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Veena Pandita appointed as chairperson BOSE

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Irshad Khan

Srinagar Apr 04: The School Education Department has finally appointed a full-time chairperson to the J&K State Board of School Education (JKBOSE).

The department has, in an order issued Tuesday, appointed Secretary BOSE, Veena Pandita as the board Chairperson for a period of two years.

 

Pandita though already holds the additional charge of Chairperson BOSE.

The BOSE had been without a full-time chairman since August when Zahoor Ahmad Chat was removed from the post.

Post Chat’s exit, the School Education Department had, on August 9 constituted a 5-member ‘Search Committee’ to “suggest names for appointment of Chairman, J&K BOSE”.

The members of the committee comprised of Ex-Secretary BOSE, Bashir Ahmad Dar, Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Secretary, General Administration Department, Secretary, School Education Department and Secretary, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

The committee was supposed to submit the panel of names to the government “within one month”.

However, despite repeated extensions in the term of the ‘Search Committee’ during the last 7 months, no name had come forward for the post of Chairman JKBOSE.

The latest extension in the term of the committee came on February 23 wherein the School Education Department asked the committee to submit its recommendations “by or before February 28”.

Over Pandita’s elevation to the post, Secretary, School Education Department, Farooq Ahmad Shah told The Kashmir Monitor that the Search Committee had “decided that she is the most appropriate person. That is it”.

“The committee found her appropriate. She was number one in merit,” Shah added.

Although Shah put the ‘Search Committee’ at the forefront for Pandita’s appointment, one of the committee members said that a meeting of the committee, which was to be held in Jammu “did not take place at all”.

Interestingly, the member was not aware about Pandita’s appointment.

Reacting to Pandita’s appointment, the member said that the department had ironically objected when he suggested her name for the post earlier.

“I said that you could consider her also, but the bureaucrats objected saying that why don’t we have some KAS or IAS officer,” the committee member said.

“I said that you require an academic person who knows the basics of education to head the board not a bureaucrat,” he added.

Asked whether Pandita had been appointed on the basis of the Search Committee’s recommendations, Secretary, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Majeed Bhat, a committee member said, “We didn’t have the authority to recommend, it is the government’s decision. It is the power of the government to appoint anybody”.

The ‘Search Committee’ Bhat however said, “had meetings in this regard”.


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Kashmir

Stopping of trucks on Sgr-Jmu highway: Mutton, fruits, vegetables dealers suffer huge losses

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Apr 23: The mutton, vegetable and fruit dealers Tuesday claimed that they have suffered losses worth crores due to routine stopping of vehicles carrying these items by the traffic police on Srinagar- Jammu national highway.

The dealers said that trucks carrying livestock and other items are being stopped at various junctions on highway without any reason.

As per the dealers, the practice is prevalent from a long time, resulting in the escalation in the prices of essential commodities including mutton, vegetables and fruits.

 

General Secretary, All Kashmir Mutton Dealers Association (AKMDA), Kashmir, Mehraj-ud-din Ganie said that for the last three months, the truckers ferrying livestock to the valley are facing difficulties while travelling on Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

“For the last almost one week, 150-200 trucks have been stopped at Udhampur’s Jakhani area, resulting in loss to the tune of Rs 1 crore daily to the mutton industry, “he said.

Ganie added that “we have nothing to sell as our stocks are over.”

“We have taken advance from the customers, who require mutton for marriage purpose. We were not able to give consignments to them. If stock didn’t reach at an earliest, we won’t be able to provide consignments for next two days as well, “he said.

President, Jammu and Kashmir Goods Transport Companies Association (JKGTCA), Mohammad Sidiq Ronga admitted that truckers are being stopped for no reason.

“Attempts are being made to shatter our economy. The traffic police are stopping our trucks everyday. Usually trucks carrying goods reach Kashmir from Delhi in 24 hours but now it takes three to four days,”he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic, J&K, Alok Kumar said that “landslides at Manki Morh have been causing disruption in the traffic movement.”

“Earlier, we allowed traffic to move towards Kashmir but it resulted in congestion .Once congestion is over, we would allow them to proceed, “he said.

Meanwhile, traders at Fruit Mandi Parimpora are planning to go indefinite strike from Monday 29.

The Mandi comprises more than 300 shops and around 3000 people are directly associated with it for earning their livelihood.

President, New Kashmir fruit Association Parimpora Bashir Ahmad said that they have called an indefinite strike from Monday 29. “Every day our fruit and vegetables- laden vehicles are stopped unnecessarily in Udhampur by police. Fruits have short life and get destroyed due to stopping of our vehicles on highway. We understand that Losses are inflicted deliberately, the president claimed.

He said that though they raised the issue many times with the top authorities but no heed has been paid in this regard. “Now we have decided to shut our business till our problem won’t be resolved,”

He said that they are not satisfied with the assurances given by the government and therefore they have decided to go for strike.

He claimed that due to unnecessary stopping of vehicles, the traders at fruit mandi are losing crores every month. “Deliberately our trucks are being stopped in the Udhampur region. We have seen that when a truck offers money to the police, only then they allow them to move towards Kashmir,” Bashir Ahmad claimed.

He further alleged that even on Sunday when traffic was not allowed on highway, they received several vegetable and fruit- laden trucks from Jammu, and “they told us that they paid money to the police who later allowed them to move”.

Sources said that supply of vegetables and fruits could be hit, triggering a price rise, if the strike begins and continues.

The supply of vegetables, fruits such as onions, Potato, Mangoes, oranges, Grapes, chillies, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes is largely dependent on this mandi.

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ECI’s assurances over fool-proof security have fallen flat: Mir

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Srinagar April 23: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President and party candidate from Anantnag parliamentary constituency, G A Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit with great enthusiasm.

In a statement issued Mir also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.

Mir has expressed gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag, saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free, which was matter of enormous pleasure for Congress party.

 

Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag. The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir, he said.

Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident free elections, he added.

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Geelani’s son questioned by NIA in funding case

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Apr 23: Nayeem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, appeared before the National Investigation Agency for questioning in connection with a case related to funding of groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said here.

Nayeem Geelani, who had been evading questioning by the NIA for long, appeared on Monday and a detailed questioning took place on Tuesday.

Geelani’s questioning comes days after the NIA quizzed moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in connection with the same case. The NIA probe seeks to identify the chain of players behind the financing of militant activities, stone pelting on security forces, burning down of schools and damaging of government establishments.

 

The case names Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), the front for the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused. It also names organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the Mirwaiz, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

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