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SC to Kathua witnesses: ‘Move JK HC with your grievances’

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, July 2: The Supreme Court Monday asked three witnesses, who had alleged harassment at the hands of special investigation team (SIT) probing Kathua gang rape and murder case, to approach the Jammu and Kashmir High Court with their grievances.

The three witnesses, Sahil Sharma, Sachin Sharma and Neeraj Sharma, who were the classmates of one of the key accused in college, had alleged harassment by the SIT and sought an independent enquiry into it.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud refused to order a probe into the allegation of the witnesses that they were harassed during the process of recording of their statement before the state police.

 

The bench disposed of their petition giving them the liberty to approach the HC with their grievances.

The court was hearing the matter relating to the gangrape and murder of an eight-year old girl, belonging to a minority nomadic community, who had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10.

Her body was found in the same area a week later.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir government, informed the court that the witnesses have already been re-examined and their statements have been re-recorded.

The apex court had allowed the three college students to be accompanied by their relatives during their further questioning by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The top court, which had rejected the plea for videography during the quizzing of the three witnesses by the Crime Branch, asked the police to carry out the probe in “fair manner”.

The students, aged between 19 and 20 years, had alleged that they were harassed and coerced by the police and summoned to re-record their statements.

Earlier, the court had allowed the state government to file a status report in gangrape and murder case of the minor girl after it was alleged that the three college friends of accused Vishal Jangotra might have misled the probe.

The students have alleged that they were tortured and threatened by the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police during the probe and sought protection by a central agency.

The Jammu-based students, who are pursuing B.

Sc in Agriculture at a college in Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, are classmates of Jangotra, the plea said.

The students alleged that they were “coerced to make statements contrary to the facts that Jangotra was with them at Muzzafarnagar from January 7 to February 10.

During that period, he, along with the petitioners, attended examinations and practical papers”.

“The petitioners were subjected to physical and mental torture from March 19 to March 31 by the respondents (state police officers),” the plea had claimed.

The petitioners had also sought Rs 50 lakh each as compensation for the “physical and mental agony and loss of study and future prospects”.

The apex court had transferred the trial in the Kathua gangrape and murder case from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab, but had refrained from handing over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation saying there was no need as the investigation had been conducted and the charge sheet filed.

The top court, which ordered a day-to-day “in-camera” trial in the case, had said there was a need to shift the trial outside the state as “fear and fair trial” were contradictory and “cannot be allowed to co-exist.”

The state police has filed the main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district.


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Northern Army Commander reviews security in Valley

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Srinagar, May 22: The Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh arrived in south Kashmir today to review the prevailing security situation in the region.

The Army Commander visited hinterland units/ formations in South Kashmir and was briefed about the current situation as also the recent counter terrorist operations.

The Army Commander complimented the troops for their successes in eliminating terrorist leadership from South Kashmir and also commended them for their dedication to duty.

 

The Army Commander was accompanied by the Chinar Corps Commander, during his visits. The Army Commander reinforced the need to be fully prepared for the emerging security challenges and lauded the exemplary synergy amongst all security forces.Later in the day, the Army Commander called on the Hon’ble Governor Shri Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar and apprised him about the overall security situation in the Valley including stringent enforcement of the Counter-Infiltration Grid along the Line of Control. 

They also discussed the vital importance of a fully integrated inter-service approach being used for planning and operations. The Governor appreciated the Army’s strong support to security forces in carrying out counter-terrorism operations in the Valley. Governor and the Army Commander also discussed the security arrangements for Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2019.

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Nahida creates history, becomes first Kashmiri woman to scale Mt Everest

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, May 22: History has been created after twenty three year -old Nahida Manzoor from Srinagar became the first Kashmiri woman to scale Mount Everest.

Transcend Adventures, an Hyderebad based adventure company, which took Nahida to Everest expedition confirmed this development on their official Facebook page.

The adventure company posted, “The Fourth summit of the day is Ms.Nahida Manzoor along with her Sherpa Guide Mr.Nima Kancha.”

 

 “Nahida hails from the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The 26 year old lady has been passionate about the snow peaks and took to the mountains at a very young age. We wish her good luck for her future endeavors and may the Mountains bless her with abundant summits”, the company said in a post

Rakesh, a trainer from Transcend Adventures told The Kashmir Monitor that Nahida along with a group of five climbers had headed to Mount Everest from southern side.

“She has scaled the Everest on Tuesday. We had two teams one headed from north and another from South. They are yet to reach to the base camp,” he said.

Two selection grade constables Nazir Ahmed and Falial Singh of Jammu and Kashmir Police, who were a part of 11 member climbers’ squad also conquered Everest on Tuesday.

Nahida, who started her expedition in April along with his group had scaled four camps including Base Camp (5363meters), Camp1 (6100 meters) Camp2 (6600 meters) and Camp3 (7300 meters).

Known as passionate mountaineer, she earlier launched crowd funding to achieve her dream but was later sponsored by TCI Max, which financially supported her to join the camp.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary  and J&K State Sports Council also joined in to support her.

