Top Hizbul Commander Amir Wagay arrested in Srinagar

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A top Hizbul commander active in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was arrested in Srinagar on Friday, police sources said.

“Amir Wagay, top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, was arrested with some arms and ammunition in Srinagar district,” a source said.

“Wagay was involved in a number of attacks on security forces in Anantnag district. He was high on the wanted list of the security forces,” the source added

6 killed, 38 injured in blast in northwest Pak

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At least six people were killed and 38 others injured today in a suicide blast at a market in restive northwest Pakistan’s Kurram Agency.

The bomber blew himself up in Parachinar’s Shandak Bazaar.

The blast left at least six people dead and 38 others injured, officials said.

The condition of many of the injured people was said to be critical. They were to be shifted to Peshawar for treatment.

Security forces have cordoned off the area while emergency services have been dispatched to the site.

The administration has declared an emergency at all hospitals in the area.

An Army medical evacuation  helicopter has also been flown to Parachinar for evacuation of the injured, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief over the blast and condemned the attack. “It is our responsibility to continue the war against terrorists,” he said.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar ordered an inquiry report.

Heavy deployments made in Kashmir to prevent protests

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Authorities made heavy deployments of forces on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir.
Police said deployments of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been made in sensitive places to prevent any “untoward incidents”.
“No restrictions have been imposed anywhere in the valley. But adequate security deployments have been made for the day,” a senior police officer said.
The pro-freedom leaders have called for protests after the Friday congregational prayers.
The protests have been called against the killings of three civilians at the hands of the government forces in Chadoora area of Budgam district on Tuesday.
Partinenetly, resistance leaders, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq are continuously under house arrest in Srinagar while Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in the central jail.

Weapon snatcher travelled on NH unchecked; cops caught napping

Jammu Police has once again been caught napping with prime accused in weapon snatching at Tawi bridge on March 25 evening managing to reach safely to Shopian travelling all the way from Jammu to Srinagar on the National Highway while serious question marks are being raised over conflicting report of weapon’s recovery from Tawi river.

