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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kashmir gets a dream ropeway - The Hindu

Kashmir gets a dream ropeway - The Hindu

Kashmir gets a dream ropeway at Koh-e-Maraan

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR (December 23, 2013): Twenty-five years after the authorities conceived the Valley’s first ropeway and created the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation [JKCCC] to boost tourism at Gulmarg, Kashmir got its second tourist-carrier on Monday. Three Ministers of Omar Abdullah’s government— Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Mian Altaf Ahmad and Ali Mohammad Sagar­— dedicated the 594-metre monocable ropeway in an ambience of enthusiasm to the residents of Srinagar.

Minister of Environment Mian Altaf said that the Rs 6.50-crore ropeway would ferry devotees, particularly the aged and infirm, daily from the sprawling Malkhah cemetery to the revered saint Sultanul Aarifeen Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom’s shrine and back. The 16th century saint’s splendid shrine is resting on the foothills of Koh-e-Maaraan [the hillock of the snakes], commonly known as Hari Parbat, overlooking the old city.

Valley’s largest Gurudwara Chhattipadshahi as also the Kashmiri Pandits’ spiritual rendezvous of Sharika Devi —seat of the 18-armed goddess Sharika Bhagwati, the presiding deity of Srinagar city— are both on the foothills. Mughal emperor Akbar and his successors had set up the capital Naagar Nagar around the same hillock where the festival of Badamwari was an annual feature of the spring celebrations until 1980s. Akbar’s fort, now in dilapidated condition and occupied by paramilitary forces, is the highest viewing point over the city.

JKPCCC Managing Director Tufail Matoo told The Hindu that the Makhdoom Sahib ropeway had been planned in the thick of a street turmoil in 2010. Its commercial operation missed several deadlines but finally became a reality. With eight celluloid-body cabins, four incoming and four outgoing, it will carry 16 passengers either way, for a return journey at Rs 100 each. “We are expecting 1,500 passengers and revenue of Rs 1.50 lakh every day”, Mr Matoo said. Each cabin has the capacity for four passengers.

Mr Matoo said that ropeways were high financial viability ventures in tourist States like Jammu and Kashmir. With an investment of around Rs 30 crore, JKPCCC commissioned Asia’s highest and the longest (4.9 km) and the world’s second highest altitude ropeway, Gulmarg Gondola in May 2005, seven years after completion of its phase-1. “With 6.70 lakh visitors, it fetched us Rs 34 crore in 2012. This year, over 6 lakh tourists have enjoyed a ride on Gondola from Gulmarg to Apharwat (13,400 ft) and the revenue has crossed Rs 32-crore mark”, Mr Matoo said. From January 1st week, Gondola would mostly carry the skiing enthusiasts from all over the world to the famous alpine slopes of Kongdