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Sumbal minor’s ‘rape’: Students on roads, demos continue

Firdous Hassan





Srinagar, May 14: Protests continued in many parts of Kashmir on the third consecutive day against the alleged rape of a minor in Sumbal area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir last week.

On the evening of 8 May, a 3-year-old girl in Malikpora, Sumbal was allegedly raped by her neighbour after luring her to a nearby school.

While the accused was arrested on the same day, the incident triggered massive outrage in the next few days which spilled over to other districts and eventually to educational institutes on Tuesday.


Fearing student protests, authorities had closed selected educational institutions in Baramulla and Ganderbal.

However, students in Srinagar and other districts took out protest rallies, demanding justice to the three-year-old rape victim.

In Srinagar, intense clashes erupted between government forces and students outside Amar Singh College after the students took out a protest rally.

Demanding stern punishment to the accused, scores of the students assembled inside the college campus and staged protests.

The rally was soon intercepted by the police deployed outside the college, which triggered massive clashes.

The students pelted stones at forces who responded with tear gas shells. The clashes continued at the college for nearly two hours.

At Government Degree College Bemina, clashes erupted between government forces and students who took out a protest rally demanding capital punishment to the alleged rape accused.

Carrying placards and chanting anti-government slogans, the student rally headed towards the Bemina intersection when they were halted by a contingent of forces, who resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the protesting students.

Students at Women’s College Maulana Azad Road here also came out of their classes and assembled in the campus to protest against the Sumbal minor’s alleged rape.

Shouting slogans, the protesting students demanded stern action against the accused after which protestors marched towards the Press Enclave here.

Demonstrations were also carried out at Kashmir University in Hazratbal where hundreds of students of different departments under the banner of Kashmir University Students Union assembled inside the campus to register their protest.

The students chanted slogans against the accused and demanded capital punishment for him.

Similarly, students of Degree College Kangan in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district too staged a protest demonstration demanding justice to the victim.

Scores of the students marched from the college campus to the main market at Kangan and staged a sit-in to express solidarity with the victim. 

Students also carried out a peaceful protest march in Boniyar areaof Uri in northern Baramulla district.

Apprehending law and order problems, several educational institutions were closed by respective district authorities across the valley on Tuesday as a precautionary measure. In Baramulla district, all schools in tehsil Pattan and Singhpora were shut, while Degree College and higher secondary schools in Baramulla and Sopore towns also remained closed.

All government educational institutions including schools and colleges of tehsil Sonawari in Bandipora district also remained closed, while Government Degree College Ganderbal, government girls and boys higher secondary schools in Ganderbal town were also closed.

Class work remained suspended at Government Degree Colleges and Higher Secondary Schools in Anantnag and Bijbehara towns of district Anantnag on Tuesday..

The authorities also ordered suspension of class work in Government Degree College Shopian and in Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST).

Groups of students, lawyers and various NGOs also held protests at the Press Enclave here, demanding exemplary punishment to the accused.

The outrage against the incident gathered pace after a photo of the date of birth certificate issued to the accused by a local school declaring him as a minor went viral on social media last Sunday.

The school principal accused of giving the certificate was Monday summoned by police that have already constituted a special investigation team to investigate the alleged rape case.

SSP Bandipora, Rahul Malik Monday said the SIT comprising SDPO Sumbal, SHO Sumbal and Senior Prosecuting Officer would investigate the entire case.

He said the police “are treating the accused as major” and the certificate that was uploaded on the social media regarding the age of the accused was “fake”.

He appealed to the people to not pay heed to any rumours and have “faith in the police”.

A police official said the age of the accused will be determined on the basis of “medical test” to be conducted by a team of senior doctors.


Lead Stories

Kashmir resolution on cards: Rajnath

‘Agar baat cheet se nahi, to hamey maloom hai kaisey’

Monitor News Bureau



Jammu, Jul 20: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Saturday said that the resolution of Kashmir issue is on the cards and “no power on earth can stop it”.
Singh, who visited Kargil War Memorial in Drass sector on Saturday, also inaugurated two bridges in Kathua and Basantar.
“Kashmir samasya ka hal jaldi hi honey wala hai” (resolution of Kashmir issue will take place soon), he said before inaugurating a 1,000 meters long bridge over river Ujh in border Kathua district.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 50 crore, it is the longest ever bridge constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) so far.
Referring to his numerous appeals as Home Minister for talks to all those raking up Kashmir issue, Singh recalled that how Hurriyat leaders did not open their doors for visiting members of the all-party delegation once led by him to the Valley.
“People who are running a movement in Kashmir, if they want a solution through it, I appeal to them to at least sit and talk once, to understand what is the issue, what are the problems, so they could be solved together,” news agency ANI quoted Rajnath saying.
“Resolution of Kashmir issue is bound to take place and no power on earth can stop it,” he said.
“Agar baat cheet se nahi, to kaisey, humey maloom hai” (If not through talks then how, we know it), he added.
“Iska samadhaan ho kar rahey ga. Main jo bolta hoon, souch samaj kar bolta hoon. Aisey hi nahi bolta hoon” (Its resolution is bound to take place. Whatever I say, I say with full responsibility), he said.
Earlier in the day, Singh visited the Kargil War Memorial in Drass and paid tributes to the Indian soldiers killed during the Kargil war.
Inaugurates Ujh Bridge
Ushering in a new revolution in the connectivity of roads and bridges in border areas, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh Saturday inaugurated the 1000 mtr long Ujh Bridge in Pandori village of Kathua district and dedicated it to the Nation.
The event was attended by Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, Director General Border Roads, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, GOC Gurj Division, Maj Gen Y P Khanduri, IGP Jammu zone, Manish Sinha, DC Kathua, Dr. Rghav Langer, SSP Kathua, Sridhar Patil, Former legislators of Kathua and Hiranagar besides many other Army and Civil administration dignitaries.
Terming construction of Ujh bridge a great achievement by BRO, Defence Minister said that the roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play a vital role in the socio economic development of far flung regions and population.
Rajnath Singh praised BRO personnel for working in the most hostile and the difficult areas, away from their families and rendering commendable services through construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in border areas fulfilling the strategic need of Indian Defence Forces.
Reiterating the Central Governments commitment to the development of connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir area, he said that our Prime Minister is regularly monitoring the progress of these projects and funds are being ensured accordingly. 1000 mtr long Ujh bridge is the longest bridge constructed by BRO and also has the distinction of using technology of pre-cast segmental bridge with 60 mtrs span. It has been constructed at a cost of approx Rs 50 Crore and completed within schedule time. The bridge is located on Parole-Korepunnu-Rajpura road over Ujh river and will provide alternate connectivity along the NH, Defence Minister informed. Union MoS, Dr Jitendra Singh said that this bridge will provide alternate connectivity during cross border firing and will make life easier for the villagers in the rainy season. He congratulated to all who were present that their long-pending demand now stands realized. He further said that apart from this bridge, Community and Individual bunkers in border areas, Seema Bhavan, enhancement in SPOs wages, strengthening VDCs and increasing livestock insurance during border skirmishes were few other initiatives which were undertaken during Rajnath Singhs previous tenure as Home Minister to facilitate border dwellers.
Lt Gen. Harpal Singh underlined the contribution of BRO to the nation in far flung areas of the country under extremely difficult and harsh conditions. Admiring the contribution of Project Sampark and congratulating all the employees associated with this project, he offered his sincere thanks to the Defence Minister, MoS PMO, Chief of Army Staff and other dignitaries and locals for their support for completion of this project.