Shopian Police had yesterday stated that main accused in AK-47 rifle snatching (from a police constable) Amir Hussain son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat R/o Ratnipora, Shopian, had surrendered before SSP Shopian Tahir Salim along with snatched AK-47 rifle and its magazine.
However, Jammu Police officers told the reporters today that AK-47 rifle was recovered from river Tawi in Jammu at the behest of Amir Hussain, who was shifted here from Shopian after his ‘arrest’ there.
Sources wondered that when entire police machinery was put on very high alert in entire Jammu region after AK-47 rifle was snatched by three miscreants from a police constable at Tawi bridge on March 25, how the prime accused managed to reach Shopian, travelling all the way along Jammu-Srinagar National Highway despite the so-called ‘red alert’ sounded by police.
“This has once again exposed chinks in the security system along Jammu-Srinagar National Highway as well as Jammu City, where the accused slipped away so easily and reached his home town Shopian at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit was only few days away,” sources said, adding that earlier also there had been several incidents like terror attacks at Nagrota, Samroli, Hiranagar, Samba etc when security apparatus was easily breached by the militants to travel on the major Highways and roads unchecked.
They were of the view that if the theory of Shopian Police is to be believed that Amir Hussain surrendered before them along with AK-47 rifle, then the matter becomes more serious as this means that he had travelled on the National Highway along with deadly weapon.
Asserting that Jammu Police have failed to learn any lessons from the previous terror attacks wherein the militants had reached Nagrota Army camp, Hiranagar police station, Army installation in Samba and travelled from Srinagar to Samroli, sources pointed out that “repeated lapses” have raised serious question marks over the security apparatus of police.
Investigations by police have also revealed that Amir Hussain along with his two associates Masrool Ahmad Naik and Shahid Najar, both residents of Shopian, had stayed in Government Kissan Ghar, Department of Horticulture at Narwal.
The staff has deliberately not made the entry of their stay at the Kissan Ghar, sources said, adding that one of the accused Ghulam Rasool Ahangar son of Ghulam Mohammad Ahangar R/o Ahangarpora, Dool, Kishtwar, who had helped the accused in their stay at Kissan Ghar on the night of March 22 and 23, has been arrested while other staff was being questioned.
The accused had reached here from Shopian on March 22 and stayed at the Kissan Ghar, which they have admitted during the questioning.
Meanwhile, IGP Jammu Zone SD Singh Jamwal told reporters that Mohammad Amir, who belongs to rich family in Shopian district of south Kashmir, surrendered before the police last night.
“We have recovered the AK-47 rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition on the disclosure of third and main accused Amir, who was arrested from Shopian district. With his arrest, four people have been arrested in the case,” Jamwal said.
Constable Mohammad Hanief, PSO of Anjuman Minhaj-e-Rasool chairman Maulana Dehlavi, was on his way to the district police lines on foot when three motorbike-borne youth intercepted him near the main Tawi bridge in Jammu on the night of March 25.
The trio then allegedly hit the constable on head with a stick, threw chilli powder in his eyes, snatched the AK-47 rifle and fled from the spot.
IG Jamwal, however, said till now there is no militancy angle to the incident but interrogation is on. “It may be an act of criminality,” he added.
“We have worked out the case after completion of the probe in which all the three youth and one, who helped the main accused to escape, have been arrested and weapon along with ammunition recovered,” IG Jamwal said.
The police officer said the weapon was hidden in river Tawi area under a pillar near the bridge before Amir managed to escape to Shopian, where he surrendered under pressure and was arrested before being brought to Jammu.
The Chief of Police in Jammu region said Amir had changed his getup and had a hair cut to give police the slip to reach Shopian. A case is under probe whether anyone else has facilitated his escape to Shopian, he said.
On March 25, police received the information of the incident around 10 PM and rushed to spot where they found PSO Hanief in injured conditions. He was shifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital, the IG said.
Subsequently, the police arrested one suspected Masrool Ahmed of Shopian from the spot with the help of a passerby, he said.
On interrogation, it was found that three persons were involved in the incident, he said, adding an alert was sounded and check point activated and photographs circulated timely.
The next morning another accused Shahid Najar of Shopian was arrested at Ban Toll Plaza during a police checking, Jamwal said. Soon Ghulam Rasool Ahangar of Kishtwar, who helped the accused to escape, was also held, he said.
Amir, who belongs to a rich family, was arrested in Shopian. On his disclosure, the AK-47 rifle along with 30 rounds has been recovered, the IG said.
Meanwhile, police has issued fresh advisories to its force in this region on the incidents of weapon snatching by militants and anti-national elements.
“We have sent fresh advisories to our police force that such incidents should not take place. The guidelines have been issued with regard to the measures to be taken by the cops to prevent weapon snatching by militants and anti-national elements,” Jamwal said.
Asserting that such incidents are a matter of concern, Jamwal said he has got assurances from his personnel that they will not be repeated.
To a question as why the youths from Kashmir chose Jammu to snatch the weapon from the police officer on March 25, the first such incident in the city, the IGP said, “They thought the security alert is not as high here as in the Kashmir valley.”

Despite facing 20 ravaging floods, J&K yet to prepare roadmap for deluge prone areas

In a testimony of extreme non-seriousness, J&K has failed to come up with a comprehensive roadmap to minimize the damages in terms of loss of land, lives, houses and public infrastructure during the ravaging floods, which otherwise have become a regular phenomenon in the State. In this way, the Government has conveyed that it has not learnt any lesson from 20 major floods that the State has witnessed till date.
Official sources told us that the history of J&K is rife with frequent floods, which have often led to inundation of villages and large scale destruction of agricultural crops and consequent famines. The floods in State are mainly caused due to heavy rainfall in the higher catchments, rapid glacial-melt and snow-melt coupled with cloudbursts.
Before the recent floods of September 2014, the State witnessed major floods in the years 1900, 1902, 1903, 1905, 1912, 1929, 1948, 1950, 1955, 1957 and 1959. Floods were also witnessed in the years 1976, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997 and in September 2006, sources said, adding the floods of September 2014, the biggest of those that have ever hit the State, caused immense damage resulting in loss of land, lives, houses, public infrastructure and business hubs etc.
These ravaging floods brought to fore the necessity of preparation of master plan for the flood prone areas so as to initiate the measures to control the floods and provide protection against this natural calamity. Moreover, after every deluge the necessity of establishing the extensive networks for flood forecasting to give timely warning to the people was felt.
“However, till date these vital aspects have not received the required attention of the State Government and neither the master plan for flood prone areas nor network of flood forecasting has been prepared so far”, sources regretted, adding “this clearly indicates that even after facing 20 major devastating floods the State has not learnt any lesson and it wants to remain mute spectator till the loss of lives and property during such incidents in future”.
They further regretted that measures have not been taken to protect the natural drainage systems with a view to remove artificial barriers in the path of flow of excess drainage water. “Another vital aspect—promotion of watershed management through extensive soil conservation, catchment area treatment, preservation of forests, increasing the forest area and the construction of check dams to reduce intensity of floods has not received the due attention of all the concerned agencies”, sources added.
Stating that reducing encroachments on water bodies, wetlands, water courses and reclamation of land of such bodies to minimize the erosion of land was imperative to minimize the impact of floods, sources said that this necessity was stressed by the experts following worst ever floods of September 2014 but the concerned departments of J&K have yet not shown any seriousness in this regard thereby establishing that no lesson has been learnt from all the incidents of this type of natural calamity.
“These aspects even form part of the J&K State Water Resources (Regulations and Management Act), 2010 but dilly-dallying approach is still persisting on the part of Government despite the lapse of six years since the enactment of this legislation”, sources said.
Moreover, a Parliamentary Panel, which had visited the State following worst ever floods of September 2014 had pointed out all these shortcomings and had stressed the need for prompt action by all the concerned departments of J&K. However, its recommendations have been gathering dust in the official files despite lapse of two and half years.
“What was the fun of sending Parliamentary Panel to point out the shortcomings if its recommendations were not to be taken seriously by the State Government”, sources asked

