C M Y K S at u r Day 18 07 March 2015 Srinagar Today : cloudy wiTh rain Maximum : 9o Minmum : -1o humidity : 85% KashmiR SunSeT Today : 6:31 PM SunriSe 16 JAMAD UL AWAL | 1436 Hijri | Vol: 18 | Issue: 50 | Pages : 08 | Price: `3 Tommrow: 6:54 aM w w w. k a s h m i r o b s e r v e r. n e t Wisdom 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 governance, 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 Observer No Need To Travel to Srinagar Drop your ads/ notices at our Anantnag office Opp Achabal Bus Adda Contact no's. 9622484809, 9906620313, 9086944392 Do You Get Your Copy of Kashmir Observer Regularly? If Not Contact Circulation Incharge: Pervez Ahmad 9419565003 Or 210 6304 KASHMIR FLooDS 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 srinagar: Jammu-Srinagar 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 Kashmir 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 writer. 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 7 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 IRFAN QURAISHI 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 occasion. 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. C M Y K saturday 07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer BAzAR oBSERvER nimrah Tour & Travels Malik Multistores institute and service Centre The Travel Advisor SeRviCeS AvAilAble Authorized ServiCe CeNtre hajj, umrah & ziyarat KArboNN, PANASoNiC ANd K-touCh MobileS, AlSo ServiCe of iPhoNe, blACKberry, NoKiA, SAMSuNg, MiCroMAx etC. holiday Package & Car rentals domestic & international ticketing tour Packages 16- Chinar Trust, Opp Govt. 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Restoration of F.P work on R/S of Lidder Nallah at Raz-Khah Kathsoo 13.63 13630//- 22 days SHG 1200/- State Plan F.R 2. Restoration of F.P work on L/S 11.00 of Aripath Nallah D/S bridge at Village Donipowa by way of laying of Crates and Back Filling 22000/- 22 days BEE/CEE 1200/- -do- 3. Restoration of F.P work on Lidder Nallah at Dachigam Part A 8.78 17560/- 17 Days CEE/ DEE 1000/- -do- 4. Restoration of F.P work on R/S of LidderNallah at Pethnumbal U/S Hengalpora 9.79 19580/- 20 Days CEE/ DEE 1000/- -do- 5. Restoration of F.P work on Lidder Nallah at Bagwani D/S Village 8.28 8280/- 17 Days SHG 1000/- -do- 6. Restoration of F.P work on ArdwaniNallah at Sikh Mohallah , Bunpora , Pushkreeri 13.32 26640/- 22 Days BEE/CEE 1200/- -do- 7. Restoration of Erosion Control work on HaptnardNallah at U/S Rakhichandipora 14.45 28900/- 22 Days BEE/CEE 1200/- -do- 8. Restoration of F.P work on Aripath Nallah at Village Kantigund by way of Boulder Bund with toe crates 9.34 9340/- 17 Days SHG 1000/- -do- 9. 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 Stadium at Village Krad 6.35 12700/- 15 Days CEE/ DEE 700/- -do- COmPutECH business center fOr all typES Of COmputErS paraphErnalia pOlO viEw Sgr COntaCt: 2480966 Eagle Auto mobiles deals in :- PhOne nO :name of the proprietor :- Near islamia college,Hawal,Srinagar-190001 MR iMTiyAz AHMAD PH:0194-2410284,09205041260 Email:[email protected] Bonadialgam anantnag Kmr addRess :- Secretary, J&K Services Selection Board, Jammu DIPK NO 12214 DiAlGAM ANANTNAG KMR- 192210 (plAy WAy) near j&K Bank, dialgam Ugjan Road anantnag SWP No. 2536/14 titled Marvin Rewal& Vs State & ors. Marvin Rewal S/o RewalSotra R/o 152 Chrishtian Colony Residency Road Jammu RohitSwaroop S/o BishamberDass R/o VillJinder Kalan Teh.R.S.Pura Jammu SWP No. 2369/14 titled Maqsood Ahmad Wanil& Vs State & ors. Maqsood Ahmad Wani S/o Bashir Ahmad Wani R/o PamporeDisttPulwama Ishtiyaq Bashir S/o Bashir Ahmad Lone R/o Bandipora Kashmir SWP No.27/15 titled WaseemShafiGanai WaseemShafiGanai s/o Mohammad ShafiGanai R/o GanaiporaMattanAnantnag SWP No.3583/14 titled Sanjeev Kumar Vs state Ors VS State & Ors. Sanjeev Kumar S/o Joginder Pal R/o Village Mandpur Tehsil R.S PUraDistt Jammu SWP No.2415/14 titled SaqibRoufRafiqi& Ors Vs State SaqibRoufRafiqi S/o Rouf Ahmad Qadiri R/o BabaporaNowshara Srinagar Sameer Ali S/o Abdul Ahad Mir R/o New Colony RathiporaPulwama JamsheedNazir S/o Nazir Ahmad Gatoo R/o Shopian Irfan Ahmad Shah S/o Ghulam Mohammad Shah R/o New Colony RajporaPulwama Mohammad RafiqMalla S/o Abdul Aziz Malla R/o dooruSabdanBudgam SWP No.03/15 titled Saba Fayaz Khan Vs SSB and ors. Saba Fayaz Khan SWP No.263/15 titled ShivaniKoul Vs Stat