Briefing (April 19-25, 2020)

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JAMMU

Though the police drove the expecting mother, wife of a non-local construction labourer, to the hospital, she gave birth to a baby in the van during lockdown.

In the dead of the Sunday night on April 12 when Sonia Devi, 32, experienced labour pain, her desperate husband, Raj Kumar, a migrant labourer, made distress calls to Police Control Room (PCR). Quickly, a message passed to the police station concerned and a van rushed Sonia to SMGS hospital, Jammu. As destined, Sonia gave birth to a female baby in the van en route hospital. Originally hailing from Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh), Sonia was later given first aid and was sent to her current home in Sec 3 of Jammu’s Channi Himmat locality. In Srinagar, CRPF’s Madadgaar helped a 5-day old infant when he was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Son of a daily wager, Tahir Ahmad Dar, doctors suggested an immediate surgery at AIMS in Delhi. He could not go to AIIMS by CRPF helped the family reach SKIMS Soura where the infant was operated upon.

BANDIPORA

Amid the lockdown, an eight-year-old boy Ubeed Malik walked alone in Bandipora. His destination was the district magistrate’s office. Moved by the spirit of serving society in difficult times, the young boy got his piggy bank savings to the DC office and donated the amount. A small amount it may be, but the gesture was generous. Al of a sudden, the UT administration got a hero. Overnight he was everywhere, on web and in print and TV too.

SRINAGAR

File image of Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary

With representatives of 700 districts, Srinagar made it to the list of 16 in all India list by getting the slot No 6. The rank is based on sharing best practices in counter Coid-19 battle. Led by the deputy commissioner, Dr Shahid Iqbal, the district has distinguished early response as early as in February, aggressive contact tracing, and use of technology.  The team working round the clock is supported by 15,000 policemen and 1000 surveillance teams to scan the city, besides enforcing the lockdown. Apart from taking people with travel history to quarantine and setting up a 24 x 7 control room, the Srinagar administration ensured that they bring the food at doorsteps in the 25 administrative zones.

DELHI

Elevating the two senior officers of the J&K cadre, the centre empanelled them to hold Secretary-level posts in the central government. The clearance to the names of Sudhanshu Panday, 1997-batch IAS officer and Arun Kumar Mehta, 1988-batch IAS officer has come from the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC). Both the officers are among a total of 34 IAS officers of 1987-88 batches. Mehta is currently holding the charge of Financial Commissioner in the UT after he returned from Central deputation in 2018. But Pandey, who once served the state as finance secretary continues to be on central deputation. He is currently holding charge of Joint Secretary, Commerce.

AMPHALLA

Restricted to move out due to lockdown, the desperation was out in Jammu’s Amphalla. A liquor shop was looted. Surprisingly all this happened not far away from the police post-Rehari. Police maintained it was a routine criminal act, but the situation on the ground suggests the demand is surging. The plan as per reports was executed efficiently. A hole behind the shop known as Sudershan Wine Shop was created and rest are the details. The police registered the formal case and investigation is on. But the pressure is on as the liquor shops are closed since March 24. There is the demand to exempt them from the lockdown as has been done by governments in Assam and Meghalaya.  Few states have even discussed the model to deliver liquor home. Who knows the next step?

ZABARWAN

Out for an adventure, when nine boys did not return home, the families grew anxious. The police and wildlife warden was contacted and rescue teams were pressed into the service. Nearly after eight hours of search in pitch dark, the boys were rescued. As the details emerged, amid lockdown, the boys had gone to Zabarwan hills, possibly for trekking. As told by Wildlife Warden Central Division Srinagar, Altaf Hussain, the message to the department was conveyed by the additional deputy commissioner Srinagar. The team was constituted and it took them a night to locate the boys finally. For the next five hours, the team spent in getting them back. Later they were handed to police, and required tests were done. In times of Corona, leaving home is a risk but then we have people who don’t listen.

POONCH

Amid the lockdown, the patients are having tough times to reach hospitals. Reportedly due to the lockdown blood donations have also decreased. But last week when a 69 years old Nazir Hussain needed a rare blood transfusion in Poonch district, the CRPF’s helpline Madadgaar came to his rescue when a CRPF personnel Ashok Kumar having AB negative blood group, who is the only person in the 72nd battalion of paramilitary force having this blood group, came to donate his blood. The family of Hussain had sent an SOS message to the Kashmir-based CRPF madadgaar helpline over social media, stating that they were in urgent need of ‘AB negative’ blood for the patient suffering from the chronic kidney problem. The CRPF helpline got into action and quickly went through its database to find if any of its Jammu-based units had a person with the rare blood group. Kumar is actually a resident of Arwal, Bihar

AFGHANISTAN

Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar,(Ht Photo)

Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) claimed to have arrested a Kashmir born militant, Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar, 55, a resident of Nawa Kadal in Srinagar. He was arrested along with the Islamic State Khorasan Province chief Aslam Farooqui. According to Hindustan Times, Ahangar, the IS Jammu Kashmir chief recruiter, had been a wanted man for more than two decades back home. “He had been arrested once but then released in mid-nineties. After his release, he travelled to Bangladesh from where he took a flight to Pakistan. And now after 25 years, he was arrested by NDS.” The report claimed that in early questioning rounds, he claimed to be Ali Mohammad from Islamabad. Quoting sources in Afghanistan and Delhi, the newspaper said Ahnagar was the son-in-law of Abdullah Ghazali aka Abdul Ghani Dar, a former Tehreek ul Mujahideen in 1990, who was killed in a masjid in Maisuma in February 2020. Interestingly, Ahanger’s son and son-in-law have both been killed in Afghanistan in two separate attacks.

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