RULED OUT: The GOC 15 Corps, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain ruled out any reduction of troops in Kashmir saying training camps were operational in Pakistan administered Kashmir and that 600 to 700 militants were waiting to infiltrate into the valley.
ARRESTED: Police arrested another official in fake gun license racket taking the number of people arrested in the case to 10. Meanwhile, police investigations have found involvement of two retired senior officers – a deputy commissioner and a retired assistant commissioner – in the scam.
Dismissed: A Jammu court dismissed the suit filed by Anara Gupta, former Miss Jammu, for arresting her and keeping her in illegal confinement for a period of 11 days and subjecting her to severe physical as well as mental torture before formally arresting her in the fake porn CD case. She had claimed Rs 2 crore damages.
SUSPENFDED: The cross LoC Traders Association at Chakkan-Da-Bagh decided to suspend trade for another four weeks alleging harassment by the commercial taxes department. The trade remained suspended for the past six weeks after state government levied tax on it.
CHAMPAIGNED: Amnesty International has urged the state government to release 17-year-old Murtaza Manzoor, booked under public safety act. Police arrested him on January 21 in Srinagar charging him with attempted murder, assault and rioting in June 2010. Police has termed him a “incorrigible antisocial element” who was leading a protest march that resulted in protestors pelting police with stones.
STRIKE: All major developmental works in Kashmir have come to a standstill as 60,000 contractors across the valley are on strike from the April 10, against alleged funds diversion to Jammu and ‘systematic discrimination’ of Kashmir.
PLANNED: Jammu and Kashmir government will set up a Heritage Development Authority (HDA) to protect and promote the state’s rich legacy with a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore.
Repatriated: More than 320 state government employees, who were attached with various health department offices in the district headquarters for years, have been asked to join their original place of posting. These employees, including doctors, pharmacists, departmental technicians, nurses, who were posted at far-flung areas of the state had allegedly got themselves attached with the various health departments in Jammu and other district headquarters for years.
SANCTIONED: The central government has sanctioned Rs 70 crore to expand and upgrade Jammu airport to increase its landing surface and passenger-holding capacity from 200 to 700.
STARTED: Wild Life department in collaboration with some experts, has started a survey to ascertain the population and study the habitat of the largest wild goat, Markhor, in J&K. Known for its thick fur, flowing beard and corkscrew horns, Markhor with global population estimated at 2500, has a limited geographical distribution in the moist to semi-arid mountain tracts of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. In J&K, Markhor’s population is estimated to be between 250-300.
APPROVED: The government has approved the construction of a new state-of-art legislative complex at Jammu at a cost of more than Rs 100 crore. The work on the project is expected to start in June.
RECOVERED: The State Financial Corporation has recovered Rs 35 crore during the last two years notwithstanding the long spell of unrest in 2010. The SFC will provide loans to the tune of Rs 100 crore to entrepreneurs during the current financial year.
ARRESTED: Police arrested two persons at Poonch, including a government teacher allegedly involved in extortion of money from unemployed youth promising them the jobs in police and other departments. An amount of Rs 1.81 lakh was recovered from them.
VESU: Throughout, separatist Syed Ali Geelani is opposed to the idea of security zones to Kashmiri Pandits willing to return home 20 years after they migrated. But this time he went to a south Kashmir village to reiterate the same. When Pandits showered flower petals on him it fetched the old hawk a good photo in print after a very long time. The gesture was appreciated by various quarters, some of them actually going publicly with it.
At the same time, however, there was scathing criticism. A group of Pandits termed the visit a farce and accused him of pleasing Delhi and state government. But what was particularly objected to was his statement that he will offer protection to them if they return and live like they were living prior to 1990. A newspaper reported that he did promise them protection but is he in a position to ensure it when there are many players on ground.
KARPORA: Hasin Begum was contesting for the non-party panchayat polls as a PDP nominee. A resident of Karpora hamlet that falls in Pakhrepora belt, she was mowed down by unidentified militants on the eve of second phase of the 16-phase exercise. Her family said heavily armed men barged into their house and allegedly expressed their displeasure over Begum’s participation in polls. They took her out and shot her dead. PDP leaders visited her home but chief minister said her participation in polls was not linked (by then) to her murder. Barring a few villages surrounding Karpora, however, the murder lacked an impact ob the polling. In both the phases that followed her assassination, the poll participation was well over sixty percent.
QAZIGUND: Indian railways must celebrate. As they are getting the rail to Kashmir, they are creating records. The last record that must be a global one is that their train in Kashmir runs on its own without a driver. The runaway train that people now dub a ghost train actually travelled more than 35 kms till it stops – partly by efforts of the staff and partly because of the steep gradient it failed to approach. Five staffers were placed under suspension as a departmental enquiry is on. The Diesel Multiple Unit was parked at Qazigund and somehow it started around 1.45 am. Given sloppy gradient it picked a speed of 80 kmph. It was a policeman who noticed the train moving and flashed the message. By the time, the staff started working the train crossed Bejbehara and was finally stopped Panzgam. Once stopped, the security men encircled it. They thought the train was hijacked by militants. It was searched and finally driven back. Whatever happens in the enquiry that is going on, the railways have created a record in Kashmir. The runaway train is credited for creating rarest of a rare incident – driving too fast for a long distance and being stopped without any damage!
GUJARNAGAR: A police inspector Anita Chopra was caught on police-managed CCTV accepting bribe from a minibus driver who had violated the traffic rules was placed under suspension. This apparently in the first case in J&K in which the police used its available technology to nab its own official. She was caught taking bribe on Jammu’s Gujjar Tawi bridge.
CHANDERKOTE : It is a major setback. The 450-MW Baglihar that is the flagship power project of the state owned PDC has one of its three units stopped working. The unit No 2 producing 36 lakh units if energy every 24 hours stopped working during the intervening night of April 16 and 17. The snag has not been identified as the NHPC that is overlooking the operations and maintenance of the project is waiting for PDCs German suppliers M/s Voith Siemens to fly from abroad. Tragically the snag has come at a time when the Chenab was flowing at its best in the season given the torrential rains across the state. Nobody knows how much time the snag will take to repair the unit. State is bleeding because half of the generations go for debt servicing and half are consuming within the state. Loss of one-third of the generations is a real huge crisis that the project is facing.
BALACHAK : When the results were announced in Balachak in the premesis of the Arnia primary school and Kulbir Singh was declared successful, a gun rattled. As many as five bullets were fired in air to celebrate the victory. Sudershan Singh who had lost the election actually fled the spot. Police registered a case and two persons including a police inspector were booked for the crime that took place near Palesara. It was Gurnam Singh, a inspector in crime record bureau who had fired five bullet from his service. Interestingly, Jagtar Singh – another fan of the winner, had fired from his 12 bore rifle.