Governor presents
State awards to 71
personalities for excellence

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, May 14: Governor N. N Vohra presented State awards to 71 personalities for their excellent work in different walks of life. The awards were presented for four years and the function was held after a gap of four years. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Minister for New....more

CM inaugurates
international buyer-
seller meet at Srinagar

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that Jammu and Kashmir faces setbacks due to unforeseen circumstances arising due to political uncertainty..more

80,313 Amarnath pilgrims
registered in 4 days

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14: Reviewing the progress of the Yatris' registration for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra scheduled to commence on June 29, the Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, R. K. Goyal, disclosed that the registration....more

3 suspended Legislators
allege 'casteism' in BJP

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Three legislators of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), suspended in cross-voting during Jammu and Kashmir MLC elections, today alleged ....more

Governor inaugurates
Army Mela at JAK LI Centre

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14: The Governor, N N Vohra, inaugurated a day-long Army Mela at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Centre here today. ....more

 

Country Inn & Suites
among top ranked hotels

Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu, May 14: Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Amritsar, (Punjab) Expedia has named Country Inn & Suites among the top-ranked hotels on this year's Expedia Insiders' Select list. The Insiders' Select list formally recognizes individual hotels worldwide that consistently deliver excellent service, a great overall experience and a notable value. The full list represents only 500 of Expedia's top-ranked hotels selected from the..more

Two days free
dental camp begins

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Dentacare Dental Clinic and Colgate India today jointly organized two days free dental check up camp at Lakshmi Nagar, Sarwal. Residents of Sarwal, Subash Nagar, Roop Nagar and other surrounding areas availed the benefits of comprehensive dental check up extended by Dr Anita..more

Bhalla inspects
developmental works

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Reiterating Government's determination to provide better basic amenities to the people of the State, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla today...more

     
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Slathia inaugurates works in Vijaypur...........

Governor calls for scientific conservation of heritage sites.......

KPC holds demonstration for passage of Temples Bill........

Individuals campaign to raise awareness about rare migratory birds on WMBD ....

JAMMU, May 14: With droves of school children lining up to enjoy the splendor of rare birds in natural habitat of the Jammu’s world famous Gharana Wetland, Gurdev Raj’s photo-exhibition of migratory birds seems to have fulfilled succeeded individual’s campaign to highlight need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. Organized by Bharat Pratibha Vikas Mandal on occasion of World Migratory Birds Day (WMBD), which is celebrated on May 14 every year, the two day exhibition at Master Sansar Chand Art Gallery at the Kala Kendra has 150 pictures on show have captured rare species of migratory birds which visit the reserve.

Make Interlocutors' report public: Jitendra Singh....

Pooja brings laurels to State...

Cross-LoC trade suspended till May 18...

Dehlavi terms Laden's funeral prayer by Geelani as un-Islamic...

Academy releases books of Sayil, Sudeshi...

Muthi residents facing scarcity of LPG...

23 statistical officers promoted as Assistant Directors...

Channi Himmat residents resent absence of Safai Karamcharis...

 

Governor presents State awards to
71 personalities for excellence

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, May 14: Governor N. N Vohra presented State awards to 71 personalities for their excellent work in different walks of life.

The awards were presented for four years and the function was held after a gap of four years. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah along with the Ministers, civil & police officers and important personalities took part in the function.

For 2008 and 2009, 17 persons each were selected for the State while as the number of awardees with respect to 2010 and 2011 stood at 26 and 11 respectively. Awards were given to people who have excelled in meritorious public service, social reforms & empowerment, environment, literature, performing arts, bravery, sports, excellence in arts & crafts, media and exemplary industrial entrepreneurship. Awards were also given to people for their life time achievement and special awards were also given on this occasion.

