Newsmakers

RECOVERED: After 10 days the corpse of Biscoe student Shakir Bhat was fished out by a bus driver and his conductor near Hassan yaar bridge of Habba Kadal. River police and other divers could not detect it in over a week long operation.

REGISTERED: Police registered a case against unidentified soldiers for allegedly entering three Leh hotels during a night recently and harassing tourists, including foreigners. Denying the harassment charges, army claimed they followed inputs that militants were planning to disrupt the tourism in the area, a statement police vehemently rejected.

APPOINTED:
Secretary state Board of School Education Sheikh Bashir Ahmad was elevated to the position of its Chairman. This has ended a long crisis of Board being headless. Bashir headed Board’s academics wing earlier.

DIRECTED:
High Court has directed all the Principal District and Sessions Judges to file jail reports of their concerned districts within a week. Mr Justices Hakeem Imtiyaz Hussain and Sunil Hali ordered on basis of a PIL that Kashmir Bar Association filed that accuses jail authorities of not producing detainees before state constituted advisory boards for hearing.

APPOINTED:
Gastroenterologist Showkat Ali Zargar was appointed Director of SKIMS. The post fell vacant following the superannuation of Dr Abdul Hameed Zargar on April 30. Showkat was heading Gastroenterology since 1998.

ELECTED: Zahoor Ahmad Bhat was elected as president Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir for a three year term. An engineering graduate, Zahoor runs a wood based industrial unit at Shalteng. He was FCIK’s Senior Vice President.

CONVICTED: Special Judge Anti-Corruption (Srinagar) convicted ex Executive Engineer PDD Ghulam Ali Dar in a disproportionate assets case. He was awarded rigorous imprisonment of two years and imposed a fine of Rs 6 lakh besides his confiscation of his assets. After being taken into custody, he was bailed out by the High Court.

OBSERVED: Shopian observed a shutdown for two days to mark the second anniversary of mysterious deaths of Asiya and Neelofar. The town protested for 47-days and later CBI enquiry said the two had drowned, a finding that the family and the town rejected. The government had placed under suspension the doctors Dr Nighat Shaheen and Dr Bilal Ahmad which was quashed by the court last week.

RECOVERED: Tax man carried out simultaneous raids in over 20 premises of the Ind Swift Group in Jammu, Punjab and Himachal following which the Group surrendered Rs 55 crore undisclosed income. It has been the highest ever surrender in recent years.
VISITED: Rajasthan sent a six-member team to Srinagar to “learn about the conservation measures of Dal Lake.” Their feedback would be incorporated in restoration of five lakes and preparation of the Detailed Project Reports for conservation of 12 other water bodies in the desert-state.

ORDERED: Trial court directed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing Tufail Matto case to intensify efforts to solve the murder mystery that triggered summer unrest in 2010. Police has submitted to the court that police had not issued tear-smoke shell to any of its cops that day but that has not convinced the CJM Yaspal Bourney.

OBSERVED: High Court has held that the detention order issued by a District Magistrate under Public Safety Act is valid only for twelve days. Any extension in detention needs government sanction, it maintained. Meanwhile Kashmir Bar Association has challenging certain provisions of PSA.

ENGAGED: Wipro Infotech was selected by JKPDD as its IT implementation agency under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP). The programme is aimed at reducing aggregate technical and commercial losses in power distribution and management across state utilities. Wipro will establish a data centre, a disaster recovery centre, a customer care centre as well as implement an integrated solution for rollout across the state.

SLEPT: The highly secured Chief Minister Omar Abdullah spent a night under a majestic chinar in Pahalgam’s Aru Valley. This was reportedly aimed at conveying that Kashmir is safe.

FELICITATED: Governor Governor N N Vohra felicitated 12 J&K youths who cracked the all-India civil services exam in 2011. Candidates selected are Abid Hussain Sadiq, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Gulzar Ahmed Wani, Sarvjeet Soodan, Vimarsh, Mohammad Aijaz, Bhupinder Kumar, Ovessa Iqbal and Sameer Sharma while Tsewang Gyalson, Sandeep Kumar and Krishan Kumar have been selected for Indian Forest Services.

