News Notes

Mysterious Death

Buchwara-Boy-KIlledA JK police statement on Thursday informed about the death of Kashmiri student studying in SRM College, Gaziabad. Police described death a case of suicide, but mystery is still looming large over it after relatives of youth, denied to buy the cop-version.

After contacting Ghaziabad Police in connection with the death of Abdul Manan Wani, resident of Buchwara, Srinagar, the JK Police Spokesman said the deceased was putting up in a private hostel.  “As per SHO police station Modinagar, under whose jurisdiction the hostel falls, a student of SRM college had attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself in this hostel room,” the JK Police Spokesman informed Thursday. “He was rushed to hospital but died on way. After taking cognizance, police has sent the body for post mortem.”

The Spokesman said that the police is looking into the cause of this “extreme step” by checking up with his friends and the call details of the mobile phone of the deceased.

Manan, a final year engineering student at SRM University, Ghaziabad, was found hanging in his room on Wednesday night. The reasons regarding his death are still unclear as family rejects the Police claims that the deceased committed suicide.

As the body reached his native area, angry youth protested against what they call “the mysterious death”.

Migrant Package

Omar-AbdullahThe state government would work out a strategy to engage another 3,000 Kashmiri Migrant youth in government jobs in the Valley, who are ready to return to their native place and serve here. These are the ‘assuring’ words of JK chief minister, Omar Abdullah.

Chairing the meeting of Apex Advisory Committee for Migrants on Friday, the chief minister said that the state government has vehemently taken up the issue of enhancing building construction finance available to migrants who want to return and construct their houses from present Rs 7.5 lakh to over Rs 20 lakhs with the Union Government and is being persuaded constantly.

Omar said 2,160 Kashmiri migrant youth have been employed so far in the Valley while the selection for another 1,443 posts is under process. He said as soon as these posts are filled up the process for recruiting another lot of 3,000 migrant youth would start.

“We have already taken up this issue with the Centre and hope very positive response in this regard,” he said.

The chief minister directed for holding special workshops by EDI at migrant camps in Jammu and in the Valley to make migrant youth aware of the self-employment schemes and facilities available to them to launch livelihood generating units. He said there is ample opportunity for migrant youth to take self-employment as the means of their livelihood by utilizing the provisions of SKEWPY and other self-employment programmes under implementation in the state.

Omar directed for constitution of Sub-Committees to look into various aspects of return and rehabilitation of migrants in the Valley as also the issues confronting them in various migrant camps. “I want these Committees immediately in place so that they would give their comprehensive report before April next when I will be again reviewing the migrant issues in the Apex Advisory Committee,” he maintained.

Work SYNDROME

Additional charge syndrome is affecting Valley’s education sector badly. According to Srinagar based news gathering agency CNS, four Chief Education Officers (CEO) posts were lying vacant in the Education department. Additional charges have been given to mostly Principal DIETs in Srinagar, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Baramulla.

Chief Education Officer Srinagar Nazir Ahmed Kanth was attached to Director Education Office and his charge was given to Principal DIET Munshi Javid.

“It is irony that that instead of functioning from CEO office Srinagar, Munshi Javid works from his Bemina office. Additional syndrome is badly affecting this sector,” one of the senior officers in Education department preferring anonymity was quoted by news agency.

In Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, Deputy CEO, Khazar Muhammad Mir is functioning as CEO for past many months.

One of the senior officers said that there were so many Principals in the district who were senior to deputy CEO and as a result the deputy CEO was not having any control over them. This affected the functioning of the education department badly, he said. Agency quoting sources stated that post of CEO was also lying vacant in North Kashmir’s Baramula district.

“The Principal DIET has given the additional charge of CEO Baramulla. The fact is that his DIET office is located in Sopore while the CEO office is in Baramulla,” a senior officer said adding that the teachers of the district were facing enormous problems due to this present mess.

Ditto situation is prevailing in Kupwara district as well. This district has 14 education zones including Karnah and Tanghdar. Here the additional charge has been again given to Principal DIET Ashok Kumar.

Sources said that additional charges were being assigned to appease some particular political leaders and groups.

“A Chief Education Officer in one of the districts of South Kashmir was transferred only after three months because he had started a drive against the teachers associated with Kashmir Teachers Forum who used to remain always absent from their duties,” agency report said quoting its sources.

Agency report quoted Education Minister Tara Chand saying that the department was going to take away these additional charges from the said officers and would fill up the vacant posts.

LoC LIMITATIONS

Army has closed two gates of Churranda, village in Uri situated near the Line of Control (LoC) resulting in the limitations on the movements of the inhabitants. The students could not even attend their schools which are situated outside the gates and the people in need of medical help are not in a position to move out and see a doctor.

Churranda, is a village exactly situated on the LoC, at Uri, and is reachable only after passing through the gates erected by the army. There are three gates leading to the village named 6, 9 and 11.