Hurriyat calls for shutdown on April 2 to protest PM Modi’s visit

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Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Omer Farooq and Mohamad Yasin Malik on Thursday called for a complete shutdown on April 2 to protest the proposed visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Spokesman said that calling or observing of a one day shutdown does not meet the demands of the situation but there is no other option left by the authorities. “Indian Prime Minister is visiting at a time, when situation is extreme gloomy & massacres, detentions blinding continue and there seems no letup”, said spokesman.“Thousands are languishing in jails and authorities are denying any space for peaceful political activities”, said resistance leaders in their statement.

“The Kashmir issue is not about governance, economic packages or incentives; neither it is a law & order problem, resistance leaders maintained. It is a political issue related to human society”, they said .
“People are striving for their right to self-determination, however India is not responding and nor they honor the aspirations of suppressed people”, statement said.

“State is reeling under black laws like AFSPA and Indian forces enjoy impunity to kill or blind whosoever comes in their way”, they said.

Blaming authorities for shielding wrongdoers, resistance leaders said that in absence of any accountability, till now no accused was awarded punishment or tried under law.

Leadership while addressing on Narinder Modi, said that all rhetoric about development or constructions of tunnels and roads are futile and won’t succeed to lure us. “We have presented unparalleled sacrifice and nourished the movement with pious blood. We don’t nourish any animosity with Indian prime minister, however it is frightening & painful that instead of taking notice of genocide in state, he is awarding and rewarding assassins”, they said

Referring to disappeared persons, leadership said that it is painful that he never took interest to inquire about those disappeared in forces custody, seven thousand unmarked graves and even preferred to turn blind eye towards gruesome events of Kunan Poshpora like episodes.
Resistance leadership expressed their shock that elections are being enacted amidst continuous bloodshed. They said that elections enacted under the shadow of gun has lost its credibility and the sole aim of this drama is to mislead international community. Syed Ali Geelani, Omer Farooq and Mohamad Yasin Malik in their statement reiterated that Kashmir issue can’t be resolved through these elections as the core issue is related to aspirations and sentiments of 15 million people.
“You must understand the fact that today the youth of Kashmir are demanding nothing except, the right to self-determination”, said leaders in their statement.
“India tried its methods, deployed forces and made various efforts to lure people with construction works and development, however of no avail”, said resistance leadership.
“It is better to shun stubborn attitude and acknowledge realities and aspirations, said they and it will also prove positive for people in India and pave way for their overall development”, they said

 

Gunmen barge into govt employee’s house, set car on fire

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Unidentified gunmen barged into a government employee’s house in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and set fire to a car belonging to one of his relatives, police said Sunday.
Mohammad Subhan Bhat, who works in the Baramulla District Jail, was not present in his house in Chadoora area of the district when the incident took place late last night.
The gunmen took away a vehicle belonging to Bhat’s nephew and later burnt it, a police official said.
A hunt has been launched to nab the gunmen.

