Srinagar, Dec 3: Director School Education Kashmir, G N Itoo, and Secretary Social Welfare Department, Farooq Ahmad Lone, made the specially-abled participants wait for nearly two hours over an hour in cold weather for their arrival at a function organised on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday.
Scores of the specially-abled children gathered at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School Kothibagh here to perform before the audience at the function organised by the Humanity Welfare Organisation.
However, the children, as well as the audience, had to wait till Itoo and Lone arrived at 12:45 pm. The function was supposed to start at 11:00 am.
The participants, mostly between 11 to 25 years of age, were not even served refreshment. And the valley was shivering in temperature below 10 degrees Celsius.
“We all haven’t had anything yet. We were asked that the event will culminate before 2pm,” said a boy, who had to perform in the event.
Speaking to media later on the sidelines of the event, the Secretary Social Welfare Department said, “The government was committed to work for the welfare of disabled persons.”
“Hassle free education and basic needs would be provided to them. The government is working on ensuring special quota to them,” he said.
Judging from the protests held subsequently by the specially-abled persons, they are not happy with what the government claims to be doing for them.
At Press Enclave here, several of them gathered to stage a protest.
Raising slogans, they said the successive regimes have failed to address their issues.
They said they have been living a “miserable life”.
“Women and children should be specifically included in the Disability Act 2018. A special provision should be incorporated to deal with abuse, violence and exploitation,” said one of them.
The State Administrative Council (SAC) recently passed the Act in a meeting held under Governor, Satya Pal Malik.
“It is good, government passed the Act. The government should implement the Act at an earliest,” said president Abdul Rashid, Jammu and Kashmir Handicapped Association.
Rashid demanded enhancement in the financial assistance being provided by the government.
“At present, Rs 1,000 is being paid to us. The government should fix Rs 1,000 for the persons having disability from 40%-60%, Rs 2,000 for those having Disability from 60%-80% and Rs 3,000 for those having 80%-90% disability,” he said.
The duff and mute also held a protest here.
They said the government should make serious efforts for their welfare.
“The state government should provide reservation in jobs. We also have the right to live with honour and dignity in the society,” said Imran Ahmad.
They said their repeated pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
“Among us, many have done courses in different trades. The government should absorb us in its departments,” said Sajad Ahmad.
Meanwhile, Composite Research Centre (CRC), Bemina, organised a function in the campus.
The function saw gathering including the students who have been pursuing certain courses pertaining to disabilities.
Director CRC said the centre has been providing “every possible help” to the specially-abled persons.
“They need to be treated equally,” he said.
Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India
New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”
“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.
“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.
“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.
In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.
GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA
New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.
Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.
The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.
Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.
The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.
Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.
Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.
A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.
“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.
As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.
The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.
Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.
As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.
The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.
Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar
Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.
The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.
The incident comes to the fore days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.
Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.
“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.
There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.
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