M A ROAD: The Research and Reference library of the Information Department suffered damage to part of its old newspaper records as a government press building was gutted in a mysterious fire. The library, one of the last remaining sources of history, shares the building with a section of the printing press. This is the third such incident in which the fire started from the press building that damaged the library. While the recurrent fires emanating from the sales counter of the press would be a challenging task for the sleuths, the trend must encourage the information department to create a separate building with proper fire fighting mechanism to house the records. Information department has already lost a treasure trove when its directorate building was set afire in wake of a Fidayeen attack that destroyed the precious film unit housing rare motion prints of 1947and 1965. While the building has been reconstructed this year, the history is already lost.

BEJBEHARA: Police arrested one of its officers for his alleged involvement in the hit and run case in Bijbehara. SHO Pahalgham, Tariq Ahmad Tak who prima facie involved in hitting to death a  pedestrian, Gulzar Ahmad Ganai when the former was driving his Santro near. Thijwara on Bijbehara-Pahalgam road. After hitting the person to death, he had fled from the spot and a woman and some nomads who witnessed the incident pleading Tak to take the old man to the hospital. The women in fact snatched the keys of the car but Tak somehow got it back and fled. It was only after the protests broke out that Tak was arrested by police. A case was registered against him.

RS PORA:
After doing his MBA in Derbyshire in UK, Gurmeet Singh Bajwa decided to contest the polls for Kaloen Panchayat. At the age of 28 he became perhaps the youngest Sarpanch in the state for the Kang belt of R S Pora located on the International Border. The young Sikh belongs to one of the most affluent and influential families of the region. His father is Trilok Singh Bajwa, a PDP leader and a former Rajya Sabha member. Though his father contested 2008 polls he lost. Post election he had identified the issue he has to fight and corruption is on top of it. He says almost 90 percent of the landlords living in his belt have registered themselves as those belonging to BPL and he is determined to reverse it.

HANDWARA: Tahir Ahmad Mir, Sarpanch of halqa Sheikhpora-Haril was thrashed by Farooq Ahmad Mir Assistant Commissioner Handwara leading a delegation of students from Mawar seeking adequate bus service. The delegation protested and as the news reached chief minister, Farooq was transferred. This triggered favourable commentary to Omar for standing for an elected person rather than a bureaucrat.

GANDERBAL: Competition in the banking sector is getting tough. HDFC bank that operates 18 branches across Kashmir is adding 21 more in its expansion plans. It managed taking chief minister to his home constituency for inaugurating the first of its new branches. Expanding the network may be a positive sign for increasing competition and adjusting professionals, but J&K still gets less than one percent of the all-India credit. HDFC that had Rs 418 crores of mostly low cost deposits in its vault at the end of last fiscal has only an exposure of Rs 118 crores to the J&K market making it one of the lowest CD ratio banks in the state. Part of the exposure is exchange of the gold mortgaging that has literally filled its vaults.

PUL DODA: They were classmates pursuing B Ed. Rahida Bano (22) was on the way from Kishtwar to Jammu. Najab Din was returning from Jammu to Kishtwar. Both met at Pul Doda when their buses stopped for a brief halt and decided to have tea. Within minutes, an SPO from the police post came and started questioning them. He was desperate to know why they were taking tea together. It created a scene making in-charge of the post ASI to rush to the spot with a police party. The two were humiliated and Din was beaten. Bano was threatened that they will be telling her father about her ‘activities’. From the premises of the police post, she rang up her father and told him the entire story. After switching her phone off, she rushed out of the post and jumped into the river. Her body is yet to be recovered. Protests forced police to detain the SPO and ASI Mumtaz Hussain. Last year, two Hindu girls in Padder belt, also allegedly committed suicide after police harassed them. A magisterial enquiry has been ordered.

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