Srinagar: A day after five civilians were killed during the clashes in South Kashmir’s Shopian district, the mainstream political parties, lawyers and trade bodies on Monday hit the streets to protest against the civilian killings, demanding an immediate end to the bloodbath in Kashmir.
Five militants including an Assistant Professor of Kashmir University and a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Saddam Padder were killed in a gunfight in Badigam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district while equal number of civilian were also killed in the subsequent clashes at different places in the area.
On Monday morning, the leaders from opposition National conference (NC) carried out a protest rally from its Nawa-e-Subah headquarters here to TRC.
The protesters headed by NC General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar and other senior leaders including Akbar Lone and Mubarak Gul chanted slogans against the government as well as the civilian killings in the Valley.
Talking to reporters during the protest rally, Sagar condemned the civilian killings in Kashmir, saying that the government has failed to revoke AFSPA from the Jammu and Kashmir due to which the civilian killings are going unabated.
He said that instead of winning the hearts of people as promised by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government is using military options. “No process could be seen on the ground regarding dialogue process. The government has failed to take measures in this regard,” he added.
Sagar said that the forces have been given licenses to kill the Kashmiris at their own will. “The commitments and the promises done by Pm Modi are nowhere,” he said.
He also lashed at the government over the death of a young protestor who was crushed to death by a police vehicle in Noorbagh area of Srinagar.
The Valley traders also took to the streets to protest against the Shopian carnage. However, police foiled their march in Srinagar.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) members headed by its president, Muhammad Yaseen Khan assembled at Abi Guzar and tried to march towards Civil Secretariat.
As soon as the protesters carrying banners reading slogans reached Residency road, police foiled their attempt and detained score of its members including Khan.
Prior to their detention, the protesting traders raised slogans in favour of justice.
Khan told reporters that the traders are ready to suffer any losses but cannot tolerate “excesses on innocent people”.
“Government has been misleading the world by portraying that problems in Kashmir are a result of unemployment and lack of opportunities for the youth. This is a false propaganda as they have been proven wrong now. By coming out on roads we want to convey a message to the entire world about sufferings of common Kashmiris,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, lawyers also staged protest against the civilian killings in Shopian on Sunday.
Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) members headed by its General Secretary, G N Shaheen carried out a protest rally from High court complex towards Civil Secretariat amid sloganeering against the civilian killings.
Terming the Shopian carnage as ‘barbaric’, the lawyers demanded ‘Right to self-determination’ for Kashmiri’s.
While carrying banners and placards, the protesters marched towards Civil Secretariat.
However, police disallowed them to march towards Secretariat.
Meanwhile, AIP president and MLA Langate, Engineer Rasheed led a protest rally towards Civil Secretariat against the Shopian carnage.
However, police intercepted them ahead of Secretariat’s gate and detained scores including Er Rasheed, Dr. Bari Nayak, Prince Parvez, Zeeshan Pandith, Gh. Nabi Mir, Sheeban Ashie and lodged them in Police Station Rajbagh and Karan Nagar.
Meanwhile, following the Secretariat Gherao call given by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), scores of pro-freedom leaders were detained by the authorities after they tried to march towards Secretariat.
Reports said that Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained today after he defied house detention and tried to march towards Secretariat in Srinagar against Shopian killings.
Pertinently, JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had appealed people to stage a peaceful sit-in outside the Secretariat today.
Mirwaiz defied his detention and came out of his Nigeen residence. “A police party stationed there detained him and lodged him at Nigeen police station,” said a Hurriyat leader.
Earlier, Senior Hurriyat (M) leader, Hilal Ahmad War was also detained at Maisuma after he tried to march towards the secretariat.
He was lodged at Kothi Bagh Police Station, Hurriyat leader said. (KNS)
Srinagar Admn to replicate Delhi model for establishing Smart Schools
Srinagar, May 22: After Moholla clinics, the Srinagar district administration is all set to replicate Delhi model for establishing Smart Schools in the summer capital city.
The government has framed a list of 25 schools from the entire district to be identified in the smart school project in a bid to improve the education in the primary and middle schools in the Srinagar city.
“After a study of Delhi model, we’ve taken up 25 Govt schools for a smart school project. Made good use of #BudhaPurnima holiday in gathering the first-hand survey of needs. Students, teachers contributed brilliant ideas. More local suggestions are welcome”, tweeted Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, district development commissioner Srinagar,
Later speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Choudhary said they earlier had sent a team to Delhi where they studied two to three model school both from government and private sector.
“The Idea is to improve the infrastructure in the identified school and the academic part. We are currently focusing on the soft skills including the proper training of teachers and involvement of the community,” he said.
