KNO - kashmir News Observer Evening Bulletin | KNO

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KNO - kashmir News Observer Evening Bulletin | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Unfair and fake distribution of advertisements:

Minister directs official to attach Joint Director

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Government on Tuesday directed Department of Information and Public Relations to attach one of its Joint Directors to General Administrative Department after the disclosure that the said officer has not only provided a misleading information under Right to Information Act but has also mentioned the names of non-existing news papers claiming that the Department has issued advertisements in their favour.

     The owner of a daily newspaper  had sought information from Department of Information and Public Relations under RTI Act about the distribution of advertisements to newspapers published from Kashmir Valley.

    The information provided by one of the Joint Directors of the department Zahoor Ahmed Mir reveals the unfair distribution of advertisements. The information received by the petitioner shows that even those newspapers have been issued advertisements that are not in circulation. “Some of the newspapers mentioned are not even in circulation and even their owners have expired a long time back. It is a big scandal that needs to be unearthed,” said the petitioner to news agency CNS.

     “A black and white weekly newspaper has been issued an advertisement measuring 1200sq/cm while a popular Daily getting published in color has been issued advertisement measuring 990sq/cm only. There are dozens of such examples. The irony is that the newspapers with fake titles have been mentioned and it has been claimed that advertisements have been issued to them to support their owners,” he said.

    While taking cognizance, the Minister for Information and Public Relations Chowdary Zulifkar directed Additional Secretary to attach Joint Director Zahoor Ahmed Mir to GAD and appoint Director Information Muneer-ul-Islam as inquiry officer. “The incumbent Director will hold the inquiry into the matter,” the Minister said. 




SMC issues building permission in violation of  their own law

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Though the year 2014 was a nightmare for majority of the people in Kashmir due to large scale devastation caused by unprecedented floods, but for some vested interest elements, it provided an opportunity to loot state-exchequer and raise illegal structures.

     A man from Rustum Colony Raj Bagh Srinagar shortly after 2014 floods, filed an erroneous affidavit in the court of law claiming that he was the lawful owner of a three storey building damaged completely during flood fury. However, after investigation, it came to fore that he was the owner of a single storey house.

    The offender whom an official from Srinagar Municipal Corporation identified as Furqan Ahmed Rather son of Late Khazir Ahmed Rather also with the help of local Patwari enlisted his partially damaged house into fully damaged category. “Not only this he obtained 3 flood relief cheques in 3 different names, thus looted the State Exchequer,” said the official to news agency CNS.

    The offender according to reports took advantage of 2014 floods and applied for the construction of three storey house with the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Ironically, the SMC issued permission thus violating the rules. “The applicant as per law was required to dismantle the existing structure and reconstruct residential house after maintaining the required setbacks. As per the report of Ward Officer, the said permitee had without dismantling old construction started construction of first floor on the existing ground floor in violation of approved plan.”

    Despite the negative report from the Ward Officer and the court directions asking SMC not to allow the offender to raise the three storey house, the officials at the helm of affairs in SMC allowed him to go for construction.

    “There are some people at SMC who are responsible for abusing his powers. The matter needs to be probed and officials to be questioned on what basis they allowed him to go for construction that was already disallowed by court,” said locals.

    They appealed Commissioner SMC to look into the matter and expose those officials who helped him to get illegal permission.




No let up in braid chopping incidents

First incident reported from Sopore

Srinagar, Oct 10 :  Unabated mysterious braid chopping incidents continues to be the source of panic and fear psychosis in Kashmir Valley.

    Dozens of hair cutting incidents have occurred in different parts of Valley. From South, the suspected braid choppers are now active in Kashmir capital Srinagar that witnessed clashes in protests on Tuesday.

    Reports said that shopkeepers downed their shutters while agitated people resorted to stone-pelting after the news about braid chopping at Karfali Mohalla Habba Kadal spread in the area.

    According to locals, unidentified braid choppers sprayed a chemical on the face of a middle aged woman; however, after not losing conscience, the suspects hit her head with a brick and chopped off her braid. The incident sparked protest in the area.

    Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS that clashes erupted at Qamarwari Srinagar in the afternoon after braid of the daughter of Manzoor Ahmed, an 8th class student was chopped off.  The family members of the victim said that braid chopper sprayed pepper on the hijab of the girl and later on chopped off her braid. She was studying when the incident happened,” they said and demanded the arrest of the culprit.

    The incident sparked massive protest while police responded with tear-smoke shelling when protesters resorted to stone-pelting. The protesters disrupted traffic for hours together.

   At Batamaloo Sidiq Abad also a braid chopping incident was reported, creating panic in the area.

   The first incident of braid chopping was reported from North Kashmir’s Sopore town when the braid of a 30-year-old woman (name withheld) was found mysteriously chopped off in Seer Jagir area. The woman was rushed to Sub-district hospital for medical help.

   People staged protest after the braid of a 27-year-old woman was chopped off in Wangipora area of Sumbal in north Kashmir's Bandipora district on Tuesday afternoon.

    Protests also erupted in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Tuesday as braids of two minor girls were found mysteriously chopped off.

Reports said that residents of Kujar area of the district took to streets to protest the braid-chopping of a ten-year-old girl last evening.

They said that the girl was hospitalised following the braid-cutting. "She was discharged from the hospital after first aid," said a resident.

Meanwhile, a class 10 student said that unknown persons chopped off her braid after barging inside their bakery-cum-residential house in Arhama around 6am on Tuesday.

Her family members said that the girl was found unconscious with her braid chopped off.

As the news spread, announcement was made through the public address system of a locality Masjid asking people to stage protests.

    For past three weeks, Kashmir witnessed over 50 incidents of braid chopping across the Valley while police so far is still clueless. A helpline has been established and a reward of six lakh rupees has also been announced on information leading to arrest of braid choppers. 




Hizb pays tribute to three slain militants

Srinagar, Oct 10  Militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen Tuesday paid rich tribute to the three slain militants Umar Khalid, Zahid Ahmed Mir, and Asif Ahmed who were killed in Shopian encounter on Monday.

   The outfit has said that these budding militants laid their lives for Islam and the Kashmir Freedom Movement.

    As per a statement issued to news agency CNS, the Hizb Chief Syed Salahuddin addressed a high level meeting in which he said that India’s presence in Kashmir is due to its military power. He said India has to leave Kashmir one day while struggle till objective is attained will continue.

     “History is testimony to this fact that no country has ever succeeded to rule on the other on military might,” he said.

    Syed Salahuddin said though everyone is fighting for the sacred cause but yet there are elements like Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq present in our nation who will meet the same fate as they have met.

    While blaming Indian agencies for braid chopping incidents in Kashmir, Syed Salahuddin said that such tactics will bear no fruits for India. 



Freedom Party pays tribute to Shopian martyrs

Says authorities shielding braid choppers

Srinagar, Oct 10 : The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) has paid glowing tributes to mujahedeen Asif Ahmad, Zahid Ahmad Mir and Irfan Ahmad Malla who were martyred in a gunfight with forces in Shopian.

A DFP spokesperson in a statement said: “We are grieved over the loss of lives of our mujahedeen but at the same time are proud that our youth are rejecting Indian slavery and their hearts are filled with the spirit of freedom.”

He expressed condolence and solidarity with the bereaved families of martyrs and said the whole nation equally shares the grief.

The spokesperson said both India’s stubborn attitude and criminal silence of the international community is responsible for the unabated killings and the uncertain situation in Jammu Kashmir.

Commenting on the continuous war of words between India and Pakistan, the spokesperson said the whole subcontinent would fall into the pit of destruction if the main dispute between two countries – Kashmir – is not resolved.

The party while demanding stringent action against the braid choppers, who have spread a reign of terror across valley, said police doesn’t leave any stone unturned in finding and arresting the innocent “stone pelting” youth but their lackadaisical approach while dealing with braid chopping incidents has emboldened the culprits to play with the honour and dignity of our women-folk.

The spokesperson accused police of sheltering the suspected braid choppers and said past several incidents proved that such incidents are sponsored.

The party strongly condemned the police claim that linked braid chopping incidents with mass hysteria in women and said after failing to nab the culprits, authorities by issuing such kind of senseless statements reveals their ill-intentions. 




Sheikh Haseena plans to suppress the political opposition in country, says Jama’at

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Bangladesh police raided a meeting of the top functionaries of Jama’at-e-Islami Bangladesh at Atara, Dhaka and arrested its nine top leaders including Ameer Jama’at Maqbool Ahmad and Secretary General Shafiq-ur-Rahman without any justification. They have been falsely blamed for creating political anarchy in the country but these allegations have been totally refuted by the Jama’at leadership and described these arrests as undemocratic and an attempt to make Jama’at a leaderless organization. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena soon after resuming the chair in January 2014, formed the so-called ‘International War Crimes Tribunal’ to punish the Jama’at leadership for the so-called crimes committed during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and got a number of leaders executed by it and some others sentenced to life including some world famous Islamic scholars and intellectuals. Thousands of Jama’at leaders and workers are still languishing in different jails in very pitiful conditions and a number of them died due to extreme torture and deprivement of necessary treatment. Sheikh Haseena actually plans to suppress the political opposition in the country particularly the Islamists so as to remain in power for ever. In some other Muslim states, the same treatment is meted out to the Islamic organizations and their associates so as to stop the establishment of any government based on the universal principles of justice according to the Islamic teachings. This all is done at the behest of the anti-Islamic hegemonic powers. Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir while vehemently condemning the arrest of the top leaders of Jama’at-e-Islami Bangladesh, describes the police action as totally undemocratic and a blatant violation of the basic human rights. Jama’at appeals the international community and the Muslim world to intervene and stop the Sheikh Haseena government from committing these horrific atrocities 


Mehbooba seeks dependable connectivity for Ladakh region, writes to Union Minister

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has sought immediate redress of connectivity issues of Leh and Kargil districts and in this regard requested the Centre for taking appropriate measures.

In her letter to the Union Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha, the Chief Minister said that given the fact that these two districts remain cut off from the Valley for a major period of the year, mobile connectivity to the region ought to be made more dependable by taking appropriate measures.

It may be recalled here that many deputations had met the Chief Minister at Leh and Kargil during her last two visits to the region and complained of poor mobile connectivity which has impacted the business and other communications there badly.

Mehbooba Mufti impressed upon the Union Minister that the region witnesses a huge tourist footfall which also makes it necessary to make the area much more communicable. She has sought intervention of the Union Minister in directing the mobile companies for taking immediate appropriate measures in this regard.





CM launches FM radio station

Mehbooba for honing youth talent, redressing social issues

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has stressed on honing the talent of youth of the State and addressing their issues through more interactions and engagements.

Addressing a function after launching the local station of a prominent FM radio network here today, the Chief  Minister said the youth of the State possess ample talent but the only problem is of its display and marketing. She hoped the new FM station would become a platform for showcasing this talent.

Mehbooba Mufti also highlighted the importance of addressing the urgent issues of youth like drug addiction and unemployment. She sought more interactive sessions for the purpose whereby youth could discuss these issues freely and solicit counselling. She hoped the new FM station would not only provide entertainment avenues for the youth but it would also add to their knowledge as well.

On the initiatives of her Government, the Chief Minister said sports and cultural activities have been accorded priority by her Government given the interest of youth in them. Besides, she said, many projects with short term and long term impact have been laid out in entrepreneurship development, corporate absorptions and other areas of employment generation.

Earlier, the Chief Minister formally launched the FM station. She interacted with the staff and professionals of the radio network and wished them well.



Governor greetings on International Day of the Girl Child

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Governor N.N. Vohra has greeted the people on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child.

In his message the Governor has appealed to people of the State to join the initiatives which are being taken Internationally to ensure a world free of discrimination against women and effectively oppose any attempt to subvert women and young girls against any kind of disadvantage or discrimination. He observed that 1.1 billion girls in the world comprise a vital segment of the upcoming generation which is poised to take on all emerging challenges. He stressed the importance of all required action being taken to strengthening the growth of the girl child by creating adequate opportunities for her education, nutrition, medical care, and protection of her legal rights, particularly against violence and child marriage.

          Governor observed that it would be useful, from the point of view of initiating promotional programmes, for all concerned authorities to collect essential girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data. Such data would be also useful in an improved understanding of the challenges girls face and evolve strategies for finding pragmatic solutions to the varied pressing problems faced by girls.



Union Power Minister calls on Chief Minister

Srinagar, Oct 10 : Union Minister of State for Power, R K Singh, who is on a visit to the Valley, called on the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti here today.

During the meeting, Mr. Singh discussed the implementation of various schemes aimed at improving the generation and distribution of power in the State.

The Chief Minister impressed upon the Union Minister the urgency for pacing up of these schemes in view of dire need of power supply particularly during winters. She also sought extension of APDRP in the State in view of more demand from areas to be covered under the scheme.

Implementation of power generation and distribution projects under PMDP, start of new projects and pace of rural electrification also came up for discussion during the meeting.

The meeting was informed that of the 102 un electrified villages spread across eight districts electricity would be extended to 48 villages by December this year while as in case of remained 54 villages work is in progress.

Minister of State for Power Development, Syed Farooq Andrabi; Principal Secretary, Power Development, Dheeraj Gupta; Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Rohit Kansal and other officers were present in the meeting.



Resource allocation to be based on priorities set by elected representatives: Dr Drabu

Ministers prioritize focus areas for funding

Srinagar, Oct 10  In a first exercise of its kind, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu, today held extensive deliberations with his cabinet colleagues to align the Expenditure Allocation with the priorities of different departments.

“Expenditure allocation should be based on priorities of the ministers who head various departments of the state and not on some historically defined perspective. This will ensure targeted infrastructure development and, in the long run, proper utilization of funds,” Dr Drabu said, ahead of the exercise for budget preparation.

The Finance Minister said there should a system of normative expenditure because the state government spends lot of money without any major corresponding inputs from the concerned departments.

“The purpose of this exercise is to get inputs from different departments on where the focus of public spending should be and also to do away with the rigid budgetary structures. The results of expenditure should show up in certain indicators which they are not,” Dr Drabu said.

The first meeting was held to discuss Demand for Grants for Administrative Service, comprising Departments of Information and Public Relations, Department of Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, and Parliamentary Affairs, Law and Justice and Haj.

Speaking on the allocation of grants for Information Department, Dr Drabu said Jammu and Kashmir has the highest per capita newspapers in the country and the proliferation of newspapers has created vested interests which are damaging the cause of journalism in the state.

The Information Minister, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali said the Department is pooling its resources for new areas including organizing training for budding journalists, exchange tours for media-persons, using latest gadgets for news gathering, venturing into digital media and revamping the publications wing for which, Dr Drabu said, the Finance Department will provide adequate resources.

“The Department will also organize training and exchange program for budding journalists which will help in their professional growth,” Zulfkar said.

During the meeting, the Law Minister, Abdul Haq, said there is a need to reform the system of law education and litigations in Jammu and Kashmir which have burdened the judiciary as well as the State Exchequer. It was agreed that the government will explore the possibility of setting up an alternate dispute resolution mechanism to deal with litigations. 

The second meeting was held to discuss Demand for Grants for Social Development comprising Departments of Health and Medical Education, Social Welfare, Stationary, Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Technical Education, Youth Service and Sports, NCC and Education.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Education, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Youth, Services and Sport, and Technical Education, Imran Reza Ansari, Minister for Social Welfare and Information Technology, Sajad Gani Lone, Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, Dr Asghar Samoon and Commissioner Secretary, School Education, Farooq Shah.

Bukhari said the Education Department has went through major reforms over the last three years and he proposed various measures that the Finance Department can take to further the process of strengthening the existing infrastructure in schools and other educational institutions across Jammu and Kashmir.

Lone said the government is setting up a system of social audit in the Social Welfare department which will remove discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries under various schemes. Dr Drabu also proposed that the various welfare schemes run by different departments can be merged which will enhance the amount of welfare given to the poor and needy sections of the society.

Ansari said the sports is emerging as the new attraction for the people who have been traumatised over the years of prevailing situation and the government must enhance the budgetary allocation for the sector to tap into the vast potential of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

The meetings were also attended by Minister of State (Finance), Ajay Nanda, Principal Secretary, Finance, Navin Chaudhary, Law Secretary, Abdul Majid Bhat and other officers of the Finance Department.