Red alert in Jammu: Personal Security Officer of Muslim cleric attacked with chilli powder, rifle snatched

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Red-alert has been sounded in Jammu city after the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of Maulana Syed Athar Dehlavi, a Delhi-based Muslim cleric, was attacked

 A red alert has been sounded in Jammu city after the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of Maulana Syed Athar Dehlavi, a Delhi-based Muslim cleric and the chairman of Anjuman Minhaje Rasool, was attacked with chilli powder.The officer’s assault rifled was snatched, in the first such case in the last two decades.Police said three youths attacked Mohammed Hanief, a selection grade constable of the security wing, near Mandir Masjid Point in Jammu’s Dogra Chowk.All three suspects are from Kashmir’s Shopian district, they said.

CHILLI POWDER ATTACK

The youths threw red chilli powder in Hanief’s eyes when he was on his way to his residence, after dropping the cleric at the state guest house on Canal Road. They also hit him.

The officer was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital. He had to receive 8 to 19 stitches on his head.

One of the suspects, Masood Ahmed Malik of Shopian has been arrested, and is being interrogated, police said.

Police also said all Nakkas have been alerted and asked to check all outgoing vehicles, keeping in mind the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city on April 2.

The PM will visit Jammu for the inauguration of the Chennani-Nashri tunnel

 

Hurriyat reiterates poll boycott call; says J&K strives for right to self-determination

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Reiterating boycott call for upcoming bye-election, Syed Ali Geelani said that people in Jammu & Kashmir are striving for right to self-determination. Urging people to exhibit persistence with the movement, Geelani said, “We need to be optimistic, show wisdom and valour.’’ We have presented unparalleled sacrifices for our birth right and are duty bound to safeguard these cherished sacrifices”, he added.

Syed Ali Geelani while hailing people’s commitment and their valour illustrated during last year’s uprising, said we need to follow the mission with same spirit and stay away from election drama. People faced bullets, sacrificed lives and scores were blinded, said Syed Ali Geelani & stressed to remember all these sacrifices

“The few people who vote in election dramas were not only committing an act of treason, their actions were also acting as oxygen for the Indian occupation of Kashmir”, added Geelani.

Syed Ali Geelani said that taking part in election process tantamount to betrayal with the sacred blood of martyrs and it is disrespect towards those who were deprived from their belongings, lost eye sight and those who while pursuing mission were molested.

“Elections conducted under the shadow of gun are clear sign that India has virtually lost its control and losing hold, said Geelani. Referring to Pro-Indian political parties”, Syed Ali Geelani said adding that although they during election campaign attribute these elections to “Sadak, Pani, & Bijli,’’ however Indian authorities portray these elections as a consent from people for Indian hegemony.

“They know that participation of a few people in these elections never mean any political decision regarding Kashmir issue, however if they are desirous to ascertain people’s verdict about the political destiny of state, then not a single person will cast his vote in their favour, nor they will find a single poling agent for their parties”, said Syed Ali Geelani.

“Despite these hard realities, Indian authorities exploit and misrepresent our participation and as such is the basic reason for prolongation of our freedom movement”, said Geelani.

“Vote is a trust & a divine treasure”, said Syed Ali Geelani adding that only those noble souls deserve our consent and support, who for the welfare of humanity implement religious obligations like Salat and Zakat system.

Referring to those contesting these elections, Syed Ali Geelani said that they are involved in scandals like corruption, sex rackets, embezzlements and soon as they get into power corridors, promote liquor trade, immodesty and impertinence.

“Better place for these imposters is jail, said Syed Ali Geelani.

Ridiculing state administration”, Syed Ali Geelani said, adding that soon as bye elections were announced, the resistance leaders were detained and were prevented from meeting people.

Syed Ali Geelani said that now is the duty for our religious clerics and intellectual class to apprise people about the negative aspect of these elections and make them understand that any kind of vote or support tantamount to betrayal with those who lost lives and eyesight during uprising in 2016.

Reiterating his call for complete civil curfew on April 9 & 12 and for peaceful protests in central and south Kashmir, Geelani said that for nations such events are of great importance, significant and decisive

 

Doctors ‘thrash’ attendants at Barzulla hospital

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A team of doctors at Bone and Joint hospital Barzulla  lost cool and allegedly abused and thrashed attendants accompanying a patient, after the attendants’ asked them if there was a senior doctor available at the hospital.

The attendants said on Thursday evening, they filed a complaint at Sadder Police station against Dr. Mohd Shafi, Dr. Parvez Ahmad, Dr. Umar and Dr. Junaid for their alleged rude behavior and physical assault.

