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CUK holds first convocation; Vohra appeals academics to research for state’s progress

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, July 4: Governor N N Vohra on Wednesday stressed on the academicians to carry out the research for solving the state’s problems.
In his presidential address on 1st convocation of Central University of Kashmir (CUK) at SK International Conference Centre here, Vohra said, “The state is facing a lot of challenges. There are several geographic disadvantages and historical challenges and not all of are our making.”
He stressed on the academicians to carry out the research on host of problems that the state was facing.
“I have been suggesting to vice chancellors of universities that relevance and importance of universities is over. The research has to be carried out related to problems that the state is facing,” he said.
Pointing out some of the challenges the state was facing, he said, “There are host of problems like climatic change, preservation of water bodies, Wular and Dal Lake, biodiversity, master plans and other issues.”
“How many institutions like universities and higher education institutions carry out research on these issues,” he asked.
On the occasion, the students were also presented degrees and medals. However, some of the students did not stand during the playing of the national anthem.
Professor Dr K Vijay Raghavan scientific advisor to government was the chief guest, while Professor Srikumar Banerjee, former chairman Atomic Energy Commission Government of India and founding vice-chancellor of CUK was guest of honour. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, former ministers, Mian Altaf, Naeem Akhtar, Mohammad Akbar Lone, incumbent and former vice-chancellors of universities, and senior officials were present on the occasion.
Vohra said that he suggested to vice chancellors to get larger number of senior students involved in capacity building.
“We can’t leave this (research) competition. Each student has to carry out certain responsibilities. They have to contribute towards growing development at village, district, state level, and national level,” he said.
This he said was possible if teachers and students with the “capacity to change themselves towards problem-solving evolution”. “Some changes are happening in universities. There is no dearth of capacity.”
After the establishment of CUK, he said that the varsity faced a lot of challenges. “There was shortage of faculties, paucity of resources. The state would not help much and UGC found it difficult to provide any help because we did not qualify as we not had requisite facilities. There were no professors and laboratories.. Now the CUK has 150 faculty and there will be 3000 students by the end of this year.”
However, he said the vice chancellors had been holding interactions to help to each other.
Raghavan said that CUK has made a “commendable” contribution in the areas of teaching, research, and extension. “We may need to adopt a balance research approach in the area of research and development so that research is not carried out for getting out mere degrees.”
Vice Chancellor CUK, Professor Mehraj ud Din Mir highlighted the university report 2009-2018.
However, he pointed out several issues that the varsity has been facing.
“We have been organizing conferences and libraries are running in rented buildings. Students also avail facilities at Kashmir University and NIT,” he said.

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Large sums of money involved : Agents honey trapped, blackmailed IAS officer for gun licenses

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By Special Correspondent

Srinagar, July 18:  Investigation into fake gun license racket in Udhampur has revealed sensational details about the involvement of the district’s former Deputy Commissioner Niraj Kumar in the scam.

As per sources, the state government has already registered an anti-corruption case against the IAS officer as more skeletons continue to tumble out of the closet.

Highly placed sources say that the IAS officer, with the local gun mafia and touts, violated all norms related to the gun licensing criteria.

As per law, the DM is the nodal officer for issuing gun licenses, but only after due diligence by police.

Sources said the investigation, carried out by Anti- Terror Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan Police, has revealed that the former Deputy Commissioner had relaxed the norms for issuing the gun license to the agents.

Instead of working on the licensing process in the office the accused IAS officer had prepared the list for issuing these licenses ‘illegally’ at his official residence.

As per investigators, all the paper work including the signing off on the final license was done away with from the DC’s office.

Investigators also believe that a huge amount of money had also exchanged hands between the agents, senior government officials over issuance of these licenses.

Sources say that once the IAS officer got a whiff of the impending scandal, he started resisting the request of those whom he was in league with for issuing these ‘illegal licenses’. “It is quite possible that the accused officer was honey trapped by touts and then blackmailed further to issue more licenses. We are also probing the possibility of involvement of some police officials in this scam,” a police officer told The Kashmir Monitor.

Last year objectionable pictures of Niraj Kumar, the then-Deputy Commissioner Udhampur, with women in a hotel room had gone viral. The government had then swung into action and attached Niraj to the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu.

Sources said the DC violated all the norms and even asked his subordinates to keep the matter hidden.

“Acquiring a gun license is too hectic as it follows various levels of verifications. But in this case the  Deputy Commissioner  who is a nodal officer for issuing gun license made it confined to just few steps by cutting down the verification part,” sources said.

As per the sources, the agents would forge the documents of a person to show him as an army official to avoid verifications.

“Army and military personnel can get arms licenses from any district they are posted in, on the recommendation of a letter from the Commanding Officer of their unit. These documents were then approved at official levels,” they said.

Last year Rajasthan police busted a racket in which fake gun license racket  from Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir were being abundantly used to ‘purchase’ arms from gun houses in many parts of Rajasthan, including Udaipur, Sikar and Jaipur, police said.

Around 40 licenses from Dimapur in Nagaland – suspected to be fake- were used to purchase guns from gun houses in Jaipur alone.

When contacted Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department (GAD), Hilal Ahmad Parray said that they haven’t received any sort of communication related to issue yet.

“Let me see and confirm it. But so far we have not been informed by any agency yet,” Parray said.

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Disappointed over Kashmir HR report criticism: UNHCR

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Geneva, July 18: The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCR) on Tuesday quashed the criticisms levelled by the Indian authorities and media for its human rights report on Kashmir released recently, and expressed “deep disappointment” over the reaction.

Citing Indian media outlets’ accusations such as “Nefarious conspiracy”, “Pakistan-authored report”, “fallacious”, “mala fide” and Indian authorities’ reaction who dismissed the report as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” against the UN Human Rights Office, the spokesperson for the UNHCR said that they were disappointed by the reactions.

“The report was developed through remote monitoring, after the Indian and Pakistani authorities failed to grant us unconditional access to the region. Since the report was published, we have been deeply disappointed by the reaction of the Indian authorities, who dismissed the report as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” without examining it and responding to the very serious concerns about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir as laid out in the report,” the spokesperson said.

He also refuted reports in the Indian media that the High Commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, was in contact with a Canada-based imam of Pakistani descent, named Zafar Bangash, and that he had influenced the report.

“The High Commissioner has never spoken with Mr Bangash, and we are not aware of receiving any information from him, let alone using it, although it is possible he sent an email or letter and received a polite acknowledgment, as is the case with thousands of letters and emails sent to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” the spokesperson added.

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So far in 2018: 100 militants, 43 forces’ men, 16 civilians killed in JK: GoI

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New Delhi, July 18: Hundred militants and 43 forces personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in the first six months of this year, Minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said on Wednesday.

Ahir, the minister of state for home, said 16 civilians were also killed during this period, which saw 256 incidents of violence. He was replying to a written question in Rajya Sabha.

In 2017, 342 incidents of violence were reported in the state, in which 213 terrorists were gunned down. A total of 80 security personnel and 40 civilians were killed last year, Ahir said.

As many as 82 forces personnel, 15 civilians and 150 militants were killed in the state in 2016, which witnessed 322 cases of militant violence, he said.

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