Shahid said that they are going to enhance the capability of students and whatever it will cost they are ready to bear the expenses. “Initially we are starting with Rs five crores for the project,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner noted that they are going to focus on primary and middle schools. “We already have smart higher secondary schools in place but students while reaching to that level have little knowledge of the smart appliances”, he said
“The student-teacher ratio in government school is 1:5 which is quite good while that of private school is 1:22. All we have to do is to make good use of human resource and provide quality education in the government school,” he said.
Around 20 agencies from outside are involved in this project like one who delivers capsules on moral values and skill development.
“We will start career counseling on the primary and secondary level also. Initially 120 schools were selected and undergo certain competition out of which 52 students were selected and out of 52 only 25 were selected,” he said.
The schools selected for the project include Boys Middle School, Gagribal, Boys Middle School Drugjua, Middle School Allochibagh, Girls Midle School Panzinara, Middle School Cheki Mujigund, Middle School Khojabagh, Girls Middle School Boatman Colony, Middle School Kothi Bagh, Middle School ApparPora Balhama, Primary School Gundabal, Middle School Chatterhama, Girls Middle School Buchpora, Middle School Panjkarwari, Boys Middle School Habak, Boys Middle School Hazratbal, Boys Middle School Zakura, Middle School Pamposh Colony, Girls Middle School Ahmad Nagar, Middle School Saida Kadal, Middle School Saderbal, Middle School Daribal, Girls Middle School Soura, Middle School Taploo Muhalla, Hawal, Middle School Khan Muhalla Iddgah, Middle School Q D Pora, Zaldagar.
“The project will be completed within six months of the time period”, Shahid said.
Authorities fail to check the skyrocketing prices of essentials
Srinagar, May 22: Much publicized market checking teams constituted by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (DFCSCA) have failed to control the steep price-rise of the essential commodities in the holy months of Ramzan.
A kilogram of cabbage is selling at Rs 80 and before Ramzan the vegetable used to sell at Rs 30-40 per kilo. Beans, in most of the valley markets is selling at Rs 100, which is Rs 40 more compared to pre Ramzan days. Prices of rest of the vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, brinjals and green collard ranges between Rs 40 to Rs 50.
Mutton and chicken rates are no different, which too are sold Rs 10-20 higher than the prescribed rates by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs.
In Lalchowk, a kilogram of chicken sells at Rs 160, 10 Rs more than the prescribed rate. The rates vary as one heads towards north or south Kashmir where a kilogram of chicken cost up to Rs170.
Being a mutton consuming region, a kilogram of mutton sells at Rs 520-530 throughout the valley. The government prescribed rates stand at Rs 450 per kilogram.
The sudden hike in essentials is leaving the consumer furious, who question the outcome of frequent raids by the authorities.
“This has become a norm for the traders during Ramadan. The concerned department often tours markets but fail to permanently control the prices of essential commodities,” said Muhammad Yaqoob a customer from Srinagar’s Barbarshah area.
Expressing helplessness to control the price hike, Director DFCS&CA, Muhammad Qasim Wani said the closure of the highway mostly paves way for the hike in the essential commodities in Kashmir.
“We charge the offenders who don’t follow our rates. Actually highway has mostly remained closed due to which the vehicles coming from markets of New Delhi and Punjab remain stranded for days together,” he said.
Wani said the department has its teams in the city and almost 15 members in every district to check rates of the essential commodities.
“The local production will be also available in market by next week,” he added.
Family of slain Pattan driver appeals police to speed up probe
Srinagar, May 22: Family of slain driver Jan Mohammad from Mamoosa village, whose body was retrieved from a stream under mysterious circumstances, has appealed the police to speed up the investigation.
Jan Mohammad of Mamossa in Pattan had left for Srinagar on March 22 to collect the money from the owner of the car. Since then, he was missing and eventually his body was retrieved from a stream in Chaenbal area of Pattan on April 4.
Staging protest at Press Enclave, the family members said that police have so far not been able to bring the culprits to book. Jan’s brother, Shabir Ahmad said that the family wants to know who killed their son.
Seeking intervention of Governor Satya Pal Malik and Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh, Shabir demanded stern punishment to the killers of his brother.
“We even protested on Srinagar –Baramulla highway. It was after Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla’s assurance that we called off the protest. He told us that 70% of the investigation has been completed,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Abdul Qayoom said that the investigation was on.
“The Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Pattan is probing the case. It would reach to the conclusion, within few days. Jan Mohammad has been murdered, initially a missing report was lodged at Police station Pattan, later that was converted into an FIR,” he said.