National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that if his party is voted to power in the upcoming Assembly elections, “regional autonomy will be granted in J&K within 30 days of his party forming the government”.“A roadmap in this regard has been drawn between 1996 and 2002 and the larger objective of regional autonomy will be politico-economic empowerment of all the regions of the State,” said Dr. Abdullah in Jammu. The National Conference moved a similar resolution on April 13, 1999, and was passed with a voice vote on June 26, 2000. The move triggered a major face-off between Dr. Abdullah’s government and the Centre. The resolution was rejected by Parliament without having any discussion. Dr. Abdullah’s fresh remarks on it came on a day when he welcomed former BJP leader Gagan Bhagat into his party. Mr. Bhagat was ex-MLA of the BJP from R.S. Pura. “A regional autonomy mechanism under overall superintendence of the State government will further strengthen the regional unity, which is imperative for singular entity of J&K,” said Dr. Abdullah.Rally plan foiledMeanwhile, NC workers in Srinagar made an attempt to take out a rally over the killing of seven civilians in security forces firing in Pulwama. However, the police foiled the rally, which was led by NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar.
With the shadow of terror looming over the Games, the opening and closing ceremonies would see no aircraft flying in the Capital’s skies for five continuous hours on each day.Post-9/ 11, the danger that terrorists could hijack a plane and use it as a missile at a high value target could not be underestimated, according to highly placed security officials.And the Commonwealth Games is an occasion when the government is making all-out efforts to ensure foolproof security.According to sources, the government has decided to ensure that Delhi’s airspace is shut down during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.For both the opening ceremony on October 3 and the closing ceremony on October 14, the airspace is likely to be closed for five hours, suspending all civilian aircraft movements over the city, senior officials said.However, the skies would still see helicopters manned by defence and security agencies hovering over the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue for both the ceremonies.A similar effort is also made every year on Independence Day and Republic Day, when the top brass of the country’s political and military leadership gathers in the Capital.