Some officials in Jammu and Kashmir are more powerful than the constitutional head of the state, plainly due to the blessings of the corridors of the power in New Delhi. One such official heads the news unit of the public broadcaster Doordarshan in Srinagar. Last month, when Governor NN Vohra, an astute thinker who appreciates the nuances of Urdu language, watched DD’s Urdu news bulletin and the following propaganda programme that runs on a huge budget, he was upset. He promptly rang up Ambika Soni in New Delhi to inquire as to why the fuss gets going. “You cannot win over people of Kashmir by hurling choicest abuses on Pakistan and militants. Propaganda of this genre has to be changed,” he is understood to have told Ms. Soni while recommending change in the guard at the news unit. However, the pat reply from the central minister was discouraging for the Governor. “Sir, I cannot do anything, Mr. (Ghulam Nabi) Azad is backing him that is why he is there,” she reportedly told the Governor.
The Governor’s reply was out of a fit of rage before he dropped the receiver. He made a comment on his own intellect and sarcastically appreciated the people in New Delhi on understanding Kashmir. Ambika Soni rang up the Raj Bhawan umpteen times, but the Governor refused to take the call. One wonders why some officers, despite being utterly corrupt, are protected at the highest level. One such DD officer’s corrupt practices were highlighted in the parliament and even CBI registered cases against him. But, he continues to enjoy the comforts of being the head of the Kendra.
Rukhsana Kausar is the woman who claimed to have killed Abu Osama, a Lashkar militant in Kalsian area of Shahadra Sharief, Rajouri on September 27, 2009. For her feat she was conferred Kirti Chakra, the second highest peace time gallantry award in India. Pratibha Patil, Sonia Gandhi and a host of top women met her to appreciate her bravery. The over-zealous electronic media ran reports on her and newspapers devoted lot of space. The state government offered her a job in police department besides security cover lest she was targeted by the militants. One of her Personal Security Officer Kabir Hussain was smarter and active. He fell in love with Rukhsana and both spent intimate moments. This all happened outside the media glare. Even two months back when she showed up at Rajouri hospital to perform some tests, police asked the media to ignore the event as a routine. Now, Rukhsana is again in news. She has reportedly tied the nuptial knot with her paramour, though her parents and brother have not approved of it. Rukhsana has reportedly been beaten up by her relatives to snap the relationship but she is adamant. Poor girl has been put in solitary confinement. On the other hand, Kabir Hussain is longing for his “wife” and threatens to forcibly take her to his home, if his in-laws continued to create impediments. Until things settle down she has to brave the ‘solitary confinement’ imposed by her parents.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh reportedly had two meetings with the prime minister. First, along with his party delegation, and the second exclusively one-on-one. An insider said that during the course of discussion, Beigh touched the 2008 assembly elections. He told the prime minister that his National Security Advisor ‘doctored’ the ultimate phase of Kashmir elections with the help of two senior officers. The officers turned the tables in Srinagar and ensured all the constituencies fall in the kitty of National Conference. This verdict actually made the difference and brought NC to power. One of the said officers was later elevated to become the police chief of a neighbouring state while the other, a known lieutenant of Farooq Abdullah, retired.
The role of former NSA who is now West Bengal Governor is emerging in dark shades. Earlier, this week, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq alleged that he was the man who sabotaged Indo-Pak talks in 2007 by misleading the Indian government. Muzaffar Beigh’s claims have, for the first time, put a question mark on the 2008 elections, which are largely regarded as fair, if not free.