The state awardees for 2008 were Shiv Nath, Literature-Dogri, Tabassum Mumtaz-Bravery, Uttam Kumar-Painter, Dr. Rafiq Masoodi-special award, Surinder Kumar Sapolia-special award, Tashi Rabgyas, Literature-Bodhi, Khadim Hussain-performing arts. Sahyog-social reforms and empowerment, Help Foundation-social reforms and empowerment, Sudhanshu Panday-meritorious public service, Ghulam Ahmad Peer-meritorious public service, Mithun Manhas, Sports-Cricket, Mehraj-ud-Din Wadoo, Sports-Football, Arun Malhotra, Sports-Football, M/s Kashmir Kesar Mart-industrial entrepreneurship and M/s Hall Mark-industrial entrepreneurship.

For 2009 State awards were presented to 17 personalities. Late Ashok Sodhi, Photo Journalist of Daily Excelsior was awarded posthumously with the State award. He has been awarded with a medal, a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 51,000.

Besides Sodhi the others presented with state awards for 2009 are were Ved Kumari Ghai, Literature-Dogri, Sanskriti & Hindi, Prof. Fida Mohammad Hasnain-life time achievement, Prof. Lalit Magotra, Literature-Dogri, Sadiq Ali Sadiq, Literature-Balti, Pran Kishore-performing arts, Raj Begum-performing arts, Ghulam Mohammad-performing arts, Mitali, sports-gymnastics, Gul Mustafa Dev, sports-skiing, Ram Singh Salathia, sports-mountaineering, Ajay Sharma, sports-table tennis, Masood Hussain-media, Nazir Masoodi-media, Sumir Kaul-media, Shashi Kumar Kesri-environment and Ahmadullah Shah-meritorious public service.

For 2010 the state awards were given to Rukshana Kosser-bravery, Ajaz Ahmad-bravery, Prof. Rehman Rahi-achievement award for poetry, Prof. Sewa Singh-achievement award for literature (Punjabi), Prof. Veena Gupta-Literature (Dogri), Shameem Azad-performing arts, Kailash Mehra-performing arts, Pradhuman Singh Jindrahia-performing arts, Ghulam Mohammad Saznawaz-performing arts, Mohammad Shariq Farooqui-arts and crafts, Viklang Chhatra Trust-social service, B. R Sharma, meritorious public service, Basharat Ahmad Dhar-meritorious public service, Nisar Ahmad Shah, meritorious public service, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan-meritorious public service, Chhering Angchok, sports-mountaineering, Bilquis Mir, sports-kayaking & canoeing, Sanaullah Bhat, media (posthumous), Sofi Ghulam Mohammad, media (posthumous) Dr. Arun Joshi-media, Nidhi Razdan-media, Mahrukh Inayat-media, Iftikhar Geelani-media, Maqsood Ahmad-media, Taranveer Singh Gujral-industrial entrepreneurship and Sheherbeen, excellence in media.

For 2011 the state awards were given to Late Syed Rasool Pompur-literature, Mishal Sultanpuri-literature, Wali Mohammad Bhat-Literature, Kumari Krishan Kumari-performing arts, Abhay Rustum Sopori-arts, Dhruv Lakra, social reforms and empowerment, Kuldeep Handoo-sports, Mohammad Saleem Pandit-media, M K Bangroo-media, Ghanshyam Dev Gupta-meritorious public service and Jigmet Takpa-meritorious public service.

CM inaugurates international buyer-seller meet at Srinagar

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that Jammu and Kashmir faces setbacks due to unforeseen circumstances arising due to political uncertainty, adding that Kashmir gets coverage only due to bad happenings.

The Chief Minister said that many success stories are emanating from this place and the media outlets should give due coverage to positive developments taking place in Kashmir.

He made these observations while inaugurating the third international buyer-seller meet being organized by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, was the guest of honour at the inaugural function.

"Things are improving and situation is better when we compare it with the situation that existed here some two decades ago, but at the same time we suffer setbacks from time to time. We need to come out of these setbacks and move forward so that peace is established in the Kashmir valley," said Omar.

Terming the buyer-seller meet as a small but significant step in the trade activities in Kashmir the Chief Minister said that events like these open Kashmir market to the outside world, adding that such events should be organized regularly. He however said that the number of buyers should be more than the sellers in the coming such events, adding that this is vice-versa at this point of time.

