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Hiba’s pellet injury to football glory: Here is what made headlines in 2018

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Dec 26: From elections to impeachments to human rights violations, there was no shortage of international events dominating headlines in 2018.

The Kashmir Monitor has listed five stories from the valley that grabbed the international attention during the year.

The year began with a tragedy.

 

Gang-rape, torture and death of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua district of Jammu region in January left the whole world shocked.

International news organisations including New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, BBC, and The Asia Times spoke about how the crime ‘split’ Jammu and Kashmir along communal lines and that it was another instance of “battleground in India’s religious wars”.

These organisations noted that news about the crime in Kathua came as India was debating a 17-year-old woman’s allegation of rape against a legislator in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.

The second big news that left the Valleyites and media fraternity shell-shocked was the assassination of Shujaat Bukhari, a veteran journalist.

On June 14, unknown gunmen shot and killed Bukhari, the editor of English language daily ‘Rising Kashmir’ newspaper outside his office in Press Enclave here ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Two of Bukhari’s personal security officers also died in the attack.

Apart from running three daily newspapers, Bukhari worked aggressively for peace by organising and attending conferences and summits in the US, UK and other parts of the world.

A major event from Kashmir took place in the sports arena. Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC), barely few years old, broke into record books by becoming the first such sports clubfrom the valley to make it to India’s prestigious I-League.

RKFC stunned defending champions Minerva Punjab FC in a sensational start to their maiden I-League campaign.

Later, the team played its home matches in Srinagar, drawing their first match against Churchill Brothers, which was witnessed by over 10,000 fans rejuvenating the grand old love for the beautiful game in the valley.

Another news receiving attention worldwide was Hiba Nisar, a 20-month-old toddler, suffering a pellet injury to her right eye in her native village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district during clashes.

On November 25, Hiba’smother carrying the baby in her arms was trying to move out of the house as intense tear-gas shelling had made breathing difficult.

As soon as she opened the door, the government forces fired pellets at the duo, some hitting the mother in her hand and one piercing the child’s eye.

Hiba had to be operated and is on the course to recovery, with doctors hopeful of her not losing the vision.

Towards the fag end of the year, a huge political transformation took place in the valley, hogging limelight internationally.

The state came under President’s Rule on December 20. It happened for the first time since October 9, 1996, when the then-Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference took over at the end of six years of direct central rule.

It was for the third time when the state came under the President’s Rule.

 

 

 

 

 


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SHO injured in Anantnag attack succumbs at AIIMS

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Srinagar, Jun 16: The Station House Officer of the police station Sadr in Anantnag succumbed on Sunday, four days after he had received critical injuries in a militant attack in the town.

The slain officer Arshad Ahmad Khan was critically injured after militants attacked a joint party of CRPF and police at a bus stand in Anantnag on June 12.

In the attack, five paramilitary troopers and a militant were killed and four other security forces personnel including the Station House Officer were injured in the attack. Besides, a girl Snober (18) daughter of Ashraf Malik of Danter also sustained a bullet wound in her leg.

 

Khan according to reports was being operated in Srinagar’s SKIMS hospital. However, he was flown to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital on Sunday where he succumbed to injuries.

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Malik instrumental in bringing JRL together: NIA

Claims Aalam revealed ‘rift between separatists on funds’

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New Delhi, Jun 16: National Investigating Agency (NIA) Sunday said that the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik was instrumental in bringing the Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq together to spearhead the 2016 agitation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Yasin Malik was instrumental in bringing together the disparate factions of Hurriyat and formed Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which spear headed the 2016 agitation in Kashmir,” NIA said in a press statement.

It said that the JRL issued protest calendars leading to economic shutdown for over four months and also caused death/injuries to civilians and security forces in the valley.

 

“Yasin Malik admitted that the JRL and Hurriyat Conference Geelani Group collected funds from business community as well as certain other sources and ensured that economic shut down and violent protests continue to disrupt the daily life of common citizens in the valley,” the NIA said in the statement.

