Reduce power curtailment, cuts in Kashmir: CM

S at u r Day
07 March 2015
Srinagar Today : cloudy
wiTh rain
Maximum : 9o
Minmum : -1o
humidity : 85%
Today : 6:31 PM
16 JAMAD UL AWAL | 1436 Hijri | Vol: 18 | Issue: 50 | Pages : 08 | Price: `3
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w w w. k a s h m i r o b s e r v e r. n e t
Not everything that is
faced can be changed, but
nothing can be changed
until it is faced.
Reduce power curtailment,
cuts in Kashmir: CM
........... James Baldwin
Leopard sneaks
into Tral village
Man dies of swine flu,
toll reaches 8
srinagar: One more person died of
swine flu in Kashmir Valley today taking the death toll due to the epidemic
in the region to eight. Another 14
patients have tested positive for the
virus, health officials said here today.
"One more patient infected with
swine flu virus has died taking the
death toll to eight. However, the patient had multiple co-morbidities as
well and may have died of those ailments," Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of
Medical Sciences (SKIMS)'s spokesperson Dr Sana Kulsoom informed.
She said the number of patients
infected with the virus has risen to
291 as 14 new cases had surfaced
during the last 24 hours. Page 6
Jammu: The Chief minister, mufti
mohammad sayeed, Friday issued
directions to the concerned department to reduce curtailment
and power cuts in the valley.
The CM while heading a meeting
on the current power situation in
'Mandate for
change in
justice to all'
the valley which was attended by
the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, who holds the charge
of Power portfolio, Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb Drabu and Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, Sandeep Naik,
the Chief Minister, instructed that
efforts should be made to reduce
power curtailment and cuts in all
parts of the Valley, especially during the current winter months.
To enhance the power deficiency, the government also decided to
purchase an additional 60 MW and
make it available to the Valley.
The CM also sought a comprehensive presentation on Power Sector in
the State in terms of ongoing and future
projects, transmission and distribution,
up-gradation and proposed reforms.
Jammu: Describing the people’s mandate as a historic opportunity, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said
that the Government has come with a positive agenda to change the system of governance and ensure justice to all. Chairing his
maiden meeting of administrative secretaries after assuming office, here today, the Chief Minister stated that the Government
will soon make guidelines to make Heads of the Departments accountable and responsible so that they perform to the best of
their ability. He asked them to become agents of change and play a key role in strengthening democratic institutions and ushering
in a new era in transparency and good governance in the State. “You are my tools of governance. J&K has to deliver on Page 6
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Sub-committee set up
to review relief status
srinagar: a six member Cabinet
sub-committee was today constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir government to review the
relief and rehabilitation efforts
mounted by the state government in the wake of devastating
floods in september last year.
The committee, under the
Minister in-charge of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department Sukhnandan Kumar, held
its first meeting here today, at
the Civil Secretariat, an official
spokesperson said.
The meeting was attended by
its members which include Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment and Culture Dr Haseeb
Drabu, Minister for Health and
Medical Education and ARI Trainings Ch Lal Singh, Minister for Law
and Justice, Parliamentary Affairs
and Relief and Rehabilitation Syed
Basharat Ahmad Bukhari, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture,
Gardens and Parks Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and Minister
for Information Technology, Technical Education and Youth Services and Sports Imran Raza Ansari.
The Committee was briefed
by Commissioner Secretary, Revenue Vinod Kaul about the steps
taken for providing relief to the
affected families and issues yet
to be resolved about provision
of relief to such families, the
spokesperson said.
After extensive deliberations,
it was decided that the members
of the Cabinet sub-committee
will visit the Valley and the affected parts to have interaction
with the divisional administration and concerned deputy commissioners to take stock of relief
and rehabilitation measures that
have been taken in view of recent floods.
The committee will also meet
the affected traders and other
stakeholders, the spokesperson said, adding that the visit
is meant to ensure the administration is geared up for the
disbursement of financial assistance which is expected soon.
The meeting was also informed
that long overdue relief package
of around Rs 44,000 crore is being
reactivated in the light of World
Bank assessment report.
The decision to constitute the
committee came after a complete
shutdown observed on Wednesday in Srinagar and other major
towns of the Valley by the business community in response to
the call given by Kashmir Traders
and Manufacturers Federation
(KTMF) to protest the failure of
government to rehabilitate the
flood affected business class.
Man dies of High closed for 5th consecutive day
swine flu, toll
reaches 8
srinagar: One more person died
of swine flu in Kashmir Valley today taking the death toll due to the
epidemic in the region to eight. Another 14 patients have tested positive for the virus, health officials
said here today.
"One more patient infected with
swine flu virus has died taking the
death toll to eight. However, the
patient had multiple co-morbidities as well and may have died of
those ailments," Sher-i-Kashmir
Institute of Medical Page 6
Highway, the only surface link
connecting Kashmir Valley with
the rest of the country, continued to remain closed for the fifth
consecutive day today following
landslides triggered by heavy
rains in the area.
Officials told GNS that the 300km Srinagar-Jammu highway is
closed since last four days and
today afternoon they allowed the
stranded traffic to move towards
Kashmir Valley only.
“We allowed the stranded vehicles towards Valley after landslides
were cleared at several places.
However, the vehicles from Jammu
were not allowed to move ahead.
We’re making efforts to clear the
stranded traffic first,” they said.
The Inspector General of Police
(Traffic) Muneer Khan informed
that 1700 vehicles out of 2000 have
been cleared by this evening while
remaining vehicles will be cleared
by Saturday 8:00 am.
After clearing the stranded vehicles, fresh traffic will be restored
on the highway, Khan said.
Meanwhile, the stranded passengers raised anti-government
slogans demanding food and
shelter. The protesting passen-
gers stated that “This is for the
third consecutive day that we are
struck here at the bus stand seeking alternate accommodation.
The administration has turned a
blind eye towards their plight”,
they added.
The stranded passengers said
they were running out of money as
they got stuck up in Jammu due to
closure of Highway.
Minister for Transport with independent charge, Abdul Gani Kohli
rushed to the spot to pacify the protestors. He assured them the SrinagarJammu highway will be cleared for
traffic till Friday evening.
‘Bungling’ in
relief distribution
sparks protest
H1N1: uaE issues travel advisory to India
T W I T T E R : h t t p s : / / t w i t t e r. c o m / k a s h m i r o b s e r v e r F A C E B O O K : h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / k a s h m i r o b s e r v e r
(1924-1987) African-American
srinagar: Panic gripped in Tral
village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama
district on Friday after a leopard appeared in the area.
Reports reaching here said that
residents of Lurrow Jagir village
of Tral staged protests against the
wildlife department for not paying
any heed despite several requests to
ward off the threat the animal posed.
The animal, according to locals, has
so far killed at least 10 sheep of Ghulam
Mohammad Chopan and Gulam Qadir
Chopan of the same village. Page 6
srinagar: Scores of residents residing in adjoining areas of Sonawari
Tehsil in district Bandipora Friday
staged protest against what they
term favoritism in relief distribution
by government officials.
Scores of residents from Nowgam, Nowgam Payeen and Zalpora
assembled at press enclave Srinagar
and amid anti-administration slogans alleged that relief distribution
process has been politicized while
major chunk of relief has been
given to influential people who
were not hit by floods. The protesters told CNS that 75 per cent of the
area in Sonawari was hit by floods
but the sufferers who deserve the
relief are being ignored as they lack
influence and are apolitical.
“It is the height of Page 6
Jammu: Deputy Chief Minister
Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh and Abdul Rehman Veeri Friday assumed
the charge of office as Minister for
Power Development and Housing
and Urban Development and Minister for Horticulture, Haj and Auqaf respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, the
Deputy Chief Minister said the new
government is steadfast on the resolve to provide a transparent and
responsive administration in the
state and all out efforts would be
initiated to address aspirations of
the people. He said the government
would work for overall peace, progress and prosperity of the state.
On the occasion large number
of people from different walks of
life called on Dr. Nirmal Singh and
extended greetings on formation of
new coalition government in the
state. They expressed whole hearted support to the government and
hoped that the new dispensation
would take the state to heights of
development and prosperity.
Veeri after assuming the charge
said that the government will encourage farmers engaged in horticulture cultivation for producing
high-quality fruit products to fetch
attractive returns. He said horticulture is the mainstay of the state's
economy and all efforts will be
made to promote this vital sector.
"In the era of competition in the
market, quality control is a must and
we have to focus on this Page 6
Ensure best medicare to patients: Lal Singh
Family members of Border Security Force (BSF) celebrate the Holi festival at their headquarter in Srinagar Pix : abid bhat
Rampant encroachment, illegal
constructions galore in Anchar lake: Locals
srinagar: Land grabbers are filling Anchar Lake, a water body in
the city outskirts allegedly in nexus
with the government officials, a local news agency informed on Friday.
They said that the land grabbers were filling the water body
along the Dr. Ali Jan Road with the
active support of the government
officials. They said earth filling is
done by the land grabbers during
night hours to evade outcry. The officials of the LWWDA and the SMC,
they said, have turned blind eyes
towards the grave issue despite being well aware of the rampant encroachment.
“Most of the residents don’t
have permission for construction
Nirmal Singh, Veeri take charge
from SMC or LWWDA. Many influential people are involved in this
illegal act,” Ejaz Ahmad, a local said.
He said that the water body has
been converted into a concrete jun-
gle due to rampant encroachment
and illegal constructions.
“When we approached the
LAWDA, they refused to entertain
our complaint. We were asked to
meet the officials of SMC and SDA.
However, the officials there too
gave us a cold shoulder,” he added.
Another local wishing anonymity said that just at the entrance of
the lane of Shah-i-Hamdan Avenue,
a plot on right side has been filled
up with earth illegally and put on
sale by some contractors.
“Encroachment of water body
has become a lucrative business for
land grabbers. They fill the water
body and sell the land at unimaginable prices,” he said, adding “A
commercial complex is under construction just opposite Saida Pora
Bridge on the Government land.”
Meanwhile, rampant filling of water body from Saida Kadal to Ashai
Bagh in recent months especially after
the deluge goes unabated. Page 6
Jammu: Minister for Health and
Medical Education and ARI and
Trainings, Ch Lal Singh today asked
the medical and para-medical staff
members to ensure best Medicare is
provided to the patients in hospitals.
The Minister today chaired a review meeting with health department officials here.
Director Health, Dr. B. S Pathania, Mission Director NRHM, Dr.
Yash Pal Sharma besides other senior officers of Health and Medical Education, ARI and Trainings
Departments were present on the
The Minister reviewed district
wise impact of Swine flu in Jammu
region and control measures adopted for preventing its spread. He
directed all the concerned doctors
to utilize every resource to control and prevent the spread of the
disease. He also impressed upon
CMOs, BMOs, and Medical Superintendents to monitor the situation
closely and keep him informed on
the issue. He also asked for ensuring proper cleanliness in and
around the hospitals of the State.
Ch Lal Singh informed that a fullfledged testing laboratory would
be established in the Government
Medical College, Jammu for H1N1
tests adding that for this purpose
Rs. 6 crore for setting up of testing laboratory has already been
released. The Minister asked the
health functionaries to work with
dedication and devotion Page 6
Car lifters make off with SMC official’s SuV
srinagar: In a brazen strike, car
lifters Friday managed to drive
away with the personal vehicle of
the Chief Sanitation Officer Srinagar Municipal Corporation in
broad day light in Srinagar.
The car lifters made off with the
government-issued grey Nissan
X-Terra SUV. The incident reportedly occurred at busy Regal Chowk
in Srinagar city. “I had parked my
vehicle (JK01N-8932) near Regal
Chowk and was shocked to find
my vehicle missing from the spot,”
CSO, SMC Manzoor Ahmed Turray
told CNS that soon after the incident he filed a report in police station Kothi Bagh.