"This time around we have more sellers than the buyers, ideally it should have been other way around. It is heartening to note that the buyers have come from different parts of the globe. I am not too much concerned about the business turnover during this buyer-seller meet as I want that a long time relationship is developed between buyers and sellers," said Omar.

The Chief Minister impressed upon the traders and businessmen to adopt fair practices during their business.

In his speech Jairam Ramesh said that a young generation of business entrepreneurs has emerged from Kashmir. He said these people want that the situation to be peaceful so that they could carry out with their activities.

"It is the duty of both the Central and State Governments to provide congenial atmosphere so that the business activities flourish in Kashmir. It is heartening to note that Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) has become fully functional here and institutes like Craft Development Institute (CDI) and Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) have also made significant contribution in the recent past," said the Union Minister.

Jairam said that the International Trade Centre would also become functional very soon since the funds have been allocated for it. He said that buyer-seller meet needs to be organized at places like Moscow, Dallas, Dubai and other places of international importance.

"I hope within the next one year we would be able to complete the first phase of restoration of Dal Lake project and my Ministry is going to take up the project about the restoration of Wullar Lake as well. Many other projects aimed at preserving the state's water bodies are also in pipeline," said the Union Minister.

In his welcome address, Nazir Ahmad Dar, President-KCCI said that buyer-seller meet has become a landmark for displaying the rare Kashmiri handicrafts. He said that a buyer-seller meet helps in tie-up between buyers and sellers.

"We can also call the buyer-seller meet as Kashmir Expo and it is great to see buyers coming from various parts of the globe.

80,313 Amarnath pilgrims registered in 4 days

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14: Reviewing the progress of the Yatris' registration for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra scheduled to commence on June 29, the Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, R. K. Goyal, disclosed that the registration of yatris has been progressing steadily since May 10 and 80,313 yatris have since secured the Yatra Permits through internet based e-Registration facility and 149 Bank branches spread across various States, during the first four days.

The CEO further disclosed that of 80,313 yatris, 43,435 have opted for traditional Pahalgam route and 36,878 have secured registration for the Baltal route. As per the available reports, about 17,000 Yatris have availed the internet based e-Registration facility.

Briefing the media, the CEO informed that the Board is providing, free of cost, an Insurance Cover of Rs. one lakh for all the registered Yatris. He appealed to all the intending yatris to secure, in their own interest, a valid Yatra Permit through one of the 149 Bank branches or online e-Registration facility to avoid any inconvenience on arrival in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

3 suspended Legislators allege 'casteism' in BJP

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Three legislators of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), suspended in cross-voting during Jammu and Kashmir MLC elections, today alleged 'casteism' in the party at both the State and national levels.

Three MLAs - Prof Garu Ram from R S Pura constituency, Bharat Bhushan Bodhi from Raipur Domana and Durga Dass from Hiranagar - in a joint press conference here this morning alleged that they were trapped under a planned conspiracy because they belonged to down-trodden communities.

"We never cross-voted against the party during MLC polls but still we were among the seven suspended MLAs," Prof Garu Ram claimed.

He also alleged that he was threatened with dire consequences by the J&K in-charge and senior BJP leader R P Singh on telephone if he would not accept his involvement in cross-voting. "The party high command took action against us only because we belong to a weaker section," he alleged.

Mr Dass said, "I am ready to undergo the narco test and if I am proved guilty, I will commit suicide."

The MLA said the high command should come clear on what parameters the legislators were identified in cross-voting. "All the 11 MLAs should have been expelled from the party," he added.

"Being loyal to the party, we stand to uphold the ideals of socialism, secularism and democracy and declare that in no case, we shall bow to the unlawful demands of such members who are attempting to harass and compel us to withdraw and separate us," the Legislators said.

The MLAs also demanded inquiry against the four other legislators who were given a clean chit by the party high command in cross-voting on April 13.

They also alleged that Party failed to raise the issue of disappearance of two SC girls from Paddar last year and pledged full support to Prof Chaman Lal Gupta as their leader.

Governor inaugurates Army Mela at JAK LI Centre

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14: The Governor, N N Vohra, inaugurated a day-long Army Mela at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Centre here today.