Peer Khursheed accompanying Javid Ahmad Gassi from Abiguzar for treatment said that the doctors on duty grew furious after he asked them if there was a senior doctor available at the hospital.

“The doctors started shouting are we not the doctors? Who is the senior doctor here you are looking for. They started pushing me and called a police man who joined them to thrash me and pushed outside the hospital,” said Khursheed Peer.

Imran Ali, another attendant who was also physically assaulted regretted. “As if the doctors were drunk and reluctant to harm us physically. Even the medical superintendent Dr Ab. Rashid Badoo ignored our request to reign in the erring doctors.”

Dr Ab. Rashid Badoo Superintendent hospital said the attendants made a hue and cry out of nothing. “The doctors were willing to examine and treat the patient but the attendants’ started shouting for no reasons. Let them file a written complaint and I will investigate the matter,” said Badoo

 

State Govt allots over 160 kanals of land to Patanjali

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In another good news for the youth of J&K, Jammu and Kashmir Government has transferred over 160 kanals land to Patanjali at Vijaypur in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“This has been done with the aim of generating more employment opportunities for the youth of J&K”, said an official.
“Over 160 kanals of land was yesterday allotted to Patanjali to set up its unit in the state,” sources here today said.
Sources said that the land transfer case was pending at civil secretariat for the last two months following some legal formalities

 

Air India ‘blacklists’ Shiv Sena MP for assaulting staffer

Air India on Friday blacklisted “unruly” Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who admitted to assaulting an airline staffer “25 times” with his shoes and attempted to throw him out of the aircraft. An Air India official confirmed to IANS that the order “blacklisting him with immediate effect” has been issued, but the period and other details are not yet available.

A common practice among many international and some Indian private airlines for safety and security reasons, this is the first time that the national carrier has introduced such a ‘blacklist’ of rowdy passengers. Ironically, the first law-breaker who figures on the Air India ‘blacklist’ happens to be a law-maker from Maharashtra, a former teacher with two terms as legislator and now a first-time MP from Osmanabad district. Late Thursday, the Air India said it was “examining the possibility of creating a ‘no fly’ list of unruly passengers on the lines of other airlines,” after lodging two separate FIRs against Gaikwad – for assaulting a shift manager and delaying a scheduled flight to Goa.

On his part, Gaikwad has shot off complaints to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan demanding an enquiry into the incident. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray has sought an explanation from Gaikwad for his behaviour which has caused embarrassment in ruling circles as the party is an ally both at the Centre and in Maharashtra. Gaikwad’s grouse stemmed from the fact that he was forced to travel economy class on a Pune-New Delhi flight AI-852 though he held an open business class ticket.

He later refused to disembark from the flight at New Delhi airport for an hour, hurled abuses, indulged in violent and unruly behaviour and even tried to physically fling out the staffer from the aircraft

 

Srinagar to get football stadium as per FIFA norms

Bakshi Stadium is all set to be developed as a modern football stadium as per the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) norms at an estimated cost of Rs 48 crore

This was stated at a meeting convened by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, to take stock of State Sports Council activities.

Khan, who is also head of Divisional Sports Committee, was briefed that Bakshi stadium will be developed according to the FIFA norms in 12 working months. It was said that the stadium will have flood lights, six entry and exit points, modern pavilion, food court and other state of art facilities.

On the occasion, the Div Com directed for expediting work on the prestigious project so that it can be completed in a time-bound manner. He asked the officers of Sports Council to formulate round the year sports activities calendar and encourage greater participation of people in these programmes.

He also asked the Council to involve private clubs for hosting games like billiards, snooker, basketball etc at Indoor stadium to generate income generation. He directed the concerned to hold regular meetings with all district officers for resumption of sports (indoor and outdoor) activities across the valley.

Divisional Sports officer, Deputy Director Planning, District officers from Sports Council, and other concerned attended meeting.

Geelani and Other Hurriat Leaders not allowed to attend ‘Pakistan Day’ function

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 On the eve of ‘Pakistan Day’, Chairman APHC Syed Ali Geelani and other resistance leaders were invited by Pakistan to attend function at its High Commission in Delhi, however state authorities didn’t allow leaders to attend said event, Hurriyat said in a statement.

 Hurriyat spokesman while terming these arbitrary measures as frustration of authorities said that it is a routine exercise to attend these function, however baring leadership is extremely strange and uncalled.

