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Gowkadal Massacre’ anniversary: Police impose restrictions in Srinagar, Hurriyat pays homage

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Srinagar, Jan 21: Police on Sunday imposed restrictions in various parts of Srinagar to foil Joint Hurriyat Leadership led protest to pay homage to 55 Kashmiris killed by forces on January 21, 1990.

The Joint Hurriyat, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for protest march on the 28th anniversary of “Gaw Kadal Massacre” in which 55 people were killed, who were protesting against the harassment by the government forces during nocturnal house-to-house raids in downtown area.

To foil the protest progamme, government had imposed restrictions in several areas under seven police stations including Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Safa Kadal, Maisuma and Kralkhud.

 

Contingents of Central Reserve Police Force and state police in full riot gear were deployed in areas placed under restrictions and other law and order sensitive places.

Rolls of razor fitted concertina wires were placed at traffic crossings to disallow vehicular movement.

Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik along with various other Hurriyat leaders were put under house arrested or arrested by the police.

However, several leaders, and activists of Hurriyat managed to reach Basant Bagh and held a rally on the call given by the Joint Hurriyat , carrying the banners showing pictures of those killed on this day on 1990,

Eye witnesses said when they tried to proceed to reach the place where the massacre took place, they were intercepted by the police.

Later they assembled at Marriage Hall Basant Bagh, where leaders of JKLF, Hurriyat Conference (G) and Hurriyat Conference (M) paid tributes to the slain.

Meanwhile, the Joint Hurriyat in a statement said that, “India witnessed only one Jalianwala Bagh massacre but Kashmiris have witnessed dozens of such massacres carried out by Indian forces since 1990..”

In the statement, they said that Hurriyat leader paid homage to those who were killed on January 21, 1990 by the forces. “This protest program was held despite unprecedented curfew, restrictions, barricades, spree of arrests and nocturnal raids by police and forces,” the Joint Hurriyat said.

“Whole Sher-e-Khas was also as usual placed under curfew.  Even the martyrs’ memorial at Basant Bagh had been sealed off by razor wire and other barricades,” the statement reads.

They claimed that “curfew and restrictions” were such that no one including women, children and sick were allowed to move in or out the area.

“Despite all these ruthless measures, leaders from the Joint Resistance camp along with people from other walks of life managed to gather near the martyrs’ memorial at Basant Bagh and held a peaceful protest program,” they said.

The speakers the statement said that in 1990, the then home minister of India and founder of today’s ruling party PDP Mufti Muhammad Saeed, deployed “fascist governor Jag-Mohan in Jammu Kashmir with a purpose to kill and oppress Kashmiris”.

Terming the “martyrs” as real heroes of the people of Jammu Kashmir, JRL claimed that “so-called rulers at the behest of their masters in Delhi and Nagpur are not allowing any peaceful political activity in Kashmir but are shamelessly claiming to be democrats”.


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Mental Health: JK puts MSF, Royal College of Psychiatrists’ recommendations on back burner

Fails to constitute crisis team in four years

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, May 26: Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to constitute the crisis teams to identify and treat increasing psychological illnesses in the valley even four years after the same was recommended by Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) London.

MSF and RCP, in a report to J&K in 2015, had suggested forming crisis teams in the state to deal with the psychological ailments, cases of which have lately witnessed a surge.

Director J&K Health Services, representatives of Psychiatry Disease hospital, Department of Psychology and Sociology, Kashmir University, representatives of RCP, and State Coordinator of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Mental Health Gap Action Plan (mhGAP) were part of the meeting when the report was submitted.

 

The concept of formation of crisis team was later incorporated into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between RCP and Jammu and Kashmir’s Health Department, which was to be assisted by the WHO.

Dr Sayeed Aqeel Hussain, Srinagar-based International Coordinator for mhGAP, said he was ready to facilitate the entire process but “the concerned government departments seemed not interested.”

“I personally appealed the RCP to visit (to help implement the suggestions), but they demanded a formal invitation from the Jammu and Kashmir government, which was not offered,” he said.

According to the MoU, a crisis team would include a group of psychiatrists, who would visit places across Kashmir and identify people with mental illness.

These patients would be provided treatment in their homes through medication and constant counseling.

“The project proposal was discussed by me in the mhGAP forum at WHO assembly in Geneva. It highlighted the need to train the psychiatrists as trainers for establishing crisis team in the community, followed by invitation to psychiatric trainers to UK, where they will have an opportunity to get an insight into the working of the crisis team in the Kingdom,” Dr Hussain said.

Director Health Services Kashmir, Kunzes Dolma said she was unaware of the programme. “I don’t have any information about it. Still, I will first confirm and then comment on it,” she said.

Head of Department, Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar, Prof Mohammad Maqbool said the department has its “own crisis teams to work on mental health.”

“We had desired to work with Royal College of Psychiatry but later the programme was not followed up by them too. We have drug de-addiction centres in SMHS, Kathidarwaza and other places which function to provide medical aid to the mentally-ill patients. The workload here is too much and the manpower is limited,” he said.

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GoI lauds JK’s performance under AB-PMJAY

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Srinagar, May 26: The Government of India Sunday appreciated the performance of Jammu and Kashmir State under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) scheme.

In a letter addressed to Chief Secretary, J&K, B V R Subrahmanyam, Chief Executive Officer National Health Authority, GoI, Dr Indu Bhushan, lauded the efforts of the State Administration in ensuring the benefits of the AB-PMJAY to the targeted beneficiaries at the grassroots level.

The Government of India has maintained that the J&K has successfully reached out to the needy and issued e-cards covering 57 per cent of families in the state in less than six months, which is highest by any state in the country, as of now.

 

 “There has been a remarkable growth of 150% in the last couple of months in terms of utilization of services in the state,” the letter reads.

It also mentions that in J&K more than 95 per cent of the claims have been paid in time as per the defining timelines. Authorities have wished that Jammu and Kashmir would continue the momentum for this upward trajectory in terms of implementation of AB-PMJAY and will become a model state in the country.

Meanwhile, the Governor, Satya Pal Malik has also congratulated the State Administration for this ambitious achievement and hoped that the implementing agencies shall continue to maintain the tempo to achieve necessary goals in the health sector.

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Modi to be sworn in as PM on May 30

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New Delhi, May 26: Narendra Modi will be sworn in as country’s Prime Minister for the second term on May 30, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said here on Sunday. A communiqué from the President’s House said the oath taking ceremony will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday.

“The President (Ram Nath Kovind) will administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the Prime Minister and other members of Union Council of Ministers on 30.05.2019 at 07.00 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the communiqué issued by President’s press secretary Ashok Malik said. Modi was elected unanimously as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance on Saturday. Later, he called on the President in his capacity as leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party, which has majority support in the House of the People following the general election to the 17th Lok Sabha.

The President, exercising powers under the Constitution, appointed Modi to the office of Prime Minister of India and sought his advice about the names of others to be appointed members of the Union Council of Ministers and indicate the date and time of the swearing-in-ceremony to be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Earlier on Saturday, a delegation of the NDA led by BJP president Amit Shah, along with Prakash Singh Badal, Rajnath Singh, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Sushma Swaraj, Uddhav Thakeray, Nitin Gadkari, K Palaniswami, Conrad Sangma and Neiphiu Rio, called on the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

 

They handed over a letter to the President stating Modi has been elected the leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party. Letters of support from NDA constituent parties were also handed over to the President. The NDA together has strength of 353 MPs in the 543-member Lok Sabha out of which the BJP has a majority of 303 Members of Parliament.

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