The First Lady, Usha Vohra, was present on the occasion.

A large number of Veer Naris and ex-Servicemen from the Kashmir Valley participated in this Mela, which was organized with a view to creating awareness about the various rehabilitation and welfare schemes launched by the Central and State Governments as well as by the Army for Veer Naris, disabled soldiers, veterans, serving soldiers and their dependents.

The main highlights of the Mela were sky diving, motorcycle display, dog show, mass band display, weapon and equipment display and hot air ballooning.

The Governor, as chief guest, inaugurated the Mela amidst Fly Past and showering of flower petals by the helicopter. He presented keys of modified scooters to 14 physically disabled soldiers and veterans, besides badges of sacrifice and certificates of honour to the next of kin of seven martyrs. He also gave financial assistance to 15 Veer Naris and veterans on the occasion in addition to presenting gifts to five Veer Naris on his own behalf.

The Governor honoured Subedar Jogendra Singh Yadav, a Param Veer Chakra awardee, on the occasion.

The Governor observed that such Melas provide a valuable opportunity to the civilian population to get to know their Army. He said that this is also an occasion to pay homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives in the service of the nation. He added that the officers and jawans of the Army, who are amongst us today, are there to defend the territorial integrity of the country and for ensuring our safety and security.

Earlier, Lt. Gen. K. T. Parnaik, dwelt on the rehabilitation and welfare measures taken for the Army personnel and their families right from their recruitment, during service and thereafter.

The GOC 15 Corps, Lt. Gen. S. A. Hasnain, gave details of the aims and objects of the Army Mela.

The Principal Secretary to the Governor, R. K. Goyal, senior officers of the Army, Civil and Police Administration, ex-Servicemen, next of kin of martyrs, Veer Naris and veterans as well as students of various educational institutions were present at the inaugural function of the Mela.

Country Inn & Suites among top ranked hotels

Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu, May 14: Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Amritsar, (Punjab) Expedia has named Country Inn & Suites among the top-ranked hotels on this year's Expedia Insiders' Select list.

The Insiders' Select list formally recognizes individual hotels worldwide that consistently deliver excellent service, a great overall experience and a notable value. The full list represents only 500 of Expedia's top-ranked hotels selected from the more than 130,000 properties offered by Expedia, the world's largest online travel company. "Delivering our guests superior service is a top priority atCountry Inn & Suites By Carlson, Amritsar," said Jagjit Singh Hundal, General Manager. "We are pleased that our efforts have been acknowledged by Expedia travelers and we look forward to extending our high level of service to even more guests."

The 2011 Expedia Insiders' Select list is compiled based on the more than 500,000 annual guest reviews collected by Expedia, combined with a value rating and the local market expertise of more than 500 Expedia employees in local markets worldwide, resulting in an easy-to-browse list that provides travelers with a powerful way to find the perfect hotel using the trusted insight of other travelers like them. The list showcases the diverse selection of travel destinations and hotel properties.

Two days free dental camp begins

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Dentacare Dental Clinic and Colgate India today jointly organized two days free dental check up camp at Lakshmi Nagar, Sarwal.

Residents of Sarwal, Subash Nagar, Roop Nagar and other surrounding areas availed the benefits of comprehensive dental check up extended by Dr Anita Kaul and her team.

Speaking during the camp Dr Anita Kaul said that eating pattern and food choices among the children and teens were important factors that affect tooth decaying within this age group.

During the camp children viewed power point presentation on hand washing practices and oral hygiene besides proper brushing technique was also demonstrated. Free medicines for various dental ailments were also given during the first day of the camp.

Bhalla inspects developmental works

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Reiterating Government's determination to provide better basic amenities to the people of the State, Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla today said the Government has taken several innovative measures for improving the living standard of the people especially, those residing in rural and peripheral areas across the State.

The Minister was interacting with the people after inspecting ongoing works in Sector-7 Ward No. 44, in Nanak Nagar area today.

The Minister said fulfilling of people's aspirations and developmental needs is on the top agenda of the Government. He assured the people that all their genuine demands and development needs would be fulfilled in a phased manner.