ShivaniKoul D/o Rattan LalKoul R/o ward no.4 Undhampur. SWP No.185/15 titled Kunal Sharma Vs State & Ors. Kunal Sharma S/o S.R.Sharma R/o H. No.320 sector-s channiHimmaat Jammu SWP No.324/15 titled Aditya Vaid Vs State & Ors. Aditya Vaid S/o OM Parkash R/o EWs-41 Housing Colony Udhampur SWP No.416/15 titled KanwalManocha Vs State & Ors KanwalManocha SWP No.539/15 titled Zaffar Iqbal Vs State & Ors Zaffar Iqbal S/o Bagh Ali R/o Upper PalouraGuffar Mohall Tehsil &Distt Jammu The candidates are advised to bring two recent pass port size photographs, Photostat copy of each certificate duly attested by gazetted Officer with his/her seal and signature, and self-signed by the candidate himself/herself for depositing with the Board on the scheduled date and time of interview in addition to original documents. SmarT School name of the proprietor 9596439322, 9086926404 11 15 9622828062 ,9622608848 haldiram Foods 7 8 9 9 10 Play Smart , Grow Smart & Future Smart PhOne nO Super Stockist of mr Fayaz ahmad bhat 3 4 13 sale & service , all kinds of Mehandra & other Vehicles of spare parts are available , denting , painting overhauling, Mechanic accessories works etc. with 5 % discount. (hurry Up) Enterprises S.No 1 2 AvAIlABlE Mr iqbal Rather. Armaan NOTiCe The below mentioned candidate who have obtained directions from the hon’ble high Court for conducting interviewsfor the posts ofjr. engineer (electrical),state Cadreadvertised vide notification no.03 of 2012 (item no.128)are hereby informed that their interviewshall be conducted on 9th of March, 2015 at Central Office, j&K, services selection Board, sehkariBhawan Rail head Complex, jammu from1.00 P.M. 6 deals in : Barthana, near 2nd Petrol PumP, qamarwari, Srinagar JOB SerVIceS SelecTIon board, Sehkari bhawan Near bahu plaza Jammu. (www.jkssb.nic.in) 5 m. Zahoor AutOmOBIlES gOVeRnMenT OF jaMMU and KashMiR, Executive Engineer Flood Control Division Anantnag 01. The niT consisting of qualifying information, eligibility criteria specifications, Bill of quantities (B.O.Q), set of terms and conditions of contract and other details can be seen /downloaded from the departmental website www.jktenders.gov.in from :- DIPK NO 12175 Executive Engineer, Flood control Division Anantnag. REHMANI MEDICAL CHAMBER Janglat Mandi anantnag KMr. DR M.S SHEIKH DR M.SALEEM BEIGH DR S.AYAZ DR SHABIR KHANDAY (MBBs,Ms,enT Professor) Timing sunday & Wensday (B.h.M.s, M.O, hOMeOPaThY) CONTACT NO’S:- 8803398900, 9419412345 (general Physian) Timing sunday & Wensday (M.s ORThOPaediCs sURgeOn) MBBs,gMs srinagar (Timing , sunday) Printer, Publisher & Editor: SAJJAD HAIDER | Published from: Residency Road, SGR | Editorial: 9419004782,0194- 2456304 Corporate office: Wani Manzil Top Floor Lambert Lane, SGR-1 Circulation: 9419565003, Switch Board: (2106304 | Email- (Editorial) : [email protected] |Email- (Advertising) : [email protected] Printed at: Kashmir Images Printing & Publishing House 15-A Industrial Estate Shalteng, SGR. RNI No: 69503/98; Postal Regn: K-151 saturday 07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer NEWS 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. Meanwhile, Muhammad 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 again. 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 president Ghulam 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 passengers. 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) Transparent, accountable 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 families. 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. 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. 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) C M Y K ‘Instead of developing natural routes, Kashmiris made dependent on sole land route’ saturday 07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer My quest for IslaM! I 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 months. 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: https://nikitasingla.wordpress.com/ Liberating Faith, rigid FoLLowers W O 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 holy. 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 ‘sinful’? 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 T 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 refugees. 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 rights. 