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Petition seeking revocation of ban on TV channels submitted before SHRC

Kashmir News Service





Srinagar, July 24: A petition was Tuesday filed before the State Human Rights Commissioner (SHRC) here, seeking revocation of orders of ban on 30 TV channels here, saying that a large chunk of youth engaged by cable operators are bound to lose their job.

The petition was filed by Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights through its Chairman M.M.Shuja, son of Ab Rahman Mir of Hyderpora Srinagar.

In the petition, the petitioner stated that by the virtue of the ban order as many as 30 cable TV channels most of which are non political and purely Islamic channels telecasting religious content particularly “Quran” and “Sunnah” were banned and banning of transmission of these channels is, in the opinion of public at large, direct interference in the religion practicised by Muslims in Kashmir valley.


He said that it also apt to submit that Hajj-2018 is now approaching only a few days after and Hajj flights from Srinagar to Saudi Arabia have already started. “The pilgrims usually view Islamic channels round the clock to prepare themselves for effectively performing the Hajj and banning of these channels is bound to deprive them of the particulars involved in performing various duties and obligations connected with the Hajj,” the petitioner stated.

Shuja further said that apart from pilgrims, the public at large belonging to Muslim Community feel it very amazing to view Islamic channels during the sacred month of “ZILHAJJ” in particular and during other months in general to deprive the public at large from viewing various aspects of Islamic thought is bound to create discontent among the Muslim community. “These Islamic channels are viewed worldwide provide expertise for common Muslim to understand and then practice the same in their day to day life,” he added.

The petitioner in his petition further said that apart from Islamic channels it is surprisingly noted that a sports and music channel has also been banned under the order.

He added that banning of cable TV network to the extent of above channels is totally unconstitutional and also a direct violation of “Human Rights” in the present day world. On one hand the authorities are stressing on digital India and on the other hand banning of digital channels is contradictory. “By imposition of ban a large chunk of youth engaged by cable operators is bound to lose their job and the cable operator themselves are under the threat of losing sizeable percentage of viewership. All the banned channels cannot and should not be measured by single yard stick and the authorities should have examined the content on channel to channel based,” he said in a petition.

The petitioner further said that this Commission also may kindly appreciate that some national news channels are infact responsible for spreading communal and sectarian propaganda which can insight violence and develop hatred against many classes of the society. “The respondents should have acted proactively and banned such channels also. Non banning of such channels in pinpointing to a simple fact that the order issued by District Magistrate (Deputy Commissioner) Srinagar and Additional District Magistrate (Additional Deputy Commissioner) is arbitrary and in colorable exercise of power and thus liable to be withdrawn,” he said.

“In the premises it is respectfully prayed that the respondents be directed to recall the order quoted above and the cable operators be permitted to resume the transmission of Islamic channels as usual,” he said.




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SMC officials under scanner for allowing illegal constructions in Srinagar

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, Mar 18: Government has ordered an enquiry against the officials of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for allegedly allowing “illegal construction” in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar.

Deeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary to Government Housing and Urban Development Department has appointed Farooq Ahmad Rather, Director Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir to hold an enquiry into the allegations against several SMC officials for allowing violation and facilitate illegal constructions in Karanagar.

As per the order, the five accused SMC officials who facilitated the unlawful construction include Sofi Mohammad Akhbar, the then ward officer, Bilal Ahmad Baba, Junior building inspector, Hakim Aijaz Ali, the then Chief Enforcement officer, Khurshid Ahmad Mir, the than Enforcement officer and Nisar Ahmad Shah, the Additional Enforcement officer.


The enquiry officer has to submit the report within 30 days along with his recommendations.

Over the years illegal construction has been serious concern in the Kashmir valley to the state government.

Several allegations have come up that illegal constructions have been made in some areas of the Srinagar’s old city in connivance of the concerned officials.

In the past also, SMC officials has allegedly approved plan and facilitated illegal construction in the Karan nagar area.

An official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said that thousands of illegal constructions have come up in Srinagar and Jammu districts over the years.

