Newsmakers

REOPENED: Sopore’s Jamia Masjid Qadeem was opened for the first time in last 18 years for Isha prayers. Since the security men occupied several residential houses adjacent to the mosque in 1991, late evening prayers were halted. On Tuesday, the CRPF left the premises and dismantled its bunkers paving way for the Isha prayers.

GRANTED: New Delhi has issued visa to JKLF leader M Yaseen Malik’s spouse, Mishal Malik. After the newly wed couple arrives in Srinagar early next month, a formal function will be held in Srinagar. Mishal is a painter and belongs to one of influential families in Pakistan.

HONOURED: Tabassum Wani, a young law graduate from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, Hyderabad, has bagged the Nani A Palikiwala Memorial Gold Medal for securing first position in Comparative Constitutional studies. A resident of Baramulla, she had her primary education from Hanafia School in Ushkara. She later joined St. Joseph’s Convent, Varmul, and graduated in Science from the Kashmir University.

DECLINED: J&K government declined to constitute a commission to find out the whereabouts of the missing persons. The decision came in response to a question by communist lawmaker M Y Tarigami about the number of persons of different age groups who had gone missing since 1990.

REVIVED: A decade after the Kargil war, it was the widow of Lalit Suri, Jyotsna Suri, who revived polo in Drass by organizing a match of the local team with the Lalit team. The game was hosted by the Lalit Suri hospitality group with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his team specially flying to grace the occasion. Lalit team that bagged the cup was led by international player J Shergill. The match took place in Viswanathan Stadium. Jyotsna Suri said the event would not be a one time affair. She assured the people that her Group would develop polo grounds in the area and provide local polo club with full equipment.

WITHDRAWN: On the request of Panthers lawmaker Harshdev Singh, Speaker M Akber Lone withdrew his earlier direction of initiating contempt of the house proceedings against PDP president Mehbooba Mufti. The speaker had earlier decided to initiate contempt proceedings against PDP president for alleging the speaker to favour National Conference legislators during discussions.

QUESTIONED: Former Deputy Chief Minister, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, questioned the applicability of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K. Beigh said that the act was not extended after it expired. He said the disturbed area act is being implemented in violation of the apex court directions suggesting six-monthly reviews.  

DEMANDED: J&K government has sent an SOS to New Delhi seeking additional monthly allocation of 15,000 tonnes of rice and 5,000 tonnes of wheat for the next three months. The move is intended to tide over the “drought-like” situation in the state.

REPLACED: An Indian Reserve Police (IRP) from Haryana is being inducted in Kathua to replace a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion. It is undergoing “pre-induction” training, including lessons on human rights, to adapt to the conditions in J&K. It comprises 800 personnel. The replacement is part of the plan to send at least 23 battalions of paramilitary forces to fight naxals. These includes 16 battalions of the CRPF — 10 from Kashmir valley and six from other areas in Jammu – five of Border Security Force (BSF) and two of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

CANCELLED: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah cancelled his Shopian visit after residents resorted to protests and later enforced a ‘civil curfew’ last week. He was supposed to inaugurate an army-repaired stadium located at the stone’s throw from the spot where one of the two corpses of the women was recovered.
Had it not been cancelled, it would have been Omar’s maiden visit to the apple town after May 30 agitation started.

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