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] saturday 07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer PANORAMA 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 D uring my first interaction with a group of women labelled “halfwidows” – women whose husbands are not officially declared dead, but termed “missing” – from Dardpora in 2003, BOOK EXCERPT 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 forces. 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, Suleiman. 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 thoughts. 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 “talking”. 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 militants. 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 area. 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 gun! 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 deeper. 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 alive. 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 07032015 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 MARKETS. 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 empowerment. 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 Cabinet. 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) Rampant 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 state. 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. Di in ‘M W SRINA saturday 07 03 2015 Kashmir Observer NEWS 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 statement. 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 heritage. 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 Thursday. 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 University. Govt of Jammu and Kashmir Office Of the ZOnal eDucatiOn Officer MagaM Subject: Replacement of Ret at Govt. Girls Middle School Kandhama. Applications are invited from the eligible candidates of the revenue village for engagement as Ret in below mentioned School under the SSA norms. S.No. Name of the School No. of Posts Nature of post Eligibility 01 GMS Kandhama 01 Replacement of Ret Category Sd/- Zonal Education Officer Magam Government of Jammu and Kashmir Office Of the executive engineer Phe Mechanical DivisiOn nOrth sOPOre TENDER NOTICE 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 thereof. 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 requirement. 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 undersigned. 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% 3% below 16% to 20% 3.50% below 21% to 30% 4% 16. 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 Gen Science 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 applications: 1 Sate subject 2 Present Residence Certificate from concerned Tehsildar. 3 Date of Birth certificate 4 Category certificate. 5 Marks certificates of all. 6 Qualification certificates of all. 7 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 TRANS ASIA NEWS 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 reports. 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. Turkish Foreign Ministry 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. Ethiopian Prime Minister 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 sides. “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 heeded.” 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. C M Y K 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 C M Y K C M Y K 8 SATURDAY 07 03 2015 Observer Out POst One DieD 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 STUDY MiLeSTONe 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. Minute 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 beatsEgyptians • 1944 -JapansbeginsoffensiveinBurma • 1968 - The BBC broadcasts the news for the first time incolorontelevision. • 1971 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivers his historic speech at Suhrawardy Udyan. C M Y K • 1989 – Iran and the United Kingdom break diplomatic relations after a row over Salman Rushdie and his controversialnovel,TheSatanicVerses. • 1994 – Copyright Law: The U.S. Supreme Court rules thatparodiesofanoriginal work are generally covered bythedoctrineoffairuse. • 2007 –TheBritishHouseof Commonsvotestomakethe upper chamber, the House ofLords,100%elected. • 2009 –TheKeplerspaceobservatory,designedtodiscoverEarth-likeplanetsorbiting otherstars,islaunched. Auto-brewery 