The commercial hub Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas on Friday observed a two-hour shutdown against the acid attack on a woman in Srinagar earlier this week.
All the shops and other commercial establishments downed their shutters from noon as a mark of protest against the acid attack. The incident happened on Wednesday when a 30-year-oldgirl was attacked with acid by two stalkers in Srinagar. Police arrested both the accused—Reyaz Ahmad Nath, son of Ghulam Rasool Nath of Chanapora and co-attacker, Junaid Ahmad alias Mudasir.
At around 10:30 am Wednesday near Parraypora where she teaches in a preparatory school, the perpetratorssnatched her belongings, assaulted her and one of them threw acid on her face and fled from the spot.
The victim was under close observation in the Ophthalmology ward of SMHS Hospital with severe burn injuries on her face and arm. Doctors have declared her out of danger. Political parties jumped into the fray and she was taken to Delhi where she is reported to have lost sight in her right eye.
Soon after the victim’s statement, police raided the house of Reyaz Ahmad Nath of Lone Mohallah Chanapora, a shopkeeper, and arrested him. Police also arrested Mudasir Ahmad son of Abdul Rashid, also a shopkeeper from Chanapora, in the evening.
Victim’s brother revealed that Reyaz had harassed his sisterseveral times in the past and was forcing her into a relation. He said that she rejected his proposal every time as she was getting engaged after a month.
DIG Central Kashmir, Syed Afad-ul-Mujtaba, said police have taken a serious note of the incident and arrested the accused. “Sadder Police Station has registered a case FIR No. 2/2013 in this regard,” he said.
Violence against women has seen an increasing trend in the past few years in the Valley; however acid attacks have been rare.
Kashmir University’slove affair with controversies is far from over. The varsity is currently grappling with the ‘land issue’ that was allegedly transferred by university administrationto commercial purposes within the campus.
While Kashmir University (KU)Vice Chancellor, Prof Talat Ahmad, said a committee has been constituted to ‘look into’ the issue of land at Zakura,KU Registrar, Prof Zaffar Reshi, however, said it was not possible for the university to surrender its land. “People there are trying to be smart. It is extremely unlikely that land would be given to them,” he said.
Prof Talat candidly on the issue of Caf? Coffee Dayadmitted that the “property belongs to the proprietors of the service providers and the university has nothing to do with it.”Asked on what grounds the CCD was established, he said, “A committee will look into it.”
Meanwhile, the banned Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) has condemned the alleged dictatorial approval of Talat Ahmad in gifting away university land at Zakura for certain vested interests.
In a statement issued to a local news agency, the KUSU said: “The VC cannot impose his will on this crucial decision without the approval of university council. The setting up of CCD in university is another issue that speaks volumes about VC’s covert dealings and agendas. CCD was imposed on the university students by Kapil Sibal after 16 students of NSUI visited Delhi in November 2011. Kapil Sibal had said to the students that if Hurriyat leaders went to coffee houses, why couldn’t they have a hanging spot in the campus”.
It further reads:“It is reminiscent of the Amarnath Land transfer and one of the most used methods by the Indian state to usurp Kashmiri land. Also the mushroom growth of ATMs in the campus is bizarre to say the least. There are only four ATMs from Dalgate to Lal Chowk which is the business hub of Kashmir while there are five ATMs in the campus alone where majority of students are from villages belonging to lower middle class. It is nothing but blatantly presenting the university on a platter to the corporate vultures.”
A Fashion WALK
Walking on the ramp in world’s fashion capital, Paris, is any model’s dream come true. Come April and 24-year-old Aamir Yaseen from Srinagar’s posh locality, Hyderpora, is all set to make his mark on the global modelling map.
Aamir was picked by a leading designer company to walk ramp for them in upcoming fashion shows across Europe.
Unlike his peers, Aamir considers himself lucky as he had a flying start in the modelling world. Before being picked for Paris show, Aamir has successfully participated in Bangkok and Dubai fashion shows.
Despite having no formal training in modelling, Aamir already completed a successful year in otherwise overcrowded Mumbai fashion industry.
But the most challenging task for this promising model was to convince his family to allow him pursue modelling as a career.
“Initially they too were reluctant, and if they would have said no, I would have not taken this line. But thanks to my father and brother, everything worked out well at the end,” Aamir told a local daily.
Aamir took modelling as a full time career after he made among the top 10 finalists in Gladrags Manhunt Contest, 2011.
