News Notes

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Tihar Ordeals

Tihar-Jail‘Hate sin, not sinners’, was the line inscribed on the interior walls of various jails in Kashmir post 90’s. But since then nothing changed as alleged ‘sinners’ were always hated for which they are thrown into jails away from home.

Outside Kashmir, the prisoners are crying for help, allegedly they are not treated well. As per a letter published by a local news gathering agency, Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) has reportedly let loose a reign of terror in India’s Tihar Jail. Kashmiri prisoners there have been facing relentless atrocities.

In an open letter to his family from Tihar Jail, a Kashmiri inmate Muzaffar Ahmed Dar of Chichilora Tangmarg in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district has narrated detailed ordeal about Kashmiri prisoners in the jail. It reveals that criminals, rapists, dacoits of other states lodged in the jail avail all kinds of facilities while Kashmiri inmates lodged in the jail for alleged anti-India activities are not only harassed but subjected to inhuman treatment.

Dar who was arrested for his alleged affiliation with militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen from Sadrabal Hazratbal area of Srinagar city in April 2009 has written that TSP on the directions of Tihar Jail authorities force Kashmiri prisoners to lick their boots.

Dar has written that Kashmiri prisoners are being treated like animals in the jails and are barred from taking medicines. Dar was shifted to Tihar from Srinagar Central Jail in 2014 on the directions of National Investigating Agency (NIA).

The family members of Dar castigated People’s Democratic Party for making false promises to the people of Kashmir. “We voted for the PDP with a hope that it will shift all the Kashmiri prisoners to Srinagar from different Indian jails, but contrary has been happening on the ground now. Instead of acting in the interest of people, it is adding to the woes of the people.” The family has also said that they have sold a piece of land to pay to the lawyer in New Delhi.

Pertinently a team of three members of J&K High Court Bar Association who visited Central Jail Tihar on February 2, 3, 2015 and met the inmates to check if they are provided proper treatment there.

According to the report the Tihar jail was set up in 1958 with the lodging capacity of 1273 prisoners. The prison population has gradually grown and as on today, there are about 15,000 odd prisoners lodged in the jail.

Presently there are 21 prisoners belonging to J&K State who are languishing in Tihar from years together.

Identity Crisis 

Sunil-Kumar-SharmaThe green party of Jammu and Kashmir State first entered into a wed lock with Hindu nationalist party, BJP and now they are allegedly dancing on their tunes. Nearly 500 Permanent Residence Certificates (PRCs) were issued to non-Kashmiri school children in Kishtwar district in last week and reportedly around 5,000 more certificates will be issued soon.

Sunil Kumar Sharma, Minister of State for Revenue, has said that distribution of Permanent Residence Certificates (PRCs), Resident of Backward Area (RBAs) Certificates, and Caste Certificates will continue under coalition regime’s project MADAD (Help).

Meanwhile the decision of distribution of PRCs at school level has drawn flak from all mainstream parties and separatists in the state, who look at the issue as fiddling with the demography of state and a dangerous ‘political agenda’.

The mainstream party, National Conference while calling the issue as violation of law has said that why not birth certificates, Adhaar cards, Voter IDs and SC/ST Certificates were given to these students as per their needs. They call it an intervention by BJP who have traditionally advocated the scraping of the State Subject Laws that protects the demographic character of the State.

While as the separatists see it as an open threat to the identity of the majority community of Jammu and Kashmir. They take it as the plan of issuing citizenship rights to the West Pakistani refugees and to damage the Muslim majority character of the state.

Various other separatist leaders see it as the surrender of chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed before the RSS ideology.

Certificates on Sale

fake-certificatesIt happens only in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where any certificate is on sale, no matter where you belong or if you have really qualified any exam. One such issue was unfolded in Leh where during an interview process of class IV employees, conducted by Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development-Subordinate Service Recruitment Board, Leh (LAHD-SSRB), most of the certificates were found fake.

According to reports during these interviews the interviewing committee was shocked to stumble upon a huge number of fake certificates produced by some of the candidates that were affiliated to various boards/institutions of different parts of the country.

District Magistrate, Saugat Biswas who is the Chairman of the LAHD-SSRB, during the course of the interview inspected almost each and every certificate which appeared to be fake through the internet based verification systems of various boards. On questioning, various candidates even agreed to have paid agents for obtaining such certificates.

“Prima-facie it appears that many students who drop out of regular studies approach such well established nexus of touts and agents outside the State and obtain fake certificates of State Boards on hefty payments. We have sent the cases detected during the course of these interviews to the district police for further investigation. We shall, if needed approach the police department of other states to catch hold of such agents with a view to curbing this heinous practice,” said Biswas.

Meanwhile District Magistrate, Leh has alerted general public to refrain from such practices which would land them in serious trouble of imprisonment under the law. He also apprehended that such practice must be on with students of other districts of J&K.

According to a report posted on internet on the topic Educational Frauds in India: Fake Universities, the high rate of unemployment and the exorbitant costs of higher education further fuel the educational fraud rackets, selling forged certificates to the students and job seekers, with the right low on morals and the necessary criminal streak to avail a shortcut to success. It has been found that, not only bogus universities, but also the names of reputed institutes and boards are being used by the forged certificates racket.

Rajnath-Mufti Love

rajnath-muftiFirst the statements come from New Delhi and then the state government has to rectify them. And same happened even this time. First Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, said that state chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has promised to earmark 50 acres of land (400 kanals) as the first instalment for the rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits. And then, Chief Minister Mufti refuted the claims on the floor of assembly that there is no question of providing land for separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits.

These two statements released from the two places by the coalition government has left people thinking that who is right, Singh or Mufti.

While reacting fiercely to Singh’s statement, JKLF chairman Yasin Malik has said that these statements have exposed the double speak of PDP and announced a sit-in against the idea.

All political parties claim that this wed-lock of PDP-BJP is proving to be ‘deadly’ for a common Kashmiri as the state government is hell bent on implementing RSS ‘idea’ in the Muslim majority state.

Meanwhile Er Rasheed and Hakim Yasin have asked Mufti to come clear on the move. And the National Conference party’s spokesperson has said that the Singh’s statement in Lok Sabha has proven beyond any doubt that J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had lied during his speech in the Legislative Assembly while denying that he had promised to allocate land for segregated, composite townships.

The land, supposedly is going to be one of the instalment for the three to four composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.

NC spokesperson also alleged, “CM Mufti went to Modi’s Darbaar in New Delhi while he was lobbying for a Cabinet berth in the Central Government for his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti and during that trip promised the Home Minister that he would allocate land for setting up segregated Composite Townships for Kashmiri Pandits.”

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