SRINAGAR: A group of political leaders, including some who were recently released from detention, met Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to demand the release of political leaders, constitutional safeguards to protect the land and jobs of local residents and restoration of statehood. It has led to speculation about formation of an alternative front with tacit support of BJP to sideline the National Conference, the Congress and the PDP.
Syed Altaf Bukhari (former PDP leader), Ghulam Hassan Mir (Democratic Party Nationalist), Mohammad Dilawar Mir (ex-PDP MLA), Zaffar Iqbal (former PDP MLC), ex-PDP MLAs Javed Hassan Baig, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Choudhary Qamar Hussain and Raja Manzoor Ahmad jointly called on Lt Governor Murmu in Jammu.
Sources said four are said to be close to the BJP. Hassan Mir, Dilawar Mir and Mohammad Sheikh were recently released from detention. Hassan Mir, who was part of the delegation, told this newspaper that they brought to notice of L-G the problems being faced by people of the Valley.“The L-G listened to us patiently. We submitted a 15-point memorandum demanding restoration of statehood to J&K, safeguarding land and job rights of J&K people, among others.” The L-G assured us that internet service, which is suspended since August 5, would be restored in a phased manner, he added.
Hizbul militant killed in encounter; first of 2020
A Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday. It was the first encounter of this year, and also the first militancy-related killing in the Kashmir Valley in last 42 days. A police officer said a joint party of police, CRPF and Army laid siege around Chursoo village in Awantipora area in Pulwama district in the wee hours after receiving inputs about the presence of militants.
While the troopers were conducting search operation, they came under heavy fire from militants hiding in the besieged area. “The fire was returned by the troops, triggering an encounter. In the ensuing gunfight, a militant was killed,” he said. The slain militant was identified as Shahid Nazir Gadhanji. A police spokesman said the police and community members, including the family members of Shahid, had tried in vain to make him surrender.