News Notes

In Denial MODE

Despite the personnel intervention by chief minister Omar Abdullah in the Bomai killings, families of the victims are still waiting for justice.

In response to an RTI filled by lawyer Shafaqat Nazir, a Bomai resident the state Home Department has reveled that despite filing of a challan, the federal government has not given green signal to proceedings against the culprits. Surprisingly, name of the accused JoC, found guilty along with three other troopers by an inquiry into the matter has not been mentioned in the challan.

The Amry this time again has invoked Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), and rejected the magisterial inquiry into the killing of two civilians by soldiers in Bomai, Sopore in 2009 which had indicted the soldiers.

But the Commanding Officer of 5 Sector Rashtriya Rifles and Company Commander of 22 RR refused to appear before District Magistrate Baramulla who at that time was probing the killing of Mohammad Amin Tantary and Mohammad Ismail Dar.

After the District Magistrate issued notice to the CO of 5 Sector RR and Company Commander of 22RR to appear before the inquiry officer, the unit filed an objection stating that the “inquiry set up is not legally competent to probe the army.”

The replay to the probing authority stated that “Since 22 RR is deployed by virtue of power vested exclusively with the Central government under item 2A of list 1 of the VII schedule and are operating under the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1990 at the relevant time, the present inquiry set up in exercise of the state’s executive authority is not legally competent to probe the conduct of 22 RR being a matter within the executive authority of the Central government.”

But even after receiving the inquiry report within the stipulated time no action has been taken by the state government against the accused.

Pertinently, Bomai fake encounter occurred on 21 February 2009, few months after Omar Abdullah took over as Chief Minister of the State.

He had ordered an inquiry in the case in 2009 with the direction to submit its report within 15 days.

Neonatal MORTALITIES

A division bench of high court comprising Justices Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Muzaffar Hussain Attar, has directed Director Health Services Kashmir and the Director National Rural Health Mission, J&K, to file a detailed report on the steps taken by it to arrest the vulnerability of women to infection which results in neonatal mortalities. The court also directed the authorities to give details about the schemes floated by the state and Government of India in respect of the malnutrition mothers. The details, court said, should reveal as to “how and in which manner’ the schemes are implemented.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed in the aftermath of large scales deaths in Kashmir’s lone paediatric hospital, GB Pant Hospital, Srinagar.

The bench also directed government and Public Service Commission to take the selection process as far as the appointment of required staff in health department, as directed previously, to logical conclusion.

The government has said to have taken a number of steps to improve the functioning of the hospital after the intervention of High Court on PIL filed by two social and child rights activists, Dr Rouf Mohi-ud-Din Malik and Tanveer Hussain Khan through Advocate Faisal Qadri.

On the other hand the state government has decided to add teeth to the existing Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Sex Selection/Determination Act (PC&PNDT) by making certain amendments in the existing rules to incorporate the provision of three years imprisonment and fine up to Rs 50 thousand on the person found running unregistered clinics.

A medical audit of clinics would be conducted scrutiny of records in respect of all pre-conception or pregnancy related procedures would be done to curb the rampant misuse of medical technology for sex-selection.

Accordingly the appropriate authorities at Divisional and District levels under PC&PNDT Act shall conduct regular medical audit of the records and the department shall devise a mechanism and issue necessary orders for implementation of medical audit of all US clinics/centres.

Mehboob Iqbal to join PDP

Putting speculations to rest former divisional commissioner, Kashmir, Mehboob Iqbal urged panches and sarpanchs of Bhaderwah Assembly Constituency to vote for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council elections.Mehboob Iqbal

Iqbal, who is also chairman of the Bhaderwah development committee, said that district Doda has been ignored so far in every regime. He stressed that there is need to provide sincere representation to the people of district according to their wishes and demands.

“Only PDP is the party having vision and sincerity for solving the issues of people that is why I urge people to vote for PDP”, said Iqbal.

Earlier there were speculations that different political parties had approached the noted bureaucrat for joining their parties.

However he made his intentions clear by announcing his support for PDP.

