Newsmakers

ACQUITTED: After 19 years, the designed court under TADA at Jammu acquitted the persons accused of kidnapping and murdering VC Kashmir University Dr Mushir-ul-Haq, his private secretary Abdul Gani Zargar and General Manager HMT Watch Factory H L Khera for want of sufficient evidence. CBI had investigated the case. The sensational kidnappings took place on April 6, 1990 and their bodies were recovered on April 10. The accused included Abdul Aziz Dar, Ghulam Qadir Mir, Shabir Ahmed Bhat, Mohamad Sadiq Rather, Mustaq Ahmed Khan and Mohd Saleem Zargar (charged under different sections of RPC and sec 3/4 TADA) while proceedings under Section 512 CrPC were initiated against Javed Ahmed Shala, Mushtaq Ahmed Sheikh, Mohamad Ashraf Bhat, Aftab, Hilal Ahmed Sheikh, Rafiq Wani and Mohd Hussain Khan besides Hilal A Beigh who was killed during pendency of the trial.

DISMISSED: TADA court dismissed an application filed by JKLF leader Yasin Malik and his colleagues who had sought transfer of the cases pertaining to kidnapping of Rubiya Sayeed (1989) and killing of air force personnel (1990) to Srinagar. Instituted on November 24, 1990 at Jammu, the cases were shifted in August 1995 to designated court in Ajmer at Rajasthan. Since August 7, 1998 the trial is being held at Jammu. Malik is right now in house arrest after he started his poll boycott campaign from Pulwama.

APPOINTED: Power Commissioner Sandeep K Nayak took over as the new Chairman of Northern Regional Power Committee (NRPC) on rotation basis. The committee set up under the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003 has members drawn from northern states including Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and the union territory of Chandigarh.

ORGANIZED: A 4-day international seminar on energy and climate change in Leh was attended by over 100 experts. Some of them were from Germany, Laos, France, Switzerland, Norway, Nepal, China, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. The emphasis was on adoption of renewable energies to mitigate the crisis that climatic change is triggering. Geres India had organized the academic exercise.

TORTURED: Noted rights activist Gautam Navlakha told a seminar on torture in Baramulla that every Kashmiri is a victim of one or the other form of torture but over 60,000 of them have experienced third degree torture at the hands of armed forces.
Torture, he, said is a potent weapon in the sub-conventional warfare and India has used it in Kashmir.

POLLED: Only 49.68 percent voters participated in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls (Jammu constituency) which is 20 percent less than the participation in assembly elections late last year. In the second phase (Doda-Udhampur), officials put the participation at 45 percent, much less than last year.

PERFORMED: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah performed Umrah. The pilgrimage is important in wake of the earlier reports that Saudi government had not extended him a visa citing his wife as a reason, a news item denied by the government which also came out with a surprise picture of his earlier Umrah.

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