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SACRAMENTO: Former Jammu-Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s plans to give a talk in University of Berkeley in the United States (US) on Thursday, was stalled by a group of protesters, mostly consisting of Kashmiri Americans. A woman who was the part of the protesting group called Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah a war criminal. The protesting group, which also consisted of Kashmiri Pandits interrupted Omar’s speech at the University for his silence on Pakistan-sponsored violence.


One of them, a Kashmiri Pandit, said, "You Talk to me in Kashmiri, I speak better Kashmiri." To which Omar Abdullah replied, "You all ran away." The youth then gave a stinging reply saying, "You forced us out." The Kashmiri Pandits began to leave the state of Jammu-Kashmir in greater numbers in the 1990s during the eruption of militancy, following persecution and threats by radical Islamists and militants.


Earlier on April 17, Omar Abdullah took to Twitter and expressed his happiness and excitement about the session. The session titled “The path forward in Kashmir” was supposed to discuss Kashmir, its complexities and various issues. As per reports doing the rounds, an online campaign was also launched against the University of California, Berkeley for inviting the former Jammu-Kashmir Chief Minister. 

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NEW DELHI:  The Indian Army on Friday said it would prioritise bringing radicalized youth to the mainstream through a "collective approach" and convince militants to "shun violence and gun culture". The issue of conducting de-radicalising exercises along with counter-terror operations in the Kashmir Valley was discussed during the ongoing biannual Army Commanders' Conference that began here on Monday amid reports that Islamic State ideology was moulding new-age militants in the state.


"It was felt that priority must be accorded towards ushering peace by conducting counter-terrorist operations that minimise collateral damage. Radicalised youth must be brought into the mainstream by carrying out de-radicalization and collective approach that focuses on convincing the youth to shun violence and gun culture," Director General Staff Duties Lt Gen AK Sharma told reporters.

Lt Gen Sharma, who earlier headed Nagrota-based 16 Corps in Jammu, didn't explain what kind of exercise the Army would employ to de-radicalise Kashmiri youth who appear to be getting influenced by Islamic State ideology amid heightened violence in the Valley. Staring at yet another possible hot summer with hundreds of militants and many civilians already killed in the first three and a half months of this year, dozens of youths in Kashmir have reportedly joined three prominent militant groups: Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and a resurgent Jaish-e-Mohammad.


Top Army commanders during the six-day conference that ends on Saturday also discussed the current situation along the borders with China and Pakistan, particularly "along the Line of Control, the increase in ceasefire violations and the adequacy of the response mechanisms", said Lt Gen Sharma.

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NEW DELHI: Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate, Executive Chairman of State Legal Aid Committee, J&K today criticized the Bar Council of India for its deliberate failure to implement the direction/order of the Supreme Court of India dated 06.02.2017 directing the Bar Council of India to hold election to elect the Bar Council in J&K which has not been constituted ever since Bar Council of India was introduced in the system. The Supreme Court of India in its order dated February 6, 2017 delivered after hearing a writ petition of Bhim Singh (W.P (C) No.465/2013) directing the Bar Council of India to hold election to the Bar Council of India in J&K. The Supreme Court in its order dated 06.02.2017 observed that,

“The Bar Council of India, having duly considered the Jammu & Kashmir State Bar Council Rules, has approved the same, vide its resolution no. 192/2016, dated 23.07.2016. It is submitted on behalf of the Bar Council of India, that the afore-stated rules have since been forwarded for publication, in the official gazette.

2.       It is acknowledged by the learned counsel representing the Union of India, that the Jammu & Kashmir State Bar Council Rules, have been received by it, and they are in the process of being published in the official gazette. Learned counsel states, that she expects, that the aforesaid publication in the official gazette, would take approximately four weeks.

3.       In view of the above, we are satisfied, that all the prayers made in the instant writ petition have been duly accepted, and therefore, we dispose of the instant petition, by directing the Union of India to publish the Jammu & Kashmir State Bar Council Rules, in the official gazette, positively within two months from today.”

Prof.Bhim Singh this morning intervened while the court was hearing the matter in connection with its suo moto notice served on the Jammu Bar Association on Kathua girl rape-murder case. Interestingly, the Bar Association was represented by some lawyers of Supreme Court connected with the Supreme Court Bar Association whereas the presence of representatives of J&K Bar Association on behalf of the Bar were not witnessed.

Prof.Bhim Singh after hearing advocates representing Jammu Bar Association intervened and made a strong submission to the court when the court was going to dictate its order after hearing the lawyers representing different parties involved in the matter. Prof.Bhim Singh reminded the Hon’ble Supreme Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice Deepak Mishra, Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Mr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

Prof.Bhim Singh in his submission as intervener made submission regarding the indifferent behaviour of the Bar Council of India towards J&K in relation to implementation of the Advocates Act in J&K. He said that there is no Bar Council in J&K as it has not been constituted by the Bar Council of India right from the beginning. A writ petition was filed by me (Bhim Singh) in 2013 seeking extension of the jurisdiction Bar Council of India into the State of J&K as J&K forms integral part of India. He said that Bar Council has not been extended into the J&K State and the so-called Bar Council which is installed in J&K has been headed by the respective Chief Justices of J&K since the beginning. All prayers and appeals have been rejected by those who had power to apply this Act to the State of J&K which is the integral part of the Union of India. Article 3 of J&K Constitution categorically states that “the State of J&K is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India”. Prof.Bhim Singh had been arguing on this part that J&K is integral part of the Union of India and it could not be denied an Act like Advocates Act, 1961 where Bar Council was constituted for the entire country.

Prof.Bhim Singh submitted to the Supreme Court of India that Bar Council has no locus to visit J&K or prepare its documentary report on this point as the Bar Council of India is itself responsible for the present mess in the State of J&K where lawyers’ community stands deprived of their fundamental rights even to constitute Bar Council in the State. He said that this Act on the part of the Bar Council of India amounts to the contempt of the Supreme Court. When Bar Council of India could not implement the order of the Supreme Court to extend Bar Council to J&K, what right they have to organize their luxury visit to J&K to inquire into the conduct of Bar Association in J&K. What a sad story that Chief Justice of J&K being Chairman of State Bar Council in J&K sits under the Chairmanship of the Chairman of Bar Council of India, a Senior Advocate.  


Advocates who assisted Prof.Bhim Singh included Mr. B.S. Billowria and Mr. Ajay Singh.