Nahida is a trained mountaineer having completed all mountaineering courses. She had completed her Basic Mountaineering Course and Advance Mountaineering Course (ABVIMAS) from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM). She has also done Special Mountaineering Course and Method of Instructions both from NIM.

Hailing from Zewan area in Srinagar, Nahida prior to the expedition has scaled Mount Deo Tibba-Manali with a height of 6001 meters and also Friendship Peak of Himachal Pradesh with a height of 5289 meters. In Kashmir she has scaled Mount Mahadev and Mount Tatakooti.

Meanwhile netizen took to the social media to greet Nahida for conquering the everest.

“O waoo..proud of you Nahida…well done gal… congratulations,” posted Swati Basedia on Facebook.

Mountaineer Danish Mukhtar wrote , “I knew that Alhamdulillah you make me proud…”

Former Chief Minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah took to his twitter handle to greet Nahida and two J&K Police Everest summiteers.

“It is a proud moment and for our state and its people. I congratulate the trio who successfully scaled the world’s highest peak. Moreover, the team comprised of a girl. I congratulate her and believe that her achievement has the ability to transform a generation, as will do her male counterparts. They truly are an inspiration to others,” he tweeted.

 Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti also tweeted, “Kashmiris too have dreams & aspirations like everyone else. Somewhere between stereotyping & demonising them, human stories are lost. All of twenty three,Nahida Manzoor is the first Kashmiri woman to scale Mt Everest. More power to her & the youth of J&K.”

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Admin wants an elected Govt to take over soon: Guv Malik

Inaugurates phase-II of JCRB flyover, apologizes over highway ban

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Srinagar, May 22: Governor Satya pal Malik on Wednesday said that his administration wants an elected government to take over in Jammu and Kashmir soon.

However, he also apologized to the people for the restrictions imposed on civilian movement on Srinagar-Jammu highway twice a week.

Talking to the reporters after inaugurating the second phase of Jahangir Chowk-Ram Bagh flyover here, Governor said that they (administration) want an elected government to take over the State soon.

 

He was reacting to a query about some officials within his administration were not keen on transfer of power to an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, he said that the call for the elections has to be taken by Election Commission. “We want this (President’s Rule) to end at an earliest and an elected government to take over the State,” he said.

Moreover, Governor refused to talk over the Budgam Chopper incident.

Nonetheless, Governor apologized for the restrictions imposed on civilian movement on Srinagar-Jammu highway, saying that ban was imposed in ‘national interest’.

“I apologise to the people for inconvenience they faced due to restrictions imposed on highway,” Governor said, adding that all the restrictions will be lifted from May 27, 2019.Recently, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said a decision on holding assembly elections in the state was the prerogative of the Election Commission but indicated a decision could be announced after the completion of the Lok Sabha polls.

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule on June 19, 2018 after the PDP-BJP coalition government fell as the BJP decided to pull out of the alliance.

The state assembly was kept in suspended animation to allow for the possibility of any new combination of parties to form a government in the state.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti supported by the National Conference and the Congress staked claim for government formation on 21 November, 2018.

Within minutes, People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, who had just two MLAs, also staked claim for government formation.

The governor decided to dissolve the assembly on the grounds that he wanted to prevent horse-trading.

The state was brought under President’s Rule on December 19, 2018 for a period of six months as elections could not be held within six months of imposition of Governor’s Rule in the state.

The President’s Rule will have to be extended again on June 19, 2019 as assembly elections have not been held so far. The order for extending President’s rule will have to be ratified by Parliament.

Earlier he dedicated the second phase of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover today to commuters.

Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Sh. K.K. Sharma, K. Skandan- Advisors to Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring; Baseer Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation; Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar; Sh. Raghav Langer, CEO ERA; and various senior officers were present on the occasion.

Governor congratulated the executing agencies and observed that this stretch of 1.04 km would provide much awaited relief to commuters from Rambagh to Alochi Bagh and regulate traffic at Rambagh, Solina, Alochi Bagh  and on the Rambagh Bridge.

Pertinent to mention that the third and last phase of the flyover is expected to be completed by June end. Once completed, the 2.4 kilometer flyover with six access ramps at Jehangir Chowk, Gogji Bagh, Alochi Bagh, Rambagh, Natipora and Barzulla, will substantially decongest city traffic and reduce travel time between Jehangir Chowk and Rambagh from about 45 minutes to about 2.5 minutes.

Directs release of last month’s pending wages during Ramadan

Srinagar, May 22: The issue of pending wages of casual/daily rated workers and other categories of employees in certain departments was brought to the notice of the Governor during the meeting of the State Administrative Council (SAC) held today in Civil Secretariat, Srinagar.  The Governor was informed that these workers have been put to hardship during the holy month of Ramadhan.

The Governor has directed the release of last month’s wages in respect of the casual/daily wagers and salaries of other categories of employees working in different departments who could not receive the same so far. 

The Governor has asked the Advisors to oversee that wages are released to these workers by their departments by 31.05.2019. The Finance Department will issue necessary sanctions, wherever, required.

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