 In a Statement Hurriyat said that Syed Ali Geelani continues to be under house arrest and besides Shabir Ahmad Shah, Mohamad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Meraj u Din, Mohammad Ashraf Laya and Omer Adil Dar were placed under house arrest or lodged in police stations. It adds that Huriyat leader Nayem Ahmad Khan was arrested at New Airport

 

Painkillers increase risk of heart attack, stroke: DAK

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With rampant overuse of painkillers in Jammu and Kashmir (JK), Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that painkillers increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Calling for tighter control on these drugs, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that painkillers heighten the risk of dying from heart attack or stroke.

A Danish study published in March 2017 issue of “European Heart Journal” found that taking ibuprofen was associated with a 31% increased risk of heart attack.

Diclofenac, another commonly used painkiller raised the risk by 50%.

Another study published in “British Medical Journal” found that ibuprofen could increase stroke risk by three times.

The risk of heart attack or stroke could be explained by the effects of these painkillers, as they make blood thicker and stickier and also cause arteries to constrict.

Although the risk increases with longer use and higher dose but even with short term use and in low doses, person’s risk increases significantly.

You do not need to have existing heart condition to be at risk, although such a condition does increase your chances.

Too often people use painkillers for longer than needed at too high a dose.

Allowing these drugs to be purchased without a prescription sends a wrong message that they must be safe.

Clinicians prescribe painkillers for conditions like back pain when other non-drug treatment options like heat therapy may be as effective.

They are prescribed for flu, headache, fever, joint pain – when simple paracetamol will do.

There has to be a good reason to take these drugs.

We shouldn’t just be using these drugs willy-nilly.

They should be used with caution and people with heart disease should avoid them.

Over the counter sale of these medications should stop immediately and they should be available on prescription only.

It is imperative to make doctors and people aware about the risks.

The drug makers should put warning labels about the risks on these drugs.

PM to inaugurate India’s longest road tunnel in J&K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation, India’s longest road tunnel built on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which will cut short the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by nearly 30 km.

“The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Chenani-Nashri tunnel on JK highway on April 2,” Union Minister of State in PMO, Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.Modi will also address a public rally after the dedication the tunnel project to the nation, he said.

The work on the 9.2 km-long twin-tube tunnel, which is part of a 286-km-long four-lane project on the highway, started on May 23, 2011 in lower Himalayan mountain range, and cost Rs 3,720 crore, officials said.

The tunnel, which is located at an elevation of 1200 meters, will be the first in India to be equipped with world class “integrated tunnel control system” through which ventilation, fire control, signals, communication and electrical systems will be automatically actuated.

It will reduce the travel time between the two state capitals of Jammu and Srinagar by two-and-a-half hours. The road distance from Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.9 km, instead of the existing 41 km, they said.

IL&FS is all set to handover the tunnel project to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) soon after its formal inauguration by the Prime Minister. “The formal trial run was successfully completed for peak, off peak hours between March 9 and March 15,” Project Director, IL&FS, J S Rathore said.

Once the tunnel becomes operational, it will reduce the traffic jams on National Highway-1A that occur due to snowfall and avalanches in winter at Patnitop, he said.

Travel will cost an LMV vehicle Rs 55 on one side and Rs 85 for to-and-fro journey and Rs 1,870 for one month travel, while bigger vehicles like mini buses will have pay Rs 90 as one side toll and Rs 135 for to-and-fro toll.

Buses and trucks will have pay Rs 190 as one side toll and Rs 285 as two-side toll.

Rathore informed that Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Company has setup a well-equipped fully computerised operation room for surveillance of vehicles inside the twin tubes.

“For feeding input to the Operation Room, 124 CCTV cameras have been installed at equal intervals of 75 meters, three-tier system has been fitted to light-up the tunnels round the clock,” he said.

A SOS system has also been introduced to make contact with the team sitting in the Operation Room in case of an emergency besides effective fire fighting gadgets and hyper-sensitive ventilation system to ensure hassle free journey.

“The maximum speed limit permitted for vehicles plying inside twin tunnel tubes is 50 km per hour with head lights on at low beam.

Containers carrying inflammable material are banned from entering the tunnel,” he said.

Rathore said maximum height limit permitted is five meters and for checking the height special sensors have been installed just before the toll points at both ends.

“Besides providing mobile network of telecom operators, FM Radio channel facility is also functional inside the tunnel,” he said.

The tunnel project involves construction of 9-km-long two lanes (13 metre diameter) of main tunnel along with parallel escape tunnel (6 metre diameter) interconnected with 29 cross passages at 300 meter interval Rs 27 lakh worth of fuel is likely to be saved per day, he added.

