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Ailing healthcare worsens by persisting NHM protests

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Srinagar, Jan 21: On 20th of December, a protest was staged by National Health Mission (Employees) at Pratap Park Srinagar and Press Club Jammu, demanding the government to regularise their services.

The protest entered 33rd day on Sunday, yet, there has been no sign of compromise from neither the government nor the employees.

In the tussle between the government and NHM employees, health services have been majorly hit all across Jammu and Kashmir.

 

The emergency services in the main hospitals, Primary Health Centres, and sub-centres are severely affected in the absence of proper and trained staff.

The Intensified Pulse Polio Immunisation (IPPI) campaign, which will be held on 28th of January in Kashmir, is going to get affected in a similar way, as the NHM staffs here don’t think “the government needs them, and thus there won’t be any participation from their end”.

The last year’s IPPI campaign, too, had seen a sign of protest by the NHM employees as they had performed their duties wearing a black band on their arm.

However, this year, as per the Spokesman of the Joint Employees Coordination Committee Abdul Rauoof, the employees won’t be taking part in the campaign unless “the government doesn’t ask them to”.

“There have been already so many instances where non-professionals are hired by the government to replace us. The cleaners are seen checking blood pressure, the interns are asked to perform night duties, and it’s really sad to see that,” revealed Rauoof.

Although, Mission Director NHM, Dr Mohan Singh believes the IPPI campaign “won’t be affected” by the absence of NHM staff.

Singh also told The Kashmir Monitor that the government is trying it’s best to “convince” the NHM staff to call off the strike, and he is expecting the protestors to “cooperate”.

However, as per the spokesman, the NHM employees are in no mood of calling off the strike unless the government doesn’t promise them a salary hike of 100 percent in “written”, to the least.

“We have only two major demands – frame a concrete policy regarding employee’s regularization, and give us a 100 percent hike,” Rauoof said.

“Meet our demands and that is it,” he added.

Comparing the salary structure of the employees in J&K and other states of India, Rauoof explained, “Here, the doctors that earn Rs 15,000, in places like Assam, Delhi, Mumbai, their salary is not less than 60,000. Is it fair?”

Rauoof also said that the government is “manipulating” the staff by promising them a mere hike of three to five percent.

“But I am telling you, none of us are going to agree to that,” he said.

Rauoof believes that still after over a month of protest, the government hasn’t taken them “seriously”.

“They have set a committee to look after our demands, right? Then where is it? Give us the details? We are aware of what the government is doing for us, and what it is not,” said Rauoof.


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Kashmir

Media blitz calls for payback, masks voices calling for peace

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Feb 15: The suicide bombing attack that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF men in south Kashmir has evoked completely opposite reactions on social media in Kashmir and other states of India.
On Thursday, a deadly attack took place at Lethpora area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a CRPF convoy.
While Kashmiri voices have called for political solution to the valley, the Indian politicians, intellectuals, TV news channels and a section of media personnel are predictably demanding an eye for an eye solution.
For instance, channels like leading National news channels like Republic and Times Now have openly incited hate by calling for revenge running the hashtags #Indiawantsrevenge and #Indiaseeksjustice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Our neighbouring nation that stands isolated in international community today… if they think that they will succeed in attacking India’s stability by committing such dastardly acts, they are wrong, India will emerge stronger.”
Union Minister Arun Jaitley said in a statement, “Most Favoured Nation status to Pak stands withdrawn. MEA will engage with international community to ensure that convention on international terrorism is adopted. Security forces will ensure those responsible for this heinous attack pay a heavy price.”
Senior Associate Editor Republic, Aditya Raj Koul tweeted, “Strong words from PM Narendra Modi on Pulwama terror attack: Terrorists will pay a heavy price for this dastardly act. Pak designs won’t succeed, our neighboring country should realise that it can’t create instability in India with such conspiracies. Free hand to forces.”
Vir Sanghvi, Journalist and TV anchor posted on Twitter, “India must respond. Pakistan can’t be allowed to get away with these attacks. I am sure that there will be a strong military response within the next week. And no matter which party we back, all Indians must unite against Pakistan and the terrorists it feeds, shelters & arms.”
Meanwhile, the prominent Kashmiri voices, intellectuals spoke of for the resolution of the conflict that leads to such incidents. Politicians across the spectrum condemned the attack and called for “sustained dialogue”.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti posted on twitter, “No mainstream pol in J&K will condone terrorism. Dangerous how certain channels are trying to create an alternate reality. They churn lies, hatred and a divisive agenda, I have ventured sans security into the areas no man in the 90’s would step into. So plz wake up and smell the coffee.”
Noted Journalist, Gowhar Geelani tweeted, “Politicians in Delhi and Islamabad need to move beyond rhetoric and revenge politics and acknowledge and respect the political aspirations of Kashmiri people for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Violence and counter violence will not solve anything.”
Social rights activist and doctor at SMHS, Khawar Khan Achakzai tweeted, “The only way is accepting that Kashmir is a politically disputed territory, respecting the aspirations of people of J&K, engaging in talks and chalking out a road map for de-militarisation.”

