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Pakistan issues special postage stamps on Kashmir

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New Delhi, Sep 20: Pakistan has taken “battle” to another level by issuing a series of postal stamps in memory of various events and individuals concerning Kashmir. The development took place at a time when the UN General Assembly is about to start its session.
Postal stamps in memory of victims of atrocities by government forces in Kashmir
Slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was declared a ‘freedom icon’ by Pakistan. To commemorate the ‘victims of atrocities by government forces in Kashmir’, Pakistan has issued 20 such special postage stamps.
The Times of India report quoted a senior official of Pakistan Post as saying that stamps were issued from its headquarters in Karachi on July 24 to locally and internationally highlight the plight of people living in Kashmir.
The stamps also carry captions such as ‘Burhan Wani (1994-2016) freedom icon’. Wani (22) along with two of his associates was killed in an encounter with government forces in Bamdoora village of Kokernag in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district on July 8, 2016.
Besides the slain militant commander, other captions that feature on ‘commemorative’ stamps include ‘use of chemical weapons’, ‘use of pellet guns’, ‘mass graves’, ‘braid chopping’, Human shield and the pictures are that of militants killed in encounters in the Kashmir Valley over the last few years.
The stamps also carry pictures of pellet victim Insha a resident of Sedow village in Shopian district of south Kashmir, Insha was hit by around 350 pellets on her face when she was trying to watch the protests on the main road. She was watching from her kitchen. The pellets blinded her completely. It was July 12, 2016, few days after HM Commander Burhan Wani was killed in Kokernag.
The other stamp carries the picture of Human Shield Farooq Ahmad Farooq Dar a resident of Budgam who was tied on an army jeep as a “Human shield” on April 9, 2017, by an army team led by Major Leetul Gogoi and drove him 27 kilometres, parading him through 20 different villages. Gogoi is facing a court martial for a different reason: attempting to take a Kashmiri girl into a hotel for a night.
According to the newspaper report, the stamps were issued on ‘Kashmir Martyrs Day’ by the Philately Bureau, Karachi and are available on e-bay for $6.99 (approximately Rs 500). In Pakistan, the stamps are sold at Rs 8 (local currency) per piece.
Philatelists in India are not amused. “It is nothing but an attempt by the neighbouring country to malign our country’s image. I am a philatelist for more than two decades, but I have never come across such stamps that are a distortion of facts. The postal departments issue commemoration stamps to popularise their culture and uniqueness, but this is in poor taste,” philatelist C Tamilvannan told the Times of India.
The pictures have been used to mislead people across the globe, the report said quoting Jagannath Mani, a life member of Philately Congress of India. “The government of India should convey its objections and the Pakistan government should withdraw the stamps,” he said, adding that he would write to the external affairs ministry against this issue.
Philatelists said they have brought the matter to the he notice of Centre’s officials.
The development caught attention of media at a time when India and Pakistan are fighting a diplomatic battle with each other in Geneva where the UN Human Rights Council is in session. Already, the Council has issued a detailed report on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir. The Council is seeking access to Kashmir. While Pakistan has granted the access, India has denied the same. The new Human Rights Commissioner has thrown her weight behind the report that was prepared and released in her predecessor’s tenure.


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Accused in Central Jail incident identified, chargesheet to be completed soon

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, May 25: The accused in the April 4 incident of clashes inside the Central Jail Srinagar have been identified and booked and the chargesheet against the same will be filed soon, J&K has said.
The matter was discussed during the visit of DGP Police & Prisons J&K Dilbag Singh to the Central Jail on Saturday, who held a detailed security review meeting with the Jail Superintendent, officers, Zonal SP, DySP and concerned CRPF officers.
During the meeting, a police spokesperson said, the DGP impressed upon the officers to ensure that the security of the Central Jail is further augmented in view of the incident of the “rioting and violence” in leading to serious intervention and action against the culprits for causing damage to the jail buildings and other infrastructure.
“Progress on the case FIR No. 19/2019 registered at Police Station Rainawari in this regard was reviewed with the Zonal SP and DySP. It was reported that considerable progress has been made. Most of the accused persons have been identified and booked, shall be charge-sheeted soon,” the spokesperson said.
He added that part of the restoration works of the damaged areas has already been initiated and the remaining shall be taken up soon after the approval and grant of funds from the state authorities.
As reported by The Kashmir Monitor early this month, the authorities had shifted at least 60 inmates – and were planning to move many more – from Srinagar Central Jail to other jails of the state following the incident of clashes and protests within the facility in April.
In the intervening night of April 4 and 5, as many as 400 inmates were engaged in night-long clashes with the jail authorities after the latter tried to move them out of their barracks.
The facility was damaged even as tear-gas shells and pump-action pellet guns were used against the inmates. At least, two of them were grievously injured. The jail is located in a densely populated area of the city.
The administration alleged the inmates “attempted jailbreak” while the inmates said they protested against the alleged desecration of the religious scriptures by the jail staff, a claim that was totally negated by the Jail Superintendent.
A week later, the inmates went on a hunger strike and refused to meet any of the visitors including their kin.
Their demands then included withdrawal of FIR against them in connection with the protests and clashes and transfer of the Jail Superintendent.
A team comprising of the members of High Court Bar Association (HCBA) had also visited the Jail after Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Srinagar, had asked the jail authorities to permit and facilitate the visit.
The team filed their report to CJM on April 13.
The team, as per the HCBA statement, had found that the “inmates felt a conspiracy was being hatched against them and the state had adopted a hostile attitude towards them for their political ideology and thought.”
The Bar members had also found that after the incident, there was a communication breakdown between the inmates and the jail administration.

