JAMMU Amid ongoing protests by people of Kargil over their demand for rotational divisional headquarters, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has said a committee of secretaries has been formed to ensure justice for the district.
Hundreds of Kargil residents, including women and children, took out a rally in the winter capital Jammu Monday and chanted slogans in support of their demand for equal share in the recently created separate division for Ladakh and rotational divisional headquarters.
"The divisional status for Ladakh was a long-standing demand (of the people of the region). We have formed a committee of secretaries which will look into the issue so that Kargil gets justice," the Governor told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Katra township of Reasi district.
In a major decision on February 8, the Jammu and Kashmir administration sanctioned creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh, with its headquarters at Leh.
Cutting across party lines, prominent politicians from Kargil affiliated with the National Conference, the PDP and the Congress came together and threatened mass agitation if the Governor administration did not review its decision to permanently post the divisional commissioner and inspector general of police headquarters in Leh.
On Sunday, thousands of people also staged a rally in Kargil and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner to press for their demand.
Malik replied in negative when asked whether his administration plans to give divisional status to any other region of the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference are advocating similar status to Pir Panjal and Chenab valley region.
"It (divisional status) was imperative for both the districts of Leh and Kargil let those talking about it come to power and do so," the Governor said.
The Kargil residents including their leaders affiliated with different political parties assembled at Karbala complex in the high-security Wazarat road here Monday morning and took out a rally which ended peacefully at the Press Club, Jammu, after passing through the Residency Road.
Prominent among those who took part in the rally included Legislative Council Chairman Haji Anayat Ali, Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil, Feroz Khan, former ministers Qamar Ali Akhoon, Asgar Karbalai, Nissar Ali, former MP Hassan Khan.
The leaders also addressed the gathering at the Press Club, vowing to continue the "united struggle" till the "genuine demands" of the people of Kargil are not met.
Strike In Kargil Over Equal Share
The town of Kargil and adjoining areas observed a shutdown Monday to protest against the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to set up the permanent headquarters of the newly-created Ladakh division in Leh.
"Shops and business establishments are closed, while roads are deserted due to the shutdown called by local leaders in Kargil," officials said.
Cutting across party lines, residents of Kargil marched in thousands on Sunday against the administration's decision to permanently post the divisional commissioner and Inspector General of Police (IGP) offices for the newly created Ladakh division in Leh town.
The people of Kargil are demanding that divisional commissioner and IGP offices function on rotational basis -- in Kargil during summers and in Leh during winters.
The elected leaders of Kargil in panchayats, municipal committees and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Kargil) have threatened to resign en masse if the government does not modify its order.
The government decision to create Ladakh division has led to resentment from other regions of the state like Pir Panjal and the Chenab valley, where leaders have threatened to launch an agitation if similar administrative units for their regions were not created.
The National Conference has already made it an election issue, with its leader Omar Abdullah promising to create new divisions for Pir Panjal and Chenab valley if his party is voted to power in the assembly elections likely to be held later this year.
Leh admin issues social media advisory
The district administration Leh on Monday issued an advisory asking the admins operating social networking groups like WhatsApp and Facebook to refrain from posting or circulating sensitive information.
In an order issued under section 144 of CrPc by district magistrate Avny Lavasa with respect to the fixing responsibility on admins of social networking websites and individuals forwarding sensitive information.
The order said the district police has reported that various irresponsible messages which can hurt regional and religious sentiments are being transmitted, forwarded and circulated on social media in Leh district.
Whereas, with due consideration to the freedom of expression there is also accountability to be associated with this freedom, read the order.
The magistrate said, therefore, to avoid such type of activities on WhatsApp/Facebook and any other forum of social media group and for proper maintenance of Law & Order in the district I, Avny Lavasa, IAS District Magistrate, Leh invoke the powers vested in me under section 144 CrPC and order that:
1. Every social media group administrator shall register his group with SHO, Leh within two days from the issuance of this order.
2. Each Whatsapp/Facebook group admin shall report to the nearest Police station any posts or rumours being circulated which are sensitive and likely to cause public disorder. The admin shall be ready to bear responsibility and ownership of the content posted in the group. He/She shall immediately delete the said comment in addition to reporting to the nearest Police Station.
3. Each WhatsApp group admin shall immediately enable message uploading status to "only admins can send messages" from today for one week till 18/02/2019 in the first instance.
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