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Kashmir

Lethpora attack leaves security agencies shocked, guessing

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Feb 15: On a wintry February 14 afternoon, a CRPF convoy moving on Srinagar-Jammu Highway reached Awantipora town in southern Kashmir, a suicide (Fidayeen) car bomber blew up himself by ramming into the two CRPF buses leaving around 49 dead and dozens others injured critically.
Soon after the incident militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed the responsibility and identified the car bomber a local youth of Pulwama, who had joined the outfit last year.
Like earlier attacks on forces, this brutal attack has left the security establishment shocked and guessing. The J&K governor admitted the mistake and termed it a major “security lapse and intelligence failure”.
“We are working out on the things about the loopholes that took a massive toll on forces. Where did we fail in protecting forces while they travel in convoys on the highway?” said a top officer in J&K police dealing with security wing.
Militants carry out their assaults despite deployment of CRPF, police and Army on the connecting points on the highway.
However, the attack on the government forces on Srinagar-Jammu highway is not the first, but this one is the most deadly in the last three decades ever since armed militancy broke out in Kashmir.
The security agencies and the NIA team investigating the attack have raised some key points as to why the attack yet again took place between Pampore and Awantipora stretch of the highway.
Two years ago, in June, militants daringly stopped CRPF bus on the same highway in the Pampore town, few miles away from this blast site, and rained it with bullets from different directions, killing eight CRPF men and injuring 22 others.
Earlier, three militants suddenly appeared on the highway near EDI building, fired on a CRPF bus, wounding 11 personnel and then rushed into the EDI building.
The frequent attacks on the highway are a reminder of deadly attacks on forces carried out by militants in the conflict-torn Kashmir after the insurgency began in 1987.
In 2014, two days before August 15-India’s Independence Day, militants again attacked a police party resulting in killing of two security guards of a police official and a civilian.
In the same year, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second visit to J&K, militants ambushed BSF convoy at Kadlabal in Pampore town leaving eight men including assistant commandant seriously injured.
In July 2012, militants attacked Convoy Protection Force Party of army from a close range killing a soldier and injuring another one seriously.
Almost 10 years ago, in Dec 2006, militants attacked a police party in Kadlibal and killed SHO Manzoor Ahmed and injured his two security guards. A civilian was also killed in the attack.
Officials in police and other counterinsurgency said that militants have many reasons to choose this 20 kilometer stretch for their assaults. “One of the reasons is that the Highway along the Pampore town has a number of link roads connecting on it with internal areas. Two, the Highway sneaks along the Jhelum River,” they said.

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Kashmir

Adv Ganai visits Srinagar Base Hospital, enquires about injured CRPF personnel

The Kashmir Monitor

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Friday visited the Army’s 92-Base Hospital here to enquire about the CRPF personnel who were injured in Thursday’s attack at Lethpora in Pulwama.He prayed for speedy recovery of the injured troopers undergoing treatment at the Hospital.
Later, the Advisor visited the CRPF Centre, Humhama where he laid wreath over the mortal remains of those who were slain in the attack. Condemning the attack, he conveyed his heart-felt condolences to the bereaved families who lost their dear ones.

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