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Rajnath says Geelani betrayed ‘Kashmiriyat’ as Mission Kashmir fails

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Srinagar : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singhon Monday hit out at Kashmiri separatist leaders who refused to talk to some MPs from an all-party team, saying their conduct defied the spirit of “Kashmiriyat”.

The Home Minister, however, made it clear that MPs Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, D. Raja, Jay Prakash Narayan and Assaduddin Owaisi went to meet the separatist leaders in their individual capacity and not as part of the all-party delegation that was on a two-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Some members of the delegation went to meet Hurriyat leaders. We had neither said ‘no’ nor ‘yes’ to their meetings. You know what happened. They had gone there in their individual capacity,” he told reporters here before flying to Jammu.

He was referring to the attempt by the national opposition leaders from the delegation to hold talks with top Kashmiri separatists on Sunday.

While other separatist leaders did meet them briefly but refused to hold talks, hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani shut his door on the MPs even as they kept waiting outside his upscale Hyderpora residence for about 10 minutes.

This, Rajnath Singhsaid, “was certainly neither ‘Kashmiriyat’ nor ‘insaniyat’ (humane).

“If you do not want to talk is a different thing. But what they did proves they have no faith in democracy.”

The all-party delegation arrived here on Sunday, nearly two months after a bloody unrest erupted in the aftermath of the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

At least 74 persons have been killed and over 12,000 injured in the weeks of the turmoil, the deadliest Kashmir has seen in six years.

As the delegation left for Jammu, the Kashmir Valley continued to be tense amid curfew in some parts, shutdown and recurring anti-government and pro-freedom protests.

Rajnath Singhsaid the government had left its options open for talks with anyone within the ambit of “Kashmiriyat, jamhooriyat and insaniyat”. But he made it clear that there were no two ways about the fact “that Jammu And Kashmirwas, is and will remain an integral part of India”.

Visibly disappointed, the minister hinted that any chance of talks with the separatists in the near future was impossible.

He also dismissed any possibility of an India-Pakistan dialogue over Kashmir, rejecting a key demand of separatist leaders.

“Everybody in Kashmir wants peace and normalcy to return. I am hopeful that the situation in Jammu And Kashmirwill improve,” he said after meeting some “300 people including students, teachers, traders” during the delegation’s nearly 30-hour stay in the valley.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also retained hopes for peace and a dialogue process to engage all stakeholders, including separatist leaders.

“Dialogue and engagement is a continuous process. It can’t be expected to happen (by rubbing) a magic lamp,” senior PDP leader and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters.

Yechury, who faced a snub from Geelani on Sunday, said he had not given up on the mission to bring peace in Kashmir.

“Please understand it was not a snub. We understand the ground reality and realize that there is a need for state and central governments to take the political dialogue forward with all stakeholders, including separatists, for peace in Kashmir.

“The killings in Kashmir have pained me. We want the government to resolve this issue. There will be no solution without a political dialogue. You have to start a political dialogue, an unconditional political with all,” Yechury told the media here.

India

Put farm laws on hold or we will do it, Chief Justice Bobde tells government

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New Delhi, 11 Jan : A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde on Monday toughened its stand on the farm laws and said the court has made up its mind to stay the implementation of the three farm laws, which have led to the protest by thousands of farmers at various Delhi borders.

“What is going on? States are rebelling against your laws”, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde told the Centre. “We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process,” he said.

“If the Centre does not want to stay the implementation of farm laws, we will put a stay on it,” the CJI added.

“We don’t want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The apex court, which was hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, said it is not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment.

“This is a very delicate situation,” the bench said, adding, “There is not a single petition before us which says that these farm laws are beneficial.”

“We will stay implementation of laws,” the CJI said. “You can carry on the protest. But the question is whether the protest should be held at the same site,” he added.

“Some people have committed suicide, old people and women are a part of the agitation. What is happening?” he said.

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India

Farmer agitation enters 47th day, all eyes on SC hearing pleas on protests

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New Delhi, 11 Jan : The farmer agitation on the borders of the national capital entered the 47th day on Monday as the farmers have taken to the streets protesting against the three central farm laws. But now all eyes are glued on the Supreme Court which would conduct a hearing on various pleas related to the farmers’ agitation and the new farm laws on Monday.

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India

Talks with farmers end without breakthrough, dialogue may resume on Jan 8

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New Delhi, 4 Jan : The crucial seventh round of talks between the government and 41 farmers representatives ended without any breakthrough and the next round of talks is expected on January 8, sources said.

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