Yet Another MURDER

Things are stabilizing in Kashmir but not in the rest of India where incidents of harassment of Kashmiris are continuously taking place. Last week in such an instance two Kashmiris were reportedly detained in Bihar for moving around suspiciously near Nepal border.

Police in Srinagar said they have no records with them against the duo – Nasir Ahmad Wanchkoo and Siraj Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Shopian.

But the most serious incident was reported from Luckhnow where a brutal murder took place. It did not get noticed in the high-pitch din of UP elections. Corpse of the student who was coaching for IAS was flown to Srinagar Tuesday afternoon in five painfully long days.

Slain Syed Danish Ali Naqvi, according to reports appearing in vernacular media, was living with three others – two from Budgam and one from Poonch, in a rented accommodation in Sarfarazgunj area. At around 10 p.m on January 31, he had left for drawing money from the local ATM. But he never returned. His roommates and one of his relatives from Delhi started searching for him without informing the police.

However, it was a group of construction labourers who traced the young man hanging from a tree in the nursery of Era’s Lucknow Medical College and Hospital. Police seized the body and traced his J&K Bank card with Rs 10080 that he had withdrawn. Naqvi was also carrying his Identity Card of M-Tech Academy’s coaching centre, where he was enrolled in English Speaking Course.

Autopsy was carried out and it suggested “asphyxia by strangulation” as the cause of death. Cops from Balagunj and Thakurgunj police stations took one complete day for registering a case. The body was handed over to his cousin Anwar, later on February 2.

A resident of Kamalkote in Uri, Naqvi had migrated to Luckhnow four months back after completing his graduation from the local degree college. Though he wanted to go for MBA but was preparing for IAS examination. It took four days for his friends and relatives to get his corpse transported from Lucknow to Kamalkote.

Police are convinced that it was a murder but they have not got any clues that would lead them to arrests. Initial investigations had suggested some “strangers” had driven in a Wagon car with its number plate pasted with mud in the same nights. Tires of the same car were traced to the nursery where Naqvi’s body was found. Autopsy has found some wounds on neck and ears. Naqvi’s father Rehmat Shah is an AEE with Rural Development Department. The murder that seems blind in absence of a motive has devastated his family. Slain Naqvi’s mother Sayyeda Nazir Fatima was admitted to SKIMS and later shifted to Psychiatric Diseases Hospital before being driven home to see her son for the last time – dead.

Mobility INTERCEPTED

Usually any intervention on the cell phone front comes from the Home Ministry in Delhi. But this time, it is local. The state police has ruled that the recharge vendors should keep the records of their sales. While the recharged numbers are recorded with the respective cell phone operators along with the quantum of charge they purchase, the police wants to know who is paying for the recharges?

This triggered a crisis as the recharge sellers refused to sell the product given the laborious systems being enforced over them. Since half of the mobiles functioning in Kashmir fall under prepaid category, it triggered severe inconvenience.

The police reacted. They issued a lengthy press note mentioning that there were few instances in which the SIM cards were misused to commit crimes including creating panic among the general public. They mentioned four FIRs – three from 2009 and one from 2010. In two cases it involved SMS – henceforth banned. In another case somebody reported a phone call from some unknown persons. In one case the police lodged a case about some operator issuing SIM cards on fake documents.

In a state where more than six million SIM cards are operational at any given point of time, these incidents do not make a case at all. The instructions seemed bizarre especially when scores of cases were detected in Jammu where suppliers issuing SIM cards to alleged insurgents were established.

The order has been rescinded. Now the police will collect the details from the cell phone operators directly. But the issue is what police wanted to know. They already have sophisticated equipment to know who talks what. It is basic to have complete profile of a cell phone user. Now they wanted to know who pays somebody’s re-charge. Why?

In memory of MAQBOOL

After many calls for protest in recent past, valley observed complete shutdown to commemorate 28th death anniversary of JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat. The strike call was given by JKLF, DFP and JKLF (R), and it was supported by the both factions of Hurriyat Conference.

Normal life across the Kashmir valley was paralyzed. Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas were placed under undeclared curfew with roads sealed with barbed wire and armored vehicles.

JKLF chairman Yaseen Malik was put behind bars when he and the other leaders made an attempt to take out a rally from Maisuma to the office of UN Military Observers Group at Sonawar, which was foiled by police.

Separatist leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan were put under house arrest.

