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India is controlling Jammu and Kashmir over gun point: Sheikh Abdullah’s daughter on abrogation of Article 370

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Khalida Shah Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 2 : The eldest daughter of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and Awami National Conference President Khalida Shah has said the Government of India has made a big blunder by abrogating Article 370. She said it was an assault on the dignity of people and to enslave the Kashmiris.

In an exclusive interview to IANS she said India has control over it because of the gun and there was no point taking part in the Assembly elections in a Union Territory and those advocating Article 371 for Kashmir are traitors.

Q: Did you ever imagine that 370 could be scrapped and 35 A will go?

A: No, I never expected that they will stoop down to this level, but I always knew that they can do such things.

Q: Why did they do it?

A: They are foolish and inexperienced people, they have always used force to rule like in Gujarat or elsewhere. They always crushed people through power. They have got used to doing such things.

Q: What can be the implications of scrapping of Article 370?

A: They don’t seem to have an understanding of the things, they are thinking of destroying Kashmiris, but Kashmiris won’t go down alone, they will take them along and will ensure that it happens.

Q: How?

A: Kashmiris are maintaining silence right now, but a day will come when all the pent up anger will spill over, the situation will get out of control then.

Q: There was an impression that if Article 370 goes, people will protest and will come out on the roads and resort to demonstrations. But that has not happened, people have given a different response?

A: This can be because an all party meeting took place at the Gupkar Road in Srinagar just before the scrapping of Article 370. People were asked to stay peaceful and cautious and not to do something that will complicate the things. It struck the people and they did not resort to violence or indulge in stone pelting. I think God has been merciful.

Q: What, according to you, is the way forward?

A: The way forward is exactly what we are doing right now, using legal means to carry forward our struggle and create awareness. All this is to tell the Government of India that striking down Article 370 is bad for it. If nothing happens, a day will come when people will rise and will be ready to die without caring about anything.

Q: Do you think scrapping Article 370 is an assault on the respect and dignity of people?

A: Yes definitely, it is an attack on the dignity of people. This should not have normally happened because Kashmiris had committed no mistake to deserve this punishment.

Q: But most of the parties in Parliament supported the government move, how do you see that?

A: I think most Parliament members have a clue about history.

Q: What do you think would be the role of the detained leaders’ including three former chief ministers now?

A: I think all Kashmiris will have to struggle, this is a calamity that has befallen all of us, doesn’t matter whether we are in the mainstream or separatist camp, the mountain has fallen on all of us.

Q: Do you think the Assembly election in the Union Territory has any relevance now?

A: It has no relevance.

Q: Do you think you can take part in the elections now?

A: No, there is no point in taking part in the elections. We should be given our right first. We can’t take part in elections. We have been treated as garbage.

Q: Some leaders say Article 370 is gone forever, it won’t return, let’s now strive to get Article 371 instead?

A: I think anybody who talks about Article 371 should be considered a traitor. We want our Article 370 back in its original shape and form.

Q: Kashmiris are starting to introspect and are looking into history, some people are saying that the decision of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1947 was an error of judgement. He should have done it differently, what do you think?

A: No there can be no error of judgement, because Maharaja Hari Singh was the King and owner of this land, he had the power for accession, he had bought Kashmir with its land and people. Maharaja was ready to join with India, what could have Sheikh Abdullah done? Sheikh had to do what was best under the given circumstances to save the lives of his people. If he would have thought of taking any other route at that time; he would not have got that. Sheikh did what he did to save the lives and honour of people, he had no choice.

Q: What do you want to say looking at the situation in Kashmir now?

A: I think we had not done any mistake, we remained with India whatever the circumstances. Now we are being insulted. I am saying leave us to our fate, whatever happens to us that is our problem, you have thrown us away, the relationship has ended.

Q: What according to you is Kashmir’s relationship with India now?

A: There is no relation with India now.

Q: But Kashmir is under India’s control?