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 TEHRAN:Inaliteralapplicationof theSharialawofaneyeforaneye, anIranianmanconvictedofblindinganothermaninanacidattack hasbeenblindedinoneeye,marking the first time Iran has carried outsuchapunishment. The convicted acid attacker, who has not been identified, was rendered unconscious in Rajai-Shahr prisoninthecityofKarajonTuesdayasmedicsgougedouthisleft eye,accordingtothestate-owned Hamshahrinewspaper. The man had been found guilty ofthrowingacidinthefaceofhis unnamed victim five years ago in thecityofQom,blindinganddisfiguring him for life. He was subsequentlysentencedtobeblinded inbotheyes,payingafineand10 yearsimprisonment. Although the convict was sentencedtolosesightinbotheyeson Tuesday, the victim – who, under Iranianlaw,hasthefinalsayinthe punishment – decided at the last minute to postpone the blinding ofhisrighteyeforsixmonths.The The disfigured Iranian woman, Ameneh Bahrami, holds a photograph of herself before Majid Movahedi dumped a bucket of acid at her face. attackerwillbeabletopleadwith theplaintifftosparehimfrombeingblindedfully. AcidattackshavebeenrifeinIranin recentyears,usuallydrivenbyfamily feuds. Hamshahri reported that themaninthiscasehadbeenhired bytherelativesofhisvictim’swifeto takerevengeontheirbehalf.Itwas notclearifhehadcarriedouttheattackforfinancialgainorwhetherhe wasrelatedtothewife’sfamily. NEW DELHI: A rape suspect was pulled out of a jail and lynched byamobinnortheasternIndiaon Thursday,localreportssaid,with angerragingoverthehighrateof sexualviolenceinthecountry. The man, who stood accused of raping a woman multiple times andwasarrestedonFebruary24, was dragged out of the prison in Nagalandstatebeforebeingbeatentodeathandstrungup,accordingtomediareports. “A mass protest rally against the rape was held at Dimapur (Nagaland's main commercial town) thismorningafterwhichstudents and angry people forced into the district jail and managed to pull out the accused,” the Press Trust ofIndianewsagencysaid. Another report said that the crowd started marching towards thejailfromalocationalmostsevenkilometres(fourmiles)away. C M Y K Drug to control appetite could also fight anxiety LONDON:Chowingdownonabox of chips sends one British man intoadrunken,vulgarstate.Every dayformorethanayearNickHess would become intoxicated after eatingcarbohydrates. "It was weird, I'd eat some carbs and all of a sudden I was goofy, vulgar,"hetoldtheBBC.Hiswife thought he as an alcoholic and onenightscouredtheirhousetryingtofindwhatshethoughtwere hiddenbottlesofalcohol. 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. Hesssaidhehadnoideahowbad itwasandsimplythoughteveryonewasgivinghimahardtime. "Ithoughteveryonewasjustgiving me a rough time, until my wife filmed me and then I saw it –Ilookeddrunk."Hewouldalso wakeupwithahangover,having tovomitmostmorningsandsuffering from stomach pains and headaches normally associated withabignightout. Another American man also suffered from the condition. He was takentohospitalandgivencarbohydratesbutnoalcohol. C M Y K OttAwA: Did you know that our body produces its own marijuanalikecompoundtoprotectusagainst anxiety?AstudyledbyOttawaresearcherspublishedtodayinNeuron reveals a new biological pathway that regulates anxiety and obesity andsuggeststhatadrugcurrentlyin clinical trials to treat obesity might also provide a promising way to combatanxietydisorders. "Anxiety and obesity are growing problems in society," said Dr. Hsiao-HueiChen,associateprofessorofmedicineattheUniversityof Ottawaandaseniorscientistatthe OttawaHospitalResearchInstitute. "Not only have we found a new biological pathway that regulates these two conditions, but we also foundthattheymaybeamenable totreatmentwiththesamedrug." Chen and her colleagues were originally studying the effect of a genecalledLMO4onbraindevelopment and regeneration when theynoticedthatmicethatlacked this gene in a certain part of the braindisplayedanxiousbehaviour and became obese. Their new research, together with a previous study,showsthatanenzymecalled PTP1Bplaysacrucialroleinamolecular pathway that links LMO4, anxiety, obesity and the body's natural marijuana (endocannabinoid)system.Whentheresearchers used a drug, trodusquemine, thatspecificallyinhibitstheactivityofPTP1B,theyfoundthatboth anxietyandobesitywerereduced. "Current treatments for anxiety disordershaveaddictionissuesand other side effects. Our approach lets the brain fix itself by simply re-instating the appropriate level ofPTP1B,"saidChen,whoisalsoa memberoftheUniversityofOttawa BrainandMindResearchInstitute. New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India Friday appealed to the governmenttorevokethebanontheDecember16gangrapedocumentary,saying themovewas'whollyunwarranted'. 