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Sumbal ‘Rape’ case:Police, Health Dept, amicus curiae file reports to HC

Age determination of accused underway: IGP
• Court issues show-cause notices to five newspapers for revealing victim’s identity
• State Legal Services Authority asked to submit action plan
• Info Dept ordered to submit report on POCSO publicity

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Written by Firdous Hassan / Nisar Dharma

Srinagar, May 17: The state police, department of health and the Court appointed amicus curiae Friday filed their respective reports to the J&K High Court in the Bandipora ‘rape’ case after the latter had taken suo-moto cognizance of the incident.

The J&K State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), however, sought extension for submitting its report which the Court accepted and directed it to file by May 25.

 

On May 8, a three-year old girl was allegedly raped in Sumbal area of Bandipora by her neighbour, triggering widespread anger in the form of public protests and clashes in the Valley.

On Friday, the J&K police, on the Court’s earlier orders, filed the status report in the case stating that “the age determination of the accused is underway.”

Similarly, in its report, the Health Department, through its Principal Secretary, informed the court the victim was initially medically examined on 8 May by Dr Ghazala, Medical Officer posted at Community Health Centre, Sumbal.

“Thereafter, the victim was referred to SKIMS Medical College Bemina. The victim was then examined and a series of investigations conducted at SKIMS and that reports whereof stand handed over to the police authorities. Certain articles, which were seized, were also handed over to the police for further investigation. It is further informed that the victim was given proper medical treatment. She was in a stable condition and provided with psychiatric counselling as well,” the Health Department informed the Court in its report.

In her report, Advocate Farah Bashir, the Court appointed amicus curiae in the case, stated that certain print and electronic media outlets had revealed the victim’s identity in violation of Section 23 of J&K Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance (POSCO) 2018.

The Court issued show-cause notices to newspapers Kashmir Observer, Kashmir Vision, Kashmir Glory, Urdu Daily Afaaq & Urdu daily Ilhaaq “to explain why action be not taken against them for the violations of Section 23 of POCSO Act committed by them.”

The newspapers have been asked to respond by May 28.
Besides, the amicus curiae also gave the details of photos/screenshots taken from the electronic media displaying pictures of the child victim (some even fake) on YouTube and circulated on Twitter, Facebook.

“We forthwith direct YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all materials/posts/publications which tend to disclose the identity and name of the infant victim of the sexual violence in the incident on 8th of May 2019 in District Bandipora and to ensure that no such material is uploaded on their channels,” the Court directed.

The Court also asked the state government to clarify whether the Section 44 of the POCSO Act of 2018 was implemented within the state.

“Farah Bashir, learned amicus curiae also draws our attention to Section 44 of the POCSO Act of 2018 which casts a duty upon the State Government to give wide publicity through media including television, radio and print media at regular intervals to make the general public, children as well as their parents and guardians aware of the provisions of this Act,” it said.

The court sought report from the J&K Information Department regarding the measures taken in terms of dissemination of information about the Section.

“We direct the Information Department of J&K to place before us the report regarding the measures taken in terms of Section 44 of J&K POCSO,” it said.

The division bench also directed the J&K State Legal Service Authority (SLSA) to ensure that legal aid is provided to a victim of sexual violence right from the stage of lodging the complaint till the end of the case.

Member Secretary, J&K SLSA has been asked to place before the court within ten days an action plan and proper guidelines to ensure linkage between police station and offices of the Legal services Authority.

“The Legal Services Authority shall ensure legal aid to a victim right from the beginning i.e., from the stage of lodging of complaint and registration of the case; medical examination; recording of statement; throughout the trial and till the end of the case,” the court said.
The high court also directed the SLSA for ensuring supplying information regarding any case of sexual violence immediately by the police authorities to the legal services authorities.
“This information can be transmitted using SMSs, Whatsapp, e-mail or telephones,” it said.
As per the high court directions, the Legal Services Authority shall ensure that proper medical treatment is also administered to the victim.
“Release of compensation under the Victim of Compensation Scheme at the earliest, preferably within 24 hours of an incident of sexual violence being reported,” it added.


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Guv lifts restrictions on National Highway

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Srinagar, May 21: Governor Satya Pal Malik has decided to completely lift the restrictions on the civilian traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway from May 27.

This follows the review of the security situation in the state and of the requirement of security forces’ convoys.