A: Yes, it is holding Kashmir with gun, nine lakh troops have been deployed here, they have to show their prestige, their strength by the power of the gun. Let them do it without force and we will see.

Q: Imran Khan gave a speech on Kashmir in the UN, Pakistan is raising this issue internationally, what do you have to say about all that?

A: I appreciate it very much. I am thankful to Imran Khan for whatever he said. He supported Kashmiris and pleaded their case, I appreciate it, he spoke there for us, people never used to speak for us even in Pakistan. If somebody is speaking for us, we must appreciate that.

Q: The BJP says Kashmir has been integrated, Article 370 was a hindrance for the development of Kashmir?

A: I have seen the development of Kashmir for the past 70 years, we have free education here, land to tiller was implemented which nobody can think in dreams even in today’s era in any state or country, in Kashmir lot of infrastructure was created, roads, schools, etc.

Q: Then, why did the Government of India scrap Article 370?

A: It was done to enslave Kashmiris, but Kashmiris will never accept that.

Q: What do you want to tell Narendra Modi and Amit Shah today?

A: I want to tell them that you have ended your relationship with us, now it is better to save your honour and leave us to our fate. Just leave us, whether we live or die, we have seen your concerns for us, Kashmiris never got relief, you always tried to hurt us.

Q: You say leave us to our fate, but the government says Kashmir has been integrated?

A: Makes no difference what they say, if God will give us strength and is on our side, we will get whatever was due to us. We want to live with honour, we are not saying that we want to rule India from Kashmir, we are saying let us live with freedom and peace, but they don’t let us do that.

Q: Do you think that all parties in Kashmir should join the ranks.

A: Definitely, there is no other choice but to stand united.

Disaster

Rail Bhawan shut for 2 days after officials test Covid positive

However, if there is specific urgency that requires an official to attend office, specific directives will be given to the official concerned, the ministry said.

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Rail Bhawan

New Delhi, July 13 : The Railways Ministry will remain closed for the next two days as a matter of “precaution” after some officials were found to be positive for coronavirus, an official statement said on Monday.

“Some officials of the Railway Board have tested Covid positive during the rapid antigen testing camp organised at Rail Bhawan on 9th, 10th and 13th July, 2020. Accordingly it has been decided to close all offices at Rail Bhawan on 14th and 15th July, 2020 to carry out intensive sanitisation of rooms and common area,” read a circular issued by the Ministry.

During these two days, all officials will work from home. They are also asked to remain available not only through phone but other electronic means of communication.

However, if there is specific urgency that requires an official to attend office, specific directives will be given to the official concerned, the ministry said.

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Online Open Book Exam to begin from August 17, DU tells HC

The said affidavit has been filed in a batch of petitions led by one Anup, challenging the seeking of cancellation of examinations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Delhi University

New Delhi, July 13 : The Delhi University has informed the Delhi High Court that the online Open Book Examination (OBE) for final year students of all undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including School of Open Learning (SOL) and Non Collegiate Women”s Education Board (NCWEB), will commence from August 17.

In its affidavit filed before the court, the Delhi University has stated that the examinations would begin on August 17 and conclude on September 8.

“For such students who are unable to appear in the examinations in OBE mode remotely, it has been decided to conduct an additional phase of examinations through online/offline/blended mechanism, for the purpose of providing another opportunity to the students,” the DU said in its affidavit.

In its more than 160-page affidavit, the varsity informed the court that it would be conducting mock tests in two phases in order to make the students familiar with the OBE mode.

While the first phase of the mock tests would be held from July 31 to August 4, the second phase would be held from August 8 to August 12. There would be three sessions of mock tests per day in both the phases.

The university also made it clear that the facilities available in the colleges and the departments of the university will be made accessible to the students belonging to the persons with disabilities (PWD) category in general, and visually impaired (VI) in particular, so that the ICT infrastructure is available to the students with prior information during the scheduled examinations in OBE mode to be conducted remotely.

