News Notes

Troubled SOUTH

 Pulwama-attack-on-forcesIn south Kashmir’s Pulwama district a party of Special Operation Group (SOG) raided a house in the dead of a night and thrashed whole family including their pregnant daughter, who is expecting her baby next month.

An elderly woman, Raja Begum wife of PDD employee Muhammad Ramzan Teli from Batapora, Wanpora told a local news agency that a SOG party from Budgam headed by Dy SP Operations barged into their house during day time and started enquiring about her husband and son Parvez Ahmed. That time the party left but returned at night.

Raja informed the party that her husband is on night duty but she alleged that they pounced upon her son and when the mother and her daughters tried to save Javaid, they started beating the whole family with gun-butts. “Blood oozed out from my 27 year old daughter Fehmeeda Banoo and they also beat my other daughter Arbee Jan to pulp who is expecting a baby next month.”

Since then the family says they are feeling insecure and can’t get it out of their minds how the SOG men reigned terror on them.

Raja says that one of their relative, Bilal Molvi, a resident of Lelhar Pulwama, was a militant who was killed in an encounter few months back. When Bilal was alive, the family says government forces used to raid their house to seek his whereabouts but they never harassed them. This was for the first time when the family was treated like cattle and even their daughters were interrogated.

The family further informed that they approached SSP Pulwama Tejinder Singh who has assured action into the matter. SSP Pulwama while confirming the incident said that he has taken up the issue with higher authorities and investigation is going on.

While Samboora, Pampore remained shut for the forth day against the alleged vandalization of cemetery signboard at the hands of men in uniform. As per a local news agency, on August 14 some youth had allegedly unfurled Pakistani flags over the top of cemetery sign board. The cops according to locals appeared during the dead of the night and vandalized the signboard of the grave yard.

Flagging ISIS

ISIL-flag-in-Srinagar-KashmirIn order to track down alleged “supporters” of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Kashmir valley, security agencies, reports say, have launched an extensive search to identify the source of banners and flags of militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that have appeared at three different rallies in the state in the last two months.

“Although we aren’t yet clear who is behind it, we are concerned about where these are originating from and how these banners and flags have reached J&K,” a New-Delhi based television channel quoted a senior official at the Ministry of Home Affairs as saying.

Security agencies are understood to have drawn up a list of about 50 possible suspects. “We are still in the process of verifying their antecedents,” the official added.

According to intelligence sources, first reported sighting of ISIS flags and banners in Kashmir was on June 27. This was followed by two more incidents on the day of Eid.

Seen by many as a “to vent anger against India,” commentators and analysts believe that “it is an expression of anger and suppression by Kashmir.”

“That is why they sometimes take cover of ISIS flags,” they said adding “recently, people especially youth hold powerful rallies against Israeli aggression in Gaza, but shouted anti-India slogans as well.”

Denied LEAVE

Jammu-and-Kashmir-PoliceAlleging “regional discrimination” by police authorities on granting leave to young police recruits, around 200 policemen from Kashmir Division went on “hunger strike” on Thursday morning after they were allegedly denied vacation by authorities at a training institute in Udhampur district.

Around 700 policemen including Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Head Constables and Selection Grade Constables were at SKPA Training Institute where they had undergone departmental training in June, this year, official sources said.

“Earlier this month, all the policemen belonging to Jammu province including Rajouri, Poonch, Doda and Reasi districts were granted five day break and they went to their homes,” they said.

However, they alleged, the higher authorities didn’t grant leave to the policemen who hail from Kashmir. “Since August 09, authorities in the training center are dilly-dallying the vacations,” they alleged, adding it is a ‘clear regional discrimination’.

Taking note of the strike, a day after, senior police officials rushed to the spot and assured the agitating cops that the matter will be solved after which they called off their strike.

“Today, a senior police official visited us and assured that in next two days you people would be granted vacation,” a cop told a local news agency over phone, adding: “he told us to break the fast and later we called off the hunger strike.”

Pahalgam’s Plight

Once again the famed tourist resort Pahalgam is in news but for all the wrong reasons. Reports have emerged from Pahalgam that illegal constructions is going on in full swing in dense forests right under the nose of authorities.

This time a case was reported from the dense forests of Srechan in the peripheries of Pahalgam downstream Lidder River.

As per a local daily, one Nisar Ahmad Naik, who recently retired as Personal Assistant (PA) to Director Urban Local Bodies has build a 3-storey hotel in Srechan forest zone. The construction has been going on for last two years but so far no official from the forest department and Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) has stopped the ongoing construction as they claim the said person has NOC from forest department.

The hotel is said to be situated on the hillock which has around 60 rooms and a basement as well. As per official sources hundreds of pine trees have been cut to make way for the illegal construction.

Locals allege that the so-called demolition drive that is going on in the area is selective one as the people who are in the good books of the officials easily save their structures.

The High court has already imposed a blanket ban on constructions in Pahalgam till framing of new Master Plan following the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Peoples Welfare Pahalgam.

Later on the recommendations of Environment Assessment Committee (EAC) the court also ordered the government to notify the scenic spots in the vicinities of Pahlagam.

Following this in May, 2013 at least 11 adjacent villages located down steam Lidder river in Pahalgam that includes Batakoot,  Gujrani Batkoot, Yannar, Mawoora, Srechan, Ganeshpora,  Aamad Zoo, Veersaran, Jaibal, Puchward were bought under the ambit of PDA after which all sort of constructions stand banned there too.

Meanwhile the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PDA, M Y Bhat, has maintained that the hotel was constructed before Srechan came into the ambit of the PDA.

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