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MBBS student from Anantnag found dead in Bangladesh

Mehbooba, Omar, Mir seek Sushma’s help; High Comm in B’desh contacts family

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Srinagar, Apr 13: A 22-year-old MBBS girl student from Anantnag district has died in Bangladesh, reports said on Saturday.

Quratul Ain daughter of Ali Mohammad Bhat, a resident of Bun Dialgam, Anantnag was in the final year of her MBBS degree in Tairunnessa Memorial Medical College in Gazipur, Bangladesh.

“She spoke to us on phone last night and today (Saturday) we were informed she didn’t wake up and was found dead inside her hostel room,” a family member said.

 

The family urged Ministry of External Affairs to help them get her body home.

“We urge the government of India through Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to see that the body is brought to Anantnag for last rites. We have been asked by the Bangladesh authorities to follow some procedures including sending an Affadavit which we have done,” they said.

“We request the Government of India especially Minister of External Affairs to ensure that body is brought to Anantnag for last rites,” Naveed Bhat, brother of the deceased said.

Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti too requested the Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to intervene.

“Dear @SushmaSwaraj ji, Quratul Ain, a kashmiri student has died in Bangladesh.  She was pursuing her studies in Tahir Ul Nisa Medical College. Request your help to the family to get her body home,” Mehbooba said in a tweet.

Later in the day, the High Commission of India in Bangladesh replied to Mehbooba’s tweet.

“High Commission of India, Dhaka is actively coordinating with the Bangladesh authorities for the early repatriation of mortal remains of the student. Our officers are in touch with family,” read their tweet.  

The family members of the deceased do not have adequate documents to travel to Bangladesh, reports said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday sought the help of outgoing external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to help in the repatriation of the body of the girl student.

Posting a hand written letter from a journalist on Twitter, Omar sought assistance from Swaraj.

“Dear@SushmaSwarajsahiba, I have received this request for help from journalists in Anantnag. Their colleague lost his sister Quaratulain, a student at Tahir-ul-Nissa medical college in Bangladesh. The family needs assistance getting the young lady’s mortal remains back,” Omar tweeted.

In another tweet, Omar also appealed to the government of Bangladesh to intervene.

“I appeal to you on behalf of the family to please intervene with the Government of Bangladesh. Any help will greatly help the family at this time of great tragedy,” Omar said.

J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president G A Mir too has written to Sushma Swaraj regarding repatriation of the body of Quratul Ain.

Mir has sought immediate intervention of Swaraj, stating that the family members of the deceased girl were eagerly waiting for their beloved daughter.

“Dear Sushma Swaraj Ji, Quratul Ain Kashmir student, resident of Bona Dialgam Anantnag has passed away in Bangladesh. She was pursuing her studies in Tahir ul Nisa Medical College. Request you to help to get back the body of deceased students,” G.A. Mir wrote.


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Bijbehara: 40 polling booths with zero votes

Mubashir Bukhari

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Bijbehara, Apr 23: Home turf of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Bijbehara assembly segment under the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, reported highest concentration of polling stations where zero votes were cast.

Among the 65 booths in Anantnag where zero votes were cast, 40 were located in Bijbehara, one of the six assembly constituencies where voting took place in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections Tuesday.

People cast their votes in 714 polling stations in Anantnag. Bijbehara, the home constituency of PDP president Mufti, had 120 polling booths set up for a population of 93,289 people.

 

A total of 1,893 electorate or 2 per cent exercised their franchise when the polling ended at 4 pm. The voting time for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat was reduced in view of security considerations. The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, where voting took place in the first phase, saw 17 polling stations with zero while the Srinagar Parliamentary seat, which went to polls in the second phase, recorded zero votes in 90 booths.

Polling in Anantnag, which has 16 assembly seats, has been divided into three phases. The first phase was completed on Tuesday while remaining two will be held on April 29 and May 6. The decision for staggered polling was taken keeping in view the security situation in South Kashmir which has seen many encounters between security forces and militants.

On February 14, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a miliant attack in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

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Clubbing of booths kept voters away

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 23:  The clubbing of the polling booths in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency Tuesday discouraged many voters, who preferred to stay at home rather than walking long distances to cast their votes.  

District Anantnag, which went for polls first in the three-phased schedule Tuesday, recorded 13.63 voter turnouts in six segments including Anantnag, Dooru, Kokernag, Shangus, Bijbehara and Pahalgam.

Scores of the voters said that many gave up their plans to cast vote after authorities announced clubbing of the polling booths in the constituency.

 

In Lisser Chawalgam village of Kokernag segment, at least three polling stations catering to different locations were accommodated in a local higher secondary school.

 It included polling station of Shalnaad village as well, which is at least three kilometers away from the station.  

Those who casted their votes claimed that they had to enter secretly into the booth as the area had witnessed stone pelting.

“More people could have come to vote if the locations of the polling booths were not changed at the last moment. Many women didn’t cast their votes as they too had to travel kilometres to reach to the polling station,” said a voter, who had come from Shalnaad to cast his vote at higher secondary school Lisser.

Similarly polling booths in rural areas of Anantnag, Pahalgam too were clubbed, which reportedly affected the voting percentage of these areas.

“South Kashmir usually witnesses low voting percentage. The change in the location of polling booths has further the participation,” said a polling officer.

National Conference Candidate for Anantnag, Retired Justice Hasnain Masoodi, told The Kashmir Monitor that the clubbing of the polling booth was the main reason behind the low voting percentage in many areas.

“The polling booths of Jeshnaad and Makawora have been accommodated in government buildings, which are five to eight kilometers away from these villages. It has made the entire voting exercise inconvenient for the people,” he said.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier also said that clubbing of the polling stations for Parliament elections in Jammu and Kashmir will affect the participation of people in the elections.

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Security bandobast not up to the mark: Mir

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Srinagar, Apr 23: The Congress Candidate from Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency Ghulam Ahmad Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit.

Mir, in a statement, also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that “the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.”

“I express my gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag,” he said saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free.

 

Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag.

“The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir,” he said.

Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident-free elections.

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