Earlier, the restriction on civilian traffic movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on NH-44 was reduced only to Sunday and later completely lifted from May 2. Restrictions on the Srinagar Udhampur stretch were limited to just one day from May 13.

 

“After a detailed review on Tuesday with all security agencies, civil and police administration in connection with the preparations for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra, the Governor directed that there should be no restriction on civilian movement on NH 44 from Monday.

The Governor thanked the people of the state for cooperating with the measures which were necessitated in the larger interest of the state and for welfare of the people,” said an official spokesman.

These restrictions, the spokesman said, had become necessary following the movement of security forces on an unprecedented scale after the Pulwama suicide attack.

“The forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for smooth conduct of general elections. In order to facilitate safe and secure movement of Security Forces’ Convoys, the Government had imposed a prohibition on civilian traffic on NH-44 from Baramulla to Udhampur on Sundays and Wednesdays from 4 am to 5 pm. Elaborate arrangements were, however, made by the local administration to facilitate movement of public during the period of restriction”, he said.

On April 3, the Jammu and Kashmir government banned civilian traffic on the National Highway right from Baramulla to Udhampur twice a week and reserved the Sundays and Wednesdays exclusively for the movement of security forces’ convoys. The government gave the possibility of a fidayeen militant attack and general elections as the reasons for the order.

Reviews security arrangements for Amarnath yatra
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, May 21: Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chairman, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), Tuesday chaired a high level meeting at Raj Bhavan here to review important security related matters with regard to the Yatra which is scheduled to commence on July 1, from both the Baltal and Pahalgam routes.
The meeting was attended by the Advisor (K) to Governor, Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, GOC XV Corps, GOC Victor Force, CEO of Shrine Board; Home Secretary; Heads of Central & State Intelligence Agencies; and senior most officers of Central Armed Police Forces, J&K Police & Air Force.
Governor stressed the need for all concerned agencies to maintain a close watch and effective coordination to ensure the smooth conduct of the forthcoming Yatra.
Detailed presentations were made by the Security Agencies regarding the obtaining and emerging security environment in the State, keeping in view the envisaged objectives of adversary external agencies.
The meeting held extensive discussions with regard to preparedness for meeting any unforeseen situation arising in the Yatra area; deployment of ROP for safe movement of Yatris; Corridor security & Area domination especially beyond ROP hours; functioning of the Joint Control Rooms at every Yatra Camp; linking up Joint Control Rooms with the MET Department and the District Disaster Management Units; deployment of Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the State Police along with Rescue Teams of various Security Forces at identified locations on both the Yatra routes; deployment of well-equipped Fire Fighting teams at pre-determined points; installation of X-Ray Baggage Scanning units at appropriate locations; Access Control Arrangements at Neelgrath, Panjtarni and Pahalgam helipads; Bar code enumeration points; telecommunication facilities along the Yatra routes etc.
The meeting discussed the enforcement of an effective Access Control System at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps and at the Domel and Chandanwari Access Control Gates; effective traffic regulation from Lakhanpur Check Post onwards through augmentation of the existing strength of Traffic Police; Air Traffic Control arrangements for the heli-services from the Pahalgam and Baltal to Panjtarni; transit camps arrangements; installation of CCTVs at various Camps and at the Access Control Gates; etc.
Governor directed DGP and the Divisional Administration to ensure rapid and unhindered movement of validly registered Yatris right from the time they enter into the State and travel to the Holy Cave, and to ensure against their facing any avoidable inconvenience.
He emphasized that all agencies undertake a thorough review of all required arrangements for promptly dealing with any arising disaster situation and, for this purpose, evolve clear Standard Operating Procedures which would be strictly followed by all the stakeholders, including the District Administration and Security Forces.
Governor also stressed that all security agencies should rectify the deficiencies, if any, observed during previous Yatras and provide fool proof security cover to yatris during their forward & return journey.
Governor directed Director General of Police; Divisional Commissioners of Jammu & Kashmir Divisions; Inspector General of Police of Jammu & Kashmir Divisions to ensure wide publicity of the Advisories relating to safety & security of Yatris, including the cut-off timings through print and electronic media & particularly display these at Railway Station Jammu; Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar Jammu; Lakhanpur Checkpost; the On- spot Registration Counters at Jammu & Srinagar and at Base Camps of Baltal,Nunwan and Panjtarni through Public Address System by the Information Department of respective District Administration.