Aamir considers a calendar and a magazine shoot for Gladrags as a stepping stone of his career. Since then, he has walked the ramp for many big designers including for men’s clothing brand Levi’s.
Aamir has also featured in several television commercials. “I have done a commercial for Cinthol deodorant and another commercial is on the way for a leading automobile company,” he said.
Keeping the tradition alive, Aamir hopes to get a break in Bollywood soon. But right now he is keeping his energies focused on Paris ramp walk.
A winter CRISIS
What started as a mark of protest against power development department (PDD) for keeping their village in dark, residents of Athwatoo in district Bandipora have turned a defunct electric transformer into a shrine.
It all started in 1992 when government officials placed the transformer into the village graveyard with a promise to provide villagers electricity soon. But the promise was never fulfilled and villagers, in order to mock the government’s apathy, started to burn candles on it.
But over the years, the protest slowly turned into routine for helpless villages and finally became a ritual. Since then, villagers burn candles and tie votive knots on the transformer to get their wishes fulfilled.
According to locals, it has been two decades since PDD placed transformer in the village, but it was never connected with the transmission line.
Recently, the power development corporation (PDC) has surveyed the village in order to provide electricity to the area.
But villagers are clear about the fate of their transformer as they already feel connected to it. “How can we allow them to remove it? Now it has different value among the people. It is related to faith,” said a villager.
On the other side, fed up with PDD’s vague promises of providing electricity, several villages in south Kashmir’s Shopian district have begun to pool money to buy transformers from the market to light up their houses.
According to reports, people from Rawalpora, Dashipora, Bemnipora, Hanjipora and Pallapora areas of Shopian recently purchased 10 transformers, electric wires and electricity polls by pooling money among themselves.
The residents said a 63 KV transformer cost them Rs 70,000, while they paid Rs 85,000 for a 100 KV transformer. In order to make purchases possible each household contributed Rs 3500 for the new transformer.
Interestingly, a PDD official confirmed that the residents of these areas have purchased at least a dozen transformers from the market after collecting an amount of Rs 30 lakh.
According to PDD officials, around 400 transformers in Kashmir are currently out of order adding problem to the already power deficit localities.
A Filmmaker AWARDED
A Ladakhi documentary film titled Jungwa (The Broken Balance) by filmmaker Stanzin Dorjai Gya bagged the Jury Award at the 29th Mountain International Film Festival held in Autrance, France.
Stanzin’s film talks about the links between the environment, global warming and the Ladakhi way of life.
The filmmaker who hails from a remote village called Gya, some 70 km east of Leh, is one of the founders of the Himalayan Film House, Leh.
Stanzin’s earlier work, a documentary titled Living with Change, which he made for World Wildlife Federation, was widely appreciated and made him a globally recognized name among cinema lovers.
Stanzin who hails from a nomadic family has spent good part of his childhood grazing yaks and sheep while attending school simultaneously.
Stanzin’s film journey started in 1995 when he was selected as a campus student at Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) hostel.
“At SECMOL I learnt to speak English and got oriented to social and development issues of the region. This helped me complete my graduation,” recalls Stanzin.
Stanzin then pursued an advanced training at SECMOL in cinematography, direction, editing and script writing under renowned filmmaker Lars Lindstrom of Sweden. “This training allowed me to become a cameraman, a director cameraman and an editor,” Stanzin remembers.
Obituary SS Ali
SS Ali, former Additional Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, is no more. The former cop passed away on Sunday morning at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi after a brief illness.
As the news of his demise spread, various political leaders, bureaucrats and police officers condoled the demise and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family.
The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdur Rahim Rather expressed his sympathy with the bereaved family and prayed for peace to the departed soul.
Paying tributes to Ali, Director General of Police (DGP), Ashok Prasad recalled the significant contribution of the former Additional Director General of Police to the State Police.
He observed that the deceased during his entire service career in the state at various positions “left an indelible mark of efficiency and honesty.”
Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir and Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani also expressed their condolences.
Additional Director General of Police, Armed, Law and Order, K Rajendra, who in Hyderabad, also paid rich tributes to the deceased colleague and conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved family.
Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Devender Singh Rana, condoled the demise of SS Ali, saying he was a “people’s policeman who had great qualities of head and heart.”
Describing Ali as a brilliant policeman, Rana said he was a kind-hearted man, very cultured, civilized and committed to his duty.
He recalled Ali’s contribution to the improvement of traffic management in Jammu in early nineties and the activism that he instilled in the Home Guard and Civil Defense wing of the J&K Police.