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Research work takes hit as internet gag completes 150 days

Monitor News Bureau

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By Jazib Bhat

Srinagar, Dec 31: As Kashmir Wednesday completed 150 straight days of internet blockade – the longest ever in the world – academic researchers have been among the most frustrated lot in the valley.

Internet was withdrawn on August 5 when Centre abrogated Article 370 and downgraded the state into two union territories – J&K, and Ladakh. Hundreds and fifty days on, no one has a clue when the government is planning to restore this all-important facility.

 

Internet gag however has badly hit the research with scores of scholars at the University of Kashmir saying that their work has, more or less, come to a grinding halt.

Official figures reveal that there are more than 1400 scholars currently enrolled in the University. Majority of them are finding it difficult to continue their research because of the ongoing blockade.

“It has been a psychological trauma for us as we fear that our researches will not be completed on time”, said Mohammad Yunis, who is pursuing PHD in Mass Communications at Kashmir University.

Sadaf, a scholar in Botany, said she might have to devote one more year for research before completing her doctorate.

“Travelling in shutdowns is difficult for women. Had internet been working, all data analysis could have been done at home,” she said.

Another scholar Jasfeeda Qadir had to travel to New Delhi to collect details for her research synopsis.

“I had to travel to New Delhi for my research. It is easier to find data on e-books and journals rather than finding books in libraries, which consumes a lot of time”, said Jasfeeda.

Dr. Gowher Ahmad Shappoo, a senior research scholar at Kashmir University, said access to internet is like oxygen for a researcher. “Education and health sector have suffered immensely due to internet clampdown,” he said.

Internet though was restored at Iqbal library recently, yet it takes hours for people to access the facility given the huge rush.

“There are hundreds of scholars waiting in queue just to access internet”, said Sadaf.

Even some of the scholars couldn’t attend seminars and conferences because they were not able to access communiqués and invitations. “Seminars and conferences are important for our researches. I have not able to know the dates of these seminars” says Mohammed Yunis.

Dean, research, Kashmir University, Zahoor Ahmad Reshi was not available for comments.


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Kashmir

Adv Bhatnagar calls for judicious use of water throughout JK

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 16: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar released the annual calendar 2020 of Departments of Public Health Engineering and Irrigation & Flood Control here today.

The Advisor  released the calendar in the presence of Commissioner Secretary PHE, I&FC Ajit Kumar Sahu and other concerned officers.

The main theme of the calendar is to highlight the water conservation measures in the households while using water for daily use.

 

On the occasion, the Advisor complimented the Departments for bringing out the calendar on such a theme which is an essential part of everyone’s daily life.

The Advisor exhorted upon the concerned to focus mainly on educational institutions and public places like bus stops and railway stations besides other utilities while distributing the calendars to further its message.

He also impressed upon the officers to launch a massive awareness campaign for judicious use of water and conservation techniques throughout Jammu and Kashmir.

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Kashmir

DSP arrest: CISF given control of Srinagar, Jammu airports

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Jan 16: Airports in Srinagar and Jammu are to be “immediately” brought under the security cover of the CISF in view of the arrest of DSP Davinder Singh, a Jammu and Kashmir government order has said. The two sensitive airports are to be “handed over” to the CISF by January 31, the order of the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department to the Director General of Police (DGP) said.

“This issue (CISF security at Srinagar and Jammu airports) has acquired immediacy in view of the recent developments relating to the arrest of Davinder Singh, DSP airport security, for trying to assist militants to travel to other parts of the country,” the order issued on Wednesday said. Police had arrested Singh, a deputy superintendent of police, at Mir Bazar in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday, along with Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists Naveed Baba and Altaf, besides a lawyer who was operating as an overground worker for terror outfits.

The two airports are guarded by the CRPF and the J-K Police at present. The Union government had last year decided that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will be handed over security of these two airports along with the one in Leh in view of their sensitive and strategic location and the threats it faced related to possible terrorist and hijack attempts.

 

CISF is the national civil aviation security force and at present it guards 61 airports including the ones at Delhi and Mumbai. PTI had on January 13 reported that the Union home ministry sanctioned about 800 personnel to the CISF in order to take over security duties at the three airports of the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

As per the original plan, the CISF was to take over Jammu airport by next month and the Srinagar and Leh airports after the spell of severe cold ends. However, officials said, keeping in mind the arrest of the DSP and his alleged links, the latest order has been issued which also directs the J-K Police to make arrangements for accommodation, transport and other logistical requirements of the armed contingent of the CISF on a quick basis.

Once inducted at the most-sensitive Srinagar airport, the CISF will secure access control at both city and air side (tarmac area) while the CRPF will be responsible for securing the outer periphery. At the Jammu airport, the peripheral security duties will be rendered by the JK Police.

An assortment of surveillance and security gadgets like CCTVs, observation monitors, hand-held metal detectors, bullet-proof patrol vehicles and bomb detection and disposal equipment are also being provided by the airport operator, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), to the CISF. The Union government sometime back made it clear that CISF will be the only civil airports guarding force and all such facilities in the country will be gradually brought under its command to bolster aviation security and tighten anti-terror and anti-hijack protocols.

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We’re recommending Davinder Singh’s sacking: DGP

Agencies

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Jammu, Jan 15: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said it is recommending to the central government that the Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh, who was arrested while travelling with two Hizbul terrorists, should be sacked.

Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said while speaking at a press conference said that Davinder Singh has now been suspended from his duties.

“He has been suspended, we are recommending his sacking to the government. Cannot share right now what has been revealed during the interrogation,” Jammu and Kashmir DGP said.

 

As per the sources, National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director-General earlier in the day met Union Home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla pertaining to an investigation of a case related to Deputy SP Davinder Singh, who was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police while he was travelling with two Hizbul terrorists.

The investigation of the case has been handed over to NIA, sources claimed.

The sources further said that a team headed by IG level officer will go to Jammu and Kashmir for the investigation soon.

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