The tunnel will also ensure preservation of pristine forest in ecological sensitive Patnitop area and will provide for better integration of Jammu not only with people of Kashmir but also with Kishtwar, Doda and Bhaderwah by providing better connectivity

Gilgit Baltistan is an integral part of the erstwhile state of JK: KVI

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In a meeting of Kashmir Voice International (KVI) held in London today, serious concern was expressed by its members regarding the move of Pakistan government to integrate Gilgit Baltistan as the fifth province of the country.

 Javid Kakroo, Secretary, Kashmir Voice International (KVI) London in a statement said that such a move will be quite derogatory to the spirit of freedom movement and amounts to you turn of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir.

Prof M. A. Raina Chairman KVI said that Pakistan on one hand talks about UN resolutions and on the other hand moves to integrate a part of the state with itself. This is a clear drift of Pakistan from its own stand on Kashmir. He further said that the future political status of the whole state of Jammu & Kashmir is yet to be determined and state is not only the part held by India but it includes Pakistan held Kashmir including Gilgit Baltistan.

Secretary KVI Mr. Javid Kakroo said that Gilgit Baltistan is an integral part of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir. This move of Pakistan government is complete negation of what Pakistan has been advocating so far. He further said that people of the state from both sides of LOC would resist and fight against any move that separates Gilgit Baltistan from rest of the state.

Vice Chairman KVI Irshad Malik moved a condolence resolution for the untimely death of the founder of People’s League Nazir Ahmed Wani in USA. While hailing the contribution of Mr. Wani the members prayed for the departed soul and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family

DDC inaugurates kisan mela at Bandipora

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A day long Kisan Mela organised by Agriculture Department was inaugurated by DDC Bandipora Sajad Hussain here in ITI Bandipora on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion DC bandipora highlighted the pro-farmer initiative taken by government for rejuvenating agriculture and allied sectors.

DC bandipora while addressing Gathering, urged farmers to take maximum benefit from such kisan Melas & use the latest technology & high yielding varieties to increase production to acquaint themselves with the latest techniques to increase production and quality.

On the occasion, various departments including Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry, Horticulture had established stalls displaying their products.

Earlier, the Chief Agriculture Officer, Bandipora highlighted various schemes being carried out by the department

Leopard visited Haj House, Srinagar leaves 7 injured

A leopard has suddenly appeared in Bemina area of Sgr and has left seven persons injured. Two of them were from Wild Life department, official sources said.

Details revealed that a leopard was reported to have taken refuge in the under construction maternity hospital. After it started attacking people, the wildlife department was informed. It sent its people of which two were mauled.

It was only on afternoon that the wild animal was successful tranquilized. It was later driven to the forests. Officials said they have no idea about how the leopard managed footing such a long distance from the forests

Sanitation drive Started by Municipal Council Anantnag

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Municipal Concil Anantnag today started sanitation drive from Batengo to Pazalpora Anantnag along National Highway under the supervision of Chief Executive officer Anantnag Shabir Ahmad, The sanitation drive started early morning and is still in progress. While Speaking with Panin Kasheer News Network Bureau-Chief J&K Shahid Wani Chief Executive Officer Shabir Ah said that we have received instructions from Direction office regarding the Sanitation drive and implemented it at earliest he further said that Sanitation drives of this nature will continue in future also. Appreciations from different sections of Society was received by department for doing the said drive.

Half-baked traffic plans responsible for chaos on Srinagar roads: KTMF

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Alleging that implementation of ‘half-baked and politically-motivated’ traffic plans are responsible for the chaos on the roads in Srinagar city, Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation urged Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today intervene and sought this issue before its too late.
“The Traffic department has taken entire Srinagar for a ride through the insane plans which only furthered the woes of commuters. Construction of the Jahangir Chowk-Ram Bagh flyover should be no excuse to put people to trouble,” KTMF president Mohammed Yasin Khan, who is also the chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), alleged.
He said construction of flyover doesn’t mean that people have to spend all day stranded on roads, adding the ailing cannot reach hospital in time and others including schoolchildren stay helpless, while marketplaces suffer the most because of massive traffic jams.
Taking a dig at traffic police, he alleged the traffic police is doing secondary jobs of collecting fines at the cost of their basic duty of traffic regulation.
“If the duty of traffic police is restricted to revenue collection through fine then the department should come under the purview of the Finance Ministry,” Mr Khan said, adding the traffic regulation is already so messy that potential shoppers avoid driving to the city center of Lal Chowk, Regal chowk and adjoining areas.
“At a time when streamlining the traffic flow was the need of the hour, things have deteriorated,” Mr Khan said.
He said the government should not test the patience of the people, but act before it’s too late

 

My fight is against RSS: Karra

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Former senior leader People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Member of Parliament, Tariq Hameed Karra said that his fight is against policies of RSS which are against the people of valley.

