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We support jihad in Kashmir, says Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan -
4/19/2015 8:45:45 AM

Amidst growing tension in Jammu and Kashmir, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed has pledged full support to the Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom and said he backed 'jihad' in the troubled state in concert with Pakistani government and the army.

He also warned that the movement for attaining freedom will intensify in the coming days, forcing India to give up Kashmir, PTI reported.

"Jihad is the duty of an Islamic government.. there is a government in Pakistan and it has always taken the stand that it is the right of Kashmiris to attain freedom. I say what our army will do to secure the right of the Kashmiris is jihad.. we extend help to Kashmiris alongside the the Pakistani government.. we call this jihad," he said in a TV interview.

Addressing a rally in Faislabad district of Punjab on Friday, Saeed protested the violence in the Kashmir Valley over the past few days following the killing of two youths by the army in Tral in Pulwama district.

"I have firm belief that more the Indian government suppresses the voice of Kashmiris, the more there will be reaction. The freedom movement in (Indian administered) Kashmir will further intensify in coming days and eventually India will have to give freedom to Kashmiris," he asserted.

"If the Indian government resorts to violence to suppress the voice of Kashmiris we will also retaliate in a strong manner," Saeed said, continuing his anti-India rhetoric.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba founder asked the Pakistani government to help the "oppressed" Kashmiri Muslims.

"It is not very heartening that Pakistan is silent on the Indian atrocities in Kashmir. The Nawaz Sharif government should at least draw the attention of the world towards it. I want the government to fully support the Kashmiri cause and stand shoulder to shoulder with Kashmiris in their struggle to secure freedom from India," he said.

Asserting that the freedom for Kashmiris could be attained only through Jihad, Saeed said he will raise his voice for them across Pakistan by holding rallies.

2 cops held for youth's death in Budgam firing, J-K govt orders probe -
4/19/2015 8:41:12 AM

Two policemen have been arrested hours after the Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the killing of youth in Budgam.

Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Mir Altaf Ahmad, ordered the magisterial probe into the killing of Suhail Ahmad Sofi at Narbal village on Srinagar-Gulmarg road.

"Additional Deputy Commissioner has been asked to probe the incident that led to the death of the boy. He has been asked to submit a report within 15 days," Mir said.

Earlier in the day, JKLF chairman Yaseen Malik and social activist Swami Agnivesh were detained when they tried to lead a march towards Narbal in central Kashmir's Budgam district where the youth was killed in firing by security forces during a protest. Agnivesh had joined Malik Saturday morning in the 30-hour hunger strike against the proposal to create separate settlements for Kashmiri migrant Pandits.

Police took the two into preventive custody at Maisuma as they attempted to take out a march towards Narbal, where Suhail Ahmad Sofi was killed and two others were injured when security forces opened fire at demonstrators who were protesting against the killing of two youths in an army operation in Tral area of south Kashmir earlier this week, PTI reported.

A day after the arrest of separatist leader Masarat Alam, the Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had called for a shutdown in Kashmir.

Hurriyat hardliner Geelani, who is already under house arrest, made the bandh call soon after a court sent Kashmiri separatist Alam to seven days in police remand.

Meanwhile, Masarat Alam, who was arrested over raising of pro-Pakistan slogans and hoisting Pakistan flags at a rally, has been remanded to 7-day police custody.

Alam was produced before a concerned judge who sent him to police custody till April 23.

The 45-year-old hardliner was arrested from his home in Habbakadal area of the city on Friday morning and slapped with charges of leading seditious activities and waging a war against the nation.

Adopting a stern stance against the ongoing protest in the Valley, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that government will not compromise on the country's unity and integrity and the Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam, who is under detention at present, will be sent to jail.

Over two dozen people, including security personnel, were injured in Srinagar on Friday when protesters fought a pitched battle with security forces after Friday prayers over Alam's detenti

Rahul Gandhi to launch big battle against Land Bill at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan today -
4/19/2015 8:38:23 AM

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made his first public appearance after a 56-day sabbatical as he met farmers groups from various states to declare that he will strongly oppose the Land Acquisition Bill and will make the government agree to their demands for its withdrawal.

Holding two interactive sessions with farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh at his residence a day before the party's much-publicised Kisan Khet Mazdoor rally here, Rahul told the farmers that he will a "decisive battle" with his party on farmers' issues, including the NDA's Land Acquisition Bill.

"Rahul ji asked us our views on the new land law brought by the Modi government, the damage our crops have suffered due to the recent unseasonal rain and hailstorm and the rate at which the government is purchasing our produce," a farmer leader said.

Some of the farmers, who took part in the first 50-minute interaction with Rahul, rued that people who had no understanding of grassroot issues and agriculture were engaged in drafting policies for them, be it the present BJP-led government or the earlier Congress-led government at the Centre.

Sources in the party said Rahul has decided to speak on the issue at the Kisan rally on Sunday and could also intervene on the same in Lok Sabha as the second part of the Budget Session begins on Monday. During the interaction, some old farmers from Bhiwani in Haryana addressed him as Chaudhury Rahul ji, as they tried to attract his attention in the crowd.

Some complained that the Kisan rally was organised at the time of the harvesting season but party's communication department in-charge Randeep Surjewala downplayed the issue while saying there is no season for raising farmers' issues.

Rahul said the Congress will not let this fight be over in a day, a month or a year. He said that he will force the government to bow down before the farmers and he will take the fight to a logical conclusion, party leaders said. The delegation included farmers from Bhatta Parsaul village from where Rahul had launched a padyatra in 2011 against forcible land acquisition, a protest that had culminated in passage of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

In the first closed door interaction with farmers' representatives from various states, including two from Bhatta Parsaul, Gandhi talked at length about the impact of the new land law on farmers and the perception in the countryside.

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