“Preparation will also be made for the conduct of another additional round of examinations (in online/ offline / blended mode) for those students who are unable to take the examinations to be held from August 17,” the affidavit said.

Evaluation of answer sheets would begin from the first week of September and will continue till the first week of October.

“The university will make best efforts to declare the results expeditiously. However, depending upon the number of students appearing for the OBE, it is expected that the declaration of results for different courses shall start from the first week of October and conclude latest by November 30,” the varsity said.

The said affidavit has been filed in a batch of petitions led by one Anup, challenging the seeking of cancellation of examinations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the last hearing, a division bench of the high court presided over by Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad had directed the Delhi University to draw up a plan for conducting examinations for final year students.

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PM allows Priyanka Gandhi’s request to stay on in Lutyens’ bungalow for some time

Sources close to developments revealed that when the matter was brought to Modi’s notice, he said that her request most certainly be accepted.

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

New Delhi, July 13 : In a remarkably statesman like move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to a request to allow Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to retain the 35, Lodhi Estate Bungalow for some time. Just when people thought there is witch hunt against the erstwhile first family of Indian politics, the PM”s move once again validated his large heartedness.

After the government directive to vacate the prime Lutyens real estate property in Lodi Estate, the Centre was approached to allow Priyanka Gandhi to stay there for some more time. Sources close to developments revealed that when the matter was brought to Modi’s notice, he said that her request most certainly be accepted.

Those who know Modi say that this is not the first time that he has gone out of the way and shown large heartedness towards a family that has left no opportunity to bad mouth him, demean him and use every trick out of the book to nail him. The general impression being that both sides have a visceral hatred for one another.

It was in 2011 when Sonia Gandhi had to travel abroad for health related treatment. That time, it was Modi who sent a bouquet of flowers to 10, Janpath. The Congress, which was keen to keep Sonia Gandhi”s travel plans a secret, was not only surprised but was also compelled to share details about Sonia Gandhi’s illness with the entire nation.

Back in August 2013, when the Congress-led UPA was in power and Modi was merely the campaign committee chief, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi fell ill. The nation saw a visibly unwell Sonia Gandhi being escorted out of the Parliament House, driven to the hospital.

Later on, she was taken home from hospital. That is when Modi Tweeted, “Glad to know that Sonia ji’s health is fine. Wishing her the best of health in future.”

He had also tweeted, “Concerned that basic medical emergency procedures were not used. Would have been better if wheel-chair or stretcher was used in the Parliament,” adding, “Considering her health, Sonia ji should have been taken to hospital in a well-equipped ambulance. Still, doctors are best judges.”

Old timers recall another incident from the past when a chopper ferrying Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel developed a snag at Daman. Modi dialled Sonia Gandhi and offered all possible help to her.

When the NDA government came to power, Modi would make it a point to greet Sonia Gandhi at the start and end of every Parliament session. Such a practice continues even now. This is a basic courtesy that was never given to the NDA when the UPA was in power.

In August 2016, when Sonia Gandhi fell ill during a roadshow in Varanasi, Modi immediately enquired about her health. He also offered to arrange for a plane to bring her back to Delhi. The fact that Modi reached out to Sonia Gandhi, who was campaigning in his parliamentary constituency and using acerbic language, was not missed by people.

During the peak of the Karnataka election campaign, Rahul Gandhi”s aircraft developed a technical snag on the way to Hubballi. The Congress used this as an opportunity to taunt the BJP-led Central government for being inconsiderate towards the Gandhi family.

In the midst of such slander, and slap-bang in the middle of a tough and bruising election campaign, Modi called Rahul Gandhi and enquired about his well-being. He also ensured a proper DGCA probe was held on the issue.

The Gandhi family has considered Narendra Modi as an usurper of sorts — someone who has denied them a set of privileges they deserved. In contrast, Modi has always shown a larger heart when it comes to dealing with the Nehru-Gandhi family.

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