A top police official said that the
matter was taken seriously and the
CCTV footage was collected that shows
a person lifting the vehicle of the complainant. “We have identified the car
lifter and he will be arrested soon.
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oFFIce oF The eXecuTIVe enGIneer
Flood conTrol dIVISIon ananTnaG
NOTiCe iNviTiNG FReSH e- TeNDeRS NiT NO.33 OF 2014-15
For and on behalf of governor of j& K state , e-tenders on item rate basis are invited from
approved and eligible contractors registered with j&K state govt. for the following works:S.
Name of the Work
Estt. Cost
of work
(Rs in
Lacs )
Time for
Class of Cost of
contract tender
Major Tender receiving
Head Authority
Restoration of F.P work on R/S
of Lidder Nallah at Raz-Khah
22 days
Restoration of F.P work on L/S
of Aripath Nallah D/S bridge
at Village Donipowa by way of
laying of Crates and Back Filling
22 days
BEE/CEE 1200/-
Restoration of F.P work on Lidder Nallah at Dachigam Part A
17 Days
Restoration of F.P work on R/S
of LidderNallah at Pethnumbal
U/S Hengalpora
20 Days
Restoration of F.P work on
Lidder Nallah at Bagwani D/S
17 Days
Restoration of F.P work on ArdwaniNallah at Sikh Mohallah ,
Bunpora , Pushkreeri
22 Days
BEE/CEE 1200/-
Restoration of Erosion Control
work on HaptnardNallah at U/S
22 Days
BEE/CEE 1200/-
Restoration of F.P work on
Aripath Nallah at Village
Kantigund by way of Boulder
Bund with toe crates
17 Days
Restoration of F.P work on
Dethu Nallah B/O Aripath
Nallah by way of Toe crates and
widening of Water way and
Channelization near U/S Sports
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15 Days
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07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer
Tripartite talks, UN resolutions only solution: Naqash
‘Welcomes OIC
statement on Kashmir’
Srinagar, March 06: (GNS) Senior member Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir and Chairman Islamic Political Party-JK
Muhammad Yousuf Naqash has
said that we are not averse to
resumption of bilateral talks
between India and Pakistan for
minimizing trust deficit and
developing friendly relations in
the interest of both countries
and south Asia but bilateral
talks on Kashmir would not be
acceptable to people as India is
buying time to maintain the status quo.
According to statement issued here on Friday, Naqash
while addressing a public gathering at Bagiweder Srinagar
has said, We would never accept any solution which doesn’t
take the sacrifices and wishes of
Kashmiris into account, even if
the entire world develops a consensus on it.
”He said, “Kashmir dispute
can be resolved through tripartite talks or through the
implementation of United Na-
tions Resolutions, the “only acceptable” solution to Kashmir
issue” Naqash said, “The UN
resolutions form the bed rock
of Kashmir issue as this accord
international recognition to our
birth right Right to Self Determination and makes our case
strong. Giving up UN resolutions
or adopting any “deviation” is
never ever possible as this will
cause “irreparable damage to
our mission freedom, for which
we have already sacrificed our
two generations besides loss of
material worth trillions.” Kashmiri nations cannot afford to
betray these sacrifices he added.
He further said that bilateral
talks on Kashmir, between India
and Pakistan and between Kashmiri leaders and New Delhi had
taken place 134 times, but these
had proved futile. So we stress
for sustained, structured tripartite dialogue for the just, honorable and lasting solution of Kashmir issue in accordance with the
wishes and aspirations of the
people as per U N Resolutions.
Yousuf Naqash also demanded
immediate release of all the political prisoners including those
who are serving life term with
immediate effect and pro-freedom leaders should be allowed
to travel abroad freely .IPPJK
Chairman said, “Kashmir is an
international dispute and this
region comes under the ambit of
conflict zones of the world. So,
all the prisoners related to this
issue are political prisoners and
they can’t be detained for the
whole life nor can they be treated as professional criminals.”
Meanwhile, Naqash has appreciated the statement of OIC
General Secretary Iyad bin Amin
Madani at UNHRC 28th Session
where he stressed that Kashmir
dispute should be solved according to the wishes of Kashmiris through a result oriented
dialogue. (GNS)
He said, “KasHmir dispute can be resolved through tripartite talks or through the implementation of United Nations
Resolutions, the “only acceptable” solution to Kashmir issue” Naqash said,
Appointment of new pCC
president: tAj dismisses
reports of being Angry
Mirwaiz pitches for
connecting Kashmir
with Silk Route
Srinagar, Mar 6 (KNS): Putting aside the rumours of him being
miffed over appointment of G A Mir ahead of him as State Congress
President, former minister and senior Party leader Taj Moh-ud-Din
Friday said nobody can be angry with the decision of high command.
Talking to KNS he said, “We abide by the high command decisions
and whatever decision Sonia ji and Rahul ji takes has to be implemented in letter and spirit. We hail the high command’s decision.”
Asked to comment about the reports that some leaders including him were angry over the decision of Mir being given preference
over some seniors, Taj negated the reports saying, “Nobody can be
angry with the decision of high command. We will give full cooperation to him (Mir).”
On reports of lobbyism in Congress, he said, “It will survive in
Congress and we will eradicate it. We will unite the Congress and
nomination of Mir is welcome.”
Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar
Farooq Friday reiterated the importance of restoration of
Kashmir’s natural routes instead of just focusing on one
man-made land route which has failed the people time and
Addressing the Friday congregations at the historic Jamia
Masjid he said that roads were the lifelines of any city, state
or country facilitating not only transportation but also trade.
“Today the whole world is being better connected through
roads, railways etc. As opposed to this Kashmir is one of the
few places where instead of progress there is regress in terms
of development of these lifelines. Jammu Kashmir Highway,
the only road route connecting Kashmir valley to the rest of
world, remains closed for most part of winter months due to
rains and snowfall causing hardships for the people. Despite
many promises of development of this Highway not much
has improved which results in regular threat to the Valley of
being left without essential supplies,” he said.
“Even at this time of thousands of passengers and supply
trucks to Kashmir are stranded on Jammu – Srinagar Highway as a result of its closure due to slight bad weather in the
region, causing lot of hardships to the travelling passengers
and supply starved people of Kashmir,” he added.
Mirwaiz said that sad part is that Kashmir has many natural routes which facilitated its trade and commerce in the
past at international level. Kashmir was a hub of crossroads
connecting South and Central Asia and a key part of the Silk
Route between China and West Asia as well as Europe.
“Hazrat Shah Hamadan (RA) travelled to Kashmir from
Tajikistan through the Northern Route. The Greek coins at
SPS museum are a testament to the fact that Kashmir was
a part of international trade and commerce 2000 years back
and Kashmir flourished economically and culturally through
this connectivity. However, instead of trying to develop these
natural routes, they were deliberately closed and Kashmiris
were made dependent on this sole land route that closes in
winter thereby cutting it off from the rest of the world,” the
Hurriyat (M) chairman said.
“This has negatively impacted both Kashmir’s economy as
well as prosperity, “ Mirwaiz said and added that while the
JK highway needs to be improved upon, economic growth
of the region demands that alternative routes be opened up
and developed.
“It will restore Kashmir’s historical and rightful role as a
hub of trade and crossroads between South and Central Asia
and as an important part of the ancient Silk Route. This will
not only benefit Kashmir, but whole of South Asia. At a time
when China and other countries including India and Pakistan
are cooperating to re-establish the Ancient Silk Route - the
web of land and sea connections that once flourished in Asia
- it is time to reconnect Kashmir,” he demanded.
Mirwaiz reiterated that the Kashmir issue needs to be addressed by India and Pakistan, sooner than later. “While it
is encouraging that both sides have realized that there can
be no military solution to the problem and talks between
them have resumed, it is also a fact that unless Kashmiri resistance leadership is engaged in the process no progress can
be made, as they represent the aspirations of the people who
have been struggling for the past more than 60 years,” the
Hurriyat (M) chairman said.
Hari Parbhat which is also known as Koh-i-Maraan makes its presence felt in the backdrop of the
snow-clad mountains of the Zabarwan range on a day when sun played hide and seek in the valley
on Friday. -- Mushtaq Reshi/Kashmir Observer
Chairman LC,
legislators meet Guv
Jammu, Mar 6 (KNS): In separate meetings, Amrit Malhotra, Chairman Legislative
Council; M.Y. Tarigami, MLA
Kulgam; Sham Lal Bhagat,
MLC; and Sham Lal Sharma,
former Minister; called on
N.N. Vohra, Governor, here at
the Raj Bhavan today.
Malhotra, discussed several issues with the Governor
which relate to the future
growth and development of
the State.
Tarigami, senior legislator,
apprised the Governor about
various problems being faced
by people due to the rains and
snow in the Valley and also
raised references to several
administrative issues, including the delay in the payment
of compensation to the flood
affected people.
Bhagat, Legislative Councillor, apprised the Governor about demands relating to transferring funds to
Panchayats for treatment of
tAk, sofi tAke oAth As mlCs
Jammu: Sofi Yousuf of BJP and Firdous Ahmad Tak of PDP today took
oath as Members Legislative Council before the Chairman Legislative Council, Amrit Malhotra at the Council Complex Jammu, here.
The MLCs had been duly elected to J&K Legislative Council to fill
the casual vacancies caused in the J&K Legislative Council as notified through Bulletin dated 4th of March, 2015.
Mir Takes Stock Of Grievances
Of Stranded Passengers
Srinagar, Mar 6: State Congress
Ahmed Mir alongwith newly
elected CLP leader Nawang
Rigzin Jora, MLAs Gulzar
Ahmed Wani, Haji Abdul
Rashid Dar and senior party
leaders visited General Bus
Stand Jammu and met with
hundreds of stranded passengers from different parts
of Kashmir Valley and other
regions of the State.
“The stranded passengers
complained about the shortage of food, drinking water
and blankets. They criticized
the government that even
two ministers of the coalition government visited them
but nothing has been done on
the ground so far. Mir gave a
patient hearing to the people
and assured them that he will
take up this issue with the
Government,” a spokesman of
the Congress said in a statement to KNS.
Speaking to the media PCC
president said that it is unfortunate that inspite of having
a popular government people
of Kashmir and other regions
of the state have been left unattended at the Bus Stand for
the last so many days. “Mere
slogans and hollow visits will
not serve any purpose. This is
a high time that the government provide free transportation and ensure the safe
return of all the stranded
Baghlihar Dam’s Catchment
area; free electricity for the
areas close to Baglihar Dam
and Chenab river; concessional electricity rates for BPL
ration card holders; clearing pending liabilities on account of MGNREGA; same
compensation rates for lands
acquired under PMGSY, early
start of pending work on Jullah bridge over Chenab river
at Ramban; regularization of
daily wagers working in different govt. departments;
special survey for inclusion of
new cases relating to old age,
widow and handicapped etc.
Former Minister, Sharma
discussed various important
issues of public welfare with
the Governor.
The Governor assured
the legislators that their demands would be looked into
and urged them to continue
sustained pursuit of development issues for the welfare of
the masses.
passengers back to their respective places,” Mir said and
urged the government to arrange special air service for
the aged and sick people.
Rigzen Jora told the media
that a large number of Ladakh
passengers are stranded in
Chandigarh and New Delhi.
“The respective governments
are harassing the stranded
passengers. The private air
lines are not giving refunds
and hotel accommodation
in case of the cancellation of
flights which is violation of
the air travel rules,” he said
and urged the government to
arrange special air service for
lifting of the stranded Ladakh
113 sgCts promoted, igp kAshmir
CongrAtulAtes the promotees
Srinagar, March 06: (GNS) Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, Sh. A.G Mir today issued the
formal promotion orders of 113 SgCts to the next rank of Head Constables.
The departmental promotion committee which met under the Chairmanship of the Inspector
General of Police Kashmir Zone has issued the formal promotion orders of 113 SgCts to the next rank
of head constable having lien and seniority with Kashmir Zone in the pay scale of Rs 5200- 20200 with
the grad pay of Rs 2800.