The Minister stressed upon the concerned engineers and officers to redouble their efforts and accelerate pace on all ongoing works in the area to ensure completion before onset of rainy season. He said the Government has taken some bold and historical steps to rejuvenate overall developmental profile of the State. He said sectors like PHE, health, R&B, education, tourism, power among other sectors have received focused attention of the Government adding that it was the pro-people policy of the Government that the masses at present are benefited in respect of drinking water, regular power supply in metered areas, road connectivity, quality education and healthcare facilities at their doorsteps.

Slathia inaugurates works in Vijaypur

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Minister for Industries and Commerce, S.S Slathia, on Saturday visited Khadergal and Chawni villages of Vijaypur in Samba district and took stock of development works being executed in the area.

At Khadergal, the Minister inaugurated 200 meter long community path constructed at a cost of Rs 10 lac under MNERGA.

Addressing a large public gathering at Khadergal, Mr Slathia said that all their demands would be mitigated in a phased manner. Regarding replacement of electric wires and poles, construction of lanes and drain and boundary wall of school besides blacktopping of the main road, he said these works shall be done at the earliest. He also assured the people for installation of two hand-pumps in the area.

Earlier, the Minister inaugurated Lanes and drains constructed at village Chawni. The local people met the Minster and apprised him of their problems especially on account of unemployment, water scarcity, power, roads, health and education.

He distributed Rs 85000 each, among three unemployed youth under the scheme of Fisheries Department.

Governor calls for scientific conservation of heritage sites

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, May 14 : The Governor, N. N. Vohra, has emphasized the need for the identification of all heritage assets, their scientific conservation and management for keeping alive their cultural significance, which is invaluable.

The Governor, as chief guest, was addressing after inaugurating the 3-day international seminar on Mughal Gardens organized by the INTACH, J&K Chapter, in partnership with the University of Kashmir and supported by the Department of Floriculture at Kashmir University here today.

The Governor observed that a great deal of work is required to be done to conserve heritage monuments and sites in the Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions without permitting, even marginally, any dilution or change in the original concepts, designs and layouts. He said that these historical assets are required to be conserved not merely for the promotion of cultural tourism but as irreplaceable landmarks of our rich heritage.

Referring to the Mughal Gardens, the Governor said that time bound systematic efforts are required to be made for the selected six gardens, on the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage sites, brought on the finally approved list.

The Governor congratulated the INTACH, Kashmir University and the Department of Floriculture for organizing this international seminar on highly relevant topic and wished the participants fruitful deliberations.

The Minister of State for Floriculture and R&B, Javed Ahmad Dar, gave details of the measures being taken for conservation of various heritage sites in the State.

The Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University, Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, said that the cultural heritage needs to be conserved for the coming generations.

Prof. Ebba Koch from the Institute of Art History, University of Vienna, in her keynote address spoke extensively about the Mughal gardens and landscape art. She also made a power point presentation on the occasion.

Prof. Ashraf Wani, Head, Department of History, University of Kashmir, dwelt at length on the theme of Mughal heritage in Kashmir.

KPC holds demonstration for passage of Temples Bill

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: The activists of Kashmiri Pandit Conference (KPC) staged a demonstration in front of Press Club here this morning to protest against the failure of State Government in enacting a law to protect the religious places and temples of Hindus in Valley.

The demonstration was led by Kundan Kashmiri, president KPC and the protestors raising slogans in support of their demand alleged that temples and shrines in Kashmir are in deteriorating condition and the State Government was still delaying the passage of Shrines and Temples Bill.

Addressing the demonstrators the KPC leaders said that Kashmir has many religious shrines and monuments which have historical importance but their condition has deteriorated after the mass exodus of Hindus from Valley.

They said these shrines became the target of the wrath of the terrorists during the turmoil period and many of them were damaged by ultras. Besides some vested elements have also grabbed the land of the temples and shrines in Kashmir while others have disposed it off in connivance with the revenue authorities, they added.

