Newsmakers

LISTED: Kashmir has been listed as the “largest militarized territorial dispute” of the planet by the Guinness world book of records. The record book has used the CIA world fact book to arrive at that conclusion. “According to the CIA fact book, the dispute between China, India and Pakistan for Kashmir region is the largest and most militarised dispute. India also refuses to accept Pakistan’s ceding of Kashmir lands to China in 1964 and recently claimed that China transferred nuclear weapons to Pakistan,” the book says at page 137. The book, a global reference, is a yearly publication from UK. “At any time, up to one million troops confront each other across the LoC that represents India and Pakistan administered Kashmir,” the book says.

APPLIED: As many as eleven individuals have applied for the ferry services on the Baglihar upstream lake as the administrations in Doda and Ramban districts have started identification of jetty points on the banks of lake and framed committees to test boating skills of the applicants before issuing licences. Seven applicants have applied in Doda and four in Ramban. Tourism department is also keen to start water sports activities on the upstream lake as well as downstream river. Ferry is an option for the state government to have alternative access to Doda and Ramban that otherwise face critical surface communication problems.

EXHUMED: Authorities have exhumed the corpse of a teenage girl from Arwani village in south Kashmir after residents alleged it was not a case of suicide. Rounak Shafi allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from ceiling fan inside her house at Arwani in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district on May 6

POLLED: Almost 42 per cent of over 1.2 million electorate cast their votes in Baramulla and Ladakh Parliamentary constituencies in the last phase of polls. The process of polls is over. Experts suggest that compared to assembly elections 21 percent of the 33 lakh Kashmir voters gave Lok Sabha polls a miss. More than 40 percent of the 46 assembly segments witnessed a massive drop of 50 per cent or more in the voter turnout in the five phases.

ORDERED: Government ordered probe into the murder of a young girl in remote Suroo forests of Kishtwar. Police had said she died in cross fire but local people were unconvinced. Off late, as many as three young women were killed in Doda and in most of the cases the police dubbed them militants, a claim not substantiated later.

RECONSTITUTED: State government has reconstituted the committee tasked to frame policy on trans-LoC trade. To be headed by economic advisor Jalil Ahmed Khan, it will recommend the trade policy and the future road map for enhanced trade activities.

STRENGTHENED: State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) is being fully strengthened. Its chairman K B Pillai is superannuating on May 21 and the government apart from appointing a new boss, will fill vacancies of two members. The decision is likely on May 11.

MURDERED: A militant gunned down a woman’s husband, and his parents in Bandara in Gulabgarh hamlet of Reasi. The killer, whom police identified as Ishfaq Ahmed had a crush on the woman. The Hizb ul Mujahideen militant, according to police, had sought her hand from her widower mother which was refused. In retaliation, he threatened anyone against marrying her. The family that went against the “advisory” lost three members.

RESTORED: Punjab government restored water supply to the Kashmir canal (in Kathua) and Ravi-Tawi link canal. Punjab’s Irrigation and the Thein dam authorities had stopped water on May 2. Thein dam officials had said that they require at least 4200 cusecs of water for running a turbine for which they stopped water to maintaining pondage level.

ORDERED: The government ordered enquiry into Karnaila Chak incident where Gujjars and police personnel clashed last week. Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr Pawan Kotwal will make enquiry and submit his findings within a week. Police was vacating 10 hectors of land that 40-Gujjars families had occupied at Karnaila Chak. They set afire to nearly 40 ‘kullahs’.

RESTRICTIONS: Authorities lifted restrictions on movement of several separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik. However, Syed Ali Shah Geelani continued to remain under house arrest. The separatists were put under house arrest on April 23 in wake of their anti-poll campaigns. While Mirwaiz is planning a huge poll rejection rally this month, Geelani has announced to hold a major congregation in June.

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