It said that Muslim League chairman Masarat Aalam Bhat revealed in the investigation that Pakistan based agents route funds through hawala operators which were transferred to the separatists including Syed Ali Geelani.

“Aalam said there are rifts in the Hurriyat regarding collection/use of funds,” it said.

The NIA said leader of Duktaran-e-Milat, Asiya Andrabi, was grilled by it about the educational expenses of her son in Malaysia incurred by Zahoor Watali, who was arrested in the alleged funding case.

“During interrogation, Asiya Andrabi admitted that she had been collecting funds and donations from foreign sources and Duktaran-e-Milat had been organising protests by Muslim women in the valley,” it claimed.

The NIA has already approached the relevant authorities for providing evidence relating to certain bank accounts used by Asiya Andrabi’s son Mohammad bin Qasim while he was in the university, it said.

Another separatist leader, Shabbir Shah, had to face some tough time when he was confronted about his businesses, including a hotel in Pahalgam which is allegedly funded through foreign funds received by him from Pakistan, the statement said.

“During the custodial interrogation, Shabir Shah was confronted with evidence relating to transfer of money by Pakistan-based agents and representatives of APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) factions to parties affiliated to Hurriyat in J and K. He was also confronted about his investments in various hotels and businesses in Pahalgam, properties in Jammu, Srinagar and Anantnag,” the NIA said.

The NIA had registered a case in May, 2017 against belonging to Jammat ud Dawah, Duktaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and other separatist leaders in the state for raising, receiving and collecting funds to fuel separatist and terrorist activities and entering into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in Kashmir Valley and for waging war against India.

The agency has so far charge-sheeted 13 accused, including leader of Jammat-ud Dawah Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin, seven separatist leaders, two hawala conduits and some stone-pelters.

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Have busted ‘Shuara-e-Zindan’ inside jails: Police

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Jun 16: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has busted ‘Shuara-e-Zindan’ (supreme council for jail), a term used by militants for governance inside prisons, and restored the prison manual completely, officials said here.

After the escape of Naveed Jatt, a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, last February, the Jammu and Kashmir prison department under the leadership of Dilbagh Singh took a series of measures to “sanitise” prisons, including shifting all hardcore militants from the Srinagar Central Jail.

“A complete analysis of the prisoners was carried out and the message was loud and clear that the hold of terrorists inside the prison needs to be broken and rule of law needs to be implemented,” says Singh, who recently relinquished the post of Director General of Prisons, said.

 

However, he did not elaborate further on the measures carried out and said “we have only ensured that hardened militants and separatists are segregated from those who are first-timers and have a scope of improvement.”

However, the officials in the state prison department said after Singh took charge, raids and searches were carried out regularly and militants were shifted to other jails in Jammu and Udhampur.

Two cases were registered at Rainawari police station which includes the one where militants were operating “Shaura-e-Zindan” inside the jail which used to decide allotment of barracks and other amenities to the prisoners, the officials said.

The ‘Shaura-e-Zindan’ used to provide facilities to the prisoners based on their experience in the field of militancy, which includes food of their choice and other facilities, they said, adding Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, serving life sentence, was the supreme commander of this group.

Now, after the crackdown and repeated searches, all private kitchens operating inside the jail premises, have been shut and all inmates queue up to the common ‘langar’ where they are served food, they said.

There was a report in December 2017 that “sermons are given on Jehad…The basic tenets of religion are overlooked and emphasis is laid on radical aspects. Such religious sermons have a deep psychological impact on inmates and youths in particular who develop inclination towards joining militancy or getting recruited as overground workers (for militants).”

It said the jail, which is expected to act as a correctional facility, is “instead being used as a place of religious indoctrination and militant recruitment”.

“It is being observed that even petty criminal who spend some time in jails are today coming out as highly indoctrinated individuals with religious motivation to support or even join militant ranks,” it said. However, Singh ensured that there is a segregation of prisoners and people arrested for charges under terrorism or separatism are treated with higher degree of caution and separated from inmates arrested for petty crimes.

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