IGP Kashmir has felicitated the promoted police personnel and their families and exhorted upon
them to work with more dedication and devotion in the interests of public and the department. (GNS)
governance our
priority: Zulfkar
Jammu, Mar 6 (KNS): Reiterating the commitment of the
Government to provide transparent and accountable governance to the people, the Minister for CA&PD, Zulfkar Ali, said
that bold innovative measures
will be taken to check all corrupt practices and process has
already been set in motion.
The Minister was addressing a public gathering at Prem
Nagar here today.
Minister of State for PHE
and I&FC, Abdul Majid Padder
and MLC, Surinder Chowdhary
were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion,
Zulfkar maintained that the
government has formulated a
comprehensive vision document to fulfil the aspirations of
the people of all three regions
of the state. He said coalition’s
main motive is to ensure inclusive development, balanced
growth and upliftment of all
sections of the society.
Exhorting youth to shoulder responsibility in bringing
change, the Minister said that
our vision is to channelize the
energy of the youth, and evolve
such a system that will ensure
justice and peace and provide
an atmosphere free from instability and economic disparities.
BSF celebrates ‘Holi’ festival
of color with religious fervor
Srinagar, March 06: (GNS) Like
elsewhere in country Holi, the festival of colors was celebrated with
joy, Enthusiasm and with religious
fervour in valley where boarder
security Forces (BSF) at their Humhama Headquarter organized a
grand celebration for Jawans and
Despite being far from their
homes security personnel enjoyed
the festival of color with their colleagues. They were very excited on
the occasion adding that celebrating Holi in Valley is being at home
for them. The Jawans prayed for the
peace and prosperity amid expressions of joys over the long waited
festival of colors.
Pertinently Holi also known as
the festivals of colour, synbolises
the end of winter and onset of
spring and revelers celebrate by
covering each other with colours.
The families of Officers also enjoyed the celebration of Holi. They
were playing colors amid dancing
and Folk songs. BSF Jawans and
officers dances after dubing each
other with ‘Gula’ and ‘Abir’ coloured powders. “ We are Happy as
after hectic duties for days together
today we are living some moments
of happiness on eve of festival of
colors, Holi,” Suresh Sharma.
Dr. Jagat Singh, Inspector General, BSF, Kashmir Frontier along
with officers of Kashmir Frontier
exchanged Holi revelries with the
jawans. He said that the festival
brought much needed breather
to the BSF Jawans from routine
dueites in extreme climatic conditions of Kashmir. Meanwhile
on cease fire violation the IG said
that the Jawans are confident and
enough capable to retaliate any attempt of violation. (GNS)
Screening test for post of Health
Services Pulwama postponed
Srinagar, Mar 6 (KNS): According to Chief Medical Officer Pulwama,
the screening test for the posts of Dental Surgeon, Physiotherapist,
Social Worker, Lab Technician & Dental Technician which was
scheduled to be held on March 07 and March 9 in Pulwama district,
has been postponed and next dates for conducting the screening
test shall be announced separately.
new delhi engAged in
hArd-line rhetoriC on
diAlogue proCess: mAlik
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman
Mohammad Yasin Malik Friday questioned that when there is no
intention to resolve Kashmir issue, what are dialogue and negotiations meant for?
“Every pro-India party and politician of Jammu Kashmir is an
Indian stooge whose only job is to safeguard the interests of India.
Hypocrisy of international community is making this world more
and more dangerous place,” Malik said while addressing a gathering at Lal Chowk, Anantnag
Malik said that sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris for freedom are
not such low weighted and people of Jammu Kashmir are not small
children who can be entertained by these kinds of lollypops. “We
have tested these photo-session talks and people of Kashmir are
now fed up with these kinds of gimmicks. It is our belief that instead of wasting time in this time consuming, fraudulent process
that has been used always to hoodwink international and domestic
opinion, we all should work hard to strengthen our freedom movement on grassroots level,” he said.
Come out of two pArties
CustomAry diAlogue
proCess: geelAni to indo-pAk
Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani Friday
appealed the governments of India and Pakistan to come out of the
two parties traditional and customary dialogue process and adopt a
serious and farsighted approach towards the final and lasting resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
“Kashmir is not the issue of good or bad governance so, it can
neither be solved by changing the government faces nor can this
ulcer be treated through the makeup measures,” Geelani said in a
press statement.
He said that the prime minister Narender Modi and his Pakistani
counterpart Mian Nawaz Sharif if willing can write a new chapter in the history of the world and they can play an important and
memorable role in making the South Asian region a region of peace,
stability and prosperity. “The unresolved Kashmir dispute is the
only reason which has constructed a wall of hatred, enmity and rivalries between both the countries and it is the only reason for the
political uncertainty, instability and disorder in the whole South
Asian region. In addition to the people of the Jammu & Kashmir, the
millions of people of both India and Pakistan are bearing the brunt
of the no fault of theirs,” he said.
Cabinet Sub Committee
to visit flood affected
areas, reviews relief
status in its first meeting
Jammu, March 06: (GNS)
The six member Cabinet Sub
Committee constituted to
review the relief and rehabilitation effort mounted by
the State Government in the
wake of devastating floods
of September, 2014 held its
first meeting here today, at
the Civil Secretariat.
The meeting was convened
by Minster for Public Health
Engineering and Irrigation &
Flood Control, Sukhnandan
Kumar and was attended by
the members including Minister for Finance, Labour and
Employment and Culture, Dr.
Haseeb Drabu, Minister for
Health and Medical Education and ARI Trainings, Ch.
Lal Singh, Minister for Law
Justice and Parliamentary
Affairs and Relief and Rehabilitation, Syed Basharat
Ahmad Bukhari, Minister for
Public Works, Floriculture
and Gardens and Parks, Syed
Mohammad Altaf Bukhari
and Minister for Information
Technology, Technical Education and Youth Services and
Sports, Imran Raza Ansari.
briefed by Commissioner
Secretary Revenue, Vinod
Kaul about the steps taken
for providing relief to the affected families and issues yet
to be resolved about provision of relief to such families.
After extensive deliberations, it was decided that
the members of the Cabinet
Sub Committee will visit the
Valley and the affected parts
to have interaction with
the Divisional Administration and concerned Deputy
Commissioners to review
the status of relief and rehabilitation measures that
have been taken in view of
recent floods. The Cabinet
Sub Committee will also
meet the affected traders
and other stakeholders. The
visit is meant to ensure that
the Administration is geared
up for the disbursement of
financial assistance which is
expected soon.
The meeting was also informed that long overdue relief package of around Rs.44,
000 crore is being reactivated in the light of World Bank
assessment report. (GNS)
‘Instead of developing natural
routes, Kashmiris made
dependent on sole land route’
07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer
My quest
for IslaM!
weekend observer
nikita singla
was in Mysore, the yoga capital of India. In
one of the yoga teacher training courses that
I was attending with ten different nationalities in the same room, a fellow yogi from the
west asked the teacher, “Say I have a Muslim
student in my class and he refuses to chant ‘Om’ in
the beginning prayer. As a yoga trainer, what am I
supposed to do?”
That had never occurred to me before. While
that class ended, the question didn’t leave me for
I headed back to Delhi and there began my quest
for Islam. As I began discussions and deliberations
with my Muslim friends and workmates, I was intrigued even more to learn about the community
which is nearly one-fourths of the world’s population. It was logical that if I wanted to learn about
the faith, I would start by reading its holy text.
I started reading the English translation for
Surah Al-Fatiha and Al-Baqarah – the first two
chapters of the Qur’an.
“You might want to cover the book with a
newspaper”, a friend remarked! “They say one
who reads the Qur’an converts himself to Islam. I
pray for you”, said another. For a moment, I started
wondering if I had laid my hands on something that
formidable. We have been celebrating Indian independence for seven decades now, but independence
just from the British Raj. Another reform movement is what we need to gradually free ourselves
from the shackles of ignorance. And for that, dire
need is to understand different religions by reading
their holy text. Before we go and put forth our opinions on public forums, the least we can do is not just
read what these texts say in Arabic or Sanskrit, but
also understand the exegesis through translations
in our own languages.
Was I making an attempt to create that big religion comparison chart and have an opinion on
what is right and what is wrong? No! My endeavor
was to understand the faith which is not just so different from the one I have grown up to believe, but
also the faith over which societies have been wrangling over for times immemorial.
My head muddles every time I sit down to watch
these television debates hyperbolizing sensitive to
sensational. With freedom of speech becoming a
contentious issue in recent times, Islam is becoming a topic of heated debate.
As far as my memory serves right, I have grown
up to believe that Muslim men can marry up to four
wives, just for sheer merrymaking (!). The verses in
the holy book have been seen as giving permission
for, in fact promoting polygamy, but the condition
for this ‘permission’ has remained ignored.
This verse has a strong context. In the aftermath of war, it was likely that men lost their lives,
leaving behind widowed women and orphaned
children. It is in this context that the Qur’an
clearly states how men can marry from among
(orphaned/widowed) women, two, three, four, but
only if they can be fair and do justice amongst the
co-wives. If they fear they can’t be just to all wives,
then they should stick to monogamy which is the
‘safest course’. I think the book is very clear on this
subject, that monogamy is the basis for normal relationships, while polygamy is only allowed as an
exception, so that the needs of the wider community can be met.
Similarly, it’s quite a popular perception that
Islam considers two female witnesses equivalent
to one male witness. This is contextual again. In
the patriarchal society of seventh century Arabia,
women were lesser involved in the financial transactions of public life and hence lacked experience
in this regard. Two women could not only encourage each other to become active participants in delivering public duty, but also stand for each other
if any of the female witnesses was coerced, manipulated or forced to change testimony by the party
breaching the contract.
Equally eye-opening it was, when I gradually
began understanding the concepts of fasting, hajj,
apostasy, marriage, divorce, charity, usury, domestic violence, and veil to say the least. I would
do injustice to the very experience of reading the
Qur’an if I impose my views and my understanding of these themes on you.
The holy text is urging to be read, urging to
both Muslims and non-Muslims – to Muslims to
not just blindly follow but understand what shapes
their life, to non-Muslims to know what is true Islam and not bias their understanding on a series of
unfortunate events. And I take the liberty of suggesting that as you read the Qur’an, pick the holy
text of your own faith also, and you will be taken
aback to see how Almighty is focusing on the same
core message in different forms through different
media. Astounded was I, as I read the Surah AlFatiha and the Gayatri Mantra, side by side. Commonalities of these spiritual paths have been lost
in the haze of ‘organizing’ religions.
I couldn’t have agreed more with Robert M.
Pirsig, who so beautifully said:
“You are never dedicated to something you
have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically
shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.
They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious
faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
So the holy text, be it yours or be it mine, as we
like to classify, is challenging the reader to think
about its message, ponder its meaning, and accept
it with understanding rather than blind faith. In
any religion, learning process can never be complete. As we grow our understanding, we will be
surrounded with more and more questions, but it
is the courage to seek answers to those questions,
test and interrogate our ideas and experiences
afresh that can add meaning to our reverence for
our faith.
Nikita Singla blogs at:
Liberating Faith,
rigid FoLLowers
aijaz Zaka syed
f all the angry speeches,
sound bites and opinion
pieces that the Charlie
Hebdo massacre generated, the best one came
from an unexpected quarter – Pope
Francis. In the face of the west’s chorus defending unlimited freedom and
free speech, Pope Francis mustered
the courage to argue that there were
limits to this freedom, especially
when it insults or ridicules someone’s
faith and beliefs.
By way of example, he referred to
Alberto Gasparri, who organises papal trips and was standing by his side
aboard the papal plane when he spoke.
“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a
curse word against my mother, he can
expect a punch”, the Pope said, throwing a pretend punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot
insult the faith of others. You cannot
make fun of the faith of others.”
