News Notes

Cross-LoC-TradeTrading BLUE!

Confirming that the narcotics consignment seized by police from a truck coming from Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) to Uri during cross LoC trade on Jan 17 was brown sugar, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Wednesday sent its detailed report to police for further action.

Director FSL Inayat-ullah Khan stated that the total number of samples they received for testing were 12 and that after thorough examination of the material, it was found that  all the packets contain brown sugar.

He stated further that the expert team of the department Hamid Shiekh and Shakeel Ahmad Wani after the investigation of the seized material found brown sugar in it. “We have sent the detailed report to police for further action,” Director FSL said.

The inspector General of Police (IGP) said that the report from FSL has been received by the department.

Pertinently, brown sugar worth over Rs 100 crores was seized by police from a truck coming from Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) to Uri during cross LoC trade on Jan 17.

Police had found 114 packets of brown sugar weighing almost a kilogram each, from one of the trucks that came from PaK bearing number RIS-2137 of Al- Fajar Company.

Reports had mentioned that when the truck reached Salamabad Uri check-point, it was routinely checked and the police found large number of mysterious packets in one of the almond bags.

Due to the incident the Cross LoC trade has also been suspended with most of the civil society members and political parties asking the authorities not to make the incident as impediment into the trade that earlier was started as Confidence Building Measure.

Not only the cross LoC trade but Srinagar- Muzafarabad bus service was also suspended following the incident.

Controversial CARDS

Ration-Card-Language-RowIn a major face-saving exercise, Director CA&PD seems to have thwarted the major controversy surrounding English and Urdu printed Ration cards. On Thursday, the director said that department has not printed any ration card form in Hindi.

He, however, said that ration card forms were printed in English and now the department had decided to re-print these forms in English and Urdu simultaneously.

“All the Assistant Directors have been directed to print the ration card forms in Urdu and English and from onwards the ration card holder will get forms in Urdu and English as per their choice,” Director CA&PD Mushtaq Ahmed Mir said, adding that the department will bear the expenditure incurred on reprinting of ration card forms.

Mir did not say how much extra cost the department has to pay for the ‘inadvertent’ error. “I don’t know about the extra cost but all the AD’s of the department will reprint the ration card forms as per their requirement,” he said.

Pertinently, last time, Jammu and Kashmir Bank had printed 22 lakh ration cards for the department. The Bank had born 40 per cent expenditure on those cards while the price of each ration card was around Rs 12.8 that amounted to Rs 2,81,60000.

Honouring BRAVE

Ladakh-AvalancheThe Indian Army has honoured three civilians from Ladakh region with a special award for their efforts to save soldiers during a severe avalanche in the area. This is the first time that army has given such an award to the civilians, one of whom is a porter from Siachen.

The awardees, Stanzin Padma, Jigmet Urgain and Nima Norboo were felicitated with the awards on the eve of Army Day at Udampur, in the winter capital of the state, Jammu. They had stepped up to save the lives of two soldiers.

They awards were distributed by Lt Gen Sanjeev Chachra, Army Commander of Northern Command last week.

According to the army, it is a new beginning to including civilians in the list of awardees at their annual function where the trio was recognized for their courage and devotion to the duty.

The ceremony which earlier used to be only for the uniformed individuals had civilian men, women, boys and girls belonging who were awarded for their bravery.

Padma was honoured for digging out alive two army me who were buried under snow due to an avalanche on May 28 last year.

Jigmet Urgain’s career in the army was cut short by an unfortunate mine accident during training in which he lost his eyesight as well as both his hands but that did not stop him from doing the extraordinary.  Despite the fact about his loss, he indulged in social programmes for the upliftment of the people there.

He involved himself with the army to secure their position by initiating the welfare schemes which proved highly beneficial for them.

Padma also saved the life of fellow porter Nima Norboo. Both are employed at Siachen – an assignment which is challenging and dangerous.

Polling PLANS

Polls-in-KashmirIt is the coalition that is going to decide the fate of next government. As state assembly elections are round the corner, no single party seems to be in a position to form government on its own. It has become important to join hands for political parties, irrespective of their ideological differences, to reach the throne of power.

And in the game of numbers, where edging your opponents seems the only way up, one party has evolved itself to a king makers position. Congress has reached a position where no regional party, NC or PDP, can claim their stakes on the formation of government without its support. But the party ranks within state congress feel that by siding with either of the two main regional parties they are losing their individuality. The concerns became apparent when JKPCC president Prof Saifud Din Soz led a delegation of party members to New Delhi and met Rahul Gandhi to press his demand for no pre-poll alliance in J&K.

The J&K unit of Congress has requested the All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul that any pre-poll arrangement for the Parliament or Assembly elections in the State would shrink the party’s space and the High Command should allow the party to “go alone for the polls.”

Another former minister, Abdul Gani Vakil, who was also a part of the delegation pressed that Congress should “no more be a B-team in future.”

Congress leaders have urged the AICC vice-president that the party high command should “allow the J&K unit to go alone in both Parliament and Assembly elections.”

The Congress leaders have informed Rahul that over the past five years of NC-Congress rule in J&K, Congress workers have bore the brunt of discrimination on all fronts. NC ministers always entertained their own workers, be it giving government jobs to youth, allotting tenders, or giving contracts.

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