L-R DGP Dr SP Vaid, Chief Secretary BR Sharma & Principal Secretary to CM BB Vyas

It happened quite rarely that the politics dragged in top officers in the assembly debates. Omar Abdullah, talking about the administration said that the government does not want to made changes at the top. Still, he said, rumour set in that Chief Secretary is being replaced. He suggested that if the government lacks confidence on the Chief Secretary and the Police Chief, how will it function? It was in response to this statement that Ms Mufti talked about bureaucracy for two minutes in her speech lat\er. She infact named certain officers and praised them, apparently to convey that her team is working better and there is no lack of confidence.


Every budget session, the lawmakers are seeking something for them. The urge to get more increased after the government distributed I-pads among them. And eventually the government accommodated them. Their Constituency Development Fund was doubled to Rs 3 crore a year. Their housing loan was extended up to Rs 20 lakh and their car loan was increased to Rs 10 lakhs. Both the loans are highly subsidized, low cost loans. Their Travelling Allowance was doubled to Rs 2 lakh, so was their sitting fee, now fixed at Rs 2000, per sitting. Though the government did not pass even a single law – because it ended the session almost a week ahead in wake of controversy, it did not impact the individual prospects of the lawmakers.



Kashmir’s senior separatist leader is not well. Last week, the family had to drive Syed Ali Geelani to SKIMS as his condition deteriorated. Complaining of chest pain, Geelani was admitted to the ICU and it took him nearly 24 hours to stabilize. Family members said he was also complaining of breathlessness that was tackled in the hospital. “Now he is talking but is frail and weak,” Naseem, his younger son said. “We hope that we may be asked to go home now.” Though the family has improved the heating system of Geelani’s Hyderpora residence, one of the main reasons why the senior leader did not shift to Delhi this season, it still is unable to insulate from the larger weather conditions around. All the major leaders of the separatist camp visited him in the hospital. There were various off-shore calls including that of istani diplomats and leaders.


In a visible departure from past in spending the corporate social responsibility funds, J&K Bank is making efforts to get some land in Mumabi so that it creates a facility for the J&K patients who fly to Mumbai for cancer treatment. Bank CEO and Chairman Parvez Ahmad met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and made a request for a piece of land. Hundreds of patients go to Mumbai for treating cancer but face severe hardships in having a shelter in India’s commercial capital. Fadnavis has promised Ahmad that he will take up the issue with the J&K government and help the bank in its benevolent initiative. The bank is already running a project with patients suffering from Hepatitis-B.


BJP might be a Shahkari party, but that does not have impact on the state’s expenditure on food by the hospitality department, the host of all official functions. Thanks to PDP, the ruling ally of BJP, that represents the Wazwan country, the state government has spent quite hugely on this account so far. Official data suggest that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s office spent Rs 44.64 lakh on refreshment and lunch served to dignitaries or invitees from April 9, 2016 to December 27, 2016. It includes Rs 28.58 lakh on serving Wazwan that was served 24 times. Interestingly, the least expenditure – Rs 24,300, was booked on the presser on August 25, 2017 by the CMO that was telecast live when Ms Mufti got angry. Nobody touched Chai Cuppa, that day.



Every time Washington would talk of Kashmir, the valley will get ecstatic. Post-Trump, it is changing completely. What happens with other places, Kashmir got its first shock last week when Kashmiri sportspersons Abid Hussain Khan and Tanvir Hussain were denied visa for participating in the world snowshoe championship in New York. The World Snowshoe Championships is slated at Saranc Lake, New York on February 24-26. Hussain, a Srinagar resident, had earlier travelled to Italy for the world championship in 2016 as the Indian representative, where his performance had led to his qualification for the 2017 edition.


This is the extreme course that misfortune can take. In Chenab Valley’s Thathri belt, a son named Firdous, killed his parents Ghulam Mohammad and Salima. The old couple was in breakfast when he attacked them with sharp edged weapon. While his parents were killed, three others including a guest survived injured. Injured included family’s tenants Rajesh Kumar (54 yrs) and his son Pujari Lal (22 yrs) resident of Jalandhar.




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