By Hirra Azmat
Srinagar, Jun 21: Media fraternity on Thursday bid a tearful adieu to the journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari who was murdered in a gruesome attack outside his office here last week.
Many emotional scenes were witnessed in the condolence meeting held in Information Department’s auditorium at Polo View here.
Journalists and supporters from all walks of life participated in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Hakeem Irfan of Economic Times initiated the meeting amidst the deafening silence.
He said, “It came as a huge shock for everyone. I am yet to come to terms that Shujaat Sahab is no longer with us.”
Irfan said, “We can’t seek revenge against the culprits but we can raise questions to dig out the truth and the quest for truth should continue till the guilty are brought to book.”
Commenting on slain editor’s persona, Irfan said, “His dynamic and happy-go-lucky personality set him apart from others. Besides, his dedication and hard working temperament was commendable.”
Senior journalist Gowhar Geelani while recollecting his first encounter with the slain editor said, “I first meet him in 2005 and can’t forget his reassuring and warm smile.”
Geelani while condemning the attack said, “I have a firm conviction he was killed because he raised questions. The questions could have countered through pen and not through force.”
He said, “What is worth appreciating is the courage shown by his staff members. They sent a strong message to the assailants by coming up with a ready newspaper the next day of his killing.”
Geelani said, “Shujaat Sahab carved a niche for himself in the literary circle by promoting Kashmiri language in letter and spirit. Not only that, he also chose to be a social worker while extending a helping hand wholeheartedly during the devastating floods of 2014.”
He said, “He carried on crusade fearlessly by highlighting the sufferings of Kashmiri people. With the result, some fringe elements had started a vicious campaign to malign his image. He would be labeled as pro Jihadi, separatist, and pro Pakistan person.”
Peerzada Ashiq working with The Hindu said, “Even if I choose the choicest of the words, it is difficult for me to describe Shujaat Sahab in words.”
“He was a man of small gestures that made him big. His welcoming smile, straight-forward nature and his relentless attitude to fight for his motherland made him all the more special,” he said while fighting back tears.
Aashiq said, “The campaign that he had started made him vulnerable. Shujaat Sahab once showed me his social media profile and how he was vilified through his posts.”
Faisal Yaseen, political editor with Rising Kashmir said, “He was an editor, associate, and friend all rolled into one. Never would he curb our creativity by stopping us from doing stories of our choice.”
Yaseen said, “Even if people hurled abuses at him but he would never hold any grudge against them,” he said.
“The media fraternity to should come together to bring the culprits to book,” Yaseen said.
“The way he would everyone’s battle can’t be overlooked. His campaigning for various causes lead to his death and we demand the culprits should be punished,” he said.
Nazir Masoodi of the NDTV said that Shujaat was speaking for Kashmiris and his death “immortalized” him. “He was advocating the pain of Kashmir. Was he killed because he was holding the conference to find a solution to Kashmir problem?” he asked.
Mufti Islah of the CNN IBN commended Rising Kashmir team, who kept up with publishing the newspaper even during such tragedy.
“You people showed great courage and displayed the highest standards of journalistic ethics. The biggest tribute to Shujaat saab would be to carry forward his legacy,” he said.
Masood Hussain of Kashmir Life said that Shujaat had an “unmatched” personality.
“Difference of opinion is essence for betterment of society but don’t encourage animosity,” he said.
Senior journalist Majid Hyderi, said, “He was friend of all seasons and person with a integrity and character. His case has to take to be taken to logical conclusion.”
Rashid Maqbool, who has worked with Shujaat said that he always stood by his reporters. “He was full of humanity and never forced his ideology on others,” he added.
Several other journalists also spoke on the occasion and paid tributes to him.
The condolence meeting was organised Kashmir Working Journalists Association.
GMC admits: Patients referred to Srinagar attended by juniors
Srinagar, Jan 21: The Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar Monday acknowledged that the patients referred to its associated hospitals in Srinagar are being treated by junior doctors.
A circular by Principal GMC, Dr Samia Rashid said it had come to her notice that “patients referred from various district, sub-district hospitals and peripheries for specialised treatment in Associated hospitals of GMC Srinagar are being attended by Junior Residents without taking advice and consultation from their Registrars and Consultants on emergency duty.”
The circular asked the head of departments and units to ensure that referral patients are only seen by registrars or senior residents on emergency duty.
“The head of the departments and units are also impressed upon to ensure that Consultants on emergency duty…should make periodic rounds on their emergency day and take final evening round in emergency areas. Registrars and other resident staff on emergency duty should note down their advice in respect of patients admitted,” the circular reads.
The GMC Principal, as per the circular, asked the medical superintendents of the associated hospitals to monitor the work of Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) and Casualty Medical Officer (CMOs).
“…check whether they are discharging their duties as per their job profile…take necessary disciplinary action against the RMO/CMO who fails to discharge their assigned duties.”
The GMC circular follows the Thursday’s incident in which a pregnant woman, who was referred from Kupwara to Lal Ded hospital, was forced to deliver her baby on road when the doctor on duty refused to admit her.
The baby delivered in sub-zero temperatures died soon after.
Facing flak, the hospital ordered a probe immediately, which, eventually, concluded: “The doctor with her clinical assessment/USG findings did not anticipate the precipitate delivery in her, although unfortunately the doctor on duty went against the SOP for referrals by not admitting the patient.”
