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Women harassment cases on rise in Kashmir

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, May 16: As two alleged rape cases have been reported in last one week in Kashmir, such incidents have become common in the valley.

A three-year-old girl was allegedly raped last week by her neighbour in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, leading to widespread outrage and protests against the incident.

The accused has been arrested by police and a special investigation team constituted for a speedy investigation of the incident. Another case was reported on Tuesday when another girl was allegedly raped in central Kashmir Ganderal. Last month, a girl committed suicide who was allegedly sexually assaulted by her father.

 

These seems not rare case but are being often reported in Kashmir. Similarly molestation cases are also on rise in Kashmir.

As per the official figures of police department, at least 142 rape cases were registered during 2018 in Kashmir, indicating almost every 60-hours, a rape case gets reported in the Valley.

The police have disposed of 116 cases, while 26 are still being investigated.

During 2018, some of the heart wrenching rape cases were reported in the state.

An official of police department said that many crimes go unreported in the Valley either due to remoteness of the location or victims choose to stay silent out of fear or social stigma attached tothe crime.

“There are crimes like rape, molestation, and eve-teasing where the victims many a times prefer to remain silent,” the official told KNS.

In most of these cases, reasons are dowry, interference from in-laws, misunderstandings, giving birth to female babies leading to matrimonial disputes and family squabbles and are also subjected to mental as well as physical torture in homes, workplaces or in educational institutions.

“Very little percentage of crimes against women goes reported as women mostly prefer to remain silent without lodging compliant against their family members. Women also face harassment outside their homes be at workplaces or in educational institutions,” the police official said.

Eve- teasing and street harassment incidents, despite being reported numerous times, remain the constant problem in Jammu and Kashmir. Lewd remarks greet young girls on the roads, in public transport and outside their school, college and University campus.

1233 cases of molestation were reported in 2016. They got escalated to 1361 cases in 2017.

“Very few eve teasing incidents are being reports. The victims are not coming forward to lodge the complaint. It is because of conservative and patriarchal society, girls do not come forward and speak up,” the official added.

An official of State Women Commission said they receive such cases frequently from across the Valley especially Srinagar. “We often receive complaints of stalking, passing lewd remarks and gestures, brushing against the woman’s body and passing vulgar comments,” the official said, wishing not to be quoted by name as he was not authorized to talk to the media since the Commission is headless. “Majority of girls don’t complain for fear of public humiliation. They prefer to suffer in silence than come out in the open, with the result the eve-teasers are encouraged,” the official said.


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Kashmir

Sumo transporters demand early abolition of toll tax in Anantnag

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, May 19: Seeking Governor Satya Pal Malik’s intervention, the South Kashmir Sumo Transport Association (SKSSTA) on Sunday demanded early abolition of toll tax levied at Chursoo toll plaza in Anantnag district.

The decision to impose toll tax was taken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), earlier this month. 

The move came under severe criticism not only from the stake holders but from the political parties as well, who demanding abolition of this tax.

 

While threatening to go on hunger strike after Ramadan against the decision President, SKSTA, Abid Ali Din said the move was taken in haste.

 “Local people should be exempted. The transport sector is already struggling amid huge fuel charges. The amount of Rs 170(to and fro)  as toll tax is huge sum. If government remains adamant on its decision, we will be left with no option other than to increase the fare,”he said.

He said despite assurances from the concerned authorities nothing has happened so far with regard to the abolition of toll tax.

“Few days back, we appealed Divisional Commissioner to look into our issue. He said that the matter has been brought into the notice of Governor. He had assured that our concerns would be addressed but so far nothing has happened,” said chairman, SKSTA, Mohammad Ashraf.

“We don’t want to increase the fare, we don’t want to put extra  burden on the passengers,”Ashraf added.

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Kashmir

BJP leader Mir’s killing: TIP of arrested militant; bureaucrats ignored warnings

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, May 19: A Test Identification Parade (TIP) of arrested JeM militant Hilal Naikoo will be conducted in connection with BJP leader Gul Mohammed Mir’s killing in Anantnag as an internal probe indicated lapses at bureaucratic level despite a clear threat to him, officials said.

