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Kashmir parties slam domicile order, call it insulting

Meanwhile J&K Peoples Conference has in a statement said the order falls way short of expectations even for those who expected some relief and reconciliation.

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Srinagar, April 1 : Taking a strong exception to the central government order defining domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir, the Apni Party (JKAP) president Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday demanded that the order be put in abeyance till the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

“It is most unfortunate that such an important order has been issued at a time when the whole country is battling for its survival and is under strict lockdown to stem the spread of deadly Coronavirus disease. While JKAP had been vehemently demanding Domicile Rights on land and jobs for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the order issued by the union government reflects a casual exercise carried out at bureaucratic level without taking aspirations and expectations of people into consideration,” Bukhari said.

He demanded that the order be put in abeyance till the country is out of dangers arising out of COVID-19. “This Order in its entirety is a casual attempt, cosmetic in nature, to hoodwink the people of Jammu and Kashmir who genuinely believed that post October 31, 2019 their rights and privileges in the matter of employment and other rights would remain as it had been,” the JKAP president remarked.

He said that being a government issued order and not a law made by the Parliament, the new gazette notification regarding domicile rule for J&K is not immune to any judicial review. “The order issued is totally unacceptable to JKAP. In the matter of employment, “non Gazetted, Gazetted posts in the service and admissions to professional colleges, a tangible legal and constitutional mechanism was supposed to be put in place to safeguard and protect these privileges of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had been the permanent residents of J&K,” Bukhari observed.

Commenting on various vague sections of the order, the JKAP president demanded threadbare discussions with all stake holders of Jammu and Kashmir to be held at an appropriate time to remove these anomalies.

The section of the Order pertaining to “The Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act” providing protections to jobs for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir up to a definite pay scale (Level 4/25500), Bukhari said the same has left other level of government jobs free for all, which is totally unacceptable to JKAP.

“This section of the order is antithesis to what was promised by the Prime Minister and Home Minister on the floor of Parliament assuring a better domicile law for the residents of J&K than what is being enjoyed by the people in other states of the country,” he added.

Bukhari said that the order has also paved way for inclusion and declaring children of those central government officials, all India services officers, officials of PSUs and autonomous body of central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of central universities and recognised research institutes of central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children whose parents fulfil any of the conditions mentioned in the order, as domiciles of J&K, which has diluted the purpose of privileges enjoyed by the J&K residents prior to October 31, 2019.

The JKAP president said the introduction of clause expanding to include those who have studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K is totally contradictory and provides a tunnel for the non residents of J&K to easily encroach upon the job protections which were available to them prior to October 31, 2019.

Meanwhile J&K Peoples Conference has in a statement said the order falls way short of expectations even for those who expected some relief and reconciliation.

It said the new definition of ‘domicile’ is humiliating and insulting and adds insult to injury.

“Doing away with district and divisional recruitment is an affront to the concept of affirmative action. We had no expectations but this particular order has made the disappointment even more intense. The government of the day has embarked on an erroneous path and seems to be in no mood to rectify wrongs and instead is content to be deluded in the world of “we know the best” for J&K and its people. The lowest rung in jobs has been reserved for locals – not even non-gazetted but Class IV jobs. There seems to be a clear intent of conveying yet another serving of humiliation and insult to the people of J&K after what transpired in August 5,” the statement said.

Disaster

608 flights ferry over 41k passengers today

According to the minister, India’s airports have handled 325 departures and 283 arrivals with 41,673 passengers till 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Air India Flight

New Delhi, May 26 : A day after India resumed domestic flights, a total of 608 services ferrying 41,673 passengers were operated till 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said smooth operations were witnessed on Tuesday.

According to the minister, India’s airports have handled 325 departures and 283 arrivals with 41,673 passengers till 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Smooth operations of domestic civil aviation… Our airports have handled 325 departures & 283 arrivals with 41,673 passengers till 5 p.m. on May 26, the 2nd day after recommencement of domestic flights. Final report for the day will be prepared after details come in at midnight,” he tweeted.

Earlier during the day, the minister in a different tweet said the number of passengers and flights were set to rise as air services to Andhra Pradesh were resumed on Tuesday.”

“Airports are abuzz & passengers are back,” Puri tweeted.

He had said that 58,318 passengers flew to their destinations on 832 flights on May 25, the first day of resumption of air services after two months. “These numbers are set to soar,” he tweeted.