The KPC leaders said for preservation of these ancient monuments the Government should without any further delay pass the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Temples Bill by convening a special session of the State Legislature on the pattern of Gurudawara Prabandhak Board or Wakf Board.

The KPC leaders said that in this regard various resolutions were passed by KP organizations from time to time and memorandums also given to Government by them but these all failed to yield results till date.

The protestors also expressed concern over the plight of displaced youth and said that they have been worst sufferers of 21 year long turmoil. They urged the Government to concede their long pending demands like age relaxation, one time financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh and creation of employment avenues for them.

The KPC state president Satish Pajnoo, its general secretary, P N Pandita, national general secretary A K Pandita, M K Tickoo, Bharat Bhushan Kaul, Ram Krishan Bhat and Rakesh Kumar addressed the demonstration.

Individuals campaign to raise awareness about rare migratory birds on WMBD

By Lalit Gupta

JAMMU, May 14: With droves of school children lining up to enjoy the splendor of rare birds in natural habitat of the Jammu’s world famous Gharana Wetland, Gurdev Raj’s photo-exhibition of migratory birds seems to have fulfilled succeeded individual’s campaign to highlight need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.

Organized by Bharat Pratibha Vikas Mandal on occasion of World Migratory Birds Day (WMBD), which is celebrated on May 14 every year, the two day exhibition at Master Sansar Chand Art Gallery at the Kala Kendra has 150 pictures on show have captured rare species of migratory birds which visit the reserve.

Replying to the questions by students who showed keen interest in the rare birds, Gurdev Raj, for whom Gharna wetland has been a passion since more eight years, said that about 25 to 30 rare species of birds visit Ghrana every year especially during in winter season and most common birds include Bar Headed and Graylog Geese, Pintail, Common Teal, Grey Heron and Little Grebe from New Zealand, America and Australia.

The photos, which show Gharana wetland from different angles, along with stately birds, also draw attention towards problems like its weed problem, construction activities and encroachments that is fast shrinking of the reserve which has been reduced to an area of half a kilometre square area only.

One of the salient features of the exhibition, which shows rare birds in different actions and moods and postures in the setting of the wetland, is labels, which give English, Hindi, Dogri and sometimes Kashmir names of the birds captured in photos. A fact which was appreciated for its educational value by the spectators which also included teachers and students of schools like BR Ambedkar School, Rajpura and Ban Talab, Blooming Dale Public school, Nanak Nagar and Dati Todi Memorial Convent Higher Secondary School, Ratnal, Bishnah.

Prominent among the audience were Gyan Chand, chairman, BR Ambedkar Schools, Dr Subhash Gupta, president, Dahramarth Trust Sudhar Committee, Som Nath, Preetam Sharma, Karnail Sharma, Krishan Kapoor, Vijay Kumar, Jagdish Soodan and others. The exhibition will remain open till tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Make Interlocutors' report public: Jitendra Singh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: BJP State Chief Spokesperson Dr Jitendra Singh has demanded that the Interlocutors' report be made public and left open to a wider debate, before the UPA Government takes any decision about implementation of any of the recommendations made in it.

Dr Singh expressed serious objection to the reported contents including change of nomenclature to Sadr-e-Riyasat and Prime Minister in the final part of Interlocutors' report ready for submission to Union Home Ministry and issued stern warning on behalf of the BJP that the party will launch a mass movement across the country to expose this conspiracy and would oppose any such proposal which is Kashmir-centric or ignores the interests of Jammu and Ladakh.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also alleged that the Interlocutors had followed a biased approach right from the beginning and their report failed in projecting an objective view of every section of polity as well as civil society. Substantiating his charge, he said that during each of their visits to the State, interlocutors had deliberately avoided establishing contact with the BJP leadership.

During their very first visit to the State they did not seek meeting with BJP leadership while during their second trip, they visited the BJP headquarters at Jammu on January 17 and apologized for their inability for not having met during earlier visit but explained that this had happened due to a "goofe-up" on the part of local administration, he added. He said during the one and half hour meeting that followed, the BJP leadership placed before the Interlocutors the main issues of party concern which included "Delimitation of election constituencies", discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh, implementation of 73rd and 74th amendments before holding Panchayat election, displaced Kashmiri community as well as PoK and West Pakistan refugees, unemployment among youth etc.

