Newsmakers

APPROACHED: A couple of publishers have approached separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for getting the rights to publish his autobiography. The aged and ailing leader is working on his memoir in Delhi. He has reportedly not decided on the publisher yet.

MET: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had a 30-minute meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which the prevailing security situation, infiltration, India Pakistan talks and centre’s support to state on human rights came under discussion. Dr Singh complimented Omar for his swift action against stone pelters as the latter thanked him for the help in identifying the BSF officer responsible for the killing of a teenager.

ARRESTED: Suspended commandant of 68 Bn BSF R K Birdi was formally arrested in the murder of teenager Zahid Farooq Sheikh on February 5. Lakhvinder Kumar, the constable who was earlier handed over by the BSF to police had deposed before the court that killing was ordered by his officer and the statement was corroborated by 14 other border guards.

DENIED:  Shabir Shah currently in Kathua jail under PSA has allegedly been denied medical treatment even though he is unable to pass urine for many days. A diabetic who has been in jail for over 25 years, Shah is facing enlargement of his prostrate distended bladder. Continued denial of medical aid could prove fatal, his family and civil rights activists say.

ISSUED: Another certificate has landed in J&K legislature. This time it has come from Doordarshan in defence of Chief Minister’s political advisor Mubarak Gul. Proprietor of Gulistan Productions, he has been producing programmes for DD for a long time. This time, however, he applied for a contract as a legislator, faced an interview penal of DD as a legislator and got Rs 18 lakh contract (six episodes) in that capacity. DD had mentioned that the producer is political advisor to J&K chief minister. Experts see it a watertight case for disqualification. DD certified that there has not been an agreement and no amount was disbursed so the NC says there is no case.

MOVED: Panthers Party legislator Harsh Dev Singh moved a private members bill seeking abolishing of the upper house. His grounds, among other things, included that many states have saved a lot of money by closing down the legislative councils. This triggered a privilege motion against him in the council by NCs M R Qureshi. In retaliation Singh has threatened to move a counter motion.

DENIED: With Delhi hosting major sports events like Commonwealth Games and Indian Premier League (IPL), the new security order has further complicated the problems of Kashmiris who do not get accommodation. Most problems are being faced by the students and those attending their patients in various hospitals. Possibility of getting space in Kashmir House is bleak as hoards of political activists get a priority.

SELECTED: Kashmiri under-22 cricketer from Bejbehara Parvez Rasool, who was detained by Bangalore police on suspicion of carrying explosives, has been selected for the North Zone team for the forthcoming Deodhar trophy. Parvez was J&K’s highest scorer in Ranji Trophy one-dayers. He scored 275 runs in five matches with 81 as his highest against Punjab.

PLANNED: Kashmir Bar Association is challenging the proviso 549 of the Criminal Procedure Code under which the security forces personnel, involved in criminal cases, get the choice of opting for a trial in a civil court or under court martial. Though in scores of cases charge sheets were filed before the civil courts, the accused got their cases shifted to court martial. Right now the Zahid Farooq case involving  BSF is being  tried in a civil court.

VISITED: JKLF leader M Yasin Malik visited various areas in central Kashmir that were affected by the sectarian clashes. A number of houses were destroyed during the clashes that many think was outcome of the hostility between Ghulam Hassan Mir and Molvi Iftikhar H Ansari. Malik also launched a movement for raising donations to help the Chinkipora locality of Sopore rebuild that was bulldozed in a fierce encounter that consumed two militants and four soldiers.

DETAINED: Police have detained six young men from Baramulla in connection with the “killing” of infant Irfan. They are being tried for murder. Kashmir Bar Association claimed dissatisfaction over “government propaganda” and wants to probe the issue afresh.

LEFT: Cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has taken off for Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. He will be out for a fortnight and will fly to Islamabad later this month for consultations.

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