News Notes

Priest DETAINED

Press-Con-SSP-Srinagar-Imam-the-killerA local Masjid Imam was arrested by J&K police Monday for allegedly murdering a man, who SSP Srinagar Syed Ashiq Husain Bukhari said, had illicit relations with wife of the deceased.

City police chief said that on 30th of last month, a man from Bund Qamarwari lodged a missing report with police that his son-in-law Shah Nawaz Ahmad Dar son of Khazir Muhammad of Budgam had gone missing. The complainant said Dar had gone to local Masjid to offer Isha prayers on September 29 but never returned.

On October 3, police fished out Dar’s body from Jhelum. “The deceased was wearing a Pheran which carried an I-Card of Abdul Gani Naik of Kulgam working as Imam of Masjid at Bund Qamarwari,” the police said. The priest admitted that it was his Pheran.

“It also came to fore front that Naik (priest) used to visit the house of in-laws of deceased number of times a day,” a police handout said.

“The call details of the priest and wife of the deceased were analyzed and it was noticed that the duo had been in constant touch even in the odd hours of the night for long time,” police added.

On questioning, the accused confessed of having developed illicit relations with deceased’s wife.

On the fateful day, police said Dar had gone to the priest narrating his bitter marital discord “requesting to ease out the conflict.”

The accused, as per the SSP, advised Dar to recite some prescribed holy verses on a flowing river with a rider that nobody should see him praying.

The priest subsequently accompanied him to Cement Kadal asking him to start the special prayers with eyes shut. As Dar started the process, the accused threw him into river from behind resulting in his drowning.

The SSP, as per the police handout, “requested all the Masjid Intizamia Committees to verify the antecedents before selecting Imams for their Masjids.

Blue-eyed CAMPUS!

It seems Kashmir University is wed to controversies. On Thursday, scores of Teaching and Non-Teaching staff members of Kashmir University (KU) alleged that the University top brass are providing accommodation to their blue-eyed persons, without the consent of the constituted committees.

President, Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA), Professor Muhammad Yousuf Ganaie confirmed that accommodation was provided to blue-eyed persons and norms were violated by the previous Allotment Committees. He, however said that new Allotment Committees constituted by University have provided accommodation to the staff on the basis of merit and there is no scope of fraud in the allotments.

“I am also a part of the new Allotment Committee and this Committee has not violated any norms. But it is a fact that before the constitution of this new allotment committee, rules had been flouted and those persons were provided accommodation who were not deserving,” president KUTA said.

A visibly disappointed Assistant Professor of Science Faculty, who is residing outside the campus in rented accommodation from last 3 years said that a Senior Assistant Professor working in Hindi Department played the minority card and was allotted professor’s flat (P-B) while as a liaison officer working in the close corridors of administration, having the same grade as equivalent to the head clerk, has been allotted Reader’s flat,” he said adding that Deputy Registrar has been also given professor flat (P-7).

A non-teaching staff member Abdul Rashid said it is irony that the casual labourers (7 in number) have been given accommodation in the main as well as in Mirza Bagh Campus at the nominal charges of Rs 500 per month.

“On the other hand, more than 100 permanent employees of the University are waiting for accommodation from last 5 years, said Abdul Rashid adding that height of the nepotism is that few months back, an orderly employee from the Department of Biotechnology got accommodation in the Assistant Professor’s Flat at Mirza Bagh campus, reportedly at the behest of Dean Research.

Teachers and non teaching employees sought intervention of Chancellor Varsity to probe these allegations and demanded that committee should be framed to indict the guilty.

Chairman of Allotment Committee for Teaching Staff, Dr Professor Mushtaq Ahmed Kaw said that such things have happened in the past and he is not responsible for this.

“These violations have taken place before I took over as Chairman Allotment Committee, so it’s not my baby and I don’t know anything about it,” he said.

Domestic DOOM

Shopian-Woman-killed-by-her-husbandOne more woman was allegedly killed by her husband and in-laws in the Shopian area this week. The incident surfaced when the people at Bungam area of Shopian staged protest in Srinagar demonstrations against the killing.

The deceased, 23 year-old Parveena Akhtar alias Rabia, was killed by her in-laws, alleges her father. The family of the woman also alleges that the autopsy report has been fabricated by her husband, who is working in health department.

As per the autopsy report Parveena has died due to the consumption of poisonous substance and that she has ‘committed suicide’.

But on the other hand victim’s family alleges that she (Parveena) was continuously tortured by the in-laws and that her husband namely Nisar Ahmad Malik used to beat her to pulp.

As per the police records the case has been registered under FIR No. 150/2013 under section 306 of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and that the Husband of the deceased has been taken into custody for questioning.

