Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ruled out any possibility of extending the 73rd amendment of Indian Constitution to J&K; Durbar opens in winter capital amid protests; Panchayat representatives continue to resign; Defence Minister A.K. Antony said no hasty de
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  • (NOVEMBER 5-11)

    According to reports, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ruled out any possibility of extending the 73rd amendment of Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told media persons after opening of Durbar Move offices that Jammu and Kashmir has the distinction of having a separate Constitution. The Chief Minister said that certain provisions of the Central Act will be incorporated but there is no question of extending the Constitutional amendments to the State. 1

    In another development, according to reports, amid series of protest by various political parties and employees unions, Jammu and Kashmir government on November 5 resumed its work in winter capital of the state after traditional Durbar Move. In continuance with the 140-year-old practice of erstwhile Maharajas of shifting capital in Jammu and Kashmir with change of seasons, offices including civil secretariat, state legislature, Raj Bhawan started their work in the winter capital after shifting from Srinagar. 2

    Meanwhile, reports noted that Panchayat representatives in Kashmir continue their resignation spree through advertisements in local newspapers, days after Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin issued a fresh warning to them. Around 60 Panchs and Sarpanchs have made their resignations public through paid advertisements in various local dailies citing threat to their life as the reason for the resignations. The fresh resignations through paid advertisements have taken the total to nearly 800. However, authorities maintain that they have received only 50 resignations since the landmark elections were held last year after a gap of nearly three decades. 3

    According to reports, Defence Minister AK Antony on November 8 said that infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) has increased and no hasty decision can be taken on the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act issue in Jammu and Kashmir. He also said there was need to be watchful though violence levels had come down in the state. The Minister was asked about the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister's demand for revoking the operation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state in view of the improved security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. 4

    Reports noted that Election Commission has issued notification for holding elections to four seats of Legislative Council reserved for rural local bodies (Panchayats) on December 3, 2012. The elections are being held amid security concerns being expressed by the voters, which comprise of Sarpanchs and Panchs. As per the notification, two seats are to be filled from Kashmir division and two from Jammu region. The last date for filing nomination papers has been fixed for November 16. Scrutiny will be held on November 17 while nominations can be withdrawn till November 19. As per the notification, Sarpanchs and Panchs from each division will be participating in the elections for their respective regions only. 5

    In other developments, according to reports, Army on November 9 said they have killed four militants while foiling an infiltration bid in Keran sector of Kupwara district in north Kashmir. The operation to flush-out the remnant militants is going on and Army has used helicopters to identify the locations of the hiding militants in the area. Public Relations Officer (PRO) Ministry of Defence Lt Col JS Brar in statement said that Army has recovered huge quantity of war like stores from slain militants that include five AK-47 rifles. 6