In Trehgam, Bhat’s native village, a procession led by JKLF founder’s younger brother Zahoor Ahmad was taken out.

In feeble voice Bhat’s mother said that not only one, her four sons sacrificed their life for movement. She reiterated, “Freedom demands sacrifice.”

Another Academic RACKET
Jammu University is busy wrapping up a racket that involves most of the B Ed colleges operating in the region. Initially it was reported as “biggest ever fraud” and now it is being managed to keep the show going.

It was during the Annual B Ed examination (September/October) 2011 that examiners of the JU detected the examinees photographs on the attendance sheets were not matching with the people who had sat for the examination. Even the hand writing was distinct from the form that had come from the respective colleges. It triggered a crisis and the university started investigations of all the 40-odd colleges. It was revealed that the forms were filled by the colleges simply because the students rarely attended colleges.  

Initially, the University cancelled the examination of 70 students and decided to send papers of about 4500 other students for forensic examination to ensure if the candidates are the same and whether there has been any impersonation. They had in fact recommended “immediate de-affiliation” of two BEd colleges – Vimal Muni College of Education, Ramgarh and K C Minerva College of Education, Rahya because the students from the two colleges were neck deep in this crisis.

Some of the candidates who were investigated by the invigilators suggested that after getting admission and paying the fees, students are usually staying at home as there is no class work. Candidates from five different B Ed colleges revealed the same tale and it eventually led to the cancellation of written papers of 70 students by an 18 member committee that scanned 4500 papers. It was on basis of this racket that the Jammu University conveyed to one of the principals of the involved colleges that he can not take any assignment in any of the university affiliated institutions for five years.

In the stage-II of the drama, there was a compromise. After a meeting with the University authorities it was decided that the B Ed colleges will submit undertakings by February 22 offering their version of the story. In the undertakings, the colleges will admit their mistakes in filling the forms. They will also give in writing that they will not repeat the mistake in future. Once the submissions take place, the University will declare the results in the larger interest of the students. But who will ensure – the colleges will teach them from now on.

For the Sake of IMPROVEMENT

The cause to serve coincided with the improvement in facilities. Tertiary healthcare institute- SKIMS is adopting new strategy of selling at least 50 surgical items in coming days, which otherwise were provided free of cost to the patients. While the hospital administration termed it as step to bring improvement in the institution, the patients will have to bear the costs.  

SKIMS was conceived with purpose to have institute of international facilities at regional level, but, the people think the move is antagonistic to all the principles of establishing it. Sources believe that putting main surgical items needed by patients while on ventilator, is adding to the woes of the poor patients.

The surgical items put on sale include Breathing circuit, Servo guard, Humidifier and Pressure monitoring kit et al. “All these surgical items are a must for patients who slip into comma and are put on a ventilator. By putting the items on sale, the authorities have added to the woes,” said the sources.
The decision which authorities believe is going to help the institute to grow many fear is going to prove fatal. “The cost of these surgical items ranges from 325 to 580 rupees and a patient on an average will need 2000 rupees for purchasing these items. So the patients whose financial condition is too weak to purchase these items may die for want of ventilator,” said a doctor wishing anonymity.

Director SKIMS Dr Showkat Zargar says that the “government cannot provide everything to the patient.  They also have to share a bit.” However, sources said, “There is a big budget for the surgical items, but the authorities seem to be turning the institute into a commercial establishment.”
SKIMS may get worse or better but patients are apparently going to suffer. The founder may be turning around to convey that the cause is to help and not fleece.

All In The RACE
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has set yet another target for himself. By the time his durbar moves to Srinagar for the summer sojourn, his State Vigilance Commission (SVC) should be operational. Apparently yet another institution that may end up superintending the existing anti-corruption watchdog, the State Vigilance Organization has to have two vigilance commissioners and one chief vigilance commissioner. State’s General Administration Department (GAD) has already carried out an exercise of seeking nominations of the people who could be considered for the three positions. These could be retired officers or the people who are about to retire. By now GAD has got 20 nominations.

The nominations received are the who is who of the most senior officials of the police and civil administration. These include DGP Kuldeep Khoda (retiring in May), Director IMPA Dr R K Jeerath, former SVO boss DGP Ashok Bhan and former secretary GAD Mohammad Sayeed Khan. The process envisaged in the law is that once the list is finalized, chief minister will get leader of the opposition and law minister of the state in a meeting that will appoint from the list.

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