Newsmakers

ACQUITTED: The Sessions Court Kupwara has acquitted all the four surviving accused in twin murder case of the former state home minister Mushtaq Ahmad Lone and his elder brother Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Lone, killed in 2002 in separate incidents in Kupwara, for want of evidence . Four other accused were killed in different encounters after the case was registered.

FOILED: Police cane-charged state government employees to foil their march to civil secretariat at Jammu, organized to press what the employees union called “agreed demands.” More than a dozen employees were injured in the police action and a few were detained. The detained employees were released later. The employees have also threatened to go on indefinite strike, in case, the state government failed to consider their demands by February 20.

DECEASED: Former chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and chairman of the Prime Minister’s Working Group on Centre-State relations, Justice Sayed Saghir Ahmad, passed away this week. He was 76. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in1995. Justice Saghir retired on June 30, 2000.

ARMING: The forest department is set to provide firearms to the Forest Protection Force (FPF) in the most critical forest sectors of Pir Panchal ranges and Shopian to crack down on timber smuggling. Under the recently unveiled J&K State Forest Policy 2010, the department is procuring new weapons to arm its personnel.

CORDONED:  BJP laid a siege around an apartment in New Delhi, the JKLF Chief Muhammad Yasin Malik was staying in. They were demanding that he be sent back to Kashmir. The siege around the apartment started around 4:30 pm and continued until late in the evening. Malik had led a campaign against BJP’s plan to hoist tricolor at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26.

TOOK OVER: Madhav Lal, a 1977 batch IAS officer of J&K Cadre, took over as chief secretary of the State from S S Kapoor. Before his appointment as Chief Secretary of the State he was in the Union Government as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

BILLED: The state government has issued bills for water usage to the power projects operating in the state under the Water Resources Act 2010. The Act was enforced in Jammu and Kashmir on November 11 last year. The water usage charges for Salal Project have been calculated at Rs 10 crores, Uri project Rs 6.43 crore, Dul Hasti Rs 8.74 crore and for proposed Uri-II Rs 150 crore. The NHPC alone accounts for Rs 37.33 crore

OBJECTED: A controversy has erupted between India and Pakistan, as the latter have raised objections over Jammu and Kashmir government’s project to construct an artificial lake on River Tawi saying that it violates Indus Water Treaty, which binds both the countries over usage of waters in the region. A high-level team from Pakistan is expected to visit Jammu from February 15 to 25 to review the construction work on the first artificial lake.

ADDRESSED: The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq addressed the ‘South Asian Hospitality Meeting’ on the eve of the 59th National Prayer Breakfast in United Nations. He said the world powers including United States have the moral obligation to respond to the peaceful resistance initiated by the people of Kashmir.

DISMISSED: The authorities have dismissed two teachers for their alleged involvement in stone pelting during 2010 summer unrest. Naseer Ahmed Wani son of Ghulam Ahmed and Syed Mohsin Habib son of Habibullah both residents of Soibugh Budgam were arrested on charges of stone pelting on September 13, 2010 and a FIR No. 403/210 was registered against them. They remained in police custody for two weeks. A local court released them on bail on October 1.

VISITED: Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, arrived in the winter capital on two-day-long visit to Jammu region to take stock of the security situation and political developments in the state.

ZERO BRIDGE: A film shot entirely in Kashmir, will make its U.S. theatrical debut on 16th February in New York at Film Forum. Directed by U.S.-born Kashmiri Tariq Tapa, the film was nominated for Independent Spirit and Gotham awards and has played to great acclaim at numerous world festivals, including Venice and Karlovy Vary.

CHILD LABOUR: There are around 2,40,000 child labourers in J&K, a study has revealed. These revelations were made by Dr Fayaz Ahmad Nika in his book “Child Labour in Jammu and Kashmir’. Nika, who is head of department Commerce and Management, Degree College Sopore also said there had also not been a single study carried by the State to know the exact details about the number of child labourers in Valley.

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