The family of 57-year-old Mir, who unsuccessfully contested on BJP ticket in 2008 and 2014 assembly elections from Dooru in South Kashmir, has claimed that Naikoo was present in the squad that killed the politician outside his home on May 4.

Mir, whose affidavit shows his age as 52 in the 2014 assembly polls, was shot dead outside his residence at Nowgam in Verinag area of South Kashmir.

 

He was shifted to a hospital in a critical condition but was declared brought dead by the doctors there. Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir police arrested Hilal Naikoo from Dooru. Police officials said that they would be carrying out his TIP soon.

The killing had rattled Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration in Jammu and Kashmir and Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan was appointed to inquire into the lapses.

Earlier, Malik had ordered an inquiry headed by state Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam to “identify lapses” but withdrew later after political parties accused the top bureaucrat of creating a chaotic situation by withdrawing security of some people in Kashmir Valley.

The internal probe shows that the Home Ministry had written in February this year to the chief secretary for providing security to Mir but it was not adhered to, officials said.

In its communication, the Home Ministry had sent representation from Mir along with intelligence inputs about increasing his security, instead, the security was withdrawn completely, they said.

The local police cited an order from state home department in which it was categorically mentioned that if the security personnel do not report back to their parent units by or before April 5, 2019, the salary equivalent shall be deducted from the salary of district superintendents of police or commandants.

“In case where personal security officials have been deployed unauthorisedly, the salary equivalent of such personnel would be deducted from the salary of concerned officers for such unauthorised deployment.

“The security to politicians is provided on local inputs and not institutionalised through any proper mechanism which includes clearing of names through a screening committee,” they said.

The order, according to the officials, prompted many district police heads to withdraw security immediately fearing deduction in their salaries, they said.

Mir’s son, Zahoor Ahmed Mir, had said that his father’s security had been withdrawn two months back and all efforts to get it back had fallen on deaf ears.

“I had given a letter of the BJP leaders to SSP Anantnag but he expressed his helplessness and directed me to see Munir Khan (Additional Director General of Polce in charge of security),” he said.

According to the officials, Mir was included in the list ordered by the chief secretary in February this year despite opposition by security agencies which had suggested that no security should be withdrawn until the election process is completed.

However, the chief secretary ordered reconstitution of the screening committee, removed police officials from it and appointed state Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra as its chairman, a move which has been criticised.

Since the withdrawal of security, politicians have been easy prey for militants.

A panch, Abdul Majeed Dar, was killed in Kulgam on April 4 and a National Conference (NC) worker, Mohammad Ismail Wani, sustained injuries after being shot at on March 14.

On March 30, suspected militants shot dead social activist Arjumand Majid Bhat in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

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Handloom dept violates Govt order, gives contract of uniform purchase to outside state

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, May 19: The State’s Handloom Department has violated the Government order by giving Rs 5 crore contract of SSA uniform to outside state, despites clear directions from the government to make these uniforms from Power Loom Corporation.

This decision has repercussions on power looms of they will not be in a position to manufacture uniforms.

“As per government order No: 1456-GAD of 1983, issued by the General Administration Department, vide No: GD/(Adm)55/83-Ind, dated 20-09-1983 all the government departments are required to make the purchase of all types of textile items only from the J&K State Handloom Development Corporation Limited (J&KSHDC).”

 

The order says that all government departments are impressed upon to make purchase of the textile requirements in their departments from the state handloom development corporation only on the prices/rates fixed by the High Powered Committee in its meeting held on 08-05-2015 and ensure compliance of the aforementioned Government orders.

Every year government’s education department asks the Handloom Corporation to purchase uniforms for its students.

Officials in the Handloom Corporation say that these uniforms have to be manufactured by power looms in the state to strengthen the local economy and loom owners of the state. However, the officials said, that Handloom Corporation gave the contract to an outside state manufacturer to make uniforms, which is violative of the government order.

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