three firemen killed as development collapses in Jammu

Feb 12: Seemingly praising the beauty of Kashmir, Ambassador from Dominican
Republic Frank Hans Dannenberg on Wednesday sent officials into tizzy when he
remarked that they have come as “tourists” to the valley.

Hans Dannenberg is a part of 25 member diplomats’ delegation which arrived in
Srinagar for  on-the-spot assessment of
the situation post abrogation of Article 370

group includes envoys from European Union, France, Germany, Austria, Italy,
Hungary, Netherlands and Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Envoys from Canada, New Zealand, Poland Uganda, Namibia, Rawanda Guinea,
Dominican Republic, Afghanistan and Mexico are also part of the delegation.


after arriving at Srinagar International Airport, the envoys were taken to
famed Dal Lake for a Shikara ride. Few of them took time out from their
schedule to talk to media.

from Dominican Republic Frank Hans Dannenberg appreciated the landscape of
Kashmir saying they have come as tourists to the valley. “We have been seeing
Kashmir and it is a beautiful place. We are just here as tourists,” he said.

Svane, envoy from Denmark said they have come to assess the situation in
Kashmir. “It is fantastic to be here. We came here to see how thing are working
here,” he said.

Qadiry, Charge de Affairs at Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi, said he saw
shops open and students going to schools. “We are here to get a first-hand
account of situation. It was great to see people opening their shops and
students going to schools,” he said.

said he had desired to visit Kashmir for long. “Everything is fine here. It is
the part of the world I wanted to see. It is really great to see people here,”
he said.

the envoys met various delegations including politicians, youth activists,
students, journalists and women activists. From releasing politicians to
restoration of internet, various demands were put forth by the local
delegations during the meeting.

spokesperson Khalid Jehangir, who was one among the visitors, urged the envoys
to impress upon the central government to release mainstream political leaders
including three former chief ministers.

EU Parliamentarians warming themselves with traditional firepot popularly known as “Kangri” while enjoying Shikara ride at Dal Lake, in Srinagar on Wednesday. Photo clicked by Umar Ganie/KM

of India knows sufferings of people at administrative level. I pressed for
immediate release of detained leaders including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba
Mufti. Politicians also enjoy human rights,” he said.

 Politicians including Shoib Lone and Usman
Majeed also met the visiting delegation.

activist from Baramulla Tauseef Raina said he raised the issue of damage to
property in the ceasefire violation on LoC.

told them to promote Kashmir handicrafts and tourism internationally. We urged
the envoys that they should play their role to bring India and Pakistan on
table for talks,” he said.

from Pahari and Gujjar community also met the envoys and called for the
implementation of Forest Act.

envoys also had an interaction with a media delegation. Media persons spoke
about  continuing blockade of the
broadband services in the valley. A delegation of students also met the
visiting envoys.

diplomats are scheduled to travel to Jammu, where they will meet Lieutenant
Governor GC Murmu and civil society groups.

visit comes barely a week after Centre detained two former chief ministers,
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and four other politicians including two
ex-ministers, under Public Safety Act (PSA).

month, diplomats from 15 countries visited Kashmir. In October last year,
another delegation of EU lawmakers visited Kashmir.

All these visits are staged:

Press Trust of India

New Delhi, Feb 12: Sitaram Yechury, general
secretary, CPI(M), lambasted the central government for providing no relief to
the people of Kashmir.

on the visit of a foreign delegation to Srinagar on Wednesday, he said,
“Diplomats come and go. All these visits are staged. Once they leave, new
draconian sections are slapped on the leaders of the J&K.”

was addressing a press conference in Delhi along with party member from Kashmir
Yousuf Tarigami.

too took a dig at the Centre, asking it to notify Jammu and Kashmir as a
“central jail” so that it no longer has to enforce draconian laws
like the Public Safety Act on its citizens.

the AAP”s victory in the Delhi Assembly elections, he said the people of the
national capital have shown some light in the “regime of darkness”.

government should notify Jammu and Kashmir as a central jail. Then they do not
have to invoke the PSA or force us to stay inside our homes,” Tarigami
said during a press conference at the party office here.

have no trust in the government, but we trust the wisdom of the people of this
country who have expressed it time and again. What happened yesterday in Delhi
gives us hope. The victory is the light in this regime of darkness,” he
said congratulating the people of Delhi.

attacked the Centre over the continued restrictions in the valley and said the
delegations which are being taken to Jammu and Kashmir can see that even the
guesthouses have been turned into “detention centres”.

Jammu and Kashmir to Tihar jail, Yechury said, “Jammu and Kashmir cannot
have a Shaheen Bagh for similar reasons as there cannot be a Shaheen Bagh in
Tihar jail”.

Bagh in Delhi has become the epicentre of the protests against the Citizenship
(Amendment) Act as women with young children have been staging a sit-in protest
there for nearly two months.

government will repent what it did to J-K. I am also saying that all those
people who clapped at the insult of Kashmir on August 5, where the entire
community of Kashmir was humiliated, will repent it. The government has to take
accountability of what happened. Hope it is not too late,” Tarigami said.

also questioned why the central government did not hold elections in the state
legislature and allow the people to decide their representatives.

also hit out at the government over the invoking of the draconian Public Safety
Act (PSA) on former J-K chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and
questioned how “getting support of people was a crime”, referring to
the dossier on them.

PSA was invoked against Abdullah due to his “considerable influence”
and ability to draw voters to polling booths, said the government dossier that
contained charges against the politician. Apart from him, Mehbooba Mufti and
several other Kashmiri political leaders were charged under the Act last week.

to the dossier which cites green colour of Mufti’s party flag as one of the
reasons for slapping PSA on her, Yechury quipped that if the colour was the
problem, then one-third of the Indian flag was also the same colour.

green colour is a problem, then how does one qualify the tricolour which has
one-third green. Will that be removed?” he said.

also said that he was receiving delegations from Jammu and Ladakh regions from
people who were concerned about their rights that they enjoyed in the past and
under Article 35 A.

the time the Supreme Court does not decide on the petitions challenging the
abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, the Jammu and Kashmir administration should
not take decisions like giving government land to individuals and trusts from
different states. Such decisions cannot be legally sustainable,” he added.

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