According to Dr. Jitendra Singh, the head of Interlocutors team Dileep Padgaonkar told the BJP leaders that they needed time to further study these issues and promised that they would get back in next 20 to 25 days. But, they deliberately avoided any future contact with BJP in utter disregard of the courtesy to be shown to a national party, he added.

"We look at 'Autonomy', 'Self-Rule', 'Achievable Azadi', 'Azadi' as part of the same secessionist spectrum," said Dr. Jitendra Singh and added that the only Kashmir roadmap proposed by BJP is that of full and final integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India and will not accept anything less than this.

Pooja brings laurels to State

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Pooja Hali daughter of Sh.Surinder and Indu Hali of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. Hardwar has brought laurels to the State by qualifying the Civil Services Exams 2010. She has secured 200th rank.

Born at Srinagar in Kashmir Valley, she did her schooling from DPS Ranipur Hardwar. Later she graduated in Electrical Engineering from College of Technology GBUAT Pantnagar, Uttaranchal. After serving Tata Consultancy Services for 2 years she left the job and prepared for Civil Services.

A meritorious student and a distinction holder all through her academic carrier, Pooja attributes her success to hard work and constant encouragement from her parents. She pledged to serve the nation with distinction.

Having a good family background, Pooja from her childhood was interested to do some thing special in her career. Zealous to serve the society Pooja thought that the Civil Services was the only option to attain this objective.

Pooja Hali is the niece of Justice Sunil Hali and Dr.Sushil Razdan Neurologist.

Cross-LoC trade suspended till May 18

Excelsior Correspondent

POONCH, May 14: Cross-LoC trade via Chakan-Da-Bagh Line of Control (LoC) point in this district has been suspended for another week by the cross-LoC traders in protest against slapping of Sales Tax and VAT on the trading commodities.

"We have decided to suspend cross-LoC trade between the traders of J&K and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) via Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in protest against the State Government’s move to slap Sales Tax and VAT on the trading goods", LoC Traders Union president Pawan Anand said after meeting of the cross-LoC traders here today.

"There will be no cross-LoC trade on Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point on May 17 and 18", he said.

The traders had earlier suspended the trade for past 11 weeks in protest against the Government’s decision.

Urging the Government to sort out the issue as early as possible, Mr Anand said that Government had not initiated any step to resolve the issue of Sale Tax so far.

Dehlavi terms Laden's funeral prayer by
Geelani as un-Islamic

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Describing the holding of Al-Qaida chief Osama-bin-Laden's funeral prayer at Srinagar recently by Hurriyat Conference leader Ali Shah Geelani as un-Islamic, Chairman Anjuman Minhaje Rasool Maulana Sayed Athar Dehlavi today said that Laden was never identified with Islam.

Addressing a press conference here today, Maulana said, "Terror has no religion and caste and so was Osama bin Laden, who was never identified with Islam."

The Islamic cleric said, "Geelani's call to offer funeral prayers in absentia, for Bin Laden, after Friday prayers in Batmaloo was un-Islamic."

He said separatists should accept the reality that situation was returning to normalcy in Kashmir and people were fed up of their ideology.

"People in Kashmir now want peace and to live in harmony. Separatists should accept that their ideologies are no longer being acknowledged and followed," the cleric said. This was well proved as there were no reactions in Kashmir after Osama's killing, he added.

"Osama's death can never be treated as loss to Islam. Whether it is 9/11 or 26/11, terrorists should not be spared."

However, on the United States, Maulana Dehlavi said, "America should at least come clear on Osama's death as it has become a mystery." He said on terrorism, the US should have no double standards. On Pakistan, the cleric said, "Situation in Pakistan is worrisome and it should not be taken for granted. He referred to yesterday's two bomb blasts in Pakistan and said that Pak must develop cordial relations and strengthen its ties with India. This is essentially in the larger interest of that country as well as the people of India.

