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SRINAGAR:  The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice President Abdul Rahman Veeri on Monday  termed the  innocent killings in Kulgam condemnable and demanded impartial probe into the incident. Veeri in a statement issued here stated that the time bound investigation is needed in the incident and justice must be accorded to the victims. He also urged the central government to initiate dialogue and reconciliation so that the further loss of precious lives in the state is stopped and peaceful atmosphere is created in which all sections of the society could feel secure and safe. “We share the grief of those families who lost their dear ones and express solidarity with them,” Veeri said.

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SRINAGAR: Amid mourning seven civilians killed in Kulgam post encounter explosion, Kashmir remembers October 22, 1993, Bijbehara bloodbath. It was observed that the netizens of social media were posting their remembrance about theBijbehara bloodbath.  “When bullets rained over unarmed protestors, and bodies fell,” wrote Amir Ali Shah on Twitter, while sharing an article on the 1993’s Bijbehara massacre, where at least 37 people were shot dead, as per Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) 2006 report.

On the afternoon of October 22, 1993, hundred’s assembled on the main road in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town to protest against the military siege of Srinagar’s Hazratbal town, when, the troops from the 74th battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) indiscriminately opened fire on the protestors. While the numbers of total death vary, more than 200 were injured in the firing, of which, many have been left physically handicapped. Many questioned that 25 years have passed since; the inquiry set up by the State to investigate the incident has gone nowhere.

The BSF had claimed that the militants opened the firing, to which, they had to retaliate in “self-defense”. However, the enquiry report stated: “The claim made by the BSF that they were forced to retaliate [because of] the firing of militants for self-defence is baseless and concocted. The security personnel has committed offense out of vengeance and their barbarous act was deliberate and well planned.” Soon after the probe began, the unit of 74th battalion of BSF involved in the firing was shifted from the area.

Quoting an eyewitness, the HRW, in its 2006 report stated: “The people had gathered on the National Highway which passes through Beijbehara town. It was like this even then, narrow, with shops on both sides of the road. There were thousands of people shouting slogans. But it was peaceful. The BSF just opened fire without any warning. It was terrible. There were so many people lying on the ground. Others were running in panic. This road, this very road, was full of blood.” 

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  • Reviews progress on mega R&B, PMGSY projects

SRINAGAR: Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai Monday stressed on maintaining transparency in the execution of works and said that Government has zero tolerance policy against mismanagement and misreporting about status of projects. He said this while reviewing the implementation of various developmental projects under Roads and Buildings and PMGSY.

Stating that the accountability and transparency holds key to development, Ganai said the government will have zero tolerance for misreporting by officials with regard to the quality and quantity of various projects. During the meeting, the Advisor was apprised about various connectivity projects that will be taken up in Jammu and Kashmir by the Works Department, including macadamisation of old roads, construction of new roads and bridges, etc. during this financial year.

The meeting was informed that 1812 Kms have been black topped, 498 Kms metalled, 435 shingled and 777 Kms fair weather road done during the current fiscal so far under different schemes including PMGSY. Advisor asked the department to mobilize men and machinery to achieve the target of blacktopping of remaining road length in the state till the end of 2018.

The meeting was informed that 82 bridges will be completed by the end of this fiscal under languishing projects while 83 bridges will be completed by March 2020. It was given out that an amount of Rs 872.02 crores have been spend by the end of September 2018 on different projects out of the total approved Capex budget of Rs 1583.12 crore. Giving the breakup of the budget, meeting was informed that   Rs 261.23 have been spend on regular schemes, 96.55 under CRF, 437.43 Cr under PMGSY, Rs 52.50 cr on Ring Roads in Kashmir and Jammu respectively.

Officials informed the Advisor that 322 Kms of road has been constructed to connect 53 habitations under 45 different schemes at the cost of Rs 130.22 Cr in PMGSY Phase I-IX till date. In Phase-X of PMGSY, 468 Kms have been constructed at the cost of Rs 298.86 crores under 52 different schemes connecting 83 habitations of the state while under Phase XI and XII, 87 Kms have been constructed and Rs 22.62 Cr have been spent so far.

He directed the concerned officers to ensure time bound completion of the projects and asked them to submit the status report of each work to his office regularly. The meeting also discussed the proposed projects worth Rs 42668 Crore under Prime Minister’s Development Package for the re-construction of Flood Damaged Infrastructure in the state. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Public Works, Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Chief Engineer (R&B) Jammu Sudheer Shah, Chief Engineer Projects ORG DK Khanna, Chief Engineer MED, Raina, Chief Engineer PMGSY Jammu SP Manhas, Chief Engineer PMGSY (Kashmir) Ghulam Jeelani, MD JKPCC Vakar M Shonthu, Regional Officer NHAI Jammu, Hemraj, SEs from Leh and Kargil and other senior officers of the department attended the meeting.

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