No negligence will be tolerated: Adv Kumar
Jammu, Jan 21: Taking a serious note of alleged mishandling of a pregnant lady from District Kupwara at L. D Hospital, Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar Monday conveyed his sympathies with the affected family and assured a thorough enquiry into the unfortunate incident.
Chairing a high level meeting in this regard attended by Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dullo; Principal, GMCs of Srinagar and Jammu; Directors of Health Services of Kashmir & Jammu besides Medical Superintendents of several hospitals the Advisor informed that the Governor has instructed that Hospital authorities across the State should strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) in the case of referrals to tertiary care hospitals adding that no negligence in observing these SoPs would be tolerated in future.
He said maintaining high standards of health care delivery to the citizens of the State should be observed at all costs and that the Governor’s Administration is committed to fill in all the existing gaps of manpower, equipment and infrastructure to strengthen the primary healthcare system across the State.
The Advisor sought recommendations to identify the lapses and gaps so that such incidents do not take place in future. He directed the Principal GMC Srinagar and Jammu and Director Health Services Kashmir/ Jammu to identify Nodal Officers who shall solely be responsible for streamlining the referrals from primary and secondary health care institutions to tertiary care hospitals in the State.
He said that directions have been issued as part of the ‘Auditing Mechanism’ that doctor’s prescription shall be inscribed with seal/ stamp mentioning name and credentials of the prescribing and referring doctor so that responsibilities can be fixed in any eventuality.
‘Bukhari tried to sell PDP for his personal gains’
Srinagar, Jan 21: Refuting that Altaf Bukhari’s name was at any point suggested as an interim president of the party, Vice President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Abdul Rahman Veeri on Monday said that seeking “self-promotion through illicit, undemocratic and unethical measures” was Bukhari’s sole agenda in PDP.
Veeri, in a statement, said that across the state, party functionaries, workers and activists en-masse support Mehbooba Mufti in her every endeavour to get the state out of the present cycle of violence.
“Every person associated with the PDP has witnessed how amid the tumultuous times Mehbooba Mufti built the party brick by brick and made it a guiding force in Jammu and Kashmir’s political landscape,” Veeri said.
He added that in spite of taking over in very trying circumstances, PDP president ran the government with “integrity and caliber”.
“However, she was back-stabbed by some people especially Altaf Bukhari,” he said.
Veeri said that by giving out his desire to become PDP President, Bukhari had “exposed his real agenda which he initiated within days after Mufti saheb’s death.”
“For that he even made Nagpur Yatra in a bid to seek their blessings for forming the government at the cost of party and state interest. Ever since the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, he tried to grab the party and sell it out for promotion of his personal ambitions,” said Veeri.
The PDP Vice President stated further that every person is now aware that when party President Mehbooba Mufti was standing firm before the government of India, Bukhari even went up to Nagpur to offer his services as an alternative. “Such action of his sabotaged the agenda of alliance and the negotiations Mehbooba Mufti was having with the government of India, demanding implementation of specific points in the agenda of alliance as a precondition for taking over as the Chief Minister of the state,” Veeri said.
The PDP veteran added that even when the government headed by Mehbooba Mufti was formed in April 2016, a clear signal was given to Bukhari as he was dropped from the cabinet. It was later, according to Veeri, on assurances of good conduct from Bukhari that his position was restored.
He said that the ousted leader had no problem with the party till the government was in place and he begun inventing issues soon after the dissolution of assembly.
“Till the dissolution, Bukhari had the hopes of getting the government back. Though, till then, he was behaving like a party man but his one foot was in PDP and his soul and spirit were with all other parties except PDP. He was in contact with the outlaws and even made hectic efforts to instigate rebellion within the party,” Veeri said, adding that soon after dissolution of assembly, Bukhari saw only one way of finishing the PDP and that was by taking over as president and he openly told some party leaders that he wants to take over as a prize for him to stay in the party.
“He had a one point agenda and that was to take over the party and sell it out for promoting his political and other interests. Now exposed, he is openly declaring his ambitions in public,” Veeri said.
He added that people of the state know Mehbooba Mufti as a person with “selfless courage and a desire to ensure betterment in peoples’ lives.”
“It is not Mehbooba Mufti who needs PDP. It is actually the PDP which needs the person of her stature. Her command and sincerity in work is already being praised by one and all, not only in JK but across the country. She has battled against various forces very bravely and the impression she has left on the minds of people is that she is actuated by high sense of fairness and impartiality. Every person associated with the PDP is proud of her leadership and is hopeful that she will lead the people of the state to their permanent prosperity,” said Veeri.
Dy Mayor assaulted during SMC’s councilors session
Srinagar, Jan 21: Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Sheikh Imran was Monday injured when “two corporators” allegedly assaulted him during the councilor session of the corporation.
He was shifted to police hospital for immediate treatment.
A senior police official confirmed the incident and said that a case has been registered and further action taken up.
After being discharged from hospital, Imran addressed a presser alleging that he was attacked by two “RSS and BJP-backed corporators”.
He said assault on him was pre-planned by the “BJP-backed mayor” and hoped that police will take appropriate action in the case.
“I will not bow down by such tactics. I will continue to speak against corruption and injustice,” he said, adding that he was attacked for launching a “tirade against BJP and Hindutva campaigns.” Imran said that he was committed to “kicking out” the BJP from Kashmir.
“From the first day, I urged the administration to look into the issue of BJP, RSS sponsored Mayor but they turned deaf ears to my pleas,” he said.