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

Mudassir Kuloo




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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MUHARRAM: Srinagar barred, processions foiled



Srinagar, Sep 19:Amid curbs and traffic chaos, police on Wednesday foiled Muharram processions by detaining scores of mourners.

The main Muharram procession was scheduled to be taken out from Karan Nagar to Dalgate, however, authorities had erected barricades and deployed contingents of police and troopers to foil the procession.

Reports said that police used mild force to disperse the mourners who appeared near Shaheed Ganj, Karan Nagar, Chotta Bazar, Habakadal, Abi Guzar and Dalgate.

The restrictions had been placed mostly in some areas of Shaheed Gunj, Karan Nagar, Maisuma, Kothibagh, Sherghari, Kralkhud, Batamaloo and Ram Munishi Bagh police stations.

After the outbreak of militancy in Kashmir, authorities have not allowed the processions since 1990.

Heavy deployments of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear had been deployed in the parts of Kashmir capital Srinagar.

Pedestrian and vehicular movement had also been suspended.

However, official sources said that this was a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

Restrictions were imposed in major parts of the civil lines areas as well. These included Residency Road, Maisuma, Abi Guzar, Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Jehangir Chowk and Batamaloo.

Despite restrictions, scores of people tried to take out the processions at Shaheed Gunj, Batamaloo and Karan Nagar areas of Srinagar city. However, their attempt was foiled by police.

Scores of mourners who tried to defy restrictions were detained by police. They were lodged in different police stations of the city.

A group of youth from Shaheed Gunj locality defied the restrictions and tried to take out a procession towards Dalgate. When the youth reached near Jehangir Chowk, they were stopped and send back.

A similar Muharram procession was taken out from the nearby Karan Nagar area that was also foiled by police. Police also foiled procession at Batamaloo. Police arrested several mourners and lodged them in police station Batamaloo.

Normal life in different parts of Srinagar city was affected due to processions and the restrictions. Police used force and fired scores of tear-smoke shells to disperse the mourners in Dalgate and on MA Road. They also thrashed a photo journalist Shah Jehangir when he was performing his professional duties.

The 8th Muharram procession would traditionally start from Guru Bazar and Shaheedgunj areas of the Srinagar’s downtown and pass through Maulana Azad Road and Residency Road to end at Dalgate. However, since 1990, authorities have disallowed Muharram processions in uptown areas while smaller congregations in localities of downtown Srinagar and in the outskirts are allowed.

Anjuman Shari Shai organized multiple Muharam processions across Kashmir Valley. Thousands of mourners participated in Zuljina procession that was carried out from Madeen Sahab Zadibal area of Srinagar city.

Besides, Zuljina processions were taken out at Abadpora, Awadawra, Bogha Chhal, Astan Sharif Wuyen Chadoora, Palar Budgam, Malik Gund Chatargam, Astanpora Sikandarpora, Gulshan Bagh Batakadal, Khomeni Chowk, Awdeena, Zalpora, Gund Nawgam, Sonaburn, Inderkoot, Gawmadao, Kehnpeth, Chhalipora and other areas.

Anjuman Shari Shian President and senior separatist leader Aga Syed Hasan while condemning the use of force on mourners said that authorities welcome Yatris during Yatra but thrash mourners for organizing peaceful religious processions.

“It is direct intervention into the religious affairs that is highly condemnable. The curbs on these processions are uncalled for and need to be lifted without any delay.” he said and added that a conspiracy is being hatched to create a wedge between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Kashmir.

A huge procession was taken out in Kargil district of Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Congress to contest JK Civic Polls

‘To keep BJP-RSS at bay’

Firdous Hassan



Srinagar, Sep 19: The state unit of Congress party has decided to contest the upcoming civic polls, which will begin from October 8 under four phases.

While addressing a press conference here at party headquarters, state Congress president, G A Mir said that the party has come to this conclusion after deliberating the issue with the party high command recently in New Delhi.

“The Congress doesn’t want to run away from the responsibilities in restoring democratic setup in the state. It is not just a one day exercise as the state will have to bear the consequences for the next five years. So Congress party will utilise its all energy to defeat the communal forces and fight with full might,” he said.

Mir, however, said that his party has set the conditions of providing security to the contesting candidates and creation of peaceful atmosphere before the Governor.

“Election Commission and Governor led administration issued the contradictory statements over the security issue. Considering the bitter experience of previously held Parliamentary polls we put up the conditions of providing security to the consisting candidates, the creation of peaceful atmosphere and ensuring free and fair election,” he said.

Mir added that the Congress previously apprised the Governor’s office of the security concerns, especially in the valley.

“We sent three delegations to the governor right from the time NN Vohra took over the reins of the state to convey our concerns but they are not being addressed yet,” he said

Mir said the Congress will weigh the situation ahead and commitment made by the Governor to ensure a free and fair election in the state.

“Our party won’t hesitate to take any other decision if the Governor led administration fails to fulfill all its commitments,” he said.

“On these conditions, Congress will attempt to keep away RSS, BJP from entering these democratic institutions. We won’t allow them to get succeeded in their plans, which are made far away in Nagpur,” he added.

The state Congress president said their decision to take part in the election will ensure the releasing and utilisation of funds for the development of towns and cities.

“The delay in these elections has resulted in lapse of funds from Centre, which are meant for the development of towns and municipal committees. So we want to be at the front for the development of the state,” he said.

Mir sensed the boycott to Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies polls by regional political parties could be a ‘conspiracy to pave way for communal forces’.

“The essence of elections is determined when all parties participate in the exercise. Currently, half a dozen parties have boycotted the election, which I doubt could be a conspiracy to have a deal with the communal forces by allowing them to take the charge of institutions at grass root level,” he said.

“We don’t want to give them (RSS, BJP) any opportunity to stay in Secretariat and or either in offices at the district level,” he added.

The state Congress president stated that the party will work to safeguard Article 35-A if it comes to power. “There are certain sections of people in our state who have some concerns. If Congress is voted to power, we will build consensus to address the concerns as per legislation of the state. We will safeguard Article 35A,” he said.

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Guv to admn, police: ‘Provide adequate security to candidates’



Srinagar, Sep 19: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday asked the police and civil administration officials to provide adequate security cover to candidates contesting the municipal and panchayat elections in the state.

Addressing a day-long conference of deputy commissioners and superintendents of police, Malik advised them to spread awareness among the people about the importance of the polls in strengthening grass-roots democracy and holistic development of towns and villages, an official spokesperson said.

The governor also advised them to ensure adequate security cover to the contesting candidates and to ensure that the elections were conducted in a free-and-fair manner.

Malik advised the district police officers to take care of public sensitivities while dealing with law-and-order issues, and ensure that minimum inconvenience is caused to people during their operations.

The governor stressed crucial importance of strengthening grievance redressal mechanism by the district administrations and urged all the DCs to mark one day in a week exclusively for hearing grievances followed by their early disposal.

Malik expressed concern over the non-availability of avenues for recreation and sports among the children and youth. Saying that he had he has observed the passion for football and cricket among the state’s youngsters, the governor asked the deputy commissioners to identify areas for developing play grounds in their districts and promote sports culture.

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