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Sunday Bloodshed:In ward with 10 pellet victims, Manzoor opens eyes to see his dark future

Bisma Bhat





Srinagar, Nov 26: Lying motionless on a bed at the SMHS Hospital here, life has come to a standstill for 22-year-old Manzoor Ahmad.

The excruciating pain in his swollen eyes constantly reminds him of what has changed his life forever—the volley of pellets fired by the government forces at the civilian protesters at Largo, Kulgam, in south Kashmir.

The people were protesting for the militants holed up by the forces at the Shopian-Kulgam margin. In the resulting gunfight, six militants, one civilian, and a soldier were killed at the site.


The pellets hit Manzoor in his face, piercing and damaging both his eyes.

“I fell onto the ground after the pellets ruptured my face and eyes. I was trying to open my eyes, but couldn’t. Blood was oozing out of them, and then I fainted. I don’t know who brought me to the hospital,” recalled Manzoor, the breadwinner in his family comprising a handicapped mother and a blind sister.

He was first taken to the Kulgam District Hospital, from where the doctors shifted him to the SMHS Hospital here.

Already undergone one surgery, he is still unable to see.

“I was not able to open my eyes after the surgery. I tried to open my eyes to see who is around, but did not know that I would end up seeing my dark future,” Manzoor wails.

Manzoor, not the only pellet-hit patient in the ward, has swollen face and eyes, pellet holes visible all around, and his beard still blood-stained.

He has been earning for his family for 15 years, since his father had passed away.

“I was the only breadwinner and support to my mother and sister. I don’t know how they will survive, as I am no more in a condition to earn,” he said, tearing.

“I am not able to handle myself and I don’t know who will handle my family. I need two persons to accompany me to the washroom.”

Only his married elder sister and neighbours came to see him, leaving his mother and the younger sister home.

There were 10 pellet victims in the ward, and eight of them were partially blinded by the pellets.

Waseem, another pellet victim, a resident of Shopian, has been hit in his right eye.

“I was working in the orchard with my friend and was hit by pellets fired by the government forces. I have undergone a surgery yesterday, but cannot see with my right eye,” he said.




At 140th place, India slips in UN Happiest Nations 2019 list

Finland tops, Pak at 67, China 93, B’desh 125




New Delhi, Mar 21: In the UN World Happiness Report 2019 released by the United Nations, India has slipped down by 7 places vis-a-vis last year among the happiest nations in the world.
In what should be a matter of concern, India falls in the bottom half, ranking at the 140th spot of the 156 countries in the list. The country is way behind Pakistan (67th), China (93rd), and also trails to Bangladesh (125th).
The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20 which has was declared as World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Check Where India and Other Countries Stood in 2018 Happiness Index Report.
The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. Finland, a mixed welfare society, tops the chart.
According to the report, the overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, which has mostly been fuelled by a sustained drop in India, which came in 140th place this year compared with 133rd place in 2018.
The UN’s seventh annual World Happiness Report, which ranks the world”s 156 countries on “how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be”, also noted that there has been an increase in negative emotions, including worry, sadness and anger.
Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year in succession. The Nordic nation is followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.
Pakistan is ranked 67th, Bangladesh 125th and China is place at 93rd, according to the report.
People in war-torn South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).
The happiness study ranks the countries of the world on the basis of questions from the Gallup World Poll. The results are then correlated with other factors, including GDP and social security.
The United States ranks at 19th place for happiness, despite being one of the richest countries in the world.

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Unlicensed private security agencies under scanner

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, Mar 21: Several private security agencies have come under the scanner for operating “illegally” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Home Department has appointed the controlling authority for the issuance of licenses under the Jammu and Kashmir Private Security Agencies (Regulations), Act 2015 and has issued licenses to different persons and firms operating the security agencies.

However, as per an order of the Home Department, it has come to the notice of the controlling authority that some private security agencies are operating in the state “without permission/license” from controlling authority which runs contrary to the provisions of the Act.


“They need to be closed immediately without notice for which the process has been set in motion. All the government/semi government state/central public sector undertakings and the private security agencies are impressed upon not to hire the services of those private security agencies who are not having permission/license from the controlling authority,” the order reads.

An official in Home Department said that order has been issued in view of security concerns in the state. “Recently, government also directed district development commissioners not to issue any fresh gun licenses,” the official said.

The Home Department recently directed the district development commissioners not to issue any fresh arms licenses and submit gun licenses details since 2012.

These directives as per a government order have been issued to ensure “maintenance of law and order” in the state before the polls.

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Soldier killed on LoC in Rajouri




Srinagar, Mar 21: An Indian soldier was killed in Pakistan firing on the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, leading to heavy firing exchanges as the Indian side retaliated, an official said.
“Rifleman Yash Pal, who was injured in an unprovoked Pakistan ceasefire violation in Sunderbani sector of the LoC, succumbed to critical injuries,” Defence Ministry spokesman, Lt Col Devender Anand said.
He said that Pakistan “violated the ceasefire violation” in Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors of the LoC in Rajouri.
While Pakistan opened fire with mortars and small arms in Sunderbani sector since the morning, the ceasefire violation in Nowshera began at about 2.45 p.m., he said.
“It is still going on and the Indian Army is retaliating befittingly at both these places,” Lt Col Anand said.

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