The leader of 1.2 billion Catholics
said it was an “aberration” to kill in
the name of God and said religion can
never be used to justify violence. But
he said there was a limit to free speech
when it concerned offending someone’s religious beliefs. “There are so
many people who speak badly about
religions or other religions, who make
fun of them, who make a game out of
the religions of others. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them
is what would happen to Dr Gasparri
if he says a curse word against my
mother. There is a limit.”
The Pope also joined four prominent French imams in issuing a joint
declaration that denounced the attacks but also urged the media to treat
religions with respect, disappointing
many western liberals and closet fanatics whose concept of freedom begins and ends with testing the limits
of Muslim tolerance.
In the relatively short period of
time since he took over as the leader
of the Christendom, Pope Francis has
gone out of his way to win hearts and
minds and not just of his flock. This
is what leadership is all about. This is
what men of faith should and ought to
do – showing the way, making peace
and offering hope and a healing touch.
And what a refreshing change
this Pope offers after his staid, rather
dull predecessor. This is perhaps because of the fact that he is the first
non-European Pope in 1300 years – remarkable for a faith that was born in
the east!
Francis comes from Argentina, a
nation with a long history of western
colonialism and subjugation. So unlike the cold and distant Europeans,
this Pope has no qualms in showing
his human side and warmth from
time to time.
For example during a visit to
e seem to have
lost ourselves
in the literal
world of dogma, leaving
somewhere behind
the soul and spirit of
a generous, powerful
faith. We see technology
and innovation that
the rest of the world
hungrily laps up as
a challenge. We fear
change. We are afraid
of women who drive
and work. We even fear
harmless schoolgirls.
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ,
he stopped over to pray at the monstrous, ugly Wall that Israel has built
to imprison Palestinians in their own
land. An emotional pontiff touched
the Separation wall and silently
prayed, glancing at the graffiti that
voices Palestinian defiance and resolve for freedom.
When he visited Jerusalem and
the Western Wall, the holiest site in
Judaism, he was seen warmly hugging two old friends – Rabbi Abraham
Skorka and a Muslim leader Omar
Abboud. During a visit to the Yad
Vashem Memorial to victims of the
Holocaust, he met half a dozen survivors of the Nazi genocide, fervently
kissing their hands.
As Tim Stanley notes in the Telegraph: “This is a cleric who is prepared to talk frankly and humanely
about issues of injustice. His simplicity appeals, too. Often, the Pope
is seen boarding a plane carrying
his own bag. But when talking to the
press mid-flight, he displays a rugged
kind of faith that, again, citizens of the
developing world would appreciate
more than ‘cosmopolitan’ Europeans.
“He decried the killings in Paris,
but noted that when people love God
like a father, they take a risk when
they insult Him. For perhaps the first
time, many western liberals were
disappointed with Francis – for questioning the wisdom of blasphemy. But
those who truly want to understand
how Muslims feel about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could learn a lot from
what he had to say.”
His emphasis is not upon liturgical richness but, happily, upon
straightforward themes of love and
compassion that resonate widely. In
the Philippines, street children asked
him why God allowed suffering. When
one girl broke down in tears, the Pope
told her crying cleansed the soul and
asked why so few women had been invited to speak.
No wonder this pontiff evokes
strong emotions wherever he goes.
In Manila, some six million people
turned up for communion. It was
perhaps the biggest papal mass in
history. Stanley also suggests that it
was Pope Francis who played a critical role in bridging the impossible,
decades-old gulf between the United
States and Cuba, earning generous
praise from President Barack Obama.
The pontiff also earned himself silent gratitude of Muslims around the
world when he defended the Prophet’s
(pbuh) honour with a conviction that
not many Muslim scholars or leaders
have managed to.
Which reminds me – why do we
not see Muslim scholars and religious
leaders reach out to the world with
such love, warmth and kindness? Especially when Islam is being increasingly monopolised by a lunatic fringe
that distorts and twists its humane
teachings and commits every sin
imaginable in the name of all that is
We never tire of claiming that
Islam stands for peace, salvation and
universal brotherhood. How many
of our leaders, scholars and imams
demonstrate this with their actions or
even in their speeches, reaching out to
the world with the liberal, universal
message of the faith?
Why do we not see Muslim scholars talk more about the kindness, generosity and humanity of the Prophet
(pbuh) that he showed to the worst of
his adversaries? Or his emphasis on
kindness to women and children and
his Last Sermon that celebrates the
equality and oneness of humanity like
nothing else does?
Instead of offering guidance and
leadership to the faithful in these
most trying times and in confronting
challenges such as extremism and ignorance, our scholars spend much of
their time obsessing over frivolous,
non-issues. From issuing fatwas on Indian tennis star Sania Mirza’s sartorial choices to condemning social media such as Twitter as ‘the source of
all evil,’ our priorities and propensity
to scout for the irrelevant and absurd
never cease to amaze me. It is as if we
inhabit a different planet altogether.
Recently, Saudi Grand Mufti
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh
stunned everyone by proclaiming
that celebrating the Prophet’s (pbuh)
birthday is ‘sinful’ and a ‘bidaa’ (innovation). One understands the Grand
Mufti’s emphasis on embracing the
teachings of the Prophet (pbuh), rather than ceremonial celebration of his
birth anniversary. But the joy that
the faithful experience on this most
special day, can it really be termed
This at a time when Christmas is
being celebrated all over the Middle
East with increasing fanfare and fervour Shopping malls and hotels in the
Gulf are all decked up months before
December 25th.
We seem to have lost ourselves
in the literal world of dogma, leaving
somewhere behind the soul and spirit
of a generous, powerful faith. We see
technology and innovation that the
rest of the world hungrily laps up as
a challenge. We fear change. We are
afraid of women who drive and work.
We even fear harmless schoolgirls.
I know there is no concept of
clergy or a global religious leader in
Islam. But the faithful can certainly
do with some leadership and muchneeded guidance right now. It is time
to rediscover the spirit of the faith.
Aijaz Zaka Syed is a Middle
East based columnist.
row over West Pakistan refugees
bashir ahmad Khan
HE row in Jammu and Kashmir over the Government of
India’s move to grant citizenship rights in the light of Joint
Parliamentary Standing Committee (JPSC) recommendations to few
thousand refugees from erstwhile West
Pakistan, settled in Jammu, is snowballing into a major political controversy in
the state.
West Pakistan refugees, eighty percent of whom are of the scheduled caste
Hindus, migrated during the partition
from Sialkot to Jammu and Kashmir.
They chose to take refuge in Jammu as it
was the closest town across the line of partition from Sialkot. The WP refugees continue to live in miserable conditions since
from past six decades in villages from
Kathua to Pallanwalla in Jammu along
the international border with Pakistan.
According to official statistics, only
one lakh 14 thousand West Pakistan refugees are living in 137 hamlets in RS Pura,
Suchetgarh and Bishnah constituencies
of Jammu region. The union home ministry has approved certain concession for
the West Pakistan refugees recently, including recruitment right for the Central
Armed Police Forces and special recruitment drives in the state. Besides, JPSC
of Union Home Ministry has also recommended that the refugees be given citizenship rights in the state. However, all the
separatist factions and mainstream parties of Kashmir in unison have opposed
the Government of India’s move to grant
citizenship rights to these refugees stating such a move was aimed at changing
the demography of the state.
Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali
Shah Geelani has threatened to launch an
agitation if the Centre granted citizenship
and voting rights to WP refugees living in
Jammu. Geelani has also stated that such
a move was aiming at altering demography of the state.
Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz
Umar Farooq recently held an emergency
meeting over the refugees’ issue and alleged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “was
planning to change the demographics of
J&K to subvert chances of referendum on
Kashmir problem.” Mirwaiz had said that
Hurriyat was going to chalk out the future
strategy with other separatist groups and
civil society members to launch a united
resistance. Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Mohammad Yasin Malik has organised protests
against granting of rights to West Pakistan refugees in the state.
It’s just not only separatists but
mainstream parties of valley seem to be
too concerned about the issue of West
Pakistan refugees in the state. National
Conference, the state’s oldest mainstream
political party has also opposed the recommendations. National Conference General Secretary and Former minister Ali
Muhammad Sagar termed the JPC recommendations as ‘unacceptable’ and are a
wicked conspiracy to temper the special
status of Jammu and Kashmir State.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
which emerged as the single largest party
with 28 seats in the recently concluded
2014 state elections also cautioned Government of India against a “hasty decision.” “It is a legacy of the partition and
a very complicated and complex issue.
No decision on such a sensitive matter
should be taken arbitrarily as it could
have serious repercussions,” PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar had said.
Earlier, Independent legislator
Sheikh Engineer Rashid had staged a protest and urged all the political parties and
separatists groups to counter the move.
Rashid is also holding a seminar on Jan
19 where he has invited all the separatist
and mainstream leaders against the centre’s move to grant citizenship rights to
On the other hand, refugees claim
if the rights would not be given to them,
they would approach international human right organizations as they have a
right to live with dignity. According to
them, they have been living in miserable
conditions from past six decades and have
decided to take their case before international human right organizations if Kashmir leaders would try to ‘subvert’ their
Rajiv Chuni, the chairman of SOS
international-an organisation of Pakistan-administered Kashmir (Pak) refugees settled in Jammu believes Kashmiri
separatists and mainstream parties are
misleading the people.
According to him, how can only a
meagre number of people change the demography of the state?
To grant citizenship and voting
rights to West Pakistan refugees in the
state Assembly elections, apart from
monetary and other benefits was one of
the main election planks of the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP). BJP which emerged
as the second largest party in the state
bagging 25 seats is committed to provide
rights to West Pakistan refugees, who
have been living all odds from the past six
decades. The BJP leaders and even some
Jammu-based Congress leaders like Raman Bhalla, Sham Lal Sharma and Manjit Singh and a number of social and political groups condemned the anti-refugee
forces, saying that the whole issue is of
humanitarian nature and they would continue to fight for their rights.
If separatist leaders of Kashmir continue to resent the move to grant ‘citizenship’ status for the west Pakistan Refugees and granting ‘voting rights’ to them
in the state may prove counterproductive
which can change for the state’s fragile
political atmosphere.
The refugees’ issue has risen to such
an extent that some people are saying the
trifurcation of the state is the only solution to end the crises. The statements
from separatists and other groups can
trigger law and order problem in both
regions of the state which will have serious consequences much like of 2008 Amarnath land row like situation.
It is pertinent to mention that the
election results on December 23 had
thrown up a fractured mandate and the
political parties failed to reach to a consensus over government formation thus
leading the state under Governor’s rule. It
is now time for Governor Administration
to act before it is too late. Governor should
keep all cards open so that neither there
should be any division nor the refugees
should be denied of their rights.
Similarly Central government must
also intervene to find out a possible solution to solve this refugees’ crisis for the
larger interests of the state.
Author can be reached at: [email protected]
07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer
the Other half Of COnfliCt
The Story Of Kashmir’s Women
Everyone talks of how the men have endured the prolonged unrest and violence,
but how have the women lived through the conflict in their own ways?
Manisha Sobhrajani
uring my first interaction with a group of
women labelled “halfwidows”
whose husbands are not
officially declared dead, but termed
“missing” – from Dardpora in 2003,
it was difficult for me to fathom how
a man could simply “disappear”. Of
course things have become clearer
now, but that first time was numbing, to say the least.
Amongst this group of women
from Dardpora was Rafiqa, a woman in her mid-twenties, who looked
stunningly beautiful in her salwarkameez detailed with Kashmiri embroidery. I can recall my conversation, with an eager-to-talk Rafiqa,
to the last detail even to this day.
Her husband had been picked up,
presumably by the security forces,
and taken away, never to return.
She was left behind with two children, both below five, and nothing
but memories of her husband. Her
in-laws turned her out from their
house, and other men from the village harassed her day and night. She
did not want to burden her parents,
but had no choice but to return to
their house.
