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Delhi High Court raises concern over Katra-Banihal rail link, gives one month notice to government for filing affidavit

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Voicing concern over the safety of the allegedly faulty Katra-Banihal rail link in the Kashmir Valley, The Delhi High Court on Monday, expressed its worries about the safety of the citizens and asked the government to take a decision regarding the matter.

“The only thing that is worrying us is the safety of the citizens, as it (Katra-Banihal section) can cause a disaster. In the wake of the recent event which took place in Nepal, the government should be more serious about it”, the Delhi High Court said to PTI.

“It (the section) is unsafe. If you (government and the Railway Board) want to gamble with the life of the people then we cannot help you”, the court said, adding further that the government should take a call on it.

A panel of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed that even though an expert committee headed by ex-DMRC chief E Sreedharan had earlier raised concern over the existing alignment of the 124 km long section, the Railway Board had neglected the report.

The Economic Times, in a report, has stated that the bench had approved an alternate alignment, saying that “the biggest concern regarding the existing alignment is the poor survivability of the tunnels, bridges and cuttings against the threats of landslides, earthquakes, and the security risks arising out of the nearness of the line to the LOC.”

But the Railway Board rejected the panel’s suggestion stating that it was quite late to change the alignment now, as they had already spent Rs 10,000 crores on the 124 km section which has been in question for the last 13 years.

The report also cited Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, representing the Railway department, as saying that a lot of money had already been spent the rail link and it was not feasible to change the alignment at this late stage.

The Court did not want “railways to throw good money after bad”, but condemned the department for their lack of concern on safety issues.

The government has been asked to state its stand on the issue and has been given a month’s time to file an affidavit by the Court.

Next Story

Pakistan’s Fake Social Media Accounts Spreading Lies on Kashmir

Pakistan has adopted the strategy of giving a religious colour to its propaganda campaign, posing a fake threat from India, while reminding India of the consequences of the rise of extremist forces

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fake, media, behaviour, artificial intelligence
Social Media Icons. VOA

Fake social media accounts, often emanating from Pakistan, continue to paint a grim picture of Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370.

From passing off a High Court-ordered drive to clear illegal encroachments on forest land in Himachal Pradesh as “barbarism” in the Kashmir valley to terming mobile phone restrictions in the region as “siege in Kashmir”, a false narrative propagated by Pakistanis’ propaganda machinery finds many takers on social media, partly due to relentless promotion by fake accounts.

“Pakistani terror & proxy war paraphernalia burning vehicles, attacking fruit growers & merchants, killing & threatening shopkeepers, enforcing shutdown and calling this SIEGE,” Imtiyaz Hussain, a top IPS officer in Jammu and Kashmir, said in a tweet on Thursday.

“For all those ‘SIEGE’ obsessed reporters. There’s no SIEGE in Kashmir except some restriction on mobile phones which’s being lifted soon. Post 5th August except initially for few days, there hasn’t been any restriction imposed by Govt. Roads & streets are full of people, vehicles,” Hussain said in an earlier tweet.

Fact-checking website BOOM on Wednesday reported that a two-year-old video of clashes between protesters and security personnel in Kashmir is now being shared as the reaction of Kashmiris following the scrapping of Article 370.

Article 370, New, Kashmiris
The end of Article 370 heralds a new beginning for many Kashmiris, despite the doom and gloom in some quarters over its revocation. Pixabay

For more than one month now, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the public relations wing of the Pakistan armed forces, is busy spreading fake news related to Kashmir in a bid to sow seeds of discord among security forces and fuel hatred among citizens in India.

As part of its information warfare, Pakistan has resorted to spreading propaganda, fake news, threatening statements and manipulating the social media.

Also Read- Microsoft Joins Hands with Eros Now to Develop Next-generation Online Video Platform

Pakistan has adopted the strategy of giving a religious colour to its propaganda campaign, posing a fake threat from India, while reminding India of the consequences of the rise of extremist forces. (IANS)