By Nisar Dharma
Srinagar, Mar 26: Reluctant to give up its boring routine, DD Kashir (DDK), a round-the-clock government television, is telecasting outdated programmes that its viewers consider a “waste of time”.
Except for the morning show and a few government sponsored bulletins, which together make not more than 2-3 hours of screen time, the regional channel relies on playing programmes in loops.
The situation is unimproved despite the government of India planning Rs 40-crore revamp of the channel the last September, aiming to air Kashmiri version of the highly-rated game-show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and, also, movies.
“That project has not materialised, so far,” a source in DDK told The Kashmir Monitor.
“At present, there is hardly anything fresh being telecast for audiences’ entertainment. We either have news, ‘Good Morning JK’, and a current-affairs programme to talk of.”
The obsoleteness of the DDK content has dissuaded even the fans of Kashmiri songs or serials aired only by the station.
Ghulam Nabi Tantray, a retired government employee living in Nowgam, said he was an avid watcher of Kashmiri dramas and music shows.
“Now, I skim through hundreds of channels and find nothing interesting for myself,” he said. “Watching DDK is a complete waste of time.”
The productivity and quality is bound to nose-dive for a channel that continues to drag along a liability of at least Rs 25 crore abetting out of an unresolved multi-crore scam, which surfaced in it between 2009 and 2012.
The scam, being enquired by the CBI, involved allotment of programmes to undeserving ‘producers’, most of whom were known to the accused.
Consequently, Prasar Bharti hasn’t released funds for new productions to the station, forcing the latter to run obsolete shows produced by the people nearing retirement.
G D Tahir, Head of Programmes at DDK, confirmed that all the entertainment shows being aired were all repeated telecasts.
“We are meeting the Kendra guidelines when it comes to airing informative and current affairs programmes. But it is true that we do not air any new entertainment shows,” he said.
Tahir said that DDK faced paucity of funds as it was unable to generate revenue proportional to the funds made available by the government of India.
“Other Kendras are able to generate crores of rupees. We, on the other hand, are hardly able to earn anything,” he said.
DDK, as per Tahir, generated a revenue of Rs 80 lakh last year against a set “and deflated” target of Rs 1 crore.
“The revenue mostly comes from some advertisements from the state government departments,” he said. “The liability caused by the scam has really dented the channel.”
Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army
Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.
Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.
“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.
The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.
“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.
“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.
“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.
Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.
Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”
On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”
He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.
“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.
“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.
Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”
Held Pak militant paraded before media
‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’
Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.
During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.
“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.
“I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.
The militant was soon moved away.
SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.
“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.
He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.
“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.
The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.
“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.
Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24
New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.
The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.
The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.
Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.
Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand. The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.
Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.