The state cabinet in 2017 approved a policy on illegal structures in twin capital cities of the state and for Katra town. In the policy, ceiling has been fixed for regularisation of such structures after imposing hefty penalty on the violators while as major violations of land use and building bye-laws will face demolition.

The government also formulated two separate committees headed by divisional commissioners of each region to decide on illegal constructions in Srinagar and Jammu. While for Katra, the Deputy Commissioner Reasi led committee was to decide on illegal constructions built before December 2016.

An official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said that thousands of illegal constructions have come up in Srinagar and Jammu districts over the years.

The official said a high-level official committee constituted by the government in 2009 to report on master plan violations, had identified and compiled a comprehensive report of around 3000 illegal structures in the Srinagar city alone.

The official that the mandate of the committees was to decide on illegal constructions raised up over the years.

“The committees was to decide whether any illegal construction built before December 2016 could be regularised or not. The non-regularised constructions was to be demolished by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Jammu Municipal Corporation and district administration Reasi in Katra town,” he said.

As per the policy, only 50% of such violations will be regularized after obtaining penalty from the violators and by enforcing rectification wherever feasible. Violations beyond 50% was to be demolished through the enforcement wing of respective agencies.

Similarly, only 25% of the land use violations was to be regularized after charging hefty penalty from the violators while as remaining violations will be demolished.

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3-year lecturer contract in KU reduced to a year now, candidates have to apply afresh

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, Mar 18: Kashmir University has denied continuation of services of contractual lecturers hired for a three-year contract last year.
The lecturers were appointed in February 2018 and as per the advertisement published, the three-year contract would include three consecutive sessions based on performance.
The lecturers were hired for the several departments included Social Sciences, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Earth & Environmental Sciences and other subjects.
However, the qualified candidates say that after only one year, the University has denied continuation of all faculty members selected under the advertisement.
They claim that the decision to discontinue their services was taken after Kashmir University Teacher Association (KUTA) raised objections compelling the University to advertise new contractual faculty posts for session 2019.
A notice issued by the university reads: “Pursuant to the recommendations of the Dean’s Committee meeting held on 20-12-2018 duly approved by the Vice-Chancellor all heads/directors/coordinators of the dept/centers of the main and satellite campuses are hereby informed to submit the list of the contractual lecturers to be replaced for the new academic session-2019, otherwise, it shall be presumed that already appointed contractual lecturers shall continue for the next academic session.”
FA Mir, an aggrieved candidate said the members of the contractual faculty approached the varsity higher-ups who told them that some officials have raised objections to their continuation.
“The whole process of objection by KU suggests how the nepotism and dictating attitude of officials prevails unhindered within the varsity,” Mir said.
“Why did they raise objection to our continuation after one year? If they were actually serious about it, they should have objected right after the advertisement was issued,” he added.
Another candidate, who did not want to be named, said: “We approached the University several times that they may accept our genuine demand of continuation and asked different campuses to review the performance of the candidates. But it has fallen on deaf ears.”
“Those with abysmal performance should be replaced and others with good performance should continue for a new session 2019,” he suggested.
President KUTA Dr Muheet Butt said, “When you lock a position for three years, it leads to nepotism within the departments. It’s obvious that a chosen candidate will interact with University officials for three years. What happens is that when next recruitment takes place, they choose the same candidates. As a result, the meritorious students remain neglected.”
Butt claimed that KUTA had raised objections right after the advertisement was issued in 2018.
“We tried to object but the University administration didn’t listen to us. That time they let the University politics prevail and took the decision not taking the academics interests into consideration,” he said.
“We are not against the recruitment of selected candidates. If they deserve, they can appear in the interview and qualify again. But the yearly evaluation is necessary so that others get a chance as well. There are several new candidates who have studied from foreign Universities. If they qualify, it will be a boon for the students as foreign exposure matters a lot,” he said.
University Registrar Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir said, “Basically, we have been approached by new candidates who are better qualified than the chosen ones under 2018 advertisement. Majority of them are Ph.D. scholars. The research scholars have come with a genuine plea they should be given a chance as they are more qualified than the selected contractual candidates,” he said.
“There is a rule that usually the contract is for one academic session. Last year, recruitment process was made because administrators thought if the situation turns volatile then interviewing process becomes difficult and the academic batch suffers,” he said.
“Orders have been issued that the contractual candidates will continue till the new recruitment is made and if they qualify the interview, they shall continue henceforth,” he added.

