Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007
Concern over monasteries
Jammu: Conservationists, tourism experts and political figures have demanded renewed efforts for the preservation of the monasteries in Ladakh which symbolise a unique cultural heritage.
A day-long discussion organised here by the Vijay Suri Foundation in collaboration with the Friends of Ladakh Society, witnessed concern over their state.
Mohammed Ashraf, former Director-General of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir, said: “Monasteries are crumbling in Ladakh and a lot of efforts are needed for their preservation.
At the same time, it cannot be forgotten that they are living temples where monks live and meditate. So it is important to involve them in the conservation efforts.” Sati Sahni, vice-president, Friends of Ladakh Society, said records relating to all the monasteries should be maintained in order that they may be retained in their original form and shape. “All important monasteries should depute a monk to the National Museum so that they are trained in conservation.”
Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Power Nawang Rigzin Jora said: “Monasteries are the richest heritage resources of Ladakh which play a significant role in the socio-religious development of Ladakhis.”
U.P. intelligence set-up to be strengthened
|Mayawati retains Special Task Force|
Rs.6.75 crore sanctioned for
Says more efficient and specialised unit is needed
LUCKNOW: Faced with mounting criticism from the Opposition over Friday’s serial bomb blasts, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday formed an Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).
The decision underlined the devaluation of the Special Task Force as a unit to combat terrorism. But the STF has been retained with the government deciding to establish two zonal units — one in the west with headquarters in Meerut and the other in the east with its head office in Varanasi. These units would be headed by the DIG, STF.
Ms. Mayawati also took steps to strengthen the Intelligence set-up. She decided to create a separate cadre for Intelligence personnel and sanctioned Rs.6.75 crore for hi-tech surveillance and modern equipment.
With its headquarters in Lucknow, the ATS would function as a specialised unit to meet the militant threat. One unit each would be set up in the seven police zones of Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad, Meerut, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Bareilly and the squad would be headed by an officer of the rank of IG. The IG would be assisted by one IG, SP, Additional SP, Deputy SP and other staff members.
Lucknow Zone IG Arvind Kumar Jain will head the ATS.
Ms. Mayawati told journalists here that the STF had played an important role in tracking down ultras and hardened criminals but after last Friday’s terror attack, it was felt that a more efficient and specialised unit was needed. In fact, a day after the terror strike, the STF was merged with the Law and Order wing of the police.