Amongst other things, her biggest regret was that she and her husband only managed to have two children before he “disappeared”. She
didn’t want to “retire” so soon. She
had wanted many more children. I
wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to
suggest a second marriage to Rafiqa.
The Indian government does not
provide any relief to half-widows before seven years from the date of the
‘disappearance’ of their men, and if
the women choose to re-marry before those seven years, they are not
entitled to any official relief or assistance whatsoever. Until recently,
the government had provided relief
only to a few hundred half-widows.
For Rafiqa, as for most
women of Kashmir, the
conflict has been doubly fatal,
as they haven’t just borne the
wrath of the conflict but have
also been treated as objects of
use and amusement, both by
militants and Indian security
I was meeting her again, after a
gap of many years, during my current visit to the valley. In trying to
find her own Azaadi, she had fought
the battle of survival ferociously.
The journey had been long and painful. She had visibly aged, but was
still stunning, and in control of life.
It was difficult to imagine how she
must have toiled and fretted over rebuilding it bit by bit. She seemed reluctant to talk about it. I decided to
go with Rafiqa to her village, Dardpora.
Dardpora, the “village of widows” in Kupwara, is nestled in the
mountains and is very close to the
LoC. Its name comes from the Dardi
tribe which inhabits the village.
Ironically, it also symbolizes dard,
or the pain and suffering, that the
women here undergo. Even though I
had been to the village before, going
with Rafiqa was a different experience. She had been born and brought
up in Dardpora, and had been mar-
ried to a man from the same village,
In the early 1990s, when militancy was just setting foot in Kashmir, three militant groups – Al Barq
(mostly comprising Gujjars), HM,
and the Kashmir Liberation Force
- became operational in the area. A
fratricidal war between the three
the men/militants were killed, the
women did not remarry because of
their children. They also said that
nobody wanted a woman with children from a previous marriage.
Since livelihood means were scarce,
and it was only women left behind
in Dardpora, prostitution could not
be ruled out. I had to be very gentle
agencies, mostly by armed personnel, in the last twenty years. Many
of them were young men, and their
disappearance has left behind 2,000
to 2,500 half-widows.37
The official version on these disappearances is bleak. Most men are
either taken away under cover of
darkness, or picked up from some-
groups and clashes with security
forces claimed most of the men in
this village. Prior to that, the hostility between the two prevalent communities – Gujjars and Kashmiris
– had taken the lives of many male
members. As a tragic and sad aftereffect, those who were left in the
village were mostly women and children, women whose men had either
died or had gone ‘missing’. Women
whose husbands went ‘missing’ began to be known as ‘half-widows’.
Hussain drove the two of us up
to Dardpora. It had snowed the previous day, an unusual phenomenon
for the month of November. After
four hours of a journey full of twists
and turns on long, winding roads
through thick forests of unparalleled scenic beauty, we reached
the outskirts of the village, beyond
which we had to make our way on
foot. Hussain wasn’t too happy about
this, but once he realized Rafiqa and
I wouldn’t be deterred, he reluctantly parked his vehicle and followed
us – a gesture which deeply touched
me. His job was simply to take me
to places, not to worry about my
whereabouts and safety. But over
the years, Hussain had donned the
mantle of being my guardian angel in Kashmir: ensuring I ate my
meals, called home and informed my
family of my well-being, and didn’t
get too “adventurous”.
Rafiqa took us to her parents’
house, where she had been living
along with her two children after
her husband went “missing” and
the in-laws turned hostile. Having
spent some time talking to Rafiqa’s
mother and sharing tit-bits of information about my work in general, I
expressed a desire to walk through
the village. “Yahan par charon taraf
dushman hai. Kisi par bharosa nahi
kiya ja sakta,” the elderly woman
told me. Everyone here is an enemy.
No one can be trusted…
Hussain made his exit at this
point, and Rafiqa and I spent the
better part of the afternoon walking aimlessly around lower Dardpora exchanging pleasantries with
the village folk. Most of the widows
in the village were very young, between twenty-one and forty-five
years. Most had large families, with
school-going children to support.
Earlier, Gujjar women would go to
the jungles to chop firewood that
they would then sell, and Kashmiri
women would cultivate the land or
earn a meagre income from handicraft orders. Now, widowhood had
become the dominant marker for
these women. They were harassed
by security forces and militants
alike, not to mention the daily struggle of having to fend for themselves
and their children.
about asking them if they had been
harassed by security forces or government officials. They denied that
this was happening, and indicated
that as they were now liberated from
all men, issues of rape, battering and
assault were no longer relevant.
The basis of my interactions
with the women in Dardpora, as
anywhere else in Kashmir, had to
be trust, which I had to work upon.
Rafiqa was going to help me with
that. My first interaction with the
Dardpora women had taken place in
Srinagar many years before. We had
invited a group of twenty women
from the village to stay with us for a
two-day “trauma healing and reconciliation” workshop. For the Dardpora women, it was strange to be
away from the village, stranger still
that they didn’t have to look after
the house, cook, clean and manage
the children. What was worse was
that there was someone else who
was happy to cook for them and feed
them! A shikara ride on the Dal lake,
which we all take for granted as part
of the deal when visiting Kashmir,
put these women in a state of utter confusion and deep, far-away
In trauma healing, symbolism
plays a crucial role. During the
course of the workshop, it was important for us as the team conducting the workshop to establish an act
of symbolism that we could relate
to as ours, as belonging especially
to our group – the Dardpora women
and the team from Delhi. We tried to
get the group to do several things:
sing, draw, do an exercise wherein
we divided the group in pairs. Nothing seemed to be working. It was an
intense and extremely challenging
experience to even get the women
to talk. All they wanted was some
money, and be allowed to go back
home to their children. “Caring
and sharing” was a concept alien to
them, and they didn’t think much of
Amongst other things, conflict
teaches people survival tactics. An
important part of that is to be able
to say things the other party wants
to hear. So the Dardpora women
said the “right” things which were
meant to move us women from Delhi
After day one of the workshop,
as I was talking to the group during dinner, one of the women took
me aside, and putting my hand inside her pheran, told me she had no
breasts as the militants had simply
chopped them off! My instant reaction was denial. How could this be
possible? However, it was.
In Kashmir, thousands of women are going through an identity crisis owing to the phenomenon of enforced disappearances, which leads
them to the status of half-widows.
For such women, each day begins
with the hope of their men returning, and ends in despair. While officials put the number of enforced
disappearances between 1,000 and
3,000, according to human rights
activists at least 10,000 people have
been made to disappear by state
where where nobody can identify
the person or even know the location from where the disappearance
took place. The ones taken away
for questioning on the pretext of a
“crime” or “violent incident” are
said to be kept under tight security
where neither their families are allowed to meet them nor are they
given any legal assistance. Year after year, they remain missing, and
the government does not say where
they are.
It came to light that there
was once a time when there
was not a single house in
Dardpora that did not house
Women had a choice between
willingly marrying the militants or
being forcefully carried away. After
Most half-widows are
women from lower-income
families and mostly dependent
on their husbands.
During the seven-year waiting
period, the women’s rights to their
husbands’ property are often threatened. As is common, there is little or
no support from the in-laws. Even
after the completion of seven years
from the date of disappearance,
the women get a meagre amount of
money for their sustenance. Halfwidows have no recourse to justice
or provision of aid, especially in the
form of employment. Many NGOs,
both local and national, have opened
schools for these women where they
are taught stitching and embroidery, and at times, given sewing
machines. This is hardly enough or
practical to help the women out of
their plight.
When I had visited Dardpora
after the two-day workshop in May
2003, there was a certain sadness that
hung around the place like a gloomy
cover. It seemed like life itself was
dishevelled, unkempt and lost. For
the inhabitants of Dardpora, mostly
women, their days revolved around
a few fruit trees, farming land where
they cultivated some rice, and perhaps a small income from a room or
two given out on rent. There was one
school with only one old man acting
as both schoolmaster and mentor
for the fifteen-odd children of all age
groups who came there.
When I visited Dardpora the second time, Master sahib was happy to
see me again, this time with Rafiqa.
During a long chat over a cup of
noon chai, the salty tea for which I
had finally acquired a taste, he told
me how it was important for the
women of Dardpora to have exposure to the outside world and interact with people beyond the village.
When word spread that the
‘madam’ from Delhi had come, some
of the women from the village came
to greet me. I was delighted that two
of them were from the same group
I had met earlier in Srinagar, and
what’s more, they even remembered
me! After exchanging polite banter, I was ushered into one of their
homes and offered tea and blankets
to keep me warm. On the way, I noticed a small stitching school. There
wasn’t much progress in the village
in terms of development, but the
gloomy cover had certainly lifted.
Even the school premises looked
impressive and had an air of selfimportance about it.
However, not much seemed
to have changed in the lives of the
women. They were still waiting to
hear news of their missing men; reports still emanated of them being
tortured by militants and security
forces for the same reasons; they
continued to wonder where their
next meal would come from.
Rafiqa and I made our way back
to her parents’ house, and by now,
her father and her two children
were also home. While the mother
and daughter got busy with preparing the evening meal, and the father
entertained a group of his friends,
I tried to talk to the children. They
responded by bringing their school
bags and displaying their books. I
asked them if they liked school and
what they did there. “We study,
and we play terrorist-terrorist, and
sometimes when one of us can’t be
found by the others, that child is
considered ‘missing’." The ease with
which the children said this sent a
chill down my spine.
Almost all children in Kashmir
have been affected by the conflict
– while some are the children of insurgents, there are others who have
lost their parents to the insurgency.
Some have been physically affected
by the conflict, a victim in a violent
incident; others have been badly
affected psychologically. While
the children in far-flung areas like
Dardpora undergo formal education
courtesy NGOs and some government infrastructure, there is little
or no exposure to the outside world,
particularly due to lack of interaction with people outside their own
In such a situation, how do
children cope with the trauma
of conflict?
The answer was in front of my
eyes: they do so by playing games
like “terrorist-terrorist”. I have often wondered how their innocent
minds address the issues of fear, hatred, anger, rebellion, trauma, disaster, compassion, reconciliation etc.
Do they ever get healed? How do the
children react to being identified as
‘victims’, and how does it affect their
growing up? How does conflict affect
their interactions with each other,
particularly during extra-curricular
activities? Again, I had no answers.
I mentioned this to Rafiqa as
soon as we had all retired for the day
after a delicious meal of haq (locally
grown spinach) and rice with yakhni (meat cooked with spices and
curd). She was not surprised. According to her, it was not just hers
but most children of Kashmir who
played such games and spoke in this
manner. She also mentioned another “favourite” game Kashmiri children played: during firing, which is
a common feature of everyday life
here, children derived thrills by trying to establish whether it was the
sound of rifles, AK-47s or some other
I only had to slightly encourage Rafiqa to tell me her story,
and she began telling me what had
transpired in her life. Suleiman and
Rafiqa had gotten married in the
village ten- odd years ago and had
begun their family almost immediately. Suleiman was a porter, and
there was a rumour that he, along
with twenty other men from the village, was involved with a militant
group and helped them in various
ways. Rumour also had it that since
Kupwara was very close to the LoC,
one of the routes that militants on
both sides used to cross the border
was through Dardpora.
Rafiqa said Suleiman had been
warned a couple of times by the
armed forces that he was under
watch and his daily activities were
being closely followed. One day, Suleiman left home in the wee hours of
the morning, even before the darkness of the night had given way to
the sunrise. He told Rafiqa he was
going for work, and she knew better
than to ask more.
Suleiman met up with
his acquaintances in the
deep cover of the forest, and
together they set out even
They were to meet up with foreign militants and bring them to
safety. However, security forces
had come to know of this movement, and had been keeping watch
for a few days now. Suleiman was
oblivious to this. Suspecting nothing, the group moved on. Soon
enough, there was an ambush; the
security forces had formed a ring
around them. Caught unawares, the
militants fared badly in the clash,
and most of them succumbed to the
bullets. The few who survived tried
to run away into hiding.