“It is a fenced village and one has to pass through the gates erected by the army to reach it,” Laldin, sarpanch of the village told Kashmir Life.

Laldin said, “Some five days back army closed gate no 11 for no reasons which restricted the movement of the commoners and now gate no 6 has also been closed which has added to our miseries.”

The sarpanch further informed that the closure of gates has affected the school going children whose schools are situated outside the gates. He said that police have been informed about the matter.

When contacted Station House Officer (SHO) Uri, Mohammad Abdullah told Kashmir Life, he has raised the matter with the army officials. “It is an issue for the locals, we have taken it with the concerned authorities and hope an immediate action in this regard,” SHO said.

Pertinently, LoC has witnessed cross firing since last month resulted in the death of many troopers on the either sides.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad are alleging one another of violating the ceasefire on the LoC.

Conflicting COUNCIL

At the time when Zubin Mehta’s concert is relentless to cease music over state of affairs in Kashmir, at the same time, ruling coalition partners National Conference-Congress are involved in tug-of-war reportedly over the constitution of Kargil Autonomous Hill Development Council (KAHDC).

A report published in a local daily informed that the matter took an ugly turn when the state Congress accused chief minister Omar Abdullah of violating the rules by nominating four members of his own before the formation of new Council. The move, report says, has prompted deputy chief minister Tara Chand to shoot a letter to Omar urging him to convene an emergency meeting of the state cabinet to sort-out the issue.

Asghar Karbalai, senior Congress leader from Kargil, who emerged victorious in KAHDC polls, alleged that four persons have been nominated by the Chief Minister of his own as the members of the Hill Council without consulting his alliance partner Congress. “This is unethical, illegal and unconstitutional,” he was quoted sayingin a report. He said the development took place at a time when Congress bagged 10 seats in the recently held KAHDC polls and also managed the support of 5 independent candidates to stake claim for leading the new Council.

“Today all the 15 elected members signed a resolution which was forwarded to the deputy commissioner Kargil, Fida Hussain to seek formal permission for formation of the Council,” he said.

Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) vice president Ghulam Nabi Monga accused chief minister of violating the ‘coalition dharma’ by nominating four “NC men” in the Council on his own. “This is unfortunate and tantamount to backstabbing,” he said.

“The party has taken a strong note of the issue.  NC has no regards for democracy. There seems to be a deliberate attempt by NC to create an atmosphere of disgust within the coalition which is not a good sign,” he said.

However, NC Additional General Secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal said an arrangement between Congress and NC has already been worked-out— four nominated seats in Leh Autonomous Hill Development Council would rest with Congress while four nomination seats in Kargil would be with NC. “I guess Congress leadership has forgotten this,” he said.

Letter DISPATCHED

Syed-Ali-Geelani-LetterIn his letter to Angela Merkel, Chancellor Germany, Friday Hurriyat hawk, Syed Ali Geelani has expressed concern that “despite repeated requests and pleas, German ambassador to India has decided to go ahead with the proposed musical concert of Zubin Mehta”.

The senior separatist leader said that Zubin Mehta’s concert is being used by India to legitimize its “military Occupation” in Kashmir and “whitewash its shameful atrocities in Kashmir”.

Geelani while reminding Merkel about the support extended by European Union to Kashmir said: “Kashmiri people have nevertheless always been grateful for the principled support for universal human rights and a peaceful, negotiated settlement to all international disputes by the members of the European Union.”

But, he continued, Kashmiris are dismayed and disappointed by the decision of the German Embassy in India to organize a concert in Kashmir conducted by Zubin Mehta as part of “broader engagements” with Kashmiri people.

The text dispatched to German Chancellor reads that Kashmiri people had high hopes that Germany after reunification will play a meaningful and responsible role in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute for an enduring and just peace in South Asia.

“But the decision of the Germany Embassy to organize this music concert against the wishes of the Kashmiri people has forced me to seek your intervention,” the letter reads. “Kashmir is a disputed territory and such an intervention undermines the efforts of Kashmir freedom fighters who have been struggling against India’s illegal military occupation since 1947.”

Geelani said that Kashmir and Kashmiri culture has spanned over thousands of years and Kashmiris are eager for cultural exchanges and dialogue with the rest of the world. “But when culture is used to whitewash human rights abuses, dilute Kashmir’s disputed status and project false image of a wounded Kashmir to the world,” he wrote in a letter to Merkel, “it pains us that the great German people are being made complicit by India in such a blatant distortion of the truth.”

He said: “We remain convinced of Germany’s good intentions but are disappointed that the recent initiative of the German Embassy is indifferent and insensitive to the aspirations of Kashmiri people,” he said. “We hope you would immediately intervene to stop this concert as it is a very unfortunate development in relation to the future of peace in this region.”

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