Newsmakers

BURNT: Effigies of Shia cleric and Huriyat leader Molvi Abbas Ansari were burnt after Friday prayers at various places in old city by angry mobs shouting slogans against the elections. Moderate Hurriyat has termed polls a non-issue and refused not to call for boycott. “People should take a decision based on the call of their conscience. We will not enforce a decision on them,” he was quoted saying by newspapers.

APPOINTED: Retired IAS officer Feroze Ahmad was appointed Honorary General Secretary of Indian Red Cross Society in J&K, replacing G J Nehvi for a three years term. The 1945 born Feroze retired as state’s sales tax commissioner in April 2006. Prior to the new assignment he was heading Agha Khan Foundation Project for rehabilitation and reconstruction of earthquake victims in J&K.

JOINED: Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s younger brother Ghulam Ali Azad joined BJP. Soon after, his statements justifying Babri Masjid demolition triggered a chain reaction forcing Azad to disown him. He held Mughal King Aurengzeb Aalamgir responsible for the division of Indian Muslims. Though he said he joined BJP because it was a party of principles and an ideology rooted in keeping the nation together, the immediate provocation of touching the extreme is still unknown.
RETRIAL: Delhi police has filed a fresh charge sheet against Ayaz Ahmad Shah, an alleged Hizb-e-Islami militant who was earlier acquitted on January 22 of the charges of waging war against the country and of possessing 3.6 kg explosives. The petition has been admitted for retrial by the CJM Delhi. Shah, a resident of Islamabad, was arrested from a metro station in East Delhi on January 22, 2004 by a Delhi Police’s Special Cell team led by Inspector M C Sharma. Sharma was later killed in the Batla House encounter on September 19, 2008.

DENIED: MEA’s Regional Passport Officer, S Manavian, stated earlier this week that Tatkal passport would not be issued to anyone in J&K except a central or state government employee in emergency cases. Under this category an applicant receives passport within 24 hours if he or she provides any three of the 14 documents approved by the Government of India. However, in case of emergency, including going for medical treatment, study and jobs, the RPO can issue a passport for one year provided proof is given.

RETIRED: Seven year old State Accountability Commission set up to bring accountability in the government system is just an edifice now. It had no leader for a long time and was managed by a single member. Interestingly, the lone member retired last week. The Commission was literally defunct for the past nine months after its last chairman Justice J L Raina and one of its two members attained superannuation as per the Jammu and Kashmir Accountability Commission Act, 2002. There are over 250 complaints pending with the commission, some of them about top politicians. The government is unable to get new members and a leader for the commission because moral code of conduct does not permit it.

PETITIONED: PDP Chairperson Mehbooba Mufti has filed a complaint against Omar Abdullah to the Election Commission of India over a few sentences that he uttered in a Congress campaign meeting in Jammu. Omar was sharing dice with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when he allegedly said that people should press only button No 4 because wires of all other buttons on the EVM have been disconnected.

BURIED: Seven soldiers of 20-Rashtriya Rifles were buried alive after avalanches triggered by snowfall engulfed their bunker near LoC in north Kashmir. Eight others caught in the avalanche were rescued. The soldiers were posted at Barf (snow) post near Sadhna Top – that separates Kashmir valley from Karnah belt – when the avalanche hit them. Seven soldiers including a Major rank officer were killed under snow in November last in Nowshehra Bandipore.

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