In a press conference in Srinagar Karra , who recently joined congress said that the congress extended him full support in highlighting the Kashmir issue and the issues of Kashmiris.

Karra said, “I won’t leave any stone unturned to fight against the anti-people policies of RSS. My fight is particularly against the RSS.”

 Takinga dig at People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Karra said that in 2014 elections, the people of Kashmir exercised their franchise to keep the BJP who have RSS backing at bay.

“We went in every nook and corner during the elections and asked the people to vote for us so that the BJP would be kept at bay. The people understood the thing and casted their votes in our favour but unfortunately PDP betrayed the trust of people and forged an alliance with the same party,” Karra said.

Karra who returned to Valley today after more than a month said that he urged the former chief minister, Late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and the incumbent Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti to don’t form the government with BJP.

“However, after the PDP formed the dispensation with BJP, the people of Kashmir got alienated with them thereby resulted in aggression. The encounter in 2016 was just a spark. The fact is that the people of Kashmir had shown their resentment against them,” he said.

 Karra said that the alliance between PDP and BJP was aimed to get different packages. “The financial packages won’t yield any result but the political package to resolve the Kashmir issue imperative. Until the Kashmir issue won’t be resolved, such unrests would continue in the future,” he said.

 Citing reasons to join congress, he said , “I was thinking to join the party who will extend me full support in highlighting the Kashmir issue, issues of Kashmiri, who will strengthen the Article 370 further and will support in my fight against RSS. When I met the All India Congress Committee (AICC) President, Sonia Gandhi and Vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, they extended me full support I was aspiring thereby I decided to join the party”.

He said that the Congress party is mulling to formulate a committee which will be given a full mandate to talk with the Pakistan, Hurriyat and the people of Kashmir.

“The discussion in the party is ongoing over formulating a committee which will highlight the issue of Kashmir. The committee will be given full mandate to talk with Pakistan, Hurriyat and with the people of Kashmir. It would our support in resolving the Kashmir issue so that the people could feel a sigh of relief,” he said

 

Journalists thrashing row: KEG decides to boycott Police

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While strongly objecting the police behaviour with media persons, day in and day out across Kashmir valley, especially in the backdrop of recent police assault on photojournalists, at Hyderpora, Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG), Saturday decided not to publish any press statement, advertisements or to attend any function of police as a mark of protest against the police highhandedness.During a lengthy meeting the Guild demanded strict action against the erring police officer and apology from the police authorities.

According to Guild decision until that no police press notes or advertisements will be published.

Pertinently several photojournalists were assaulted and manhandled by police at Hyderpora when they were performing their professional duties

Strictly enforce Motor Vehicle Act, Rules: IGP Traffic to officers

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Inspector General of Police (IGP) Traffic, Jagjit Kumar today convened a meeting of the officers of Traffic Police City Srinagar with the aim to strengthen traffic enforcement and regulation mechanism to give further impetus to the working.

The meeting was attended by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic City Srinagar, Ms Sargun Shukla, Dy SPs, DTIs and SOs of Traffic City Srinagar.

Addressing the meeting, IGP Traffic stressed upon the officers to take all necessary measures to smoothen flow of traffic in City Srinagar by strictly enforcing the Motor Vehicle Act and Rules with zero tolerance against visible offences. He further stressed upon the officers to exhibit high sense of responsibility and behavior while dealing with the traffic violators and made it clear to the officers of stern action against any complaint of misbehavior and malpractice.

Jagjit Kumar in his deliberations with the officers sought assurances from the officers for a visible change on ground with a people friendly attitude and ensured that technology oriented gadgetry and other implements would be provided to the traffic officers for traffic regulation and enforcement in the near future. He took a note of the grievances of the officers and ensured early redressal.

He pointed out some avoidable traffic inconveniences and directed the officers to exhibit high sense of responsibility by studying different situations and dealing strictly with the violators involved in wrong stops, visible offences and un-necessary hurdles in smooth flow of traffic.