In a significant development political advisor to the chief minister Devender Singh Rana said National Conference will accept BJP rebel groups support if it is extended to both the candidates of the coalition viz Sham Lal Bhagat of the Congress and Dr. Shenaz Ganai of the National Conference.

Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, who leads the BJP rebel faction made it clear that there was not even a remote possibility of the group supporting the NC-Cong coalition government.

However Gupta in a veiled reference hinted at possibility of supporting the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming Polls. It is believed that the rebel group of BJP has ability to exercise influence on a huge number of panchs and sarpanchs, especially in their respective constituencies.

An Alliance ANTICIPATED?

It seems that preparation for the 2014 assembly election has already begun. The National Conference has already hinted that it would fight in a pre poll alliance with the Congress party. It was Chief Minister

Omar Abdullah who first hinted that there is going to be a grand alliance between National Conference and Congress for the 2014 Assembly polls. Something later confirmed by the senior Congress leader Taj Mohiuddin who said that the decision has been endorsed by Congress high command.

While addressing a rally in north Kashmir Omar had said, “To contest the Legislative Council elections jointly indicates the grand alliance of the two parties to face 2014 Assembly elections in the State. Had the National Conference-Congress taken a proper decision during the 2008 Assembly elections, the opposition PDP with 21 MLAs would have got only 10 seats.”

On the other hand the National Conference has also kick started the efforts for the reunion with its estranged kin after28 years. Since 1984, National Conference led by union minister Farooq Abdullah and Awami National Conference (ANC) led by his estranged elder sister Khalida Shah seemingly have buried the hatchet to make a new beginning in the Jammu and Kashmir.

Khalida and her family had broken all ties with Abdullahs in 1984 when her late husband GM Shah engineered a coup and split the National Conference which led to the fall of Farooq’s government. Years later both parties and leaders are trying to make a new beginning.

But on alliance with Congress the National Conference leaders are still not sure whether to publicly acknowledge it or not. Dr Kamal however said “it could be his (the Chief Minister’s) desire or personal view point but definitely this is not the party stand. The party has not taken up the issue so far. It (the alliance) would be decided only when the Assembly elections drew nearer in 2014’’.

But the Congress is already saying that high command has decided that they should contest the 2014 Assembly elections jointly with National Conference.

Dr Mohammad Tariq Nazki 1941- 2012

Kashmir lost one of its prominent expatriates last week when Dr Mohammad Tariq Nazki passed away in United Kingdom after prolonged illness. He was 71.

Dr Nazki breathed his last in Birmingham. He was suffering from cancer, which he valiantly fought for last several years. However, his condition was not well during 2012 and he remained in and out of hospital for most of the year. He was buried in Birmingham and a number of relatives and close friends attended the Nimaz-e-Jinaza. A man with qualities of head and heart, Dr Nazki was born in 1941. He was the third son of distinguished poet and scholar, Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki. Dr Nazki did his MBBS from Prince of Wales College, Patna, and later did his MD from Government Medical College, Srinagar. On his return from Patna, he was appointed as Assistant Surgeon in J&K Health Services and he later rose to the position of Deputy Medical Superintendent of SMHS Hospital, Srinagar. However, he left the job and moved to UK in 1977 where he made a distinct place as a successful physician. A couple of years after his retirement, Dr Nazki confronted the deadly disease. But he gave a tough fight to it and was continuously traveling to Srinagar to spend some time with his extended family.

Dr Nazki has two sons who are settled in UK. His news of demise was received with shock in Srinagar and a large number of people visited the residence of his youngest brother, Vaqar Nazki. He was brother of the noted poet Farooq Nazki, former Chief Justice Bilal Nazki, Prof Iqbal Nazki and Dr Ayaz Rasool Nazki. Sources close to the Nazki family revealed that Dr Nazki’s demise was not only mourned by Kashmiris in Kashmir but the people and social activities in UK also remembered his works. Dr Nazki was a very famous social activist not only among the Kashmiri diaspora but also the Brits who spent some time with Dr Nazki. Dr Nazki will be remembered not only for his contribution as a successful physician and a social activist, but also for his literary taste.

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