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Poor air quality near SKIMS sets alarm bells ringing

Hirra Azmat





Srinagar, Jun 26:  A new study has revealed that the air pollution level near the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) has almost been double than the permissible limit in the last fiscal.

Data collected by Jammu and Kashmir State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) from April 2018 to March 2019 has revealed that the average Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) in the air near SKIMS, Soura was 72.69 micrograms per cubic meter, 32 micrograms more than the permissible limit. 

According to SPCB, the permissible limit of RSPM (PM 2.5) for 24 hours is 60 micrograms per cubic meter while as its limit for whole year is 40 micrograms per cubic meter.


As per the data, the highest reading near SKIMS Soura was recorded in November when the PM 2.5 level stood at 153.34 ug/m3. The lowest PM 2.5 level of 39.84 ug/m3 was recorded in March.

PM 2.5 is an atmospheric particulate matter having a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers, which is capable of passing via nose into the lungs and blood stream of the patients visiting the hospitals. These can lead to  exacerbation of asthma.

An official of the PCB said the level of air pollution outside the hospitals can not only worsen the symptoms of the patients but also can put the hospital staff at risk.  “When analyzed from April to March, the figures reveal that levels are higher and alarming,” he said.

The study has also revealed that the air quality was very poor in Jehangir Chowk area of Srinagar in the last financial year. 

SPCB figures revealed that the PM 2.5 level stood at 72.97 ug/m3 at Jehangir Chowk followed by Boulevard at 69.58 ug/m3. 

The highest PM 2.5 level of 141.60 ug/m3 at Jahangir Chowk was recorded in December. The lowest was recorded in March when the PM 2.5 level dropped to 45.58 ug/m3.

Among the five air quality monitoring stations, the lowest PM 2.5 level has been recorded in Rajbagh.

In 2015, the government of India launched an Air Quality Index (AQI), an associate degree “index” pattern that is set by calculating the degree of pollution within the town or at a certain monitoring point.

There are eight sub-indices that monitor the level of a specific pollutant: PM10, PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.  Based on the concentration of each pollutant, a sub-index is calculated.



Police seeks adjournment of Kathua rape, murder trial, says ‘accused being major or minor still undecided’

Press Trust of India



Jammu, Jul 15: Jammu and Kashmir police’s crime branch Monday moved a plea before a juvenile justice board hearing the case of an accused in the gangrape and murder of a young girl in Kathua, seeking deferment of the trial as the state high court is yet to decide whether he is a minor or not.
Appearing before the board, the special public prosecutor of the crime branch submitted that the high court is yet to pronounce its decision on an application moved against the decision of a Kathua court which accepted the accused’s claim that he is a minor, officials said.
The board, after framing charges against the accused who played a key role in kidnapping, rape and murder of the eight-year-old nomadic girl, had fixed Monday for examining prosecution witnesses and commencing of trial.
The board, after examining the plea of the crime branch, however, made it clear that there was no stay by the high court on holding the trial and gave prosecution two weeks to produce evidence and its witnesses in the case.
The crime branch had filed a petition in the high court against the accused’s claim of being a juvenile and said that the then chief judicial magistrate in Kathua had erred in accepting it.
The crime branch had also annexed a report of the medical board of Government Medical College, Jammu, which said the accused was “not less than 19 and not more than 21” years of age
However, the case has seen repeated adjournments last year.
The juvenile justice board had framed charges on July 8 following which it issued a notice to the crime branch, asking them to bring in their prosecution evidence and witnesses for the trial.
According to the notice, “the next date of hearing has been fixed on July 15”.
“The case has been fixed for prosecution evidence… Kindly arrange the presence of public prosecutor appointed in the case so as to examine the prosecution evidence/ witnesses,” it said.
The trial in this case was shifted to the Pathankot Sessions Court on the directions of the Supreme Court last year.
The Pathankot Sessions Court had on June 10 this year sentenced Sanji Ram, dismissed special police officer Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar to life imprisonment, while sacked policemen Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surender Verma were handed five years in jail.
The verdict came 17 months after the girl was brutally gang-raped inside a ‘devisathan’ (local temple) and later killed. She was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17.

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Four arrested for thrashing teachers, students in Budgam

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani



Srinagar, Jul 15: Under pressure, Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested four people involved in the attack on school picnickers at Raiyar village in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Saturday evening.
Six people including two girls and a teacher were injured when a group of youth armed with rods and canes attacked school picnickers at Raiyar village. The incident occurred on Saturday evening when the students and teachers of Hanfiya Model Higher Secondary School (HMHSS), Kreeri in Baramulla district, were returning from Doodpathri after a daylong picnic.
Police swung into action immediately and registered a case of attempt to murder under section 307 Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) against the unknown attackers.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Budgam, Amod Nagpuri told The Kashmir Monitor that four persons have been arrested and further investigation was going on.
“Yes, four persons have been arrested from Raiyar, where the incident took place. They have been booked under section 307 RPC,” Nagpuri said.
Jehangir Ahmad, a teacher at HMHSS, said photographs of eight people were sent (by police) to school authorities for identification.
“After going through the photographs, we identified four persons,” he said.
Ahmad said the injured physical teacher continues to be under observation in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).
“Patient was referred from SDH Khan Sahib as a case of assault with head injury. NCCT head showing parietooccipital EDH with parietotemporal contusions,”read the SKIMS report issued on Sunday.
Police sources said that during investigation statements of the injured were also recorded and on that basis four attackers were later arrested

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470 militant attacks took place in 2017, 2018: Goel tells RS




New Delhi, Jul 15: As many as 470 militant attacks took place in the country in 2017 and 2018, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Monday.
In a written reply to a question by BJP MP Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Defence said in 2017, 131 militant attacks occurred in Jammu and Kashmir, eight in Manipur and one in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh each
In 2018, 318 militant attacks took place in Jammu and Kashmir, eight in Manipur and three in Nagaland.
The minister told the House that 235 militants were killed in various counter-insurgency and counter-infiltration operations in 2017. In 2018, the number of militants killed stood at 265.
The Army lost 85 soldiers in these two years – 42 in 2017 and 43 in 2018.

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