Women forum

The interlocutors on Kashmir organized a women’s’ conference in Srinagar to understand their viewpoint. The conference, a brainchild of Radha Kumar – the only woman among the interlocutors- was aimed at getting the women voices first hand.

“There was a lively discussion on the political contours of a solution, with divergent aspirations being expressed from the three regions and the different political formations,” the interlocutors said in a statement after the two-day conclave was over.

The conference was attended by 50 women invited by the interlocutors from Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir regions. Four women parliamentarians – Brinda Karat, (CPI-M), Mabel Rebello, Shruti Chaudhary and Viplav Thakur (Congress) – flew from Delhi to attend the conference.

The exercise, according to interlocutors, led to some significant recommendations. They wanted a special task force of eminent women from all the regions of the state to be set up to address the problems of women victims of violence like widows, ‘half widows’ and orphans.

They have also felt an urgent requirement of setting up of trauma counselling centres in the state.  Besides, they underlined the need for redeployment of troops from residential areas and removal of security installations. Women did talk about indiscriminate arrests and the use of Public Safety Act and rued the absence of juvenile protection in J&K.

 “A valuable suggestion was that women can provide a bridge for KPs to reconcile with their co-citizens in the valley,” Ms Kumar said.

The conference started a day after the interlocutors had a meeting with a select group of women whose relatives were killed or were injured during 2010 unrest. After the meeting Brinda Karat had suggested setting up of an independent and impartial commission that would hear the cases and punish security men responsible for the civilian killings of 2010.

“We cannot talk about peace without delivering justice,” she told reporters, adding, “The Government should set up an independent and impartial commission to bring the guilty personnel – be it from the Army, paramilitary or police – to book.”  Kashmir women, said Shruti Choudhary of Congress, have gone through hell and devastation.

Grounded pipedream
The dream to get Srinagar’s over one lakh canines out without a whimper has been grounded, as the authorities have called off a  deal with the man who claimed to have skills to drive them out.

Nicknamed as Pied Piper, Khurshid Ahmad Mir had been roped in by authorities after he claimed that he could drive out the dogs, but now the officials say the deal had to be called off as Mir was demanding ‘outrageous charges’.

“The negotiations with Khurshid Ahmad Mir who had claimed that he can drive away the dogs from the city have failed as he has demanded outrageous charges for his services,” Aamir Ali, public relations officer of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir told newspapers.

He said Mir was demanding Rs 30 lakh each for the 68 wards of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation where the population of stray dogs has crossed one lakh and have been causing problems to the humans.

More than 5000 dog bite cases have been reported in the city since January last year with some of the cases turning fatal.

Ali said the administration was willing to allow Mir, a resident of downtown Srinagar, to use his skills for driving away the dogs without interfering in his work but the exorbitant charges have forced the authorities to call off the deal.

The divisional administration has now decided to push forward the sterilisation process of dogs to check the growing number of canines in the city.

High Altitude Brawl
Kashmir-born interventional cardiologist in the US has been in news for an in flight brawl with Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra. The two were traveling to Dubai in an Emirates flight, three weeks ago.

Newspaper reports say Shawl has accused Chopra of risking lives by talking into her cell phone even while the plane was taking off. The actor, however, denied the allegations and called Shawl an “attention seeker”.

Shawl and Priyanka, according to reports, got into a shouting match with abuses and threats being hurled, to get each other arrested.

“She occupied the window seat and was on the phone even when the flight started to take off. The staff was not objecting as they were in awe of the star, so, I passed a note to her to stop. I know of two air crashes that took place due to the phone signals interfering with the air control,” Shawl said.

Priyanka called the allegation a bunch of lies.

“That man is a lunatic. If it hadn’t been for his old age, I would have slapped him for how he behaved with me on the flight. He tried to film me on his phone despite my requests to not do it. I was calling him ‘sir’, as I’ve been brought up to respect elders,” said Priyanka.

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