Shujaat case suspect a tough nut to crack PDP and BJP: A Bollywood style break-up, says Omar Abdullah Several separatist leaders in Kashmir, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Yasin Malik, were detained on Thursday to prevent their Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) from holding a protest march and observing a general strike against the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari The detentions come amid concerns in several quarters that the Union government was preparing the State administration to carry out an aggressive crackdown in the Valley.Also Read One must not form the government just to wield power: Ambika Soni While Mr. Malik was detained from his Maisuma residence after the Fajr prayers and taken to a police station, Mr. Geelani, the Mirwaiz and Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai were put under house arrest.Political vendetta, says the Mirwaiz“This is nothing but political vendetta. The Hurriyat strongly protests the re-starting of cordon and search operations,” said the Mirwaiz.Governor N.N. Vohra called a meeting of the leaders of all political parties, including the State units of the national parties, on Friday evening “to discuss the situation in the State.”BJP national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna called on Mr. Vohra and discussed “steps required for promoting the welfare of the people in all the three regions.”Also Read “We have a seen a significant change in the local responses. We have had families celebrating killed militants, including a mother firing in the air to celebrate her son’s death. To me the mood is quite like that of the early 90s,” warned a veteran Kashmir observer within the system. He pointed out that for each local youth killed more would join the militant ranks.‘131 militants are locals’“We are no more dealing with anonymous foreign terrorists. We are dealing with local boys,” he said. Of the 144 active militants in South Kashmir, 131 are locals, according to official data. Only 13 are foreigners. And between January 1 and May 31, almost 90 locals have taken up arms.Several sources in the security establishment say they are expecting a massive jump in violence. “Unless the Centre changes the present tactics, the Valley will go up in flames,” a recently retired intelligence officer said. Many political appointees in the previous PDP-BJP dispensation, including Advocate General Jehangeer Ganai, resigned from their posts on Thursday.A day after the Central government appointed two key officials involved in anti-naxal operations — Chhattisgarh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) BVR Subrahmanyam and retired IPS officer K. Vijay Kumar who was until recently adviser in the Home Ministry — Mr. Vohra said his priority would be to restore peace and tranquillity on the streets of Kashmir, admitting that the youth of Kashmir are annoyed.However, many within the security establishment believe that the new appointments to steer the Governor’s rule are clear indications of a tougher, more security-oriented approach. They warn that the present localised militancy could produce an unexpected backlash.Also Read
zoom IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee 71, due to gather in London in July, may well have the last chance to ensure that the long-delayed Ballast Water Convention is implemented when ships undergo their special surveys.This would ultimately decide whether the Convention’s requirements are finally fulfilled across the many thousands of ships which require ballast water treatment system installations.“It is a couple of minutes to midnight for this Convention,” Andrew Marshall, Coldharbour Chief Executive, said, adding that the outcome of this next MEPC meeting “will surely decide its fate.”The Coldharbour CEO reports that some flag states are now actively marketing a decoupling of the special survey, the time when practically all ballast water treatment system retrofit installations will take place, from renewal of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPPC).This is the point in time that IMO set as the trigger for system installations because the IOPPC renewal normally takes place during a ship’s special survey. Decoupling of the two events “is a cynical means of enabling ship owners to buy more time,” Marshall believes, which flies in the face of the IMO’s intentions.The Committee will discuss a two-year postponement of the Convention’s entry into force, which could prove helpful for the industry in several ways, Marshall said, however, he insists that any postponement must come as part of a package which sees shipboard treatment system installations timed to coincide with renewal of the IOPPC at the next special survey.“If a two-year postponement is agreed at MEPC 71, and the decoupling process is not stopped, the IMO’s most-delayed Convention will have no impact on many ships for possibly another seven years from today,” Marshall informed.“I urge delegates at MEPC 71 to take a strong line on these issues which will ultimately seal the fate of the Ballast Water Convention. As an industry, we must have an unambiguous timeline and a chance to see through the IMO’s best intentions to completion,” he concluded.