Total Pageviews

Friday, July 20, 2012

Termination notices served on 8 DM, M Ch students at SKIMS

Stand-off continues as patients unattended; attendants, employees out on demonstrations

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 19: Stand-off between resident doctors and non-gazetted employees entered a crucial phase on the sixth day of unrest today when administration of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, served termination notices on eight DM and M Ch students on their failure to end strike and report for duty. Even as the administration, led by Director SKIMS, Dr Shaukat Ali Zargar, was busy in a negotiations process with the agitating doctors till late tonight, doctors of the autonomous super-specialty hospital were mobilizing wider support from medical professionals in the state government’s Departments of Health and Medical Education.

Parallel to intermittent rounds of negotiations, Director SKIMS enforced his threat of ‘stringent action’ against the doctors on strike if they failed to act on today’s notice of resuming duty by 1300 hours. As they did not, termination notices were served on eight senior faculty students completing their post-doctoral courses, DM and M Ch, with SKIMS. Being continuously busy with the negotiations and invoking of strong-arm methods, Dr Shaukat Zargar was not accessible for media.

However, a senior doctor at Hospital Administration confirmed to Early Times that notices of cancellation of registration were slapped on eight DM and M Ch students at 1600 hours after they declined to resume duties. He asserted that Director was personally holding the negotiations with the agitating doctors and there was a stark possibility of breakthrough till late tonight.

Other informed sources said that the 500 doctors---DM, M Ch, MD, MS, Junior Residents and Senior Residents---began parallel efforts to seek solidarity of thousands of fellow doctors working with different, medical colleges, hospitals and health centres all over the state. Representatives of Doctors Association of Kashmir were in touch with the agitating SKIMS and SKIMS Medical College doctors till late this evening.

Both sides, according to sources, were weighing options and devising future course of action while awaiting the outcome of tonight’s negotiation process between the Resident Doctors Association of SKIMS and the SKIMS administration led by the hospital’s Director.

The stand-off began last week when SKIMS security staff clashed with two junior resident doctors and did not allow them to park vehicles at a particular parking lot. The brawl turned violent when two security officials and two non-security officials---one of them a clerk in Academic Section---exchanged fists and blows and one of the doctors, namely Dr Mubashir, a 3rd year PG student, sustained injuries. His associate, Dr Arafat, a Sr Resident, came to his rescue and rushed him to the hospital casualty for medical treatment. He has been discharged a couple of days ago.

Soon, both resident doctors, about 500 in number, and non-gazetted employees, numbering 4500, proceeded on strike with conflicting demands. The hospital administration ordered attachment of the two accused non-gazetted officials in an attempt to pacify the 500 resident doctors on strike. While the doctors expressed dissatisfaction and demanded FIR besides suspension of the two ‘delinquent officials’, the non-gazetted employees threatened to go for total shutdown in case the attachment orders were not withdrawn.

Finally, Director SKIMS revoked the orders. That led to suspension of the strike by 4500-strong non-gazetted employees union. They previously formed a 2000-strong procession and staged demonstration while using public address system to project their demands. Consequently, no tests or other laboratory works could be executed for four days, till the agitation was called off last evening.

However, the agitating doctors intensified their strike and all medical and surgery operations, including OPD, with exception of skeletal emergency services, have remained frozen for the 5th day today. Normally, 1500 to 2000 patients are treated daily at OPD of SKIMS in addition to 200 to 250 at Emergency. Even as the casualty is functional and nearly 200 patients are attended during strike, almost 90 percent of the OPD patients have been going back daily after failing to get examined by a doctor.

On the other hand, a large number of patients have been discharged on their request. Attendants in large numbers staged demonstrations as many as three times, once going upto Police Station Soura. Under the atmosphere of slogans and counter-slogans, work in most of the departments has come to a grinding hall and an unprecedented stand-off is aggravating with every passing day at SKIMS.


Govt sanctions permission to prosecute former minister

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, July 19: The Jammu and Kashmir government has accorded sanction to prosecution of former Minister Abdul Gani Vakil for having leveled “defamatory allegations” against Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Taj Mohiuddin which had appeared in some local news papers during January and February this year. Both the senior politician belong to Congress party.

In a notification issued on Thursday by Department of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, under SRO No: 232, Secretary Law and Parliamentary, Ghulam Hassan Tantray, is reported to have notified prosecution sanction against the senior Congress leader and former Minister incharge Social Welfare, whose term as MLC expired earlier this year.

“After having been satisfied with the material available with me, I hereby accord sanction for prosecution of Sh Abdul Gani Vakil ex- minister… for making false, malicious and defamatory allegations/imputations in various local newspapers published in January / February 2012 against Taj Mohiuddin Minister PHE, I&FC department”, reads the order approved by Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Sagar.

“Choudary Mohammad Shabir, Public Prosecutor, Jammu, is directed to file complaint under section 500 RPC before Sessions Judge, Jammu”, reads the order.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

GOC 15 Corps: 300 militants operating in Valley, 600 more ready to enter from PaK

US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will have disastrous impact in region’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 17: Lt Gen Atta Hasnain’s successor and the newly appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15th Corps, Lt Gen Om Prakash, today indicated Army’s continued opposition to revocation of J&K Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) when he claimed that despite the thaw in violence as many as 200 to 300 militants were operating in Kashmir valley. He claimed that 500 to 600 more Pakistan-trained and armed militants were ready to infiltrate into the Valley from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

At his maiden interaction with media in Srinagar, Lt Gen Om Prakash chose to be non-committal on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s unrealized demand of withdrawing AFSPA. He, however, described the situation as not-so-normal with his assertion that inspite of the al-pervading indications of peace and normality, 200 to 300 militants were still active in the Valley. According to him, maximum of the remnants of guerrilla concentration was currently in north Kashmir. Gen Prakash claimed that 500 to 600 more militants were “ready to infiltrate” into the Valley from PaK as Pakistan had not completely dismantled the terror infrastructure. He claimed that indoctrination, training, funding and arming the militants was continuing across the border.