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NC biggest beneficiary of conflict, poll boycott in Kashmir: Ansari




Srinagar, Mar 18: Peoples Conference General Secretary Imran Reza Ansari on Monday said that Omar Abdullah by questioning intentions behind new and emerging parties makes us wonder if he thinks Kashmir is his fiefdom, his monarchal right and that nobody else shall come and join the fray.
Amazed at his selective sense of morality, Ansari said that “Omar Abdullah wants a democracy in which NC is the sole party and it is not surprising. If you look at the record of their MLA’s, they thrive and prosper on people boycotting the polls. They are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the conflict and boycott. By ensuring minimal participation in polls, they have shamelessly clung on to seats where barely 5-6% people vote.”
Ansari further added that Omar Abdullah should introspect as to how the rigging of 1987 elections pushed the people of Kashmir away from the mainstream.
“The polling rate in Srinagar in 1987 elections was touching 80% and after the 1987 rigging till date it is in single digit figures. This is precisely what the NC wants – a low voter turnout.”
Ansari said that NC has a history of accusing its opponents of Delhi’s support and Peoples Conference will challenge their sense of entitlement with all vigor.
“Omar Abdullah wants a single party system democracy in J&K. Whenever a new party comes up he accuses them of being made in Delhi. The amazing irony is that nobody is as organically made in Delhi as he is. Their comeback to the electoral politics was a unique, first of its kind in the democratic world where a person who was not even an MLA was made Chief Minister under some accord and whatever was left of our special status was bargained for their lust for power.”
Ansari further said that Omar Abdullah is acting like a tantrum throwing pampered cry baby who is angry at other people playing with his toys.
“He thinks it is only his birthright to rule J&K and others outside the family should not be allowed in the mainstream. What utter nonsense, what democracy is this? They want a democracy which is customized for them, wherein they are not challenged even if they rig, loot & plunder. This happened in 2002 as well when they accused the PDP of being GoI’s creation. The National Conference rigged elections in 1987 after which no polls were held until 1996. Between 1996 & 2002 they went on a killing spree and yet they want that nobody should ever join the mainstream, no new party should come.”
Ansari added that NC has failed to groom leaders from within even after being in the system for 7 decades.
“This party which prides itself of being an old party and has enjoyed power for decades does not even have a system where a new person would ever come in. Now they are relying on corrupt bureaucrats and poaching from other parties to move on.”
Lambasting the NC leadership for their ridiculous allegations against an ex-bureaucrat launching a new party, Ansari said that “had he joined the NC which he was supposed to, then he would have been a great man. But if he has the audacity to float his own party, then it is Delhi’s game plan. The corrupt bureaucrats who joined NC and will use their ill-gotten money to fund the party’s campaign are a gift to democracy. But anybody who dares to float his own party is a Delhi’s man.”
“If there is anybody as pure as Delhi serving their interests in Kashmir, it is Omar Abdullah. He has always represented Delhi in Kashmir and never represented Kashmir in Delhi”, he added.
Criticising NC for indulging in labelling and name calling of their opponents, Ansari said that such discourse has cost us many lives in the past and must be taken a serious note of by the ECI.
“Do they not know that accusing people of Delhi connections in a place like Kashmir can have serious repercussions on their security? While the Abdullah dynasty enjoys a security cover of about 500 SSG guards protecting their family, the people they accuse are left vulnerable and fearing for their lives. They have murdered for power in the past which is collective in the form of 1987 rigging and now they are willing to do it on an individual basis as well”, he added.

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