Recap of The Week

DIED: Veteran politician and a close associate of Sheikh Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Kochak died of a heart attack on March 28. He was 81. Kochak was a minister in Shiekh Abdullah government from 1975 to 1982. He is survived by three sons and two daughters. Kochak’s political career started very early and was closely associated with the Plebiscite Front. He was jailed twice from 1955-59 and 1963-65 as the Plebiscite Front leader. Kochak, who represented Devsar constituency, also served as Vice-Chairman of J&K Muslim Auqaf Trust. Though a Sheikh loyalist, Kochak joined hands with Awami National Conference founder G M Shah in latter’s feud with Farooq Abdullah in 1984 and became a minister in his government till it was dismissed in 1986.

PLANNED: Government is planning to draw 500 cusecs of water from River Tawi for irrigation purposes. It would irrigate 85000 acres. Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din has said the Indus Water Treaty permits drawing 1400 cusecs including 250 cusecs for power projects, 150 cusecs for silt ejection and 1000 cusecs for irrigation purposes.

APPLIED: As many as 20 car owners in Jammu have applied for fancy registration numbers – AK 47 and AK 56. The highest bid so far is 150 thousand rupees by a businessman. Who actually gets these numbers will finally be on the road. For now, the suspense remains.

REMEMBERED: JKLF last week remembered its two veterans, co-founder Ishfaq Majid Wani and popular cardiac surgeon Abdul Ahad Guru. While Wani was killed in an encounter, Guru fell victim to the internecine fighting between militant outfits on ideological basis.

ANNOUNCED: The civil secretariat will open for its yearly six months stint in Srinagar on May 4. A notification issued last week said the offices would close at Jammu on April 24.

JOINED: Erstwhile Hizb-ul-Mujhaideen commander, Imran Rahi, who lead a sensational jail break in early nineties finally landed up in Awami National Conference this week. Rahi was part of the first initiative involving four erstwhile commanders who started talks with the Government of India. But it failed within days. Rahi lead a low profile life as head of his Peoples’ Party. He merged his party in the ANC finally on Wednesday.

PLANNED: In partnership with Panos India, the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) is setting up a community radio station within the campus at Awantipore with the aim of “supporting peace building initiatives in Kashmir”. Panos India is a part of The Panos Network Worldwide that facilitates public discourse on issues having a direct impact on least privileged and most marginalized sections of society through media.

APPOINTED: Mehmood Ahmed Saghar was appointed as acting convenor of the Hurriyat Conference in Muzaffarabad. He replaced Syed Yousuf Naseem. A formal coordinator would be elected soon.

REVIEWED: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reviewed the progress of construction of new TRC coming up at Nowgam. The Rs.19.59-crore project is spread over 12.5 acres with a plinth area of 20,270 sq ft and built up area of 31,430 sq. ft. The cost of building complex is expected to be Rs. 11.59 crore. The cost on civil works constitute Rs. 7.49 crore while the rest of the amount is being spent on landscaping, service roads, parking, water supply, sanitation, electrification, site illumination, drainage, retaining walls and contingencies. The complex will have, waiting lounge, public convenience, 20 cubicles for various services, internet caf?, ATM facility, cloakroom, non-vegetarian and vegetarian dining halls, kitchen, pantry and scullery facilities. The complex will have guest accommodation on 8,900 sq. ft. built up area of two blocks and four suites. There will be 40 double-bed guest rooms, support areas including library and an amphitheatre.

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