Recap of The Week

PETITIONED: State president of Samajwadi Party, Sheikh Abdul Rehman filed (March 13) a Public Interest Litigations (PILs) before the high court challenging 29th Constitutional Amendment of 2002. The petition said the state government did not abide by ban on delimitation ordered by the federal government in 1976 for 25 years as in 1987 it increased assembly seats from 100 to 111. However, in 2002 the state government freezed any future delimitation. “It is surprising that our state didn’t accept the original amendment of 1976 but followed the extension of the same which is legally not permissible,” a senior lawyer pleading the case said. “This action on the part of state government has not only created regional but also intra-region imbalances which need to be addressed at the earliest”. The PIL seeks quashing of proviso-II to Sub-Section 3 of Section 47 of the state constitution, inserted by virtue of Constitution of J&K (29th Amendment) Act of 2002 for being violative of fundamental rights of the citizen of the state.

Within days after he was set free from Central Jail, National Front chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan was arrested near Pattan (March 13). He was on way to Baramulla to speak to a Friday gathering. Khan was detained last year before the assembly elections and was released early March.

RESUMED: After suspension for a week, once-a-week traffic resumed (March 12) on trans-LoC Jhelum Valley Road (JVR). On March 05, the bus could not operate on Islamabad’s request. Last Thursday 53 passengers crossed the bridge. There are five trans-LoC routes across J&K but only three are functional. Early March the government informed the state legislature that so far 2603 persons were granted permits to travel on the Poonch-Rawlakot road as 3410 persons crossed over using the JVR. Right now, there were 1277 applications pending with the passport officers at Jammu and Srinagar besides 4923 applications with the authorities in PaK.

CELEBRATED: Kashmir’s second largest English daily newspaper Rising Kashmir completed its first year of publication (March 11). It organized a meeting of its staff and the business community in which the hard working staffers were rewarded.
ANNOUNCED: Election Commission of India announced (March 10) schedule for by-election to three seats – Hazratbal, Sonawar (vacated by Dr Fatrooq Abdullah) and Bhaderwah (vacated by Ghulam Nabi Azad). Along side Lok Sabha polls, Bhaderwah will vote on April 23 and the twin Srinagar seats on May 07. The seats fell vacant after the two unionist leaders were nominated for Rajya Sabha.

ENHANCED: The Salary of state governor is now Rs. 110 thousands a month. Chief Justice of the High Court would now get Rs. 90,000 and Judges of High Court Rs. 80,000. The government, however, is unwilling to increase the lawmakers’ salary that is currently at Rs. 40,000 a month.

DIED: Renowned Dogri litterateur Ram Nath Shastri passed away (March 08) at 95. Recipient of many honours including Padam Shree and Sahitya Akademi Award for his monumental contributions to Dogri literature, he is survived by his wife, Sushila Khajuria and three sons. He founded Dogri Sanstha in 1944 for promotion of Dogri language and culture.


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