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Revival of Ancharsar, Khoshalsar, Gilsar: Centre hasn’t received proposal, LAWDA claims sending 3 yrs ago

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, Jul 20: Seemingly rebutting the state government, Centre has clarified that they have not received any proposal from the state authorities for the revival of three dying lakes in Srinagar.
In a written reply to a starred question of National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah, the central government told Lok Sabha that they have not received any proposal for revival of three Srinagar lakes — Ancharsar, Khoshalsar and Gilsar — from the state government.
“No proposal for the revival of these three lakes has since been received from the Jammu and Kashmir government,” reads the reply.
Vice-chairman, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Sajad Hussain however told The Kashmir Monitor that they have “sent proposal three years back” and he “does not have any information about the new ones.”
Centre, however noted, that as informed by the LAWDA, three important lakes in Srinagar including Ancharsar, Khoshalsar and Gilsar are facing severe threats of pollution from untreated sewage.
Ministry of Environmental Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is currently implementing the centrally sponsored scheme, ‘National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystem (NPCA)’ for conservation and management of identified wetlands in the country on a cost-sharing basis between the Central Government and the respective State Governments.
“The central assistance is based on the proposals received from the state governments in conformity with the guidelines and budget availability”, reads the reply.
“The scheme covers various activities including interception, diversion and treatment of wastewater, shoreline protection, Lakefront development, in-situ cleaning i.e de-silting and de-weeding storm water management, bioremediation, catchment, area treatment, lake beautification, survey and demarcation, bio fencing, fisheries development, weed control, biodiversity conservation, education and awareness creation and community participation”.
Gilsar Lake is an inter-connected water body of Srinagar. Waters from Dal and Nigeen flows into Gilsar via Nallah Amir Khan and drain into Anchar Lake.
“In absence of any regulation and conservation measures, Gilsar and two other lakes are facing an imminent threat of extinction,” an official of LAWDA said.
He noted that the enormous growth of obnoxious weeds and vegetation has been hampering the smooth flow of water into the lake. “Most of the city waste encompasses plastic and sewage which ends up in the Khushalsar and other water bodies,” he said.

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Lead Stories

Saudi Arabia starts e-visa for Umrah

Monitor News Bureau



Srinagar, Jul 20: Great news in the offing for Indians intending to do Umrah. Now, they can easily apply and get an e-visa to perform the pilgrimage without having to go through the hassle of visiting the embassy.
The Saudi government has made the process of getting an Umrah visa fairly easy ensuring that Indian Muslims no longer require visiting the embassy offices in New Delhi or Mumbai.
The aspirants can simply fill up the form on the embassy website personally or through a travel agent and get their e-visa.
The efforts are a part of Vision 2030 which aims to ease the process of performing Hajj and Umrah along with providing the best facilities for pilgrims.
Very soon Hajj and Umrah visa will also allow pilgrims to travel to other parts of the Kingdom.
With Saudi Ambassador in India, Dr Saud Mohammed Al Sati at the forefront of these developments, they will definitely cut the paper-work and considerably reduce the inconvenience that pilgrims may otherwise have been facing so far.
With Vision 2030 serving as a blueprint, the Kingdom is working on the strategic objective of welcoming 30 million pilgrims each year to perform Hajj and Umrah.
The third phase of expansion of the Grand Mosque, launched by King Salman, is making good progress. Expansion of the building itself covers 1.47 million square meters, including 78 new gates. The various new infrastructure and transportation projects are shaping up beautifully.
In this new era of development, the Kingdom sees India as an important partner.
“In our common pursuit for development and stability, Saudi Arabia sees India as an important partner. Our ties trace their roots to the third millennium BC. Trade, science, arts, literature, languages — the exchanges between our civilisations have indeed been profound. India holds a special place for us,” Dr Sati said earlier this year.
The Kingdom is well aware of how important India and Indians are for it considering that nearly 3 million Indians form the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia.
India has also seen its Haj quota of 1,36,020 increase consecutively during the last two years to a record 1,75,025.

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