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Kashmir can’t survive if given independence: Omar Abdullah

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Omar Abdullah

New Delhi, Nov 2 : Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday said he “truly believes” that the future of Jammu and Kashmir lied with the Union of India and that the state could not survive on its own if given Azadi (independence).

He also underlined that the people of Kashmir were well within their right in demanding greater autonomy for the state as that was the main condition for joining the Union of India.

“I honestly, truly believe that the future of Jammu and Kashmir lies within the Indian Union. And I am not playing politics here or playing to the gallery,” Abdullah said during a panel discussion at the launch of the book “Paradise At War – A Political History of Kashmir”, penned by Radha Kumar and published by Aleph.

“I don’t believe that an independent Jammu and Kashmir can survive in this environment of Pakistan on one side, China on the other and then India here (on one side). Mine is a practical realisation. It is based on analysing and understanding the realities of Jammu and Kashmir.

“But they (people demanding Azadi) are entitled to their sentiments and I don’t argue with that. Their sentiment is based on emotions. Mine is based on ‘if it comes, you won’t survive’,” he said.

Abdullah added the government of India needed to fulfil its promises that were made to the state in 1947 when it became a part of the Union of India.

“Autonomy is a historic fact. How is asking for autonomy in any way anti-national? If autonomy is secession, then there is no mainstream politics in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Berating the Narendra Modi government’s handling of the Kashmir situation, Abdullah said that a large number of youth were willing to join militancy in recent years and militancy had spread to regions of the state where it earlier was not.

“The fact that of late, the highest number of youngsters are willing to join militancy can’t be blamed to Pakistan. If you look at the ground situation, militancy has emerged in areas which were hitherto free of militancy,” Abdullah said.

He also accused the Congress of playing the “Jammu card” or trying to play up the communal divide between the regions of Jammu and Kashmir for political gains, although not “to the extent” that BJP did in 2014 elections.

Radha Kumar, who was part of the interlocuters’ team despatched by the Centre at the height of the 2010 unrest in the Valley, said the failure of the peace process engendered more discontent. She regretted that the Union government never acted on the recommendations made by the interlocuters and hence the situation went from bad to worse.

“We have today reached a point where I don’t see any Kashmiri willing to make peace (with India) at least in the next five years, and I am being optimistic,” she said.

India

Karnataka to table law on cow slaughter ban in next Assembly session

In 2010, Yediyurappa in his first stint as Chief Minister had introduced the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010.

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Cow in India

Bengaluru: Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan said on Tuesday that a law to ban cow slaughter, sale and consumption of beef would be tabled in the forthcoming Assembly session starting December 7.

Speaking to reporters, Chauhan said that the department has been consulting with the experts from various fields besides studying similar laws enacted by other states. “I can assure that our law will be harsher than all the other states which have enacted similar laws,” he said.

Chauhan added that he has held discussions with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in this regard and he too is happy with the progress.

Yediyurappa had assured at the BJP state executive committee meeting held in Mangaluru recently that his government is committed to enact stronger laws to ban cow slaughter as well as prevent forcible conversions (‘Love Jihad’).

He added that once the new law comes into force, selling and consuming cow meat and slaughtering of cows will be banned completely, along with transportation of cows to other states.

“Safeguarding cows is our priority. I am very happy that this law will be piloted by me in the Assembly,” he said.

In 2010, Yediyurappa in his first stint as Chief Minister had introduced the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010.

The legislation would have instituted a blanket ban on cow slaughter and consumption of beef. However, the bill did not get presidential assent and was withdrawn after the Congress returned to power in 2013.

Both the passage of the bill in 2010 and its withdrawal triggered protests by groups on the opposite spectrum of the debate on cow slaughter.

Karnataka already has the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, which permits slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffalos that are over 12 years of age and are unfit for breeding and giving milk.

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Cyclone Nivar: Andhra CM orders state machinery to be ready

By dusk on Tuesday, no rainfall was recorded in all the 16 monitored places in Andhra Pradesh while Kurnool recorded a maximum temperature of 33 degrees Celsius.

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Cyclone Storm Nisarga

Amaravati: In the light of severe cyclonic storm Nivar poised to strike Tamil Nadu and parts of his state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy sounded an alert on Tuesday and instructed the state machinery to be prepared.

In a review meeting with District Collectors and Superintendents of Police, he asked them to be on high alert especially when Nivar makes landfall.

“Though the cyclone is not going to touch Andhra Pradesh directly, it would have an impact in areas closer to Tamil Nadu…. inclement weather would prevail on Tuesday and Wednesday and preparedness should be in place,” he said.

Reddy said parts of Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur districts and coastal areas of Prakasam are likely to receive 11-20 cm rainfall, while winds with up to speeds of 65 to 75 km per hour are expected.

He also instructed officials to set up relief and rehabilitation camps wherever required in Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasam.

The Chief Minister also said crop protection measures should be taken, along with disemminating crucial information through the ‘rythu bharosa kendras’ (RBKs).

Officials have been directed to ensure that there is no loss of life in coastal areas, and fishermen do not venture into the sea.

“Utilise the services of village secretariat employees and volunteers and prepare NDRF and SDRF teams to be ready keep ready power poles for immediate restoration in case of power outage,” he said. Officials were also instructed to keep tools and equipment ready to remove uprooted trees.

Reddy also told officials to set up 24×7 control rooms at each district Collectorate, along with control rooms at mandal centres.

Noting that a booklet outlining the steps to be taken during a cyclone has been made available at all village secretariats, he asked them to make sure that information is shared with staff and the public.

Meanwhile, a Met Department official said Nivar is expected to cross the Tamil Nadu Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram as a very severe cyclonic storm on late Wednesday evening.

By dusk on Tuesday, no rainfall was recorded in all the 16 monitored places in Andhra Pradesh while Kurnool recorded a maximum temperature of 33 degrees Celsius.

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Disaster

Delhi’s Graveyards Run Out Of Burial Space As Covid-19 Fatalities Spike In City

Delhi’s largest Muslim graveyard is likely to run out of burial space in two months

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Cremation ground Graveyards

The largest Muslim graveyard in the national capital near located near ITO is running out of burial space amid rising Covid-19 deaths with coronavirus victims from other NCR areas also being buried there, an official said on Tuesday.

“There should be some arrangement so that Covid-19 victims are buried at graveyards in their neighbourhoods and their relatives do not have to come here because space is limited,” Haji Mian Faiyazuddin, secretary of Qabristan Ahle Islam graveyard said.

The graveyard’s management committee will write to the Delhi government requesting help to ensure that bodies of Covid-19 victims from other parts of the city are not brought here, Faiyazuddin said.

Faiyazuddin further said that one of major problems being faced by the graveyard management is that they also have to provide space for burial of Covid-19 patients from neighbouring cities like Noida, Ghaziabad and Meerut who die while undergoing treatment in Delhi. “We do not have any problem to bury Covid-19 victims, but space is a real issue,” he added. If burials continue at the current rate, we will start facing difficulty to even accommodate normal burials within the next two months, Faiyazuddin said.

“We receive around 4-5 bodies of Covid-19 victims these days. A total of 67 Covid-19 victims were buried here in September, 57 in October and in November so far 50 bodies have been buried,” Faiyazuddin said.

Staring at a space crunch, the graveyard management last month had readied 5-6 acres of extra space for burials of casualties caused by the virus. The Covid-19 burials at the ITO graveyard, measuring about 50 acres, started in April.

Delhi reported 121 deaths due to Covid-19 on Monday. On Sunday, 121 fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,391, authorities said.

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