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Noted Kashmir expert Yousuf Buch passes away in New York

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Srinagar, May 25: Yousuf Buch, a noted Kashmir expert, former Pakistani minister and former Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations, passed away in the US on Friday evening at his home in New York.
“Grieved to hear about the death of Ambassador Yousuf Buch in US, a legend and a living encyclopaedia on Kashmir who dedicated his life to the Kashmir cause. He was a close aide of Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah in Muzzafarabad who later served as advisor to UN Sec Gen for 18 years. Praying for the magfirah of this illustrious son of Kashmir,” tweeted Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
“M Yusuf Buch a scarcely known authoritative voice on Kashmir is no more. Civil servant, policy maker, political advisor & much more. A Kashmiri to the core, an intellectual with Graham Greene, Paul Sweezy, & Baran as friends. Would like to be remembered as Ambassador Buch. RIP!” former J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu tweeted.
The Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, in an emailed statement said the funeral prayers of Ambassador Yusuf Buch will be held at Makkah Masjid in Brooklyn, New York.
He added the body of the deceased will be transported to Pakistan where he will be buried in Muzaffarabad.
Born in Kalashpora Srinagar 1922, the Buch’s were three brothers: Yusuf, Ghulam Naqashaband, who eventually became the Resident Commissioner in Delhi and Mohammad Amin Buch, who became the Chief Conservator of forests in Jammu and Kashmir and would also run Chenar newspaper.
Yusuf Buch, according to reports, topped a civil administration examination during Dogra rule and was appointed as Tehsildar somewhere around the early forties. He was posted in Baramulla for a few years.
Buch was one of the many persons exiled by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1949. Open source information suggests that the staunch Muslim Conference supporter, Buch was arrested and driven to Suchetgrah in Jammu and later sent to Pakistan. He was accompanied, in the same bus, by Agha Showkat Ali, Barrister Abdul Gani Rentoo, and Mahmood Hashmi.
Buch was considered as an encyclopaedia on Kashmir as he had witnessed almost every major development from a very closer quarter.
Buch came to the US in 1953 as a winner of an International Essay Contest sponsored by the United Nations. Later, he worked as a correspondent at the United Nations. He also, ran a Free Kashmir Centre in New York from 1957 to 1972. He remained a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for over 18 years.

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Muslim couple thrashed after beef rumours in MP

Omar says ‘just the beginning’; ‘Horrified’ reacts Mehbooba

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Bhopal, May 25: In an appalling case reported from Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, a Muslim couple was brutally thrashed for allegedly carrying beef. The victims have complained that they were forced to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ by the accused men.
The local police Friday arrested five vigilantes after the video went viral showing five men beating up three persons including the Muslim couple on suspicion of carrying meat.
The video further shows ‘gaurakshaks’ forcing the three to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans. The incident happened on May 22 but the police came to know of it on May 24 when the video came to the fore.
Dunda Seoni police station incharge Ganpat Uikey said that Shubham Baghel, a habitual offender, Yogesh Uikey, Deepesh Namdev, Rohit Yadav and Shyam Dehriya have been arrested for assault. The five have been booked under IPC sections 143, 148, 149, 341, 294, 323 and 506 and also section 25 of arms act.
On May 22, Taufik, Anjum Shama and Dilip Malviya were arrested under the anti-cow slaughter act and sent to judicial custody after the cow vigilantes informed the police that they were allegedly carrying the meat in an autorickshaw and a two-wheeler from Khairi village. The meat has been sent to a laboratory for testing. Seoni SP Lalit Shakyawar said the situation was under control.
Ganpat said that a relative of one of the three persons filed an FIR after the video surfaced. He said the vigilantes informed the police after roughing up and beating the trio. He added that one of the accused Shubham Baghel belongs to an organisation called Shriram Sena.
Meanwhile, former J&K CMs, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah reacted to the incident.
“Horrified to see cow vigilantes thrash an innocent Muslim with such impunity in MP. Hope @OfficeOfKNath takes swift action against these goons,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Omar Abdullah’s remark was a bit poetical referring to the rise of Hindutva in BJP 2.0 regime.
“Ibtedaae ishq hai rota hai kya, Aage Aage dekhiye hota hai kya,” he tweeted. The Urdu verse roughly translating into, “It’s the start of love, why do you cry? Behold, there is more to follow.”

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