SELECTED: Prominent businessman Nazir A Dar was elected the president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce. He replaced outspoken trade leader Dr Mubeen Shah who had the longest term on the post. Dar’s team for his year long term include senior vice president Abdul Hamid Punjabi, junior VP Nazir Ahmad Wani, Secretary General Nasir Hamid Khan, Joint Secretary General Dr Mukhtar A Wani and treasurer Mushtaq Ahmed Wani.
SOUGHT: Over 3700 employees of loss-making State Road Transport Corporation are seeking Voluntarily Retirement Scheme (VRS). Not paid for many months, the employees on strike for the last 37 days have had many clashes with the law enforcement agencies. The corporation that the successive regimes converted into a dumping ground for new recruits is in red to the tune of Rs 389.21 crore as on March last.
APPOINTED: Lt Gen B S Jaswal took over as General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) of Northern Command. A third generation soldier, Jaswal was commissioned into 3 JAK Rifles in December 1970. He has served in different capacities the insurgency-belts of J&K and North East. Creating a “conducive atmosphere” in J&K and curtailing infiltrations are his immediate priorities.
ELEVATED: Additional Judges Justices J P Singh and Mohammad Yaqoob Mir were elevated as Permanent Judges of J&K High Court. They were administrated oath of office by Chief Justice Barin Ghosh last week. With their elevation the strength of the Permanent Judges including Chief Justice has gone to seven. The sanctioned strength of J&K High Court is 14 and five posts of Judges are still lying vacant.
APPOINTED: Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has appointed Saudi official Abdullah bin Adbul Rahman al Bakr its special envoy on J&K. The appointment came in OIC’s Kashmir Contact Group’s UN meeting last week that was attended by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq as well. Though Bakr has said he would start work at the earliest by visiting both parts of Kashmir, but observers see it impossible as earlier OIC envoys could never visit Srinagar. Mirwaiz had suggested the OIC to send a peace mission to Kashmir.
REUNITED: A Rajasthani labourer’s disclosure about the presence of a Kashmiri women in a Dhaulpur temple led to the tracing of a women missing for 18 years. Her family drove to the Khatanpur village to find her being worshipped by people as Champa Devi. She was brought back home where she identified her two sons, one of whom was barely nine months when she went missing. Script for a great film, she is speaking a strange language that nobody understands. Family believes her husband Sakhi Mir a driver was involved in throwing her away and police is yet to reopen the case that was shut as Hafeeza was presumed to have drowned.
AXED: A Lashkar militant leader who barged into a Gujjar’s house in Rajouri’s Sharda Sharief and beat the inmates was axed to death by their daughter Rukhsana. Along with her brother, she snatched two rifles from the group and later handed them over to police. Two months back, Rukhsana and her aunt survived an abduction bid, a case that police hushed up. But nobody is in a position to say if the raid on her home and the earlier bid to abduct her are linked. Gujjars have projected her as a brave-heart and are seeking her national recognition. Police have offered her a SPO position and the prize money that the slain militant was carrying on his head.
ANNOUNCED: Former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who is currently India’s Health Minister announced setting up of a Unani hospital in Kashmir. He spent five days mixing golfing with business after a very long time. He said the J&K should get benefited under Rs. 630 crores National Mission for medicinal plants that would be spent during eleventh plan period. Azad’s Srinagar sojourn marks his peacemaking with chief minister Omar Abdullah. The latter, according to secretariat grapevine, had requested the central government to stop him from meddling in state government affairs as a result of which Azad did not visit his home state.
THRASHED: Erstwhile historian and activist writer Shaban Qayoom was beaten in the middle of a press conference by activists of JKLF and Awami Action Committee. They accused him of mud-slinging the leaders of the two organizations for their marriages. He said he is scared for his life. After he and his son were beaten. Police registered a case and made some arrests as well.