Politically sensitive Bandipore erupted last week when Congress state president Prof Saif ud Din Soz drove there with a high level delegation comprising ministers R S Chib and Sham Lal to Kulsoosa.

Their cavalcade was attacked by stone pelters and there were a number of activists who were injured. A number of vehicles were damaged. This was despite enough security deployments in the town. Congress’s local leader Usman Majid accused PDP for the attack and said it disrupted the programme. Reports even said the Deputy Commission also received a stone on his car. But the rally did take place and Congress leaders spoke to the people.


Police have finally submitted a charge-sheet in the worst case of 2010 arson of Tangmarg that took place on September 13. Twenty residents will face trial for a series of offences falling under sections 307, 436, 147,148, 149 RPC. The incidents in the town were triggered after an Iranian TV showed some report about an American resident setting a copy of Quran afire. In reaction, a massive procession was out that destroyed a number of buildings. One of the major players of the rioting was a political activist equally close to politicians Dr Mustafa Kamal and Ghulam Hasan Mir. The accused in the case will face trial for destroying property worth crores of rupees including the five residents who were killed in the police firing, the same day.


Revolutions and revolts in Indian subcontinent cannot be imagined without what Faiz Ahmad Faiz has said – in his poetry. His Kashmir connections were strong. He was married in a Dogra palace and Sheikh Abdullah attended the function. Last week, his birth anniversary was celebrated in an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) funded function at Jammu University in which a number of poets had come from across the Redcliff line. These included Faiz’s daughter. All the who is who attended the function including chief minister Omar Abdullah who termed himself ‘unfortunate’ for not reading Faiz. He averred “in coming years the present generation will be disintegrated from Urdu poetry unless such events are organised”. But does he know what can happen if the next generation feeds on Faiz?


In Poonch and Rajouri when an employee retires, his family and friends go to his office and get him home in a group. It is almost a thanksgiving kind of an exercise that puts on record that the official retired honourably. Last week when Mehboob Iqbal superannuated as commissioner in the government, he was taken in a cavalcade of around 500 cars from Pul Doda to Bhaderwah. Reports indicate that he took four hours to reach his hometown were panchs and sarpanchs garlanded him. Intentions are clear. He wants to join politics. Pessimists say what will happen to three major corruption cases in which he is allegedly involved – JAKFED scam, Gulmarg land scam rural electrification scam. Politicians say it is not an issue. J&K has innumerable instances – the latest being Asgar Ali, PDP’s big shot in neighbouring Kishtwar who could still become a leader even after getting arrested in a corruption case! ‘Mehboob Iqbal Agay Badou – Hum Tumharay Sath Hein’

They did it again but nobody noticed it. There were only Muslims around when  Prem Nath Tickoo died at 111, last week, in his ancestral Areh village. He had stayed put and refused to join the fleeing flocks of Pundits in 1990. Nath was living a life of celibacy and was taken care of by the local residents. The village elders would visit him daily and finally when he passed away the Muslim neighbours lit his funeral pyre. It was a death that residents equally mourned.


As Hajj pilgrims flew back home, those cheated by the al-Hajeej are pained. They have had a series of protests in the heart of the city but it is impossible to sustain that on long term. They have lost a chance to perform Haj and their hard earned money too. Government initiated an enquiry and it came with a suggestion that the property the promoters of the company have raised should be taken over and auctioned. But people do not know that all their properties are already mortgaged to the banks!! Police have already detained Rayees and Irfan, associates of the promoter Fabiyan Wahid.  Now the police have issued a hue and cry notice suggesting that Fabiyan is still on the run and carries Rs 30,000 reward on his head. They also claim they have vital clues about him. Even if he is rounded up, what will 550 people get?


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