British girl MURDER

News-Notes1Leaving her job in Africa to follow her love for a Kashmiri boy, a 24 year- old British lady was murdered inside her room in a houseboat by a paranoid Dutch tourist.

Sarah Groves, a fitness instructor from Guernsey,would have never imagined that her desire to spend time in Kashmir and with the family of her boyfriend would cost her life.The British women had been staying in the houseboat from last two months.

Police suspected and then arrested a Dutch tourist, Richard de Wit, 43, who had checked in at the houseboat two days back. He was arrested some 100 km from Qazigund area, when he was trying to flee Kashmir valley with his passport. He later confessed that he had killed the British lady.

As per the wife of De Wit, he was suffering from paranoia. The head of forensics at Srinagar’s General Medical Collegesaid Sarah was having 45 extensive knife wounds and most of them were defensive woundson her hands and arms.

As per the forensics head, Sarah’s two wounds were fatal; one on her neck and the other which pierced her lung. The cause of death was hemorrhage. She might have tried to save herself, fought bravely but she couldn’t survive.

After completing all medical formalities Sarah Groves was flown to British embassy in New Delhi from where she was taken to her native country.

The parents of Sara reportedly said they begged her not to travel to the area. While speaking at a press conference in Guernsey, Miss Groves’s father said she had decided to travel to Kashmir after meeting a man called Samir and arranging to stay with his family. Victor Groves said he was concerned after his daughter changed her original plans, “She went north instead. We tried so hard to stop her going.”He said her family’s concern was “nothing against the guy himself” but they had been worried about her interrupting her original travel plans.

Dangerous School BUSES

News-Notes3A look into the contemporary history reveals that the government takes issues seriously only after disasters. It was proven again when a school bus fell into a deep George at Kandiwara in South Kashmir, leaving nine kids dead. The tragedy finally compelled the government to take some urgent decisions regarding the vehicles plying for various schools.

This also brought the traffic police and other law enforcement agencies under scanner of people, especially in the background of Supreme Court guidelines on school transport.

As per reports the Kashmir schools are allegedly violating Supreme Court guidelines on transport. They are allegedly violating SHRC directives for using LPG cylinders.

As per the apex court guidelines pronounced in a judgment, every school bus carrying children should install a speed governor of specified standard so that the speed of the bus doesn’t go beyond a permissible limit—something which is not being adhered to by theschools in valley.

The guidelines also say that windows of the bus should be fitted with horizontal grills. There should be a fire extinguisher fitted in the bus. The doors of the bus should be fitted with reliable locks. There must be a qualified attendant in the school bus to attend to children. It also saysa teacher should also travel along with children so that safety measures are ensured. The driver of the vehicle should have at least five years of experience in driving heavy vehicles. And if a driver is fined for more than a year, he should not be employed.

But despite the guidelines,the situation on ground is different.Scores of school buses in Kashmir fail to meet the desired standards, with law enforcing agencies acting as mute spectators to this brazen violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.Worst, a number of schools have hired private vehicles to ferry children. This is in gross violation of the guidelines since these buses don’t comply with the desired standards and norms.

Venomous DRUGS

 For the moment, it appears that another ‘health crisis’ is about to firm its grip over the Valley after last year’s GB Pant fiasco. The ‘threatening situation’ emerged after a report by central drug organization revealed that government run hospitals in Kashmir are supplied with spurious drugs.

 These drugs, including substandard antibiotic injections, approved by a Jammu-based central purchase committee last year, have been supplied to patients at the Government Medical College Srinagar and other hospitals. Major supply of the spurious drug has been consumed in GB Pant Children Hospital, where hundreds of infants died last year.

 While taking a serious note of the report, Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) said, “Putting lives of people at risk is a grave human rights violation.”

 “The complaint has projected that there is lack of effective control regarding analysis of drugs in the state and through supply of these spurious and substandard expired drugs especially in Government GB Panth hospital exposed the lives of people that too infants to extreme point which is violation of human rights of citizens of the State,” the Commission observed in its order.

 The government nominated Controller Drug and Food Organization, J&K, as a member of the enquiry committee probing the spurious drug scam. The officer is a member of the Jammu-based Purchase Committee that earlier approved the purchase of a bulk quantity of antibiotics which later turned out to be spurious.

 According to sources in Drug and Food Organization, the Controller, instead of helping bring the culprits to book, is just repeatedly asking his subordinates not to talk to media on the issue.

 Official sources said that to facilitate the supply of spurious drugsto the Valley hospitals, there seems to be well-knit connivance ofJammu-based Purchase Committee and the Srinagar-based Drug Approval Board and the nexus is being patronized at the highest levels in the government.

