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FUNDING CASE: NIA not ready to share details of protected witnesses: Report

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New Delhi, July 18: After six accused were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in alleged funding case for over six years, there has been no respite for the accused, as the NIA Special Court kept the next hearing on September 6.

According to a senior NIA official, the lawyer of the accused had demanded details, including statements of witnesses.

As per a report by India Today, the NIA has shown its inability to share details of 23 witnesses, who they claimed were protected under Section 17 of the NIA Act, 2008.

 

The act provides protection of witnesses essentially stating that if the Special Court is satisfied that the life of such witness is in danger, it may take some measures to keeping the identity and address of such witness secret.

Six of the 12 accused had applied for bail, including separatist leaders Raja Mejhrajuddin Kalwal, Bitta Karate, Peer Saifullah, Shahid ul Islam, Akbar khanday and Altaf Fantoosh. Special NIA Judge Poonam Bamba who has been hearing the bail petition has put the next date of hearing after two months.

Businessman Zahoor Watali’s bail was rejected earlier by the court in June earlier this year. He was also not well and even asked for a walking stick to be provided to him.

In the Kashmir financing case of 2017, 12 men were named by the NIA, including Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin and JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed.

Meanwhile, sources said that Asiya Andrabi and two of her female associates, who have been arrested in sedition case, are likely to be soon questioned regarding their role in Kashmir funding case.

Though the organisation was named in the First Information Report (FIR), the anti-terror probe agency did not question the Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief.

Recently, the separatist women trio was sent for 30 day judicial custody in charges of sedition.


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Admin wants an elected Govt to take over soon: Guv Malik

Inaugurates phase-II of JCRB flyover, apologizes over highway ban

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Srinagar, May 22: Governor Satya pal Malik on Wednesday said that his administration wants an elected government to take over in Jammu and Kashmir soon.

However, he also apologized to the people for the restrictions imposed on civilian movement on Srinagar-Jammu highway twice a week.

Talking to the reporters after inaugurating the second phase of Jahangir Chowk-Ram Bagh flyover here, Governor said that they (administration) want an elected government to take over the State soon.

 

He was reacting to a query about some officials within his administration were not keen on transfer of power to an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, he said that the call for the elections has to be taken by Election Commission. “We want this (President’s Rule) to end at an earliest and an elected government to take over the State,” he said.

Moreover, Governor refused to talk over the Budgam Chopper incident.

Nonetheless, Governor apologized for the restrictions imposed on civilian movement on Srinagar-Jammu highway, saying that ban was imposed in ‘national interest’.

“I apologise to the people for inconvenience they faced due to restrictions imposed on highway,” Governor said, adding that all the restrictions will be lifted from May 27, 2019.Recently, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said a decision on holding assembly elections in the state was the prerogative of the Election Commission but indicated a decision could be announced after the completion of the Lok Sabha polls.

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule on June 19, 2018 after the PDP-BJP coalition government fell as the BJP decided to pull out of the alliance.

The state assembly was kept in suspended animation to allow for the possibility of any new combination of parties to form a government in the state.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti supported by the National Conference and the Congress staked claim for government formation on 21 November, 2018.

Within minutes, People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, who had just two MLAs, also staked claim for government formation.

The governor decided to dissolve the assembly on the grounds that he wanted to prevent horse-trading.

The state was brought under President’s Rule on December 19, 2018 for a period of six months as elections could not be held within six months of imposition of Governor’s Rule in the state.

The President’s Rule will have to be extended again on June 19, 2019 as assembly elections have not been held so far. The order for extending President’s rule will have to be ratified by Parliament.

Earlier he dedicated the second phase of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover today to commuters.

Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Sh. K.K. Sharma, K. Skandan- Advisors to Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring; Baseer Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation; Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar; Sh. Raghav Langer, CEO ERA; and various senior officers were present on the occasion.

Governor congratulated the executing agencies and observed that this stretch of 1.04 km would provide much awaited relief to commuters from Rambagh to Alochi Bagh and regulate traffic at Rambagh, Solina, Alochi Bagh  and on the Rambagh Bridge.

Pertinent to mention that the third and last phase of the flyover is expected to be completed by June end. Once completed, the 2.4 kilometer flyover with six access ramps at Jehangir Chowk, Gogji Bagh, Alochi Bagh, Rambagh, Natipora and Barzulla, will substantially decongest city traffic and reduce travel time between Jehangir Chowk and Rambagh from about 45 minutes to about 2.5 minutes.

Directs release of last month’s pending wages during Ramadan

Srinagar, May 22: The issue of pending wages of casual/daily rated workers and other categories of employees in certain departments was brought to the notice of the Governor during the meeting of the State Administrative Council (SAC) held today in Civil Secretariat, Srinagar.  The Governor was informed that these workers have been put to hardship during the holy month of Ramadhan.