Head of all ground troops---combat as well as counterinsurgent--- in Kashmir, Gen Prakash said that insurgency had been decisively crushed over the last 23 years in J&K. He said that the state had  witnessed a turning point in the situation in the years around 2000 when nearly two thousand militants were wiped out by security forces in just one calendar year. He said that the improvement in situation and reduction of militancy was a continuous process and the state was already enjoying many of its dividends but asserted that zero-infiltration and zero-violence was not possible until Pakistan stopped her support to militants. He said that geography and terrain around the LoC and International Border between India and Pakistan was also significantly responsible for continuance of infiltration and militant activity in Jammu and Kashmir. He said that some of the militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, were also recruiting, indoctrinating and equipping cadres locally.

 Gen Prakash expressed his apprehension on the potentially dangerous situation emerging in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to him, scheduled withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan in 2014 could have catastrophic implications on the entire Afghanistan-Pakistan-India region, particularly on the strife-ravaged state of Jammu and Kashmir.

India wants stable and peaceful Afghanistan that is why it is helping the country to build its infrastructure,” he added.

Gen Prakash described the recent incidents of terror, particularly the killing of a soldier in broad daylight at the highway township of Pampore, as “serious” and claimed that armed forces had observed maximum possible restraint and avoided retaliation of firing for fear of civilian casualties.

As regards the security on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which has currently tourism and Amrnath pilgrimage as the most dominating features, Gen Prakash said that security forces and Police had intensified their surveillance, more so in the wake of certain inputs that indicated possibility of militants strikes in South Kashmir.

Contrary to apprehensions of sports icons like Sunil Gavaskar, Gen Prakash believed that revival of cricket diplomacy between India and Pakistan could ease out tension and lead to more dividends of peace between the two countries.


Monday, July 16, 2012

First time salvo from NC: Kamaal calls Geelani ‘traitor, trader of death and destruction’

Sheikh Abdullah’s son shifts fire from Gupkar Road to Hyderpora, Congress, trains his gun on firebrand Hurriyat chief

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 15: Apparently stung by a hardline separatist leader’s tirade against his father and founder of the mainstream National Conference (NC) Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Dr Mustafa Kamaal has spewed a full volley of venom on Hurriyat (G) Chairman and former Jamaat-e-Islami ideologue Syed Ali Shah Geelani. It is for the first time, not only in the last 42 months of Omar Abdullah government but also in 23 years of the armed strike in Kashmir, that a mainstream politician has mustered courage to publicly denigrate the octogenarian separatist icon as a “traitor”, “ISI agent” and “trader of death and destruction”.   

In a statement, characteristic of his virulence against the Sheikh dynasty on anniversary of the Kashmiri martyrs of July 13, 1931, Geelani had accused the NC founder as being “power hungry” and betrayed the people of the state.

Dr Kamaal, NC’s additional General Secretary and MLA from Hazratbal called Geelani “a four time MLA, who has been drawing pension and has been even on the payroll of ISI”.  “Should we consider him fit enough to talk about morality?” Kamaal asked.

“Whenever even a Pakistani clerk comes to India and summons this former legislator, he rushes to Delhi to take dictation about how to sustain uncertainty and turbulence in the state” said Kamaal. He alleged that Geelani was directly responsible for over a hundred civilian deaths in Police action as it was he who had provoked youngsters to resort to violence and stone pelting in the year 2010.

Kamal said Geelani had all along tried to ignite and incite people with hollow slogans and destructive emotionalism. “But the Kashmiris do now understand his duplicity and personal vengeance against Sher-i-Kashmir and National Conference”, he asserted.

“People haven’t forgotten how he has been the recipient of illegal munificence from sources inimical to Kashmir including the UK based Kashmiri expatriates” Dr Kamaal said about Geelani in the fiery statement.

“Had Sher-e-Kashmir been power hungry, he wouldn’t have spent 24 years of his life in jail”, Dr Kamaal said about his father who campaigned for terminating monarchy, spearheaded a separatist movement for 22 years and functioned as head of the government for 12 years. “Sher-i-Kashmir never compromised his principles while as Geelani as a Muslim United Front MLA, along with his associates and 18 councilors, preferred luxuries of the government but never thought of the people?  Why didn’t they resign then,” Kamaal asked.

“Supporting in the elections the people who were responsible for the massacre of innocent civilians at Gawkadal, and the carnage at a funeral procession that mourned Mirwaiz Farooq’s death in firing,  indicates the direction of Geelani’s loyalties”, Dr Kamaal said and questioned the Hurriyat chief’s credentials of berating Sheikh Abdullah.

“From a small hut near Wullar to a small little house in Sopore to a palatial building in the posh Hyderpora, this leader has only grown by his bank balance” Kamal said. “Now this ex-legislator has the audacity to don the mantle of a messiah” he added.

NC’s additional General Secretary said that the rights of the people of J&K have been protected by the instrument of accession which clearly mentions that nothing in the instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future Constitutor.

“These opportunistic leaders like Geelani have all along come in different faces to weaken NC and state’s special status”, Kamaal said. “If these  leaders had their way, they would have abrogated article 370 long back” he asserted. Kamal reiterated Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s challenge to Geelani to raise the issue of non-state subjects continuously being settled by Pakistan in PaK.

“Kashmiri Pandits are part and parcel of the state and we will not sit in rest until we ensure their return to their homeland with full sense of security and dignity”, Dr Kamaal said. “People like Geelani have all along tried to dilute and weaken the concept of Kashmiriyat” he concluded.