Fraudulent DEAL

In a surprising development, a non-State Subject has sold the property of third party in Kashmir worth Crores of rupees to few Kashmiri people after fraudulently acquiring the Permanent Resident Certificate from Revenue department.

The information surfaced under Right to Information Act has revealed one Ajab Singh son of late Gopal Singh claiming the real owner of a large chunk of land in Magarmal Bagh Srinagar was never a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to reports in 2011 then Divisional Commissioner Kashmir vide order number 14-17/SQ/MLA/2139/MR constituted a committee headed by then ADC Srinagar to ascertain the facts about the deserted land located at Magarmal Bagh Srinagar. The Committee was directed to find out the real heirs of the owner of the land General Sahab Bhadur.

Surprisingly, out of 8 persons who claimed to be real heirs of land owner, the committee declared that person the real heir of General Bhadur who was a non-state subject. The committee that time claimed that Ajab Singh son of late Gopal Singh resident of Magarmal Bagh presently residing in Nai Basti Jammu was the real heir.

The information that surfaced under RTI Act has now revealed that Ajab Singh was never a resident of Jammu and Kashmir and he is not even registered in Migrant list.

Ironically, Ajab Singh sold land comprised of 6 kanals and 14 marlas including two houses for Crores of rupees to few Kashmiri people after providing them fake attorneys.

Holding Revenue officials responsible for all this mess, one of persons who purchased chunk of property from Ajab Singh said that how come he was given the permanent resident certificate without verifying the facts.

Soon after these revelations, the District Administration has imposed a ban on the sale of the land and has said that the land would be deemed as government property in case no real of owner of the land comes forward.

Finally BRIDGED

Rajbagh-BridgeFor a much relief to the state government, the Division Bench of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir comprising Chief Justice, Justice MM Kumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey dismissed the petition seeking to challenge the decision of the government relating construction of a bridge over River Jehlum near the Presentation Convent School, Raj Bagh.

The government in its response had contended that the construction of the bridge was envisaged in the Master Plan 1971-91 and that the project cannot be construed to contravene any provision of the Master Plan. Moreover, 30 percent of the work on the bridge has already been completed and Rs 9.91 crore stands expended.

The Court in its judgment has observed that when a project is undertaken and crores of public money is spent, the petitioner in the garb of PIL cannot be permitted to challenge the policy decision. The plea about the viability of the bridge or its location and its technical aspects cannot be allowed to be raised by those who, admittedly, have no know how about the engineering aspects of the matter.

The Court in its judgment has also observed that many private schools like Mallinson (girls) school, Biscoe school, Burn Hall school and Delhi Public School are all located in built up areas which have continuous flow of traffic and movement of large number of people, but they do not hinder any development work undertaken around these schools, nor do they complain of any disturbance in studies or raise any security concerns. The Court also observed that the concerns regarding environment and ecology raised by the petitioners are not genuine.

While dismissing the petitions, the Court observed that no grounds have been found to entertain the petition and dismissed it along with the connected CMPs with cost of Rs. 50,000 to be equally borne by the petitioners and paid within one month. The costs of realization have been ordered to be deposited in the legal aid fund of the High Court.

Trailing MERCY

On the eve of the resumption of hearing by the Supreme Court Monday on 10 writ petitions involving 18 death row convicts challenging the rejection of mercy pleas by the President on the ground of delay.

Asian Centre for Human Right (ACHR) in its report, “Mercy on Trial in India” stated that India had a total of 414 death row convicts at the end of 2012. These include 10 from Jammu and Kashmir.

The maximum number of death row convicts were in Uttar Pradesh (106) followed by Karnataka (63); Maharashtra (51); Bihar (42); Delhi (27); Gujarat (19); Punjab (16); Kerala (14); Tamil Nadu (12); while Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh each had 10 death row convict prisoners.

Out of 414 death row convicts, 13 are female. Maharashtra had maximum with five followed by Delhi (four); Punjab (two); and one each in Haryana and Karnataka.

India currently has 21 death row convicts whose mercy petitions have been rejected by the President. While the Supreme Court had already adjudicated on the rejection of mercy petition of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar by the President, the writ petitions of the remaining 20 are under adjudication before the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the Supreme Court to examine the issue of delay as it is a critical factor in the administration of justice, especially in the context of discretionary powers.

“The executive power of the President and the Governors cannot be so discretionary to cause mental trauma in conditions considered to be inhumane and degrading to the condemned prisoners,” Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights said.

Between 1950 and 2009, over 300 mercy petitions were filed before the President of India. A number of death row convicts also submitted their mercy petitions to the Governors of the States under Article 161 of the Constitution. A total of ten mercy petitions were pending with the Governor of Maharashtra as on 15 June 2013.

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