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UN releases first of its kind report on the status of Rights in Kashmir, PoK

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The UN today released the first of its kind report on alleged human rights violations in both “Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir” and sought an international inquiry into these abuses.

The global human rights watch body also asked Pakistan to end its “misuse” of anti-terror legislation to persecute peaceful activists and quash dissent.

Asserting that there was an “urgent need” to address the past and ongoing human rights violations, the report said, “any resolution to the political situation in Kashmir should entail a commitment to ending the cycles of violence and accountability for past and current human rights violations.”

The report said, “the people on both sides of the Line of Control have been detrimentally impacted and suffer from limitations or denial of a range of human rights.”

While there was no immediate reaction from India on the latest report, but the government has been maintaining that the Indian democracy has all that is required to address legitimate grievances.

There can’t be any comparison between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as “the former has a democratically elected government while the latter has seen a Pakistani diplomat arbitrarily appointed as its head”, Indian officials have been maintaining.

The UN “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of J-K from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad J-K and Gilgit-Baltistan” also noted since the late 1980s, “a variety of armed groups has been actively operating in the Indian state of J-K.”

The report also talked about killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani by the Indian forces which triggered unprecedented protests in the Valley during this period.

There has been documented evidence of these groups committing a wide range of human rights abuses, including kidnappings and killings of civilians and sexual violence, it added.

“Despite the Government of Pakistan’s assertions of denial of any support to these groups, experts believe that Pakistan’s military continues to support their operations across the Line of Control in Indian-Administered Kashmir,” the report said.

The report also sought repealing of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 “urgently” and also “immediately remove the requirement for prior central government permission to prosecute security forces personnel accused of human rights violations in civilian courts.”

This is for the first time the UNHRC has issued a report on the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir and PoK.

Given that India has been maintaining that people in J-K were victims of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which was training and arming militants and helping them infiltrate across the Line of Control (LoC), the UN report may not go down well with New Delhi.

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Karnataka government steps up relief, rescue operations in rain-hit Kodagu

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Bengaluru, Aug 18 (PTI) Bolstered by the Army, Navy and Airforce, the state government today intensified relief operations in Kodagu district, as six people were killed in rain-related incidents during the last 24 hours.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy undertook an aerial survey of the district which has been experiencing heavy rain for the past three days.

Deputy chief minister Parameshwara tweeted today six people have been killed in Kodagu due to floods and landslides during the last 24 hours.

The government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased, he said, adding that the government would take care of the treatment of the injured.

Landslides were reported from some places in the district and authorities have stepped up efforts to rescue stranded people, officials said.

“There is a severe situation for the past three days.

Now the central and state rescue teams are working on a war footing,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here.

An M17 Air Force helicopter has been deployed to provide food packets to the marooned and to airlift them, the chief minister said.

The government has deployed as many as 948 personnel from the army engineering task force, Dogra regiment, Indian Navy, national disaster response force, fire and emergency services, home guards and civil defence, Kumaraswamy said.

In addition to this, 200 NCC cadets have also been deployed, he added.

About 50 earthmovers have also been working round the clock to clear debris caused by the landslips. Boats are also being used in the rescue operations.

“More than 2,500 people have been rescued.. in Jodupal village alone, 348 people have been rescued,” he said.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 100 crore for undertaking relief work in Kodagu district.

A sum of Rs 200 crore was announced as grant-in-aid to the affected districts for relief work a few days ago.

A committee, comprising senior administrative officers led by chief secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, has been constituted to monitor relief operations, Kumaraswamy said.

“In Jodupal village, about 300 acres of land are lost in landslides. As many as 39 relief camps have been set up in the state, of which 30 are in Kodagu alone and the rest are in Dakshina Kannada district,” he said.

Revenue officers and doctors from Mysuru, Ramanagar, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajnagar have been deployed in large numbers in Kodagu district.

The government has supplied 2.5 lakh litres drinking water for Kodagu district and efforts are also on to restore power supply in rain-hit areas, he said.

Kumaraswamy said he has directed officials to identify those who have lost their houses.

“At least 800 houses have been completely damaged in Kodagu due to rain..I have directed district authorities to identify those who have lost their houses and prepare a list.

Considering them as special cases, Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh will be given as compensation to them,” he said.

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Chandrababu Naidu speaks to Kerala CM, promises help to rain-hit state

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Amaravati, Aug 18 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today spoke to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan over the phone about the situation in the rain-ravaged state and assured him of providing all possible help in this hour of crisis.

A release from the Chief Minister’s Office here said Naidu expressed grief over the loss of lives and destruction of property in the monsoon fury.

Naidu assured Kerala that his state was ready to provide all possible help to it in this hour of crisis.

The Andhra Pradesh government had last night announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to rain-ravaged Kerala.

Naidu told Vijayan that he would assist in mobilising more financial resources for rehabilitation work in Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government today despatched a special rescue team comprising 66 disaster response and fire services personnel, a district fire officer, 12 motorboats and other equipment to Kerala.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel from Mangalagiri also left for Kerala by a special aircraft, State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner M V Seshagiri Babu said.

As many as 194 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing in Kerala since August 8 due to rains and landslides, while over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

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Tamil Nadu CM K. Palaniswami announces ₹5 cr. more, relief materials, medical teams for Kerala

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday, August 18, 2018, announced relief materials including rice, milk and ₹ five crore more for relief operations in the flood ravaged Kerala.

Mr. Palaniswami said essential medicines and teams comprising medical and veterinary doctors will be immediately dispatched to the neighbouring state.

Over and above the ₹five crore contribution for relief given to Kerala on August 10 by Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister said,”an additional ₹five crore,” will be provided from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.

On August 9, Mr. Palaniswami had announced the ₹ five crore for relief and rehabilitation work.

As regards relief materials, 500 tonne rice, 300 tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 litres of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processed milk, 10,000 blankets besides dhoties and lungies (coloured dhoties) will be immediately sent to Kerala, he said.

“Also, relief materials worth crores received from Tamil Nadu people have already been sent to Kerala through authorities in districts and this work will continue,” Mr. Palaniswami said in an official release here.

To coordinate relief-related tasks to help Kerala, two senior IAS officials have been assigned to work under Commissioner for Revenue Administration, K Sathyagopal, the Chief Minister noted.

Expressing anguish over the loss of lives, Mr. Palaniswami conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an immediate financial assistance of ₹500 crore to Kerala, after reviewing the flood situation in the state.

According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, since August 8, 194 people have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing.

Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

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