Newsmakers

DECIDED: The government has decided to impose Public Safety Act (PSA) against the land grabbers if they do not vacate the encroached state lands. The government asked the Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners to identify the land grabbers and take stern action against them besides warning the officials against patronising and officially supporting the land grabbers.

ANNOUNCED: Union home secretary GK Pillai announced that Government will pull out 10000 paramilitary personnel from Jammu and Kashmir this year saying that there are more than adequate forces in Kashmir and it (Kashmir) can do with less central forces.

ARRESTED: Islamic Students League chairman Shakeel Ahmad Bakshi was arrested from his office in Batamaloo locality in Srinagar. Bakshi was arrested for a case registered against him in 2009 under the Unlawful Activities Act, police said. Earlier this month, police arrested chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League Mushtaq-ul-Islam from his residence in the same locality.

AWARDED: Syed Basharat, Special correspondent Kashmir Times, received the “Pradeep Shinde Excellence in Journalism Award” instituted by Press Club Mumbai. Basharat won the award for crime story of the year category for his story about crimes against women in Kashmir.

HOPES: The Union home ministry has said that amendments to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) are still on the table and hoped the committee of the Unified Headquarters in the state (J&K) declares some areas in the state as “not disturbed” to make the controversial law redundant in those parts.

FILED: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) filed its final chargesheet in a special court in Kochi against 24 accused, including a Pakistan national, in a case relating to alleged enrolment of several youths from Kerala for carrying out “anti-national activities” in J&K. So far 10 accused have been arrested, while four youth were allegedly killed in encounters in 2008 and the rest are absconding.

IMPOSSIBLE: Replication of West Asia-type unrest in Kashmir, North-East or Maoist-controlled areas was not possible, Prime minister Manmohan Singh believes. “Whatever happens in the Gulf or in West Asia including the countries mentioned (Egypt) is a matter of concern to us…No (replication of such events is not possible in India), because India is a functioning democracy,” Singh said.

PREPARED: The state government has made full preparations to defend the Tawi barrage project (first-ever artificial lake in J&K) before the Pakistani experts arriving in Jammu to assess the design of the proposed project. The project with twin purposes of augmentation of the irrigation network in Jammu and adding to the attraction of the temple city, was mired in controversy after Pakistan raised objections claiming that it violated Indus Water Treaty.

APPROVED: The Government of India has approved third party monitoring of the multi-crore Dal conservation project, which has been marred by extensive pollution and encroachment. Officials said that in the backdrop of allegations of slow works and corruption, the state government had requisitioned the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to undertake third party monitoring of the project.

INAUGURATED: The Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) established by J&K Bank in district Baramulla was made operational with a two weeks’ training programme on Entrepreneurship Development. Prospective entrepreneurs in the age group of 18 to 40 with qualifications ranging from 8th pass to post graduate or professional degrees shall receive training in different programmes of 30 to 180 days duration.  

KILLED: Three children were killed and a woman seriously injured when a shell the children had allegedly brought home from a nearby house in their Maloora village on outskirts of Srinagar, exploded. An encounter had taken place in the village between militants and troopers few months ago. People allege that police had not cleared the area of explosive substances after the encounter.

REVIVED: The government has restarted age-old trekking  route popularly known as Chaddar trek on frozen Zanskar River in mountainous Ladakh. While trekking is usually a summer activity, freezing of the Zanskar River facilitates a unique experience to trek on the frozen water body. The government has declared 2011 as Adventure Tourism Year to attract tourists to the State with special focus on Ladakh.

HOSTILE: Two more witnesses, including a woman Special Police Officer, turned hostile in the trial in the 2006 Jammu and Kashmir sex scandal, taking to four the number of such witnesses. Counsel for the prosecution and defence said that two witnesses, both females, turned hostile in the case.

PLANNING: The Government of India is planning to hold seminars in remote areas of the J&K with a team of 100 officers of the Centre along with state government officers listening to the problems of local Kashmiris.

DANCED: Wife of chief minister Omar Abdullah, Payal, joined dancers gyrating to the tunes of a Kashmiri song at Police-Public Mela in Jammu,drawing cheers from the audiences which included her husband.

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