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 womenamongtheconvictaswell astheeducated,includinglawyers. The statement said the rationale thatthebanwasintheinterestsof justiceandpublicorderasthefilm "createdasituationoftensionand fearamongstwomen"seemstobe anafter-thought. TheGuildappealedtotheCentral Governmenttorevokethebanand enable the people to view "the positive and powerful documentarytouchingonthefreedom,dignityandsafetyofwomen." The documentary includes a controversial interview conducted by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin of MukeshSingh,thedriverofthebus inwhichthe23-year-oldparamedicalstudentwasbrutallygangraped bysixmenonDecember16,2012. Mukesh has made derogatory statements against women in the documentary.Therehasalsobeen acontroversyovertheremarksby Mukesh'slawyer,withrightsactivistssayingtheywereclearlysexist. Afghan men don burqa to highlight womens’ plight KABUl: A group of Afghan men marchedthroughKabulonThursday todrawattentiontowomen’srights bydonninghead-to-toeburqas. Themenmarchedunderaleaden sky, with the bright blue burqas falling over their heads down to muddysneakersandboots. The demonstrators, associated with a group called Afghan Peace Volunteers, said they had organised the march ahead of InternationalWomen’sDayonMarch8. Themarchbyabout20mendrew 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 onlyhereyesandwoollygloveson acoldmorning. “This is just a foreign project to create a bad image for the burqa andAfghanistan.They’retryingto make those of us who cover our facesfeelbad.” 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 around60.“ButI’musedtoit.I’ve beenwearingthisfor35years.” 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 theriskofaheartattack,accordingtoresearchscheduledforpresentationattheAmericanCollege of Cardiology's 64th Annual ScientificSessioninSanDiego.Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease andtheleadingcauseofdeathin theUnitedStates. The study found no association between coronary artery calcificationandtheamountofexercise apersongets,suggestingthattoo muchsittingmighthaveagreater impactthanexerciseonthisparticular measure of heart health. The results suggest that exercise may not entirely counteract the negative effects of a mostly sedentarylifestyleoncoronaryartery calcium. "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 study'sleadauthor."Butthisstudy suggeststhatreducinghowmuch yousiteverydaymayrepresenta more novel, companion strategy (in addition to exercise) to help reduceyourcardiovascularrisk." The research comes on the heels of recent studies linking excess sitting with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancerandearlydeath. The phenomenon has been dubbed "sitting disease," though itisalifestyleriskfactorandnota truemedicalcondition. C M Y K This study offers a unique perspective on the effects of sedentary be- haviourbecauseitlinkssittingwith an early marker for heart disease risk,layingthefoundationforfuture studiesthatcouldinvestigatewhetherchangingyourhabitscouldpotentiallyreversethedamagebeforeyou developfull-blownheartdisease. Coronaryarterycalcification,measured through a non-invasive CT heartscan,indicatestheamountof calciumcontainedinplaqueswithin the heart's arteries. Coronary artery disease occurs when such plaques accumulate over time, causingthearteriestonarrow. Analyzingheartscansandphysical activityrecordsofmorethan2,000 adultslivinginDallas,theresearchers found each hour of sedentary time per day on average was associatedwitha14percentincrease incoronaryarterycalcificationburden. The association was independent of exercise activity and other traditionalheartdiseaseriskfactors. C M Y K C M Y K • 1945 -Colognetakenbyalliedarmies C M Y K Leslee Udwin, director of the documentary 'India's Daughter', gestures during a press conference in New Delhi.
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