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To avoid traffic clogs: Govt mulls dividing highway into zones

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Jammu, May 21: The J&K Government is considering dividing the Srinagar-Jammu highway into zones and sections where double lane and single lane traffic will be allowed to avoid traffic jams.

The same was deliberated in a meeting Tuesday convened by Advisor to Governor KK Sharma with the committee of experts of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), constituted to assess the situation of land sliding and unstable slopes on National Highway, besides discussing the issues faced by the implementing agency in undertaking hassle-free four-laning of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

Threadbare discussions over the issues of traffic management, removal and dumping of debris, relocation of towers, parking of trucks, repairing of natural drainages, awareness of helpline numbers on the national Highway 44 were held.

 

The committee informed the Advisor about the trouble caused by the parking of vehicles, especially trucks, on the road side of the national highway. For better traffic management, it was suggested by the committee that the highway should be divided into zones and section where double lane and single lane traffic is allowed to avoid traffic jams.

The Advisor asked the concerned authorities to ensure that no truck or any other vehicles are parked on the road side and dedicated parking points are identified.

Highlighting the issue of debris on the road side, the committee said that there is a proactive need of removing the debris from the highway as it causes hindrance in the smooth working on highway.

The Advisor asked the concerned officers to identify more locations to dump the debris which should not cause any inconvenience to the traffic plying on the highway.

The Advisor directed the PDD department to protect the towers along with national highway and explore the possibility of their relocation so that populace residing there should not face any kind of problem.

The Advisor asked the concerned departments to take immediate action to repair the natural drains as suggested by the committee.

The meeting also discussed awareness regarding the helpline number so that the people would know about the medical and first aid facilities provided on national highway.
The Advisor directed the officers to work in synergy and coordination for the completion of the project in smooth and time bound manner.

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Proud moment for JK: Two cops scale Mount Everest

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, May 21: Two Jammu and Kashmir policemen, who were a part of 11 member climbers’ squad, have scaled Mount Everest on Tuesday.

Police said that selection grade constables Nazir Ahmed and Falial Singh, who took part in the expedition have successfully reached the summit along with their fellow climbers of All India Police Sports Control Board Team.

Ahmed, who hails from district Kupwara is presently posted at JKAP 14th Battalion while as constable Falil Singh, a resident of Rajouri is serving in IRP first Battalion.

 

Both of them, the police said, have been trained in basic mountaineering from The Jawaharlal Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports, Pahalgam in 2004.

“They are performing their duties with the JK Police Mountaineering Rescue Teams,” a police spokesman said.

Police said both these climbers achieved the feat on Tuesday morning after completing the last leg of the expedition.

These two policemen along with the group had scaled four camps beginning with Base Camp (17500meters) to Camp 4 (28000meters).

Earlier, Sub Inspector of Police Ram Singh and Rafiq Ahmad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), has scaled the world’s highest peak in the year 2008.

Sonam Paljor and Hero Wangyal from Leh district also scaled the World’s highest peak during an army expedition in the past.

Sub Inspector Ram Singh said the selection process for the expedition had begun since 2017.“First of all they are being trained and then selection starts at All India Level. Then preparation starts for their acclimatizing,” he said.

Singh said the climbers have to overcome various obstacles before reaching to the summit.“Weather plays an important role here since treks get delayed due to the bad weather quite often. Further there are rock avalanches and glaciers who prove to be an obstacle for a climber. But once a person is trained he overcomes all these obstacles,” he said.

He said the climbers will now return to the Camp2 where they will stay for few days before heading to the base camp.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also greeted the policemen for their achievement.
“The team comprised nine personnel from the IB and 2 of @JmuKmrPolice. I am proud of their achievement and wishing them success in their future endeavors,” he tweeted.

Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh termed the achievement as “proud moment” for J&K police department. He wished the successful return of the mountaineers.

“Police headquarters have been giving every opportunity to the men from the department and also from the civil society to excel and achieve the goals in any field of the sports to make name for the country, state and for themselves,” he said.

The statement said that Governor, Satya Pal Malik, Advisor to Governor, K. Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary J&K, BVR Subramanyam and ADGP (Armed),SJM Gillani have congratulated the police personnel for successfully scaling the Mount Everest in the wee hours today.

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