Gradual revocation of AFSPA will begin in present tenure of my government: Omar

*’One lakh employments for youth on fast track’*

*’State to be power sufficient in 5 to 7 years’*

*’70% decline in militancy related violence’*

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 22 – Stating that the graph of militancy related violence
in the State has come down by over 70 percent during the last five years,
Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Saturday told Legislative Assembly while
replying the discussion on his grants that he stands firm on his belief
about gradual revocation of AFSPA and will continue to work for it.

“I had said that the gradual revocation of AFSPA will begin from my
government’s this tenure and the same will happen”, he asserted and
rejected the contention of BJP legislator that revocation of AFSPA would be
deceit to the personnel of forces who have sacrificed their lives. He said
that this instead would be tribute to them as they achieved the martyrdom
for creating peaceful atmosphere and normality in the State and revocation
of AFSPA would be indication of peace.

Omar Abdullah said that it is not necessary every important objective would
be achieved without any struggle. “I talked about gradual revocation of
AFSPA, worked continuously for it and there was a time when he and the then
Home Minister of India P. Chidambaram where on same page and we had
convinced the Prime Minister but the Defence Minister did not agree to the
proposal as he was inclined to support the argument of armed forces in this
regard”, he said and maintained the beginning of revocation of AFSPA will
start during the present tenure of his government.

Omar Abdullah said that the improvement in the security situation in the
State has been a big achievement of his government. He said the
contribution of security forces and J&K Police has been of highest degree
in this direction. He said all schools have been vacated from the
occupation of forces. He said 37 hospitals, 33 hotels, 30 industrial units
have also been cleared during the last five years besides removing of 54
bunkers in Srinagar.

The Chief Minister announced that government will examine the guidelines
under which relatives of deceased militants and surrendered militants are
given no objection for passports maintaining that 10 years and 12 years
moratorium kept in the guidelines to provide passports to the relatives of
the deceased and surrendered militants respectively will be reduced to a
greater extent so that they could get the passports as early as possible.

Omar Abdullah also rejected the criticising of Rehabilitation Policy and
asked its critics that when there could be a surrender policy for active
militants, implemented during the period of NDA, why can’t there be a
policy for those who have crossed LoC and want to return back without any
gun and live a peaceful life”. He said so far 308 persons have returned to
the State under this policy alongwith their families and are living
peacefully.

On Pathribal issue the Chief Minister said that it will not be allowed to
be ‘travesty of justice’. He said five innocents have been killed and who
killed them has to be found out and justice given to the bereaved. “I have
taken up this issue with the Prime Minister and he has assured me that he
would discuss it with the Defence Minister”, he said adding that while we
are not satisfied with the armed forces action about Pathribal, we
appreciate the Army for instituting Court Marshal in the Machil incident.

 On relocation of Tosha Madain firing range, the Chief Minister said that
the matter stands discussed in the Civil Military Liaison Conference and
Committee headed by the Chief Secretary has been constituted to identify
the alternate site for firing range so that Tosha Madian is opened for
tourists and tourism related activities.

Regarding 2010 stone pelting incidents, the Chief Minster said that almost
all cases have been withdrawn against those who were not involved in
serious crimes. He said FIRs for each case of firing has been registered,
charge sheets framed and presented in the judiciary for final verdict. He
said that nobody wants juveniles to be arrested and put in juvenile homes.
He added that parents have an important role in this regard to control
their wards and keep them away from unlawful activities like stone pelting
etc.

Omar Abdullah said that sometimes restrictions are necessary to be imposed
to safeguard the life and property of the people as such his government has
does it in view of maintaining calm because certain people are always in
search of putting fuel to the fire and disturb situation. He said that it
has been seen how people tried to transfer Kishtwar incident to the Kashmir
and other parts of Jammu. He said we are thankful to people that they have
foiled these attempts. He said had his government imposed restriction in
2010 after the incident of Tufail Mottoo the loss of precious lives could
have been saved.

On use of non-lethal weapons, the Chief Minister said that his government
never wants to use pellets or teargas shells. He said such incidents are
deeply painful for him. “You can’t believe under which pain I go through
when I am told about such incidents”, he said adding that while he will not
hesitate to dismiss and punish the police personnel found responsible for
use of excessive force he wants to appeal the parents of the youth to keep
them away from indulging in unlawful activities like stone pelting as stone
pelting is not answer to any problem.

Omar Abdullah said that his government has sanctioned Hardship Allowance to
the police personnel at the rate of 10 percent of the Basic Pay and an
amount of Rs. 121.36 crores were incurred on this during the last year
while Rs. 132.740-crore expenditure is being made to provide this Allowance
this year. He said he will ask the Home and Finance Departments to examine
the demand of increase in the ration money of police. He said the
honorarium of Home Guards has been increased and the increase in the
salaries of SPOs has been taken up with the Centre.

