News Makers


Mohammad Subhan Bukhari, father of senior Journalist, Pervez Bukhari passed away late Thursday evening. He was 90. Bukhari was in the government service and has served Kashmir under Maharaja as well as the government that replaced him in 1947. He has known areas across the undivided Jammu and Kashmir like palm of his hand. Pervez Bukhari has been former Associate Editor of Kashmir Life.


Jammu and Kashmir High Court Friday quashed Public Safety Act (PSA) of a youth who’s two brothers have been killed during 25 years of armed conflict and is lodged in Kathua jail. The PSA against Mohammad Abbas Sheikh son of Ghulam Hassan Sheikh a resident of Rampora, Qaimoh in Kulgam district was challenged by Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA). The case was heard today in the court of Justice M Y Mir, who agreed with the arguments of Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, President KHCBA, and quashed the PSA against Sheikh.


Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Sarpanch affiliated with the opposition PDP at Awantipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district late Thursday evening, a police officer said. He said that suspected militants fired upon Mohammad Amin Pandit son of Abdul Ahad Pandit, resident of Gulzarpora outside his residence at around 9:30 PM. He was shifted to nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.


Amid clashes, a complete shutdown was observed in North Kashmir’s Palhalan town to commemorate the first death anniversary of local Hizbul Mujahedeen militant Shabir Ahmed Sheikh. Sheikh of Raipora in Pattan was killed during an encounter with government forces on this day last year. All the shops and business establishments remained closed while the traffic was off the roads. Police and CRPF personnel were deployed in large number to thwart the possible protests. Concertina wires and mobile bunkers were erected at different places of the town. Eyewitnesses said soon after the Friday prayers, scores of youth took to streets and clashed with police and CRPF men. Youth pelted stones on government forces while the police fired tear-smoke shells to disperse them. Reports said that the clashes continued for hours between the youth and government forces.


Amnesty International (AI) strongly condemned the killing of a PDP Sarpanch in South Kashmir’s Awantipora area last evening. Attacks by armed groups on civilians demonstrate contempt for fundamental principles of humanity, it said. Quoting police reports AI said in its statements that, unidentified gunmen took 45 year-old Mohammad Amin Pandit, a Sarpanch, from his home in Pulwama district in south Kashmir on the night of 17th April 2014, and shot him some fifty yards away from his house. The statement further said that he was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital. AI has demanded that the perpetrators in the shooting of Mohammad Amin Pandit must be brought to justice in proceedings that meet international fair trial standards. It also said that authorities must investigate all human rights abuses promptly, effectively and transparently.


In second leg of Lok Sabha polling in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Electoral Officer, Umang Narula said 64.48% votes were cast in Kishtwar, 68.41% in Doda, 63.22% in Ramban, 74.84% in Reasi, 67.92%in Udhampur, 70.43%. He said the polling was held in a peaceful atmosphere and so far no untoward incident was reported from any part of the constituency and in order to ensure that the polling is done in various inaccessible areas of the hilly districts 45 air sorties were done and 545 poll staff /personnel were airlifted. He further said that 1272 vehicles were also put in use for transportation of polling personnel and material.


While the people’s participation in elections held in Jammu and Kashmir is being seen as an encouraging sign by many, statistics suggest that stable Jammu and Ladakh have been the major contributors to the turnout figures in past 20 years as compared to conflict-ridden Kashmir Valley. As per the ECI figures, the electorate strength in the state was 6,57,2896 and of them 2,60,5966 exercised their franchise—an overall poll percentage of 39.68. But about 60 per cent of the overall participation had come from Jammu and Ladakh while three constituencies of Kashmir Valley contributed only 40 per cent. Earlier, parliamentary elections had been held in the state in 2004 with 6,36,8115 eligible voters. Only 35.20 per cent (2, 24, 1729) of the electorate had exercised their franchise, of which about 70 per cent was in Jammu and Ladakh constituencies. The Valley was the minor contributor with just 30 per cent votes polled.


Two of SKIMS employees were on Wednesday caught while stealing copper wire, medicines and other equipments of the hospital by the police. Reports said that Bashir Ahmad Khan who is also vice president of the one of the Employees Unions in SKIMS and another employee Mohammad Iqbal were caught by the internal security of the hospital while stealing the hospital equipments. The duo was later handed over to police station Soura. However, some senior employees of the hospital and the management were trying to shield the accused.


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