Academy releases books of Sayil, Sudeshi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: Former Additional Secretary Cultural Academy and renowned Dramatist Moti Lal Kemu today regretted that Sahitiya Akademi has developed a trend to ignore the writers from the Kashmiri Pandit community with regard to selection of their books for awards.

Mr Kemu, who was addressing a function in connection with release of two books of Kashmiri writers P N Koul Sayil and P L Sudeshi here this afternoon said though the Pandits were founders of Kashmiri Sahitya in 1948 yet the writers from the community are ignored while selecting books for national awards by the Akademi.

Appreciating the efforts of the authors of the two books, Mr Kemu said that he feels elated that these books have been released. Highlighting the contribution of the community in the field of literature, he said the Pandit writers always stood in competition.

He while making a scathing attack on Government and Akademi said every time it announces awards for writers but writers of this minority community are ignored for unknown reasons which is not good for the promotion of literature.

Mr Kemu alleged that well known writers of the community were deprived of the Sahitiya Akademi award and the authorities at the helm of affairs should look into this.

He also alleged that the demand of accepting Devnagri as an alternative script for the Pandits was not conceded by the Government though majority of the writers of the community are not in a position to write in Nastaliq script.

He said even the well known Muslim publishers in Kashmir Valley were publishing the books in Devnagri script earlier.

On Sudeshi’s book 'Vadi Hai Na Manush' a detailed paper was read by Mr Sayil while on Sayil’s book Aahi, T N Ganjoo Wishwas read the paper. The function was organized by Nagrai Literary Forum, Jammu in collaboration with Cultural Academy.

A galaxy of writers and scholars attended the function. The function was presided over by Prof P N Trisal while Dr K N Pandita was the chief guest on the occasion. Savita Bakshi, Additional secretary Cultural Academy was the guest of honour. The chairperson of the Forum Bimla Raina was present. The proceedings were conducted by P L Hatash.

Muthi residents facing scarcity of LPG

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: The inhabitants of various localities in Muthi including Laxmi Nagar are facing acute scarcity of cooking gas with authorities sleeping over the issue.

According to residents of the area the gas agencies are maintaining monopoly as the booking number is not followed by priority which has added to the woes of the consumers to a great extent. During the marriage season the gas is not supplied at all as the agents of these agencies sell the same in black.

They said the senior citizens and working women are the worst sufferers of this problem and the concerned agencies are not paying any attention to redress the problem.

In an appeal to the Minister CAPD and its Director the residents sought their immediate intervention in the matter and ensure that the gas is supplied on first come first serve basis.

23 statistical officers promoted as Assistant Directors

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: The State Government has promoted 23 statistical officers as in-charge Assistant Directors in Economics and Statistics (Gazetted) Service in their own pay and grade for a period of six months or till the clearance by the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) and Public Service Commission (PSC).

The promoted officers included Abdul Ahad Ganai, Mohan Lal Sharma, Vias Raj, Mohammed Hayat Kumar, Ghulam Rasool Hajam, Subash Chander, Vijay, Gopal Singh, Babu Ram, Kiran Bala, Tilak Raj, Reshmi Dogra, Arvinder Kour, Gurcharan Singh, Harmeet Singh, Yash Paul, Surinder Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Noor-ud-Din, Sham Lal Kalloo, Mohammed Jamal Kumar, Robinder Singh and Chagger Singh.

The posting orders of these officers will be issued separately.

Channi Himmat residents resent absence
of Safai Karamcharis

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14: A meeting of Channi Himmat Residents Association was held under the chairmanship of its President V.K.Grover in which the members strongly resented and expressed their deep anguish over the absence of Safai Karamcharis of Jammu Municipal Corporation who do not report for their duties for days together and fail to execute works assigned to them.

A resolution was passed reprimanding the municipal authorities in failing to take stock of the situation and do their work on regular basis. The municipal staff registers its presence in the colony only when they have to collect the monthly payment on account of Safai which is seldom done regularly.

The association has appealed to the Commissioner JMC S.C.Sawhney to personally monitor the situation as long absence of municipal workers from their duties may cause an epidemic like situation and spread diseases related to such negligence.



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