Connect with us


Kulgam’s volatile belt shows why it’s a challenge for forces

Stone-pelting, empty booths, angry people

Mudassir Kuloo





Kulgam, Apr 29: Deserted streets dotted with stones, almost non-existent civilian movement, bouts of heavy stone pelting at some places and an eerie silence at others – this remained the order of the polling day in the most volatile belt of Kulgam.

The district Monday went to polls in the second leg of elections for the Anantnag Parliamentary seat.

In a dozen villages in the belt – comprising of Redwani, Khudwani, Qaimoh, Arwani, Hassanpora, Yaripora, Hawoora, and Ashmuji areas – authorities had clubbed at least 19 polling stations in three educational institutes.


Twelve of the polling booths were housed in Government Higher Secondary School, Qaimoh. They had a registered electorate of 10,771, however, till 12:50 pm, only seven votes had been polled at all of them.

They included: 61 Qaimoh-A (0 votes out of 798),  62 Qaimoh-B (0 out of 788), 63 Qaimoh C (1 of 931), 64 Qaimoh D (0 of 750), 32 Qaimoh E (3 of 976), 66 Qaimoh (0 of 1040), 59 Redwani-C (0 of 873), 60 Redwani D (0 of 822), 67 Hawoora A  (0 of 1139), 58 Redwani B (1 of 1003), 57 Redwani A (0 of 1000), and 68 Hawoora B (2 of 651).

Similarly, four polling stations were set up in in Government Boys Middle School, Hassanpora (a village next to Arwani) where, until 10 am, no voter had turned up out of the total 2,652 registered ones.

The polling booths included 41 Hassanpora (0 votes polled out of 692), 42-Rakh Hassanpora (0 votes of 574), 43 Hassanpora Bagh-A (0 of 690), and 44-Hassanpora Bagh (0 of 696).

The situation remained tense with incidents of stone pelting taking place in many areas including Qaimoh, Redwani, Khudwani, Tarigam, and Ashmuji.

This reporter had to travel through alleys and dodge stones, angry government forces, and agitated residents to reach the deserted polling stations.

Throughout the belt, there were hardly any locals on the roads except groups of youth who were readying for or had retreated from hurling stones at the heavy deployment of paramilitary forces in the areas.

Bouts after bouts of stone pelting had left the paramilitary troopers weary.

“We haven’t been able to have our food, see how many stones have they pelted,” said a CRPF man standing beside an armoured vehicle while pointing towards the street dotted with stones on the Khudwani intersection.

In Qaimoh, the protesting youth had blocked the roads with wooden logs.

They were checking the fingers of anyone passing by on foot or in vehicles to ensure they hadn’t voted.

A resident of Arwani, who seemed in his 40s, stood outside his one-storey home located a few hundred metres from where stone pelting was going on.

He told this reporter that people boycotting polls in the area had “only one reason.”

“The villages around here have witnessed massive human rights violations in the last four years. Dozens of youth are languishing in jails after being slapped with Public Safety Act. How do you expect that we will vote for the people who have terrorised ordinary civilians here,” the resident said.

Another local at Qaimoh told this reporter that in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the boycott wasn’t as strictly followed as it was today.

“What happened after 2016 totally changed the people here. At present, if I recall correctly, at least eight youth of the area picked up arms,” he said.



To improve healthcare: JK to implement AAP model of ‘mohalla clinics’

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, May 21: Taking a cue from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government’s ambitious healthcare scheme in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir government is setting-up Hyper-local clinics aka Mohalla clinics in densely populated slum areas in a bid to provide free healthcare facilities to the impoverished section of the society.

The move by the Governor Administration is aimed at upgrading the primary health centres across the state.

Sticking to the ‘Mohalla clinic’ name, authorities said free treatment and diagnostic services will be provided at these facilities.


“Most of the patients who suffer from minor health ailments like common cold, cough, dehydration or simply want to get their blood-pressure checked, rush to tertiary care hospital because the facilities are not available at the primary health centers. It unnecessarily increases the workload. When Mohalla clinics will be established, the rush will automatically decline in tertiary care,” said an official of SKIMS wishing anonymity.

Modeled on Delhi government’s healthcare scheme, the Mohalla clinics in Jammu and Kashmir will focus largely on two areas – drugs and health services.

“Our aim is to improve the already existing primary health care facilities by emulating the model of AAP govt. It will help us in streamlining the service,” said Bhupendra Kumar, Mission director, National Health Mission, Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir government has gone into an overdrive to identify the areas so that the scheme could be rolled out in the state as soon as possible.  “The discussions are on and will soon start identifying the areas for upgrading of clinics,” said Kumar

Doctors say the scheme could prove a game changer and revolutionize the healthcare delivery system in Jammu and Kashmir. “These clinics will prove a boon for the elderly people. Their regular health related issues like checking BP and blood sugar levels will be addressed immediately,” said an official.

