Demands timely completion, fair probe in Sopore incident
'LG's package a good beginning but disproportionate to JK's economic losses'
Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday said the Army’s probe findings in the Shopian encounter admitting violations of Standard Operating Procedures and Army conduct rules will significantly reduce the trust deficit and alienation among people in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference at the Party office in Gandhi Nagar Jammu, Bukhari extended gratitude to the country’s top leadership, NSA and the army top brass for fulfilling their commitment to a fair and transparent probe in the incident. “The firm stand taken by the Army in this case will go a long way in restoring lost trust and confidence among people,” he said.
He was flanked by the party’s vice president Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, general secretary Vijay Bakaya, provincial president Jammu province Manjit Singh, provincial president women’s wing Jammu Namrita Sharma, party leaders Bod Raj Bagat, Madan Lal Chalotra and others.
Bukhari hoped that a stern action would be taken against the guilty and the victim families of Rajouri are paid adequate compensation at an earliest. “Though the loss of human lives can’t be compensated through any means, speedy justice can heal their wounds to a large extent,” he observed.
The Apni Party president also demanded the time bound completion of a magisterial probe ordered in Sopore youth’s killing in a fair and transparent manner. “These measures are not only essential for improving the accountability mechanisms but imparting more credibility to the security institutions in itself. We need to understand patterns of human rights violations and be firm to end the impunity. Zero tolerance against human rights violations is indispensable for successful transformative processes in J&K,” Bukhari pleaded.
On the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in J&K, Bukhari highlighted the gaps and measures that need to be taken to combat the pandemic effectively. He censured the administration for its contradictory claims about the healthcare infrastructure in government run hospitals, the inadequacy of which is also a contributing factor in the rising number of fatalities by this deadly pandemic.
“There is an acute shortage of oxygen supply, ventilators and beds in the COVID dedicated hospitals across J&K. There is bad management of the COVID situation in J&K and we need a dedicated approach from the government to stem the spread of this deadly pandemic. I call upon the government of India to help out the J&K administration at this critical juncture.”
Welcoming the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha’s announcement of Rs 1350 Cr. economic package for the revival of ailing business sector, Bukhari said though a good beginning has been made but the Government of India needs to be more liberal in its packages in view of the magnitude of J&K’s shattered economy.
“Since the Lt. Governor has announced this package today, we will go through it before making some opinion. However, according to estimates made by the chambers of commerce and industry, J&K has witnessed a loss of over 40,000 Crores since August last year. The government of India needs to keep this whooping loss into consideration if it is serious in revival of our ailing economy,” Bukhari remarked.
Apni Party president also demanded a comprehensive job policy for redressal of rising unemployment in J&K. “It is highly unfortunate that instead of generating more employment J&K government has rendered around 3000 engineers jobless by abolishing the Self Help Group scheme. It needs to be revived again. Similarly, the government must go for immediate regularization of daily wagers, Daily Rated Workers, Casual Workers, Workers on Consolidated wages, ITI Skilled Labourers, HDF workers and Contingency Paid workers,” he said, and pressed for early absorption of Rehbar-e-Khel aspirants on the pattern of ReTs.
Bukhari also demanded registration and issuance of license to more than 25000 qualified Pharmacists and medical assistants who have completed their course before 5th august 2019. “This is a humanitarian issue and we need to deal with it more compassionately,’ he observed.
Highlighting the plight of Kashmiri Pandit community, Bukhari laid emphasis on fast tracking of recruitment for PMs Migrant Employment Package so that the sufferings of the community are lessened to some extent.
On the restoration of 4G internet services, Bukhari said the government of India needs to look beyond exaggerated security concerns and provide high speed mobile internet in J&K at an earliest. “This is absolutely a cruel joke with the people of J&K especially its tech savvy youth who want to excel in every field of their life. The union home ministry should lift the ban and order restoration of 4G internet in J&K,’ he demanded.
Bukhari also urged the government of India to consider inclusion of Punjabi as well as Pahari and Gojri languages in the official languages announced for J&K recently. “This will remove the sense of neglect among a large section of Punjabi and Gojri speaking people in J&K,” he observed.
Apni Party president also called for abolition of SRO 202 and immediate repatriation of J&K Employees from Ladakh UT. He also demanded revised and comprehensive policy on minor mineral rights for J&K residents.
Bukhari also spoke on restoration of passenger traffic on vital regional road connectivity links like Mughal Road and Kishtwar-Sinthan roads. “The government of India should also go for construction of tunnels at Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road, Singhtur and Vailoo on Sinthan Road and at Sadhna Top in Karnah Kupwara in order to reduce the distance and make these routes all weather regional connectivity links. Besides this there is a dire need for speedy completion of Jammu-Srinagar Railway line,” he demanded.
On this occasion, Mr. Faqeer Nath, SC leader and former MLA from Chenani, Prem Lal SC leader and former MLA from Hira Nagar joined Apni Party. Pertinently, Mr. Nath has remained General Secretary of the Panthers Party. Several other political activists like Shakti Gupta Chairman of trade union (PDD), Vijay Mangotra Senior Vice President Masha Sadar Sabha J&K and Mohammad Sadeeq Ahmad, Sarpanch Baboor (Doda) also joined the party today.
Welcoming the new entrants, Bukhari said their joining will further strengthen the Apni Party at the grassroots level. “The joining of all these veterans reflect the rising acceptability and credibility of the Apni Party agenda among the people. I am sure our party will gain from their vast experiences and their joining will further boost our cadres on the ground,” Bukhari said.