When Rafiqa heard persistent
banging on her door, and that too
only a few hours after her husband
had left, she immediately sensed
trouble. She opened the door to find
a badly injured Suleiman almost
collapsing outside the house. She
got him inside, and helped him to
bed. He refused her offer to bring
Khan Chacha who acted as the village doctor, even though he had no
medical background. But once Suleiman lost consciousness, Rafiqa
immediately went and fetched the
old man. She wasn’t very happy to
note Chacha’s expression on examining her husband.
After treating four bullet injuries with whatever could be used as
equipment from within the house,
Khan Chacha administered Suleiman some local herbs as medicine,
and told Rafiqa in no uncertain
terms that his chances of survival
were bleak. He suggested that if
and when Suleiman recovered from
unconsciousness, he should not be
allowed to move at all. With a promise of coming back to check on Suleiman, he left. Rafiqa was lost. She
knew that word would soon spread
around the village about Suleiman and his injuries, even though
Chacha would not be the one doing
the talking. She didn’t know what
to say to her children and Suleiman’s parents. However, she knew
she had to move her husband away
from the house because the security forces would come looking for
him any minute. This she did with
the help of Chacha and some other
elders; Suleiman was moved to an
abandoned and well-hidden cave in
the forest.
In a few weeks’ time, when
Suleiman had regained and lost
consciousness several times before
finally coming about, and when the
whole village including his parents
and children knew what had transpired, there was an air of discomfort all around. Suleiman insisted
on going deeper into the forest to
make contact with the foreign militants to find out what had happened
that morning. Rafiqa and the others
could not stop him. The inevitable
happened: Suleiman left the cave
one afternoon after a bitter argument with Rafiqa, and that was the
last she saw of her husband.
She had not expected him back
soon, but when Suleiman didn’t return even after three weeks, Rafiqa
declared an emergency. She tried
to make contact with Suleiman’s
friends, some of whom had gone
out that fateful morning to help the
militants. This was no easy job. It
involved sending out signals and
messages in the most discreet and
strange manner, then waiting for
days at an end to get even the most
insignificant response. Months
passed, and Rafiqa turned from a
homely, simple woman into a messenger between different stakeholders operating in Kupwara, involving not just members of militant
outfits but also security forces.
Despite this, she failed to get any
concrete piece of information about
Suleiman, and soon, her husband,
like many other men from within
and outside Dardpora, was termed
“missing”. This left her a halfwidow, someone who didn’t know
whether her husband was dead or
In trying to get any news about
Suleiman, Rafiqa had many a time
ruffled a few feathers here and
there, and had also made many enemies. In order to placate them, she
sometimes had to compromise sexually so as to avoid trouble. Before
long, she was joined by other women who had similar backgrounds.
Soon, Dardpora became known as
the infamous village of half-widows
whose women were aware of shorter routes in the mountains of Kupwara. They guided both militants
as well as security forces through
these routes, and in return demanded favours which otherwise would
not come their way. Sexual manipulation became a common game
played out in the region.
It was early morning by the
time Rafiqa finished her story, almost six years since Suleiman had
gone “missing”. I didn’t know what
to say to her, and sensing my discomfort, she suggested we get out of
bed and have some tea.
Excerpted with permission from
The Land I Dream of: The Story of
Kashmir's Women, Manisha Sobhrajani, Hachette India.
6 Saturday 07032015
Kashmir Observer
Smart shopping on the rise
MUMBAI: A steep upward trend in
e-commerce propelled by expediency has seen online purchases made
through mobile phones in India double over the last two years.
An Online Shopping survey 2014
by MasterCard, covering 14 countries across Asia Pacific, showed that
China continued to lead the chart
among mobile shoppers with 70.1
per cent of respondents polled having used their device to MAKE ONLINE purchases. It was followed by
India (62.9 per cent), Taiwan (62.6
per cent), Thailand (58.8 per cent)
and Indonesia (54.9 per cent).
The report on the online shopping habits of respondents, includes
interviews with 7,000 respondents
aged between 18-64 years from 14
India ranked second with 81.2 per
cent of respondents accessing the internet for online
shopping while China leads
with 86.6 per cent. The
MasterCard survey found
that 95 per cent of Indian
respondents, have access
to the internet through
with mobile phone.
The most compelling
reasons for driving smartphone shopping in India
were the ability to shop on
the go (47.7 per cent), the
growing availability of apps
that makes it easier to shop
(45.3 per cent) and the convenience (38.1 per cent).
Mobile phones/mobile gadget apps
(28.8 per cent) topped the list of items
purchased through smartphones, followed by tickets for cinema/movie
theatres (26.7 per cent) and clothing/
fashion accessories (24 per cent).
Further, for online transactions,
the most common payment methods used are debit cards and cash although new mobile technologies are
gaining traction in the region.
“Digital payment solutions like
mobile banking apps and digital
wallets will go a long way to further
enrich the purchasing experience for
the ever-evolving consumer,” Vikas
Varma, Area Head South Asia, MasterCard, said in a statement. “The
survey shows that there is a strong
need to provide not only secure, but
also convenient payments solutions
as consumers move to a more digital
and sophisticated lifestyle.”
I&C Minister
Fair & Lovely to interview
mess in
for 11th edition scholarships admits
JK Cements
SRINAGAR: Continuing its scholarships programme, started in
2003, Fair & Lovely Foundation
has conferred scholarships to
more than 1000 girls to help
them break the socio-economic
barriers and head towards selfreliance and economic empowerment in last 10 editions.
The Fair & Lovely Foundation
is an initiative by Fair & Lovely, a
brand from Hindustan Unilever
Limited; and for more than a
decade it has been successfully
transforming the lives of deserving girls by awarding them
with scholarships up to Rs 1
lakh and highlighting the need
of self-reliance and economic
Foundation currently in its
11th edition, has reached the
critical phase of its country-wide
candidate interview round with
Lucknow today. These interviews
will be held in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai & Lucknow.
Through this scholarship initiative, the Fair and Lovely Foundation strives to empower women
and give them the opportunity to
pursue higher education, vocational training as enable women
to build their small enterprises.
Fair & Lovely Scholarships are
awarded to women with aptitude, a strong drive to succeed
and to those who want to build
an identity for themselves. Scholarships of up to Rs. 1, 00,000
is awarded to these deserving
young girls from across the country. This year the foundation saw
an overwhelming response from
more than 10000 girls from various parts of the country.
Talking about the Fair & Lovely
Foundation Scholarship program
Srinandan Sundaram, Vice President Skincare & Makeup, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. says, “Fair &
Lovely Foundation is our initiative to economically empower
women to pursue their dreams
and reach their true potential. It
gives me immense joy to be committed towards this cause, and see
the magnitude of this programme
increase manifold each year. This
time we will extended the scholarship to candidates seeking vocational training and seed fund
apart from higher education.”
Adding more about the interview round, he said, “On
behalf of Fair & Lovely Foundation, we would like to express
our heartfelt gratitude to all the
dignitaries, who had taken time
out from their busy schedule
and helped us in our endeavour
to select the candidates.”
SRINAGAR: As State owned Jammu and
Kashmir Cements plant at Khrew witnesses’ steep fall in production, the State
government Friday admitted the abominable mess within the Corporation.
Industries and Commerce Minister,
Chander Prakash Ganga, said that employees of JK Cements were not ready
to work with honesty and have created
mess in the Corporation. “The work culture of the employees is shocking which
needs to be rectified. Employees of the
Corporation fight each other for personnel interests without caring for the interests of the Corporation,” he said.
The Minister warned that he will not
allow anybody to breach the official system and all those trying to create mess
will be dealt seriously.
It is pertinent to mention here that the JK
Cements has been rocked with allegations
of corruption and fraud, particularly relating
to the illegal appointments and construction of new plant at Samba, Jammu which is
not functional from last three years.
Meanwhile sources in the Corporation said that the cement production
at Khrew plant has fallen by almost 95
percent of the targeted 1200 metric
tons production.
They revealed that from last one week
the Plant at Khrew is not functional and
the employees are without salaries from
the last three months. “Employees of the
Corporation are without salaries from
last three month. We used to get salaries
on the last day of month but due to misappropriation we are without salaries
for the last three months,” one of the
employees said.
From Front Page
'Mandate for
development front so that people of the State,
who have suffered for long, feel the change coming on the ground,” the Chief Minister reiterated.
The Chief Minister said the verdict of the people
in the Assembly elections is a great opportunity to
connect and further gel the three distinct regions
of J&K State. He added that there will be no digging of the past and the initiatives taken between
2002 and 2005 will move forward to firmly put
the State on the development map of the country.
The Chief Minister made a reference to the fractured mandate of 2002 elections when, after becoming Chief Minister, he took several initiatives
like Cross-LoC trade that are seen as historical in
nature. He praised the former Prime Minister of
India Atal Behari Vajpayee and the NDA Government of that time which took several confidence
building measures to help bring in peace and stability in the State.
Stressing that governance has to be made
people-friendly at the grassroots level, the Chief
Minister stated that he will ensure that powers
are delegated to the officers for effective administrative disposal. “J&K has been in pain for a pretty
long time. When a part of the country is in pain, it
needs attention,” he added.
The Chief Minister made a pointed reference
to make pivotal Government institutions like the
Accountability Commission and the Public Service
Commission functional so that the people are facilitated and trust deficit in Government institutions is removed. “Time-bound delivery of services to the people of the State must be prioritized,”
the Chief Minister said.
Identifying key sectors of public delivery like
Health, Education, Agriculture, CAPD, Power and
PHE, the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to prepare a detailed presentation on functioning of these departments for review of the
The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, in
his address, praised the Chief Minister for his vision to transform J&K into one of the best states
in the country. He asked the Administrative Secretaries to work in tandem and play their role in
making J&K a model State.
Earlier, the Chief Secretary, Iqbal Khanday, welcomed the Chief Minister in his first meeting of
the Administrative Secretaries after taking over as
Chief Minister of the State. He assured the Chief
Minister that the administration shall leave no
stone unturned to successfully implement the
Agenda of the Alliance of the Government.
Besides the Chief Secretary, administrative
secretaries of Industries & Commerce, Planning &
Development, Finance, Power, Home, PHE & IFC,
Health & Medical Education, Public Works, Higher
Education, School Education, Revenue, Tourism &
Culture, General Administration, Transport, Agriculture Production, ARI & Trainings, Housing & Urban Development, Forest, Ecology & Environment,
Animal Husbandry, Justice, Law & Parliamentary
Affairs, Cooperatives, Information Technology &
Science & Technology, Social Welfare and Rural
Development Departments attended the meeting.
Man dies
Sciences (SKIMS)'s spokesperson Dr Sana Kulsoom informed.
She said the number of patients infected with
the virus has risen to 291 as 14 new cases had surfaced during the last 24 hours.
The official said six fresh samples were taken
today for testing from 80 patients who were at
the special OPD of the hospital. “The number of
patients infected with swine flu and admitted at
the isolation ward of the hospital was 13, including one in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while two
patients were discharged today,” she said.
‘Bungling’ in
apathy that those people who did not suffer
were given cheques of hefty amount while who
suffered were ignored,” the protesters said.
Accusing government officials of committing fraud,, the agitated protestors said more
than 1000 residential houses have collapsed in
Sonawari Tehsil, but only few affluent people who
had access to power corridors have got the relief
material and cheques. “Administration has done
injustice in disbursement of relief money. Some
non-affected people grabbed major chunk of relief much to the shocking of the people,” they said
and urged upon the Relief and Rehabilitation Minister to initiate a probe into the bunglings. (CNS)
Locals informed that the mushroom spread of
motor workshops all along the banks of Nigeen
lake are causing devastating effects to the entire
ecology and there is continuous process of creating land mass deep into the lake on both sides.
“The building structures and shopping lines are
built in broad day light and right now several new
houses are being constructed which are visible
even to the common by passers. It is with utter
surprise and despair to see how the authorities
are ignoring or hoodwinking the vandalization of
the lake,” said locals.
They said that it seems as if LAWDA has been
disbanded and it is free for all to fill up the water
mass so brazenly.
“The fact of the matter is that those at the helm
of affairs in LAWDA are deep drenched in corrupt
practices and their only objective is to mint money at the cost of this world heritage,” they said.
They appealed to the newly elected Chief Minister to tight the noose against those involved in
this heinous crime.
Nirmal Singh,
area to maintain the credibility of State's horticulture produce, “he asserted.
The Minister asked the officers to furnish their
requirements, if any, to the Ministry so that these
could be fulfilled to enhance the efficiency and
working capabilities of the organization.
Veeri said that all ranks of the force form the
organization and each member of the Organization has to work with dedication making public
service their motive. He called upon the authorities concerned to come up with innovative ideas
and plans for further growth of horticulture in the
The Minister said that horticulture sector is
backbone of State’s economy and this sector
would remain among the prime priorities of the
present Government. He said various schemes
have been introduced to increase the horticulture
produce besides ensuring availability of advanced
techniques to improve and maintain quality.
The Minister also stressed upon the concerned
officers to personally monitor on-going projects
being implemented under various schemes across
the State, adding that proper monitoring, judicious utilization of funds and optimal use of the
resources will ensure timely completion of these
projects which will benefit the farmers at the
grass root level.
Ensure best
for the welfare of the patients. He said that focus is being laid to strengthen the existing health
institutions, particularly in far-off areas to ensure
best possible medicare to the patients.
Leopard sneaks
The locals said that they have formed groups
who perform night duty to keep a watch on the wild
beasts. They have requested authorities to take appropriate measures in this regard.
Man dies
The official said six fresh samples were taken
today for testing from 80 patients who were at
the special OPD of the hospital. “The number of
patients infected with swine flu and admitted at
the isolation ward of the hospital was 13, including one in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while two
patients were discharged today,” she said.
07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer
ISIL leader hospitalized in Turkey’s Denizli: Official
the western Turkish province.
According to the Turkish
daily Today’s Zaman, the statement said that the terrorist,
identified as Emrah Ç, has been
admitted to the Pamukkale
University Hospital after being
injured in a bombing in Syria.
“Judicial procedures regarding his injury were carried out
when he crossed into Turkey
from Syria. His treatment is
still underway in Denizli in
accordance with the right to
receive medical attention, just
like a normal citizen,” said the
The suspected terrorist initially went to a hospital in the
border province of Antakya before coming to Denizli where
he has relatives there.
Turkey has been one of the
major supporters of militants
operating in Syria since the crisis began in the Arab country
in 2011. Ankara did not stop its
backing for the terrorists even
after the militancy spread to
neighboring Iraq in 2014 where
thousands of people have been
brutally killed by the ISIL militants.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç (pictured
above) recently revealed that
thousands o f Turkish nationals
have joined the terrorist groups
operating in Syria.
Outrage as ISIS bulldozes historic Iraqi site H1N1: UAE
BAGHDAD: The Islamic State
group (ISIS) has begun bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of
Nimrud in Iraq, the government
said, in the jihadists' latest attack on the country's historical
IS "assaulted the historic city
of Nimrud and bulldozed it with
heavy vehicles," the tourism
and antiquities ministry said
on an official Facebook page on
An Iraqi antiquities official
confirmed the news, saying
the destruction began after
noon prayers Thursday and that
trucks that may have been used
to haul away artefacts had also
been spotted at the site.
"Until now, we do not know
to what extent it was destroyed," the official said on
condition of anonymity.
Nimrud, one of the jewels of
the Assyrian era, was founded
in the 13th century BC and lies
on the Tigris river around 30
kilometres southeast of Mosul,
Iraq's second city and the IS
group's main hub in the country.
"I'm sorry to say everybody
was expecting this. Their plan
is to destroy Iraqi heritage, one
site at a time," said Abdulamir
Hamdani, an Iraqi archaeologist
from New York's Stony Brook
Govt of Jammu and Kashmir
Office Of the ZOnal
eDucatiOn Officer MagaM
Replacement of Ret at Govt. Girls Middle School
Applications are invited from the eligible candidates of the revenue village
for engagement as Ret in below mentioned School under the SSA norms.
Name of the School
No. of
Nature of post Eligibility
GMS Kandhama
of Ret
Sd/- Zonal Education
Officer Magam
Government of Jammu and Kashmir
Office Of the executive engineer Phe
Mechanical DivisiOn nOrth sOPOre
NIT No.: PHE/MDNS/62of 2014-15 / Dated:28-02-2015
Sealed tenders affixed with Four rupees revenue stamps are invited for and on behalf of the Governor
of Jammu and Kashmir State from registered firms/dealers/workshop owners/SSI Unit holders for various
Electrical/Mechanical worksto be carried out at various Water Supply Schemes.
The tender should be accompanied with earnest money in shape of CDR pledged to undersigned
equivalent of 2% of the Estimated Cost as per Standing Government Orders of any scheduled bank. The
tender documents can be had from the office of the undersigned during working days up to 16-03-2015
03:00 pm.
The tenders should reach to the office of the undersigned on or before 17-03-2015 upto 02:00pm by
registered post or by hand. The tenders will be opened on the same day or any other day convenient to the
opening authority in presence of the intending tenderers who may wish to be present at that time.
Terms andconditions:
1. The tender without earnest money in shape of call deposit receipt from schedule bank will be rejected.
2. Conditional tenders will be rejected.
3. The opening authority reserves the right to accept/reject one or all tenders with assigning any reason
4. The successful tenderersshall have to complete the work as per specification laid down in the tender
document/allotment order within the stipulated time of completion and as per departmental
5. The tender documents shall be issued to those registered, Firms/workshop holders/ dealers who
will produce the requisite documentary proof for executing such nature of Job, besides registration/
clearance certificate from sales tax department, against cash payment from the office of the
6. In case of the date of receipt of tenders/sale of tender documents happens to be a holiday or the office
is closed due to some other reasons the tender shall be received on the next working day.
7. The work is to be completed strictly as per specifications and in presence of authorized representative
of the Dept. at site.
8. The material to be used for the work should be of reputed make highest standard quality/as per tender
document/allotment order.
9. The successful tenderer shall have to draw an agreement with the department within 07 days after
receipt of allotment order issued by the Dept.
10. The quantities advertised are approximate and can be increased or decreased during execution.
11. The contractor/firm shall be bound to return/ replaced/ surplus material if any to the divisional office
store against proper Indent/ GR.
12. Income tax/service tax sale tax and other taxes imposed by the Govt. from time to time shall be
deducted from the bills of the contractors
13. 85% Payment will be madeagainst material received at site, 5% after completion of work and balance
10% shall be released after expiry of defective liability period/subject to availability of funds.
14. In case the work is found substandard or bad workmanship the same shall be rejected at the risk cost
and responsibility of the firm. The firm shall have to execute such work a fresh without extra cost
15. In case rates are found below the estimated/advertised cost, as mentioned in slab, the firm/contractor
has to deposit additional amount of respective percentage in shape of CDR/FDR pledged to
undersigned prior to issue of formal allotment order.
If rates are below 15%
below 16% to 20%
below 21% to 30%
All other terms and conditions shall remain same as laid down in the PWD contractors rules read
with up to date amendments as laid down in PWD form 25 and 33.
Sd/Executive Engineer PHE
Mechanical Division (North) Sopore
DIPK No. 12221
CHENNAI: The United Arab
Emirates has become the first
country to issue an advisory for
its citizens, asking them not to
travel to India in relation to the
worsening swine flue situation
which has infected over 23,000
people and killed 1,239 since
January across many different
parts of the country.
"The warning comes in line
with the ministry's keenness
on the safety of all Emiratis
abroad," Rashid Al Daheri, Director of the Department of National Affairs at the UAE Health
Ministry, said in a statement.
"The Ministry stressed the importance of Emiratis' abidance
by instructions that aim to ensure their safety."
The UAE Ministry of Foreign
Affairs has also urged its citizens who are already in India
official at a city hospital said.
Chennai, termed the country's health capital, annually
attracts about 45% of health
tourists from abroad and 30%
to 40% of domestic health tourists. Everyday, an estimated 150
international patients come
to the various super-specialty
hospitals in the city.
The World Health Organization has urged India to go for
annual vaccination to comabt
swine flu. "Annual vaccination
is the most effective solution
for combating seasonal influenza infections such as swine
flu, which has killed more than
1,200 people this year in India,"
the Geneva based World Health
Organisation has said in a recent statement.
"It is recommended that
people get a flu vaccine even
during seasons when drifted
viruses are circulating. It's be-
to contact their embassy in the
capital for travel advice and
instructions. Roughly 30% of
UAE's 9 million residents are Indian nationals, forming the biggest group of expatriates.
All four UAE airliners, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Air
Arabia and FlyDubai offer daily
flights from the UAE cities to
Indian cities.The move is expected to affect trade between
the two countries.
"Indian External Ministry
should speak to the UAE envoy
to India and clear the doubts on
the issue," Ramesh Lal, an official with the New Delhi-based
India-Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
Many hospitals in Chennai,
who receive a number of patients from the UAE, have expressed their anguish with regard to the ban. "Appointments
for patients to arrive in the city
from the UAE are in place and
now they will have to be deferred due to the travel ban," an
cause vaccination can prevent
some infections and can reduce
serious ailments that can lead
to hospitalisation and death,"
the agency said.
The flu vaccine has been designed to protect against three
or four influenza viruses and
some of these viruses may circulate later in the season, the
WHO said in a report.
On the growing number
of influenza cases around the
world, WHO said, "This season
(2014-15), influenza appears to
be widespread and relatively severe in many parts of the world
mainly because of an antigenic
drift in influenza A (H3N2) viruses in the community leading
to a mismatch between the Influenza A virus (antigen) in the
current northern hemisphere
flu vaccine and those circulating
in the community. "As a consequence, the northern hemisphere seasonal flu vaccines are
slightly less effective than in
previous years. -- FS
10+2 with
Back ground
The Candidates should submit the applications fulfilled in all respects
and furnish the following documents to the office for the support of their
Sate subject
Present Residence Certificate from concerned Tehsildar.
Date of Birth certificate
Category certificate.
Marks certificates of all.
Qualification certificates of all.
Non Migration certificate from VEC.
The application should reach to this office within the ten days positively
from the date of publication of this Notice. No application beyond cutoff date
will be entertained.
DIPK no 12164
issues travel
advisory to India
Judicial procedures
regarding his
injury were carried
out when he
crossed into Turkey from
Syria. His treatment is
still underway in Denizli
in accordance with the
right to receive medical
attention, just like a
normal citizen,”
Last month, Turkey and the
US signed a deal to train and
arm who they called moderate
militants fighting against the
government of Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad.
Syria has been grappling
with a deadly crisis since
March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so
far claimed the lives of over
210,000 people, according to
Military pressure
needed to oust Assad,
Kerry says in Riyadh
Tehran : US Secretary of State
John Kerry says military pressure may be necessary to oust
Syrian President Bashar alAssad, indicating that Washington is still seeking a “regime
change” in the Arab country.
“He's lost any semblance of legitimacy, but we have no higher
priority than disrupting and defeating Daesh (ISIL) and other
terror networks", Kerry said on
Thursday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“Ultimately a combination of
diplomacy and pressure will be
needed to bring about a political
transition. Military pressure particularly may be necessary given
President Assad's reluctance to
negotiate seriously," he added.
The United States and its regional allies - especially Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are
supporting the militants operating
inside the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 200,000 people
have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has
gripped Syria for nearly four years.
The ISIL terrorists -- some of
whom were amongst militants initially trained by the CIA in Jordan
in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian
government -- now control large
parts of Syria and Iraq.
On February 19, Washington
and Ankara inked an agreement to
train and arm what they call moderate militants in Syria.
The Pentagon said it was
planning to deploy hundreds of
special forces to the Middle East
to train “moderate” militants
outside Syria in March.
The two sides say the militants
will fight both the Syrian government and ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
spokesman Tanju Bilgic said last
month that Ankara hopes the deal
will also strengthen the beleaguered insurgents fighting against
the government of Assad.
South Sudan peace
talks fail to secure deal
Tehran : Mediators say negotiations in Ethiopia between representatives of South Sudan’s warring parties aimed at putting an
end to the civil war that has been
going on in the country for 15
months have been suspended
without a deal.
Hailemariam Desalegn said in a
statement on Friday that Sudan
Sudan's President Salva Kiir and
rebel leader Riek Machar missed
March 5 deadline to reach a peace
agreement, and extension of the
negotiations into the following
day “did not produce the necessary
breakthrough.” A regional bloc
overseeing the talks, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had brought together
South Sudanese government and
rebel delegations in the Ethio-
pian capital city of Addis Ababa
to convince the two sides to settle
issues, among them power sharing. No date has been set for the
next meeting between the warring
“This is unacceptable, both
morally and politically,” Desalegn
said, adding, “Continuing a war flagrantly disregards the interests of
you, the people. It is an abdication
of the most sacred duty leaders
have to you, their people: to deliver peace, prosperity and stability.”
The Ethiopian leader said, “I
asked them to be courageous in
offering compromises and alternatives, rather than only reiterating
old positions. Both regional and
world leaders joined this call. Unfortunately, as the missed deadline
shows, our pleas have not been
Iran-P5+1 nuclear agreement,
a win-win deal: Top cleric
Tehran : A senior Iranian cleric says
a possible final agreement between
Iran and the P5+1 countries over
Tehran’s nuclear program will be
a win-win deal.“If this agreement
is reached both sides will have
emerged winner. i.e. it would be a
win-win [deal] but if it (a permanent accord) is not sealed, it would
be a win-lose [game],” Ayatollah
Mohammad Emami Kashani said
in his sermon to worshippers at the
weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran.
He added that in case of failure of the nuclear talks between
Iran and the six countries, Tehran
would be the winner because it has
already proven the reliability of its
logic to the world.Emami Kashani
reiterated that Iran would never
give up its nuclear rights, noting
that Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
and the Iranian nation support such
a stance.
The Iranian cleric said the six
powers and their supporters would
lose if the nuclear negotiations fail
to reach an outcome because "they
would show to the world that they
favor bullying and ranting and
Senior Iranian cleric
Ayatollah Mohammad
Emami Kashani addresses
worshippers at Friday
Prayers in Tehran on March
6, 2015. (IRNA Photo)
wrongly imagine that Iran would
bow to their hegemonic nature."
A failure in the talks would disgrace the P5+1 countries while a
win-win outcome would be beneficial to the negotiating sides and the
world, Emami Kashani pointed out.
Iran and the P5+1 countries –
Britain, France, the United States,
China, Russia and Germany – are
seeking to seal a comprehensive
nuclear deal by July 1. The two
sides have already missed two selfimposed deadlines for inking a final
agreement since they signed an interim one in the Swiss city of Geneva November 2013.
Deputy foreign ministers of Iran
and the six world powers wrapped
up deputy-level negotiations over
Tehran’s nuclear program in the
Swiss city of Montreux, on Thursday. The deputy-level talks came
a day after Iran’s Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif and his
American counterpart, John Kerry,
wrapped up intense negotiations
in Montreux. Head of the Atomic
Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)
Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz also attended
the talks.
An informed source close to
Iran's negotiating team told Press
TV reporter that the next round of
talks at ministerial level has been
slated for March 15-20.
Tehran : Turkey has confirmed
that an ISIL terrorist leader has
been hospitalized in a facility
in west of the country, further
proving links between Ankara
and the Takfiris who are wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.
A statement from the Denizli Governor's Office confirmed
Friday recent media speculations that a commander of the
Takfiri terrorist ISIL group is
receiving medical treatment in
8 SATURDAY 07 03 2015
Observer Out POst
Cardinal Edward M. Egan, a stern defender
of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who presided
over the Archdiocese of New York for nine
years in an era of troubled finances, changing
demographics and an aging, dwindling
priesthood shaken by sexual-abuse
scandals, died on Thursday in
Manhattan. He was 82.
Quote of the Day
Scientists at the University of
California, Santa Barbara, and at
Google reported on Wednesday
in the journal Nature that they
had made a significant advance
that brings them a step closer to
developing a quantum computer.
A team of researchers after analyzing
blood samples from volunteers
in Southern China and counting
antibodies reported that an array
of nine flu strains had relatively
less effect on individuals who have
crosssed thirty years of age.
Today IN HISToRy
Given the intense level of interest in the Storyville
film India’s Daughter, we have brought transmission
forward to 10pm tonight, 4 March, on BBC Four
to enable viewers to see this incredibly powerful
documentary at the earliest opportunity.
Danny Cohen
BBC Television director
editors Guild of india
urge revoking ban on BBC
rape documentary
March 07 is the 66th day of the
year in the Gregorian calendar.
There are 299 days remaining
until the end of the year.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell is
granted a patent for an invention
he calls the "telephone".
• 1799 –NapoleonBonaparte
captures Jaffa in Palestine
and his troops proceed to
kill more than 2,000 Albaniancaptives.
• 1876 - BattleatGura:Ethiopian emperor Yohannes
• 1944 -JapansbeginsoffensiveinBurma
• 1968 - The BBC broadcasts
the news for the first time
• 1971 – Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman delivers his historic speech at Suhrawardy
• 1989 – Iran and the United
Kingdom break diplomatic
relations after a row over
Salman Rushdie and his
• 1994 – Copyright Law: The
U.S. Supreme Court rules
work are generally covered
• 2007 –TheBritishHouseof
upper chamber, the House
• 2009 –TheKeplerspaceobservatory,designedtodiscoverEarth-likeplanetsorbiting
syndrome gets
man drunk on chips
People across India played with colours to celebrate Holi on Friday. It is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours. It is an ancient Hindu religious
festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.It is primarily observed in
India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of
Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours. In Pakistan, a human shield was formed at the Holi celebrations at Swami Narayan
Temple in Karachi to show solidarity with and protect Hindus in attendance.The National Student's Federation (NSF) organised the formation of a human shield on
Friday, the demonstration is an attempt to promote interfaith coexistence and cooperation among different religious and ethnic groups in Pakistan, Dawn reported.
Eye for an eye: Iran blinds acid attacker Mob lynches
rapist suspect
to death
hasbeenblindedinoneeye,marking the first time Iran has carried
The convicted acid attacker, who
has not been identified, was rendered unconscious in Rajai-Shahr
The man had been found guilty
unnamed victim five years ago in
thecityofQom,blindinganddisfiguring him for life. He was subsequentlysentencedtobeblinded
Although the convict was sentencedtolosesightinbotheyeson
Tuesday, the victim – who, under
punishment – decided at the last
minute to postpone the blinding
The disfigured Iranian woman, Ameneh Bahrami, holds a photograph of herself
before Majid Movahedi dumped a bucket of acid at her face.
recentyears,usuallydrivenbyfamily feuds. Hamshahri reported that
NEW DELHI: A rape suspect was
pulled out of a jail and lynched
The man, who stood accused of
raping a woman multiple times
was dragged out of the prison in
“A mass protest rally against the
rape was held at Dimapur (Nagaland's main commercial town)
and angry people forced into the
district jail and managed to pull
out the accused,” the Press Trust
Another report said that the
crowd started marching towards
Drug to control appetite could also fight anxiety
of chips sends one British man
would become intoxicated after
"It was weird, I'd eat some carbs
and all of a sudden I was goofy,
thought he as an alcoholic and
But after a visit to a doctor, it
turned out Hess was suffering
fromarareconditioncalledautobrewery syndrome, whereby the
stomach has an overgrowth of
yeast which turns carbohydrates
into excess alcohol in the blood.
"Ithoughteveryonewasjustgiving me a rough time, until my
wife filmed me and then I saw it
tovomitmostmorningsandsuffering from stomach pains and
headaches normally associated
Another American man also suffered from the condition. He was
OttAwA: Did you know that our
body produces its own marijuanalikecompoundtoprotectusagainst
reveals a new biological pathway
that regulates anxiety and obesity
clinical trials to treat obesity might
also provide a promising way to
"Anxiety and obesity are growing problems in society," said Dr.
"Not only have we found a new
biological pathway that regulates
these two conditions, but we also
Chen and her colleagues were
originally studying the effect of a
genecalledLMO4onbraindevelopment and regeneration when
this gene in a certain part of the
and became obese. Their new research, together with a previous
PTP1Bplaysacrucialroleinamolecular pathway that links LMO4,
anxiety, obesity and the body's
natural marijuana (endocannabinoid)system.Whentheresearchers used a drug, trodusquemine,
"Current treatments for anxiety
other side effects. Our approach
lets the brain fix itself by simply
re-instating the appropriate level
New Delhi: The Editors Guild of
India Friday appealed to the governmenttorevokethebanontheDecember16gangrapedocumentary,saying
The Guild said in a statement in
Delhi that the BBC documentary,
'Storyville: India's daughter', portrayedthecourage,sensibilityand
liberaloutlookofafamilytraumatised by the brutality inflicted on
their daughter and the continuing "shameful attitudes" towards
The statement said the rationale
enable the people to view "the
positive and powerful documentarytouchingonthefreedom,dignityandsafetyofwomen."
The documentary includes a controversial interview conducted by
British filmmaker Leslee Udwin of
Mukesh has made derogatory
statements against women in the
Afghan men don burqa to
highlight womens’ plight
KABUl: A group of Afghan men
sky, with the bright blue burqas
falling over their heads down to
The demonstrators, associated
with a group called Afghan Peace
Volunteers, said they had organised the march ahead of InternationalWomen’sDayonMarch8.
a mixed reaction. Some men
stopped to watch, laughing and
heckling. Some were confused;
others said women’s rights encouragedprostitution.
Some female passersby were also
nonplussed. “We don’t need anyone to defend our rights,” said
Medina Ali, a 16-year-old student
wearing a black veil that showed
“This is just a foreign project to
create a bad image for the burqa
make those of us who cover our
An older woman, who wore a
burqa herself, was less affronted.
“My husband and son tell me I
should take my burqa off,” said
Bibi Gul, who thought she was
Settling for long hours linked to coronary heart calcification
New YORK: Sitting for many
hours per day is associated with
increased coronary artery calcification, a marker of subclinical
heart disease that can increase
of Cardiology's 64th Annual ScientificSessioninSanDiego.Coronary artery disease is the most
common type of heart disease
The study found no association
between coronary artery calcificationandtheamountofexercise
impactthanexerciseonthisparticular measure of heart health.
The results suggest that exercise
may not entirely counteract the
negative effects of a mostly sedentarylifestyleoncoronaryartery
"It's clear that exercise is important to reduce your cardiovascular risk and improve your fitness
level," said Jacquelyn Kulinski,
M.D., assistant professor of cardiovascularmedicineattheMedical College of Wisconsin and the
more novel, companion strategy
(in addition to exercise) to help
The research comes on the heels
of recent studies linking excess
sitting with an increased risk for
cardiovascular disease, diabetes,
The phenomenon has been
dubbed "sitting disease," though
This study offers a unique perspective on the effects of sedentary be-
an early marker for heart disease
Coronaryarterycalcification,measured through a non-invasive CT
calciumcontainedinplaqueswithin the heart's arteries. Coronary
artery disease occurs when such
plaques accumulate over time,
adultslivinginDallas,theresearchers found each hour of sedentary
time per day on average was associatedwitha14percentincrease
incoronaryarterycalcificationburden. The association was independent of exercise activity and other
• 1945 -Colognetakenbyalliedarmies
Leslee Udwin, director of the documentary 'India's Daughter', gestures during a
press conference in New Delhi.