Strike against STRIKERS

Old city witnessed shutdown but with a different reason this time. It was against the people who generally enforce it- stone pelters. This was the first ever public assertion against stone pelters in Shari Khaas.

Protesting the killing of their fellow trader- 24 year old jute matting shopkeeper Tariq Ahmad Bhat, the Central Traders and Manufacturers Association called for two day shut down. Resident of RangaHamamNowhatta, Tariq according to eye witnesses had been beaten up and hit in the head by a cricket bat by youth enforcing shutdown on December 3. The group was reportedly demonstrating against introduction of “chilly grenades”, a non-lethal anti-riot tool used by police.

According to police Tariq who had put up a mild resistance and was not inclined to shut his shop.The rage reverberated with slogans sounding like rhythmic wails as death overpowered his struggle to live on December 14. After being under treatment and observation for 11 days, he succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS Soura. “He was operated for contusion”, records said. Visibly outraged the traders community strongly condemned the innocent civilian killing and demanded “strong and quick action” by Police.Tariq is believed to be the first civilian death of 2011 and this time by civilians.

Chief Minister coming down heavily on separatists said, “A peaceful and youthful person of Nowhatta is the latest victim of your outlook.”

Already registered case FIR No: 84 of 2011 under sections 307 (attempted murder), 148, 149, 336 (rioting) and 336 RPC (collective intention of causing death) was converted into murder case with addition of section 302 RPC after Tariq died. Police have arrested four of the key accused and identified as Suhail Ahmad Bhat, Rayees Ahmad Bhat alias ‘MunaChot’, HaroonBhat and Ghulam Hassan Bhat alias ‘Diblong’, all residents of RajouriKadal.

Showering sweets, almonds and singing dirge mixed with wedding songs was the scene at the funeral of Tariq. Couple of months ago he had been engaged to a girl- Lali Jan of his neighbourhood area Bahauddinsahab (RA). His mother Fatima, 60, scuffled with men to be part of her son’s journey. Her wish was overpowered by the resistance of men as the struggle of  Tariq to live was conquered by the death.

Arrested With BONUS
A unique infiltration attempt was foiled when a HizbulMujahideen militant, along with his wife and two children, were arrested near Rangee Mode, Baramulla by security forces. One revolver, three rounds and one hand grenade were recovered from the militant who had sneaked in the valley recently. However, the woman has been released on interim bail.

Police identified the militant as MohammadYousufBhat, resident of Shopian, and his wife as ShahnazBibi, resident of ChinariMuzaffarabad (Pakistan-administered Kashmir).

Another Kashmiri militant, who was returning home to Valley from his training camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), was arrested along with his Pakistani wife and two children, at the Jammu Railway Station.

Identified as Zahoor Ahmed of Baramulla, he initially owed allegiance to HizbulMujahideen, before crossing over to Pakistan Administered Kashmir, and switched over to Lashkar-e-Toiba. He had crossed over to Pakistan from the Kashmir valley 12 years ago, and after arms training married a Pakistani woman and settled there.

Zahoor’s arrest along with his family members took place as soon as he came out of the Amarnath Express at the Jammu Railway Station where police were already waiting for them on a tip off from intelligence agencies. Zahoor, along with his family, was on way to his home in Baramulla.

Soon after their arrest they were said to have been whisked away to Joint Interrogation Centre [JIC] Jammu. Zahoor and his family were arrested along with three others who had come to receive him at Jammu Railway station.

The arrest comes in the wake of some Pakistani nationals already being sought by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in connection with September 7 blast outside New Delhi High Court that killed 15 civilians, injuring others. Another Pakistani is wanted in connection with a blast near Northern Command Headquarters at Udhampur in which a senior Army officer had a narrow escape earlier this year.

Vohra’s Safety ACT
Amending the ‘abused’ Public Safety Act was one of Omar Abdullah government’s major reforms on the civil liberties front. Well before it could be implemented, it was caught for questionable safety issues in the Raj Bhawan. The state cabinet decided against detaining any person below the age of 18 years under this law and Governor N NVohra’s office asked why this ‘concession’ is available to only ‘state subjects.’RajBhawan sources were quoted saying that it could be a blatant discrimination against non-state subjects and violation of the constitution of the country because everybody is equal before the law.

The decision to change the PSA was taken at the peak of international condemnation by the human rights watchdogs accusing J&K government of misusing the law which has “draconian” provisions. Amnesty International (AI) released a major report ‘Lawless Law’ in Srinagar that added to the pressures otherwise created by the civil society.

In October, when the state legislature was in recess, the cabinet approved an ordinance that would make certain changes in the law and help it become humane. PSA’s section 8 was amended to ensure that the law should not be slapped on a state subject who has not attained the age of 18 years. Its section 13 was changed to ensure that grounds on which the order (of detention) is issued should be in the language understandable to the detainee. Under a changed section 14, the Chairman and the members of the (advisory) Board shall hold the office for a period of two years which can be extended to three years.

The Board constituted under section 16 would now approve the case on the basis of the material evidence placed before it (on detention) within six weeks and not eight weeks. Similarly, section 18 that deals with the period of detentions was changed. Now under sub section (a) the detention period is reduced from 12 months to three months. For those indulging in timber smuggling there is no change in detention period and in fact a new clause has been added (a-1). In its new avatar section 18(b) will read like this: “Six months (and not two years) in the first instance which may be extended up to two years from the date of detention in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State.”

Well before the decision would be implemented, the Raj Bhawan found a fault. The file has returned to the Home Ministry and now experts in the law ministry will sit and address the flaw. But the state government has started taking juveniles seriously. They continue to be arrested but instead of sending them to the police stations and the jails, they are now sent to the juvenile home – a social welfare run detention centre that operates in Nishat.

(Aug 14, 1961 – Dec 14, 2011)
Called the King of Urdu Rubayi, FareedParbati was a gifted Urdu scholar and vibrant literarypersonality of the state. He had done a pioneering work on “Urdu Rubiyat” and continued tocontribute to Urdu poetry till his last breath.

Fareed, a resident of SangeenDarwaza, Hawal,Srinagar died at the age of 50. He wassuffering from a stomach ailment for the last couple of months; for which he was operated inAll India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in recent past. After his deteriorating health, he was admitted in SKIMS Soura. That is where he breathed his last onWednesday, December 14.

Born on August 4, 1961 Fareedcompleted his Mastersin Commerce from Islamia College of Science and Commerce and Kashmir University. Later, he did his M.A, M.Phil and completed his PhD in Urdu in 1995.

Initially, he served in the accounts services from 1987 to 2001. Post 2001 he joined the Departmentof Urdu, University of Kashmir as Assistant Professor till 2006 and was serving as AssociateProfessor at Iqbal Institute of Culture and Philosophy (IICP) from 2006 till his demise.

In literary circles Fareed commanded huge respect. He was blessed with a creative pen andwas ranked among one of the best contemporarywriters in the Urdu language of the period.

Awarded by a number of Institutions including the Academy of Art, Culture and Languages forhis work, Fareed authored 14 books including eight poetic collections and six others on Urducriticism. From ‘AbrTarr’ published in 1987, there was no looking back. The last from his penwas ‘Kulyaat’ (collection) titled ‘HazaarImkaan’ which came to the fore this year itself.

Fareedwas determined to explore his immense talent to the fullest but alas he couldn’t getmuch time for that. He sparked the intellectual revolution through his consistent hard work, nowhis students have to turn it to flames. Undoubtedly, Urdu in Kashmir has lost a significantpillar, and his death has created a gap which cannot be bridged.


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