchanged sweets and greetings at ten border posts along the LAC, including eastern Ladakh, to mark the New Year.
The sources said the bridge is at a distance of around 40 km from the alignment of the LAC in the region and that India has also been developing infrastructure in the area at a rapid pace.
Geo-intelligence expert Damien Symon posted a satellite image on Twitter suggesting that China constructed a new bridge to link Pangong lake’s North and south banks.
Military experts said the aim of constructing the bridge in the Khurnak area could be to ensure that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA) can mobilise its troops in the region quickly.
The Indian military sources said India has been developing infrastructure in all critical areas along the LAC and that India is aware of Chinese activities in the region.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Chisumle-Demchok road at Umling La Pass at over 19,000 feet in Ladakh, considered a key stretch for military purposes.
China has been focusing on strengthening its military infrastructure after Indian troops took control of several strategic peaks on the southern bank of Pangong lake in August 2020 after the Chinese PLA attempted to intimidate them in the area.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the armies of India and China erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.
In October, the 13th round of Corps Commander-level military talks ended in a stalemate with the Indian Army, saying that the “constructive suggestions” were not agreeable to the Chinese side.
Last Friday, the defence ministry said it held several rounds of military talks with the Chinese side to deescalate the situation in eastern Ladakh without compromising on its stand of “complete disengagement and immediate restoration of status quo ante”. However, India insisted on returning to the status quo before the face-off erupted.
Detention of NC leader and PAGD chief Farooq Abdullah undemocratic, says Cong’s GA Mir
On Saturday, Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the “house arrest” of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah was “unethical and undemocratic”.
Political leaders, including Farooq Abdullah, were detained ahead of a march by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to protest against the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides Farooq Abdullah, the president of the alliance, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti have been detained.
“Keeping under house arrest prominent leader like Dr Farooq Abdullah ahead of a proposed sit-in protest against Delimitation Commission draft is a sham, unethical and against the basic foundation of the Indian democracy which stands guarantee to freedom of speech and freedom of expression to every citizen,” Mir said in a statement here.
He said the “house arrest” was indeed a “gift” on the New Year’s occasion by the government and condemned the “illegal house arrest” of Abdullah and other leaders of the PAGD.
The PAGD is an alliance formed by five Jammu and Kashmir-based mainstream political parties, including the National Conference and the PDP, that seeks to restore the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir that the Centre revoked in August 2019.
The Congress believes such a “undemocratic move” (detention of leaders) is bound to “further disappoint” the people of Jammu and Kashmir, “who have already lost faith” in the present dispensation, Mir said.
“Restraining” leaders from protesting peacefully is “indicative of hypocrisy on the part of the BJP government,” the Congress leader said.
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