But for West Bengal, domestic flights have been resumed to all states.

Industry insiders said the majority of bookings on Monday and the subsequent few more days were for flights between Metros due to the “pent-up demand”.

Airlines have reported healthy load factors and expected passenger count levels.

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India

Foreign returnees will have to pay for quarantine: Kerala CM

Vijayan said over one lakh people, who had registered from other states, had returned. Also, 11,189 of the 1.35 lakh registered from abroad had returned, he added.

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Coronaviurs in China Outbreak

Thiruvananthapuram, May 26 : The number of Covid-19 cases in Kerala is witnessing an upswing with arrival of Keralites from abroad and other states and the state government has decided that all those who come from abroad will have to pay for the quarantine.

“The rates will be affordable to all,” said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, here on Tuesday.

Of the present 415 cases, 231 have been registered in the past four days, including 67 on Tuesday, the highest recorded in a day. “Of these, 133 have come from abroad and 178 from other states,” he said.

“We are reaching a new phase of Covid-19. We had a video conference with all the state lawmakers (MPs and MLAs). Irrespective of the party affiliations, each one agreed to work jointly against Covid-19,” Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister said a large number of people had registered to return from abroad and within the country. “We will receive all our people who wish to return with both hands. Once they are here, they will have to undergo quarantine,” said Vijayan.

Vijayan said over one lakh people, who had registered from other states, had returned. Also, 11,189 of the 1.35 lakh registered from abroad had returned, he added.

During the day, nine more hotspots were added taking the total to 68 in the state.

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PM Modi chairs meeting to end Ladakh stand off

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New Delhi, May 26: Making efforts to end the standoff in Ladakh and resolve the issue with China , Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a meeting with the country”s top defence and foreign affairs officials and the National Security Advisor (NSA) over the prevailing situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

NSA Ajit Doval and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, were part of the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs to understand the prevailing ground situation of the face-off in Ladakh and to discuss the next move of the forces.

Sources said that the deliberation over the matter carried on for more than an hour. Singh was briefed about the Indian response in matching up to the Chinese troop mobilisation.

It was clarified during the meeting that the Indian Army will hold its fort and talks to diffuse the situation would continue.

It was also decided in the meeting that road constructions must continue and the Indian fortifications and troop deployment must match the Chinese.

Earlier, the Indian Army and China”s People”s Liberation Army held several meetings to resolve the face-off in Eastern Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control. However, no breakthrough has taken place.

The last meeting took place on Sunday, but many things remained unresolved, said sources, adding that more commander-level talks are in the pipeline to resolve the issues.

Sources said that there have been five rounds of talks between the military commanders on the ground, but there has been no breakthrough.

The Status quo has been maintained the situation will be resolved, but the Indian Army will continue with its construction work along the LAC.

There has been a troop build up on both sides and there are three to four places where there is an eye ball to eye ball situation since May 5. Across Line of Actual Control, both sides have deployed over 1000 troops in eyeball to eyeball situation at four places.

Indian Army is keeping a close watch in the Pangong Tso sector of Eastern Ladakh and the Galwan Valley region where the Chinese have enhanced deployment. Other than Pangong Tso, which is extremely sensitive, the other places that are volatile in the wake of the recent escalation are Trig Heights, Demchok and Chumar in Ladakh, which form the western sector of the India-China frontier.

The disengagement took place in Eastern Ladakh after troops came to blows on May 5 and were involved in a face-off till the morning of May 6 when troops from both sides clashed, leaving several injured. Sources reported a massive troop build-up by China on their side, not too far away from the point of the standoff.

It was also observed that enhanced patrolling was being carried out by China in the Pangong Lake. They have also increased the number of boats.

The face-offs were triggered by Indian road construction and development of infrastructure which the Chinese objected to.

However, Indian Army has maintained that there is no continuing face-off at the Pangong lake and there is no build up of armed troops in the area.

On Friday, Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane visited Leh, the headquarters of 14 Corps in Ladakh, and reviewed the security deployment of the forces along the LAC with China. He held a meeting with Northern Command (NC) chief, Lieutenant General Y.K. Joshi, and the 14 Corps commander, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, and other officers to know the ground situation at the forward locations along the LAC. Later in the day, he returned to Delhi.

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