The Governor has directed the release of last month’s wages in respect of the casual/daily wagers and salaries of other categories of employees working in different departments who could not receive the same so far. 

The Governor has asked the Advisors to oversee that wages are released to these workers by their departments by 31.05.2019. The Finance Department will issue necessary sanctions, wherever, required.

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‘The Real Kashmir’ movie to be screened at Cannes Ad Film Festival

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Srinagar, May 22: History is in the making as Real Kashmir Football Club (FC) is all set to make a debut at the Cannes Ad Film Festival.

Thanks to Cheil Worldwide India, `The Real Kashmir’ will be featured in the Cannes to create a splash in the world of cinema.

“For seven decades, the world has seen only one side of Kashmir. As ‘Sports has the power to change lives’ as its driving philosophy, Adidas partnered with Real Kashmir FC, a rising football club from the strife-torn region, and decided to change the negative perception with which the world sees Kashmir”, said Cheil Worldwide India.

 

Cheil noted that they told their story across different mediums to create a brand new positive lens that would enable the world to see TheRealKashmir. “We started with a 2 minute long film based on the true story of the club and their rise to the big leagues of India. We partnered with a leading Kashmiri newspaper to reorganize its news sections by bringing the sports page in front instead of the regular cover story of negativity. Then, we organized a photo exhibition in collaboration with the renowned street photographer, Prashant Godbole, showcasing Kashmir through the positive lens of football”, Cheil said.

In fact there are many firsts associated with the Real Kashmir FC. It became the first local football club to hire a former famous Scottish player David Robertson to coach the youngsters. David was playing for Rangers FC and Leeds United before taking up the coaching assignments.  Established in 2016, the Real Kashmir FC is only club from Kashmir to have played in Scotland.

In their debut season in the highly competitive I League Real Kashmir FC finished third on the table, and on the way beating power houses such as Mohun Bagan and eventual champions Chennai City FC.

Real Kashmir FC also had huge attendance in all home games played at the TRC astro-turf with an average attendance of 25000. In last I League also saw the first ever match played in snow when RKFC took and defeated Gokulam Kerala FC.

The Real Kashmir FC is like a mini-world with players of different states and nations proudly wearing the colours of this big family.

“This is dizzy stuff! @realkashmirfc to be featured at Cannes! Hope that fans & people celebrate & acknowledge the achievement of this bunch of boys going where none from Kashmir has ever gone amidst huge adversity and strife. Wonderful! @Festival_Cannes”, tweeted Haseeb Drabu, former finance minister.

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Man-animal conflict: Mob beats three-month-old bear cub to death in South Kashmir

Ishfaq ul Hassan

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Srinagar, May 22:  A heart-wrenching incident of a three-month-old black bear cub mercilessly beaten to death by a jeering mob in south Kashmir has sparked a massive outrage across the valley.

The incident occurred on Tuesday when a wild black bear cub strayed into the habitation in the Zungalpora village of Kulgam district in South Kashmir.

A 2.20 minute video showing a huge mob armed with sticks jeering and encircling the bear cub before thrashing and choking it to death. Mob used ropes and jute-bags to capture the cub even as some people beat the animal ruthlessly before it was captured only to die later. The bear cub was seen limping and trying to escape, but the mob was ruthlessly pounding on the animal.

 

Wild Life Warden of Anantnag Zone  Intisar Suhail said they have lodged an FIR and police has also taken a cognizance of the matter. “This cub was born in February this year. They (mob) had caught hold of bear somehow. Before our team could reached there, they had killed the animal. They insisted them to return but it was already dead”, he said.

Wildlife department has conducted the postmortem of the cub and they are waiting for the report. “It was strangulated to death. It had strayed into human habitation. We have identified one person who was the main instigator. We will submit the report to police”, said Intisar.

This is the second such incident in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 12 days. On May 10, a hapless brown bear slipped into deep stream after being chased and stoned by a mob on a steep mountain ridge in Drass area of Kargil district in Ladakh division.

“We are very sad and unhappy to see what is happening around. The animals are not entering into our habitat but we are encroaching their territory. Our wasteland have been encroached and sold.  Wasteland used to be a  barrier between these animals and forests, and villages. But we have encroached and sold them”, said Aaliya Mir, Head of Wildlife SOS, J&K Chapter

Mir pitched for creating awareness among the people to avoid the man animal conflict in Kashmir. “There is a need for awareness. We have to live with animals and we need to learn to coexist with these species.  We need to understand the reasons for this conflict. Habitation degradation, fragmentation, change of land use pattern, climatic factors and even political reasons are leading to his conflict”, she said.

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