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Thursday, January 21, 2010

CM takes serious note of red tapism on relief
Rs 3 Lakh, Govt job being sanctioned for Baramulla family


SRINAGAR, Jan 20: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has taken serious note of a 25-year-old Baramulla youth Manzoor Ahmed Bhat’s death in helplessness due to his bureaucracy’s red tapism on the urgent relief file for seven long months. While an explanation is being called from the officials who slept over Bhat’s file for 77 days till he died on January 18th, Government is understood to have begun the process of sanctioning relief of Rs 3 Lakh in favour of the bereaved family besides a job for Bhat’s wife in relaxation of rules.

Highly placed official sources revealed to Early Times that immediately after going through the expose of red tapism on the urgent relief file in today’s issue of this newspaper, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called entire record of Manzoor Ahmed Bhat’s getting injured during a melee in Baramulla in June 2009, his treatment for seven months and finally his death in total helpless on January 18, 2010.

As reported in today’s issue of this newspaper, Bhat had been unlawfully fired upon by Police and security forces, rendering him permanently disabled. Even as Police had bracketed him among the participants of a riot and denied him relief, District Magistrate of Baramulla had conducted an inquiry and found him to be totally innocent. On the basis of eyewitness accounts, SKIMS discharge summary and Medical Board’s observations, Baramulla DM, Lateef-uz-Zamaan Dewa, had certified Bhat as an innocent wrongfully fired upon by Police and security forces.

In a letter to Commissioner-Secretary General Administration Department (GAD), Basharat Ahmed Dhar, with a copy to Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary, Khursheed Ahmed Ganai, Baramulla DM had sought sanction to release of Rs one Lakh worth relief for Bhat’s treatment besides a job for his wife in relaxation of rules on 3-11-2009. Nothing of the sort reached Bhat’s family in Baramulla till he died in penury seven months after falling victim to the armed forces’ unjustified and unprovoked target firing. This all, notwithstanding Chief Minister’s special orders that the victims of Bumai (Sopore) and Baramulla firing be treated as innocent civilians and extra relief of Rs 2 Lakh and one each government job be provided to them in relaxation of all rules.

Sources said that on CM’s orders today, GAD officials obtained latest status of Bhat’s relief case from DC Baramulla, Lateef-uz-Zamaan Dewa. DC reported back that the last seven month’s “living dead body” had finally become a “dead body” as Bhat breathed his last two days ago. Reached over telephone, Mr Dewa confirmed that Government had sought the “latest status” from him in the forenoon today. “Since the youth is now dead, I have sought sanction to grant of Rs 2 Lakh to the family, besides a job to Bhat’s wife in relaxation of rules on the analogy of other victims of Baramulla and Bumai firing”, Mr Dewa said.

DC Baramulla explained that in the wake of complaints, that were established through magisterial inquiries, Chief Minister had rejected Police and security forces’ reports and, for the first time, ordered extraordinary treatment and relief in favour of the victims of “excessive use of force” in Bumai and Baramulla. He said that instead of relief worth Rs one Lakh, given to victims of subversive incidents, Chief Minister had granted relief worth Rs 2 Lakh to these particular victims, in addition to a job for one member of each family. He said that on this analogy and precedence, Bhat’s family was entitled to relief worth Rs 2 Lakh plus Rs one Lakh from District Administration, as also a job for his wife. Later today, sources in the Government said that this relief of Rs 3 Lakh and a job for Bhat’s wife, Amina, was being sanctioned in a day or two.

Sources said that having taken a serious note of the officials sleeping over the urgent relief file at Civil Secretariat, Chief Minister was calling an explanation of the excessive delay of 77 days from two departments working directly under his own command and control. They revealed that on CM’s instructions, Minister of Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, and Minister of Social Welfare, Sakeena Itoo, were likely to visit Baramulla in a couple of days to deliver cheques of relief worth Rs 3 Lakh and an appointment order for Bhat’s wife.


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