Omar Abdullah said that power projects of the capacity of 1400 MWs have
been started during the last five years by his government as against 750 MW
capacity projects started during the period of about 60 years from 1947 to
2008 of which, Baglihar Hydro Electric Project sum for 450 MWs. He said his
government has approved 850 MW Retli, 450 MW Baglhar-II, 37.5 MW Parnai, 48
MW Lower Kalnai, 390 MW Karthai-Stage-I, 93 MW New Ganderbal, 1000 MW
Pakaldul, 660 MW Kiru and 600 MW Thermal Power Plant. He said within next
five to seven years the State will be self-reliant in power generation and
there will be no power cuts anywhere.

The Chief Minister said that 18000 kilometres of transmission lines have
been erected during the last five years while LT network constitutes 9204
kilometres. He said the AT&C losses have reduced from 72 percent to 64
percent last year which are being further reduced to 54 percent by the end
of this year. He said T&D losses are being reduced to 52 percent by the end
of this year. He said per capita consumption has gone up from 742 units in
2007-08 to 927 units in 2013-14 implying an increase of about 25 percent.
He said the energy deficit has declined from 37.71 percent to 29.49 percent
and peak deficit from 33.17 percent to 23.42 percent during the same
period. He said energy supply has increased by 45 percent during the last
five years from 8744 MUs in 2007-08 to 12714 MUs in 2013-14. He said
transformer damage rate has declined from 41.89 percent in 2010-11 to 21.45
percent in 2013-14.

The Chief Minister said that government intends to roll out a scheme on
pilot basis for revenue collection from power consumers by Panchayats. The
Panchayat Halqa engaged in this task would get a share of the money
realized for the development activities. He said that installation of new
transformers has not been banned but put under the guidance that it should
proportionate to load agreement of the feeding area. He said 30 towns are
being brought under RAPDRP to upgrade energy supply and restrict the theft
of electricity. He said all damaged transformers under RGGVY scheme will be
replaced.

On curbing corruption, the Chief Minister said that he has strengthened
institutions and brought laws to restrict corruption and book culprits for
punishment. He referred to the constitution of Vigilance Commission,
Re-constitution of Accountability Commission, implementation of Right to
Information Act and enactment and implementation of Public Services
Guarantee Act besides putting in place the system of e-tendering and
e-procurement in various government departments to bring in transparency.
He said he is very strict against corruption cases and has not withheld for
delayed any prosecution in this regard. “So much so, the complaints against
my colleagues in the Council of Ministries have been referred to the
investigating institutions”, *he said and maintained that a complaint
against Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather of having a flat in Dubai was
sent to Vigilance Organization for verification and the Vigilance
Organization found the complaint baseless after verification and
investigation.*

On employment, Omar Abdullah said that the recruitment agencies have been
directed to fast track the process of employment and hopefully by the end
of this year one lakh appointments will be made.

On employees’ demands, the Chief Minister said that employees are the arms
of the government and his government has done so much for employees which
no government has done so far. “We do not want any confrontation with
employees but like to resolve their all genuine demands by engaging them”,
he said adding that there are some vested interests in their ranks which do
not want to get demands realized in a congenial atmosphere but instigate
employees to come on roads.

The Chief Minster said that the run-ways at Jammu and Kargil Airports are
being extended adding that Government of India has given clearance in this
regard.

Earlier, the Chief Minister moved a Demand for Grant of a sum of Rs.9453.37
crore to defray the charges which will come in the course of payment during
the year ending March 31, 2015 for the departments under his charge.

Twenty seven members took part in discussion on demand of grants including
Mr. M. Y. Tarigami, Mr. A. R. Veeri, Mr. S. S. Slathia, Mr. T. Namgyal, Mr.
Ashok Khajuria, Mr. Ashwani Sharma, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, Peerzada
Mansoor Hussain, Kafil-ur-Rehman, Mr. Ashok Kumar, Harshdev Singh, Mr.
Krishen Chander Bhagat, Mr. Nizam-ud-Din Bhat, Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani, Mr.
Charanjit Singh, Er. Abdul Rashid, Mrs. Indu Pawar, Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta,
Mr. G. M. Saroori, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Mr. Jugal Kishore, Dr. Mustafa
Kamal, Mr. Durga Dass, Mr. Rafi Ahmad Mir, Mr. Yashpal Kundal, Mr. Balwant
Singh Mankotia and Javed Mustafa Mir.

Later, the members, who moved the Cut Motions on the Grants, withdrew the
same after the satisfactory reply from the Chief Minister.

The House passed the Grants by a voice vote.

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