Healthcare experts also note that Mohalla clinics can also help reducing the need for self-medication.

“Many people resort to treatment by local pharmacists and chemists which can prolong the disease rather than alleviating it.  The clinics will also help in detecting serious ailments at an early stage. We had proposed the idea for Mohalla clinics to the state-government one and a half year ago but they never took it seriously. We are hopeful now the idea takes off,” said an expert.

Continue Reading


Srinagar’s development marred by govt apathy: Omar




Srinagar, May 21: Life in Srinagar is blight with various problems as neither the centre nor the state government has invested in the augmentation of urban infrastructure of the city in the past five years, National Conference vice president, Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday.

Welcoming 11 corporators from SMC into the party fold here, Omar said Srinagar has “fallen off from the development radar”.

“The people of Srinagar stand dejected at the paucity of amenities and the appalling condition of roads.  The people were forsaken by the former PDP-BJP government, the present governor administration proved no different. The work on the various vital projects of the city that was initiated by our government was unfortunately stalled by the former PDP-BJP regime,” he said.


Omar claimed that National Conference “despite being subjected to political shenanigans and conspiracies of various agencies never left any stone unturned to work for the benefit of the people of the state.”

“Once in power we will carry forward the mission of development and work towards ensuring peace in the state with active participation of people. The urban life of Srinagar is fraught with different issues; the party once in power will hold the authorities accountable,” he said.

For past few years, Omar said, no headway was seen towards upgrading the existing road and transport infrastructure of the city.

“We are witness to how government recklessly came up with certain projects in Srinagar which didn’t bring any respite to the city. The need of the hour, therefore, calls for proper planning to rise up to the demands of growing population of Srinagar city,” he said.

Taking a potshot at some of the decisions taken in the previous Mufti led government, he said, “The former BJP-PDP government recklessly displaced General Bus Stand of Batamaloo to the suburban locality of Parimpura. The decision has hampered the livelihood of many and turned out to be least fruitful towards easing traffic situation in Srinagar. In fact the decision has put the commuters to undue duress,” adding, “Unfortunately the proposed motorable projects connecting either sides of the Bund were also recklessly converted into foot bridges. The measure many experts say was executed to serve the interests of few people.”

Omar said that the absence of a popular elected government in the state was taking its toll on the development scenario of the state. “The onus for the miseries that are plaguing the state in the absence of an elected government lies on Mehbooba Mufti. Had she asked the governor to dissolve the assembly last year in the month of June, after being shown door by its former ally, things would have been much different.  Today we would have an elected government looking after the basic needs of people. However she chose not to do that and what followed is known to all. It is she who is blameworthy for putting the state into a chasm,” he said.

Omar said that once in power the party will put the city of Srinagar on the track of eco-friendly and sustainable development. “There is much to do in terms of job creation, traffic management, urban housing, beautification, and environment fronts in the city. Once in power the party will immediately swing into action and provide for the development needs of the Srinagar city,” he said.

Continue Reading


All 1182 newly appointed teachers to be posted in 14 districts before Eid

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, May 21: A long wait has finally come to an end as Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to post all the newly recruited 1182 teachers in different schools before Eid-ul-Fitr to strengthen the education system in the state.

The department of education had referred 3,450 posts to J&K Service Selection Board (JKSSB) which include 2,154 vacancies of teachers and 1,289 of non-teaching staff.

In May 2018, JKSSB conducted exams in which thousands of candidates appeared for 2,154 teacher posts. The final selection list was confirmed on February 2019 and appointments were made on May 13.


An official of JKSSB told The Kashmir Monitor that the final selection list was confronted with many issues, which included massive litigations, unmentioned degrees in online application forms, a huge number of claims and counter claims made by the candidates.

“The selections of teachers have been approved in three disciplines of General Line, Science/Math, and Urdu,” he said.

Of the total candidates, 727 were selected in general-line category and 351 for Science/Math subjects while 104 candidates were selected for Urdu subject.

The selections were approved at the Board meeting chaired by Zubair Ahmad, Chairman JKSSB on February 21 and 22 here.

Dr Younis Malik, Director Education Kashmir told The Kashmir Monitor that posting of different teachers will be made before Eid ul Fitr.

“The teachers will be posted in those institutions facing manpower crunch,” Dr Malik said.

He said the teachers will be posted in middle and high schools in the 14 districts of the state – Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian, Srinagar, Samba, Udhampur, Reasi, and Rajouri.

“The department will facilitate those teachers who are without B.Ed. to pursue their degrees,” he added.

According to the Education Department guidelines, the teacher-pupil ratio should be 1:30 which means one teacher for 30 students. However, only a small number of schools have such rationalization.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 1,010,460 other subscribers


May 2019
« Apr