Affiliation HAZARDS!

News-NotesThe nightmare for elected Panchayat members in the Valley seems far from over. Early this week, unidentified gunmen killed a Sarpanch, Ghulam Mohammad Lone, in his native village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, and thereby put thousands of Panchayat members across the Valley on tenterhooks.

Lone’s killing came a month and half after the killing of another National Conference Sarpanch, Javid Ahmad Waniwho was killed on February 24 by unidentified gunmen at his native Kalantra village in Baramulla.

Before Wani, a Congress Sarpanch was killed by militants at Sopore. On January 11, 60-year-old Habibullah Mir was killed at Goripora village of Bomai in Sopore. Lone is the third Sarpanch killed by gunmen this year while a woman Panch was injured in an attack by gunmen.

Police sources said Lone was fired at from a close range by the gunmen on Monday evening at his native village Kulpora in Pulwama. Lone was associated with the ruling National Conference.

The recent attack triggered fear among the members of grassroots democracy and a large number of Panchs and Sarpanchs had resigned in north Kashmir.

Shafiq Mir, J&K Panchayat Conference Chairman said, “The recent attacks on Panchs and Sarpanchs have created panic and fear enforcing several of them to go for hiding. The government has failed to protect Sarpanchs and Panchs.”

In another incident, six National Conference (NC) activists were injured after they were attacked by a group of shopkeepers in Lower Munda area of Islamabad districtafter they refused to pay for tea they had at a stall.

As per some eyewitnesses, the NC activists were attacked after they had an argument with the shopkeepers. The NC activists, according to reports, roughed up tea-stall owner and used abusive language against him.

“This agitated the shopkeepers in the vicinity and soon they started to pelt stones at the NC workers, injuring half a dozen of them,” eyewitnesses said.

“One of the NC activists has been reportedly injured,” Tariq Ahmad TaK, Station House Officer (SHO), Qazigund while confirming the incident, said. Tak said situation was soon brought under control after police intervened and a case has been registered.

Promoted and DEMOTED

News-Notes2Senior IPS officer NalinPrabhat has been appointed as CRPF Inspector General (IG) in J&K. The appointment of Prabhat, a 1992-batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, was made after the incumbent, SS Sandhu, was demoted and transferred to the forces’ headquarters in New Delhias DIG following alleged discrepancies in his fitness and medical records.

In a rare punishment involving a senior CRPF officer, the order to demote Sandhu, who was posted as IG (Operations) in Kashmir, was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In 74-year-old history of the three-lakh strong CRPF, it is perhaps the first instance that a senior officer has been demoted. The Home Ministry order saysthe September 11, 2012 order of promotion of Sandhu, a CRPF direct recruit, was recalled and that he should immediately report to the headquarters of the paramilitary force for duty.

During his tenure as IG (Operations) CRPF in Kashmir, Sandhu had been at loggerheads with the state police and had reportedly opposed many people-friendly measures taken by the state government.

According to official sources, the state administration had also raised the issue with the Home Ministry and sought his replacement from the valley.

But Sandhu came under the scanner after he had challenged the medical board’s recommendation which declared him unfit for promotion. Instead, Sandhu submitted a report, on his own, from another panel of doctors, which was not authorized as per the CRPF rules.

After the matter came to light, a high level meeting was held by the Union Home Secretary during which a fresh panel of AIIMS doctors was formed which examined him and found him unfit for promotion.

However, instead of accepting his demotion and new posting orders, Sandhu chose to challenge the Home Ministry orders before the J&K High Court. As per CRPF rules an officer is promoted only if he is certified as ‘Shape 1’.

His successor Prabhat, who will head the CRPF operations in the Kashmir Valley, was till now heading CRPF anti-Naxal operations in Maharashtra’s Maoist hotbed Gadchiroli. The officer has been twice decorated with the President’s police gallantry medal.

WikiLeaks Erases LOC

News-Notes4Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has shown Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) as part of Pakistan in its recently released global map, a description which challenges the Indian policy of treating AJK as part of India and has left many in Delhi fuming.

The controversial map doesn’t mention the Line of Control, an imaginary line used to demarcate two sides of LoC as India-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The interactive map was released by WikiLeaksas part of its efforts to help people search into websites’ 1.7 million cables in a user-friendly manner.

It is learnt that the Indian Embassy in Washington has already protested against the world famous website’s goof up. The Indian Embassy has demanded the ‘correct’ representation of the international boundary, although the website of WikiLeakssays that the map was created using country boundary lines of 1975.


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