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Shocking: ‘Central Jail’ Srinagar turns into a militancy recruitment hub, says CID report

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Srinagar, Feb 20: In a stunning disclosure, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Jammu and Kashmir has revealed that the ‘Central Jail’ Srinagar is functioning as militancy recruiting hub and every single militant is recruited only after getting ‘nod’ behind the prison.

Highly placed sources disclosed that the CID has clearly mentioned in its report that jail inmates (militants) have framed a ‘parallel administrative set-up’ inside the jail that takes a decision regarding the recruitment of militants in Kashmir.

However, the CID report is not pinpoint specific as it has not mentioned the name of the final decision taker for the recruitment but it added that it is being ascertained who gives the approval.

Though, taking cognizance of the report prepared by IG CID AG Mir, Director General of Police (DGP) Jammu and Kashmir Dr SP Vaid sent the said report to Principal Secretary (Home) Raj Kumar Goyal in 2017 and sought strict vigil and security within the prison.

If sources are to be believed the report mentions that the ‘parallel administrative setup’ is comprised of ‘Ameer-e-Zindaan’ (The prison chief) appointed by a ‘Shura’ (council) for a period of six months.

Reports said that former DG prison SK Mishra in its reply said that he was highlighting the issue from a long time and had even informed state home department and former inspector general of police (Kashmir) Munir Khan and the deputy inspector general for some action over the issue including carrying out of the searches within the jail premises.

Mishra in his reply to the principal home secretary, JK Govt had highlighted that the poor infrastructure of the jail does not allow the proper segregation of the inmates.

He had also pointed out that only 5 to 20 security personals remains in jail to guard about 300 prisoners which is very insufficient as it is not possible to discipline the inmates with this few guards. He had requested that at least 150 police personnel should be deployed in the jail for meeting the security requirement of the jail and unfortunately which was not considered by the government.

Worthy to mention here, that Mishra was shunted from the post following the escape of Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Mohammed Naveed Jhatt on 6 February, this year from SMHS hospital Srinagar.

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Government approves security plan worth 2 lakh crore for 50 crore Indians

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The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has given its approval to the labour ministry proposal on universal social security cover for 500 million workers before the all too important 2019 elections.

The finance and labour ministries will work out the details of the scheme that will require nearly Rs 2 lakh crore when fully rolled out for the lower 40% of the country’s total workforce. The remaining 60% of the workforce is expected to make contributions out of their own pocket, either fully or partially.

The idea of the scheme is pretty much self-explanatory; the labour ministry seeks the poorest in line to be aided by the scheme at the earliest and have requested the finance ministry for the same. An official went on to say that the scheme would take at least 5-10 year to come into effect in full force. The official said: “This would require a significantly less amount to start with and the fund allocation to the scheme can be enhanced later over the next 5-10 years to make it universal.”

This will be the second mass-benefit social scheme after the National Health Protection Scheme announced earlier that will provide Rs 5 lakh health cover to 100 million poor families.

The move comes a year before the general elections, indicating that the ruling government is working towards improving its dented image, especially in the farm and agriculture sector.

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SC issues notice to the centre on hotelier Kesav Suri petition seeking to quash section 377 of IPC

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre government to file its response to hotelier Keshav Suri’s petition challenging the criminalization of gay sex between two consenting adults.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar, and D Y Chandrachud said the petition shall be tagged with a similar joint plea filed by five celebrities which have been placed before a Constitutional bench. “Let a copy of this petition be served on the ASG and the Centre shall file a response within one week”, the bench said.

Keshav Suri, executive director at The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, had moved to the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that right to choice of sexual orientation is embedded in Article 21 of the Constitution and that criminalization of sexual intercourse between two consenting adults of the same sex is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi Suri represented Keshav Suri while ASG Tushar Mehta appeared for Centre.

The petition said Section 377 IPC is “unconstitutional and incapable of inapplicable to consenting homosexual adults”.

The petition also referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in NALSA vs Union of India wherein the Supreme Court recognized the third gender and ascertained that they get their due rights and said there exists no rational basis for any person to be criminalized only because of a choice exercised by them in their private life to love and have consensual sexual relations with another individual of the same sex.

The Supreme Court has earlier said that a larger group of judges would revisit and examine the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a law that criminalises sexual activities “against the law of nature”.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

The Delhi High Court had decriminalised Section 377, but the order was later set aside by a Supreme-Court bench.

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Dialogue is the only way for India, Pakistan to move forward on Kashmir issue: Omar Abdullah

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SRINAGAR: Speaking at “the path forward in Kashmir” event at the University of Berkeley in California in the US last week, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said that India and Pakistan have squandered a lot of good chances to resolve the Kashmir issue, but there are still opportunities.

A barrel of a gun cannot drive a solution, there is a need for a dialogue process both internally as well as externally, Abdullah emphasized.

“There are clearly two dimensions (to Kashmir issue). It is not simply a matter between New Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, nor is it a matter between Islamabad and J-K. A part of the state continues to remain with Pakistan and I belong to the part of the state that is with India, that acceded to India. So when we come to the way forward, both these dimensions of the problem will have to be tackled,” he added.

Abdullah spoke on various topics, including on the current political situation in the country and the run-up to the general elections next year.

“In spite of the fact that we took losses on account of that, there were express instructions by the government of India that Indian planes and helicopters will not cross the LoC, that Indian troops will not cross the LoC. So, imagine even if with the provocation of Kargil we decided to respect the sanctity of the LoC, haven’t we somewhere or the other, decided that perhaps this is the way and let’s move forward,” he said.

Abdullah suggested that one of the ways to move forward is to sit down with Pakistan and “once and for all, address this issue”.

“We can’t do it with the international mediation. I think mediation is a word that particularly people in India have a lot of suspicion about. But facilitation is not something that we have a problem with. Perhaps friends in the right places can facilitate this process between India and Pakistan and address some of the suspicions that we have.

“I believe that we came incredibly close during the time of General Pervez Musharraf first with (former) Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then with (ex-PM) Manmohan Singh, but time ran out for us because it took so long to finally put aside our suspicions of Musharraf as the architect of Kargil War that by the time we realised he was somebody we need to do business with, he wasn’t nearly as powerful as we needed him to be,” he added.

Abdullah later speaking on chances of development on the issue said that “I don’t believe that all opportunities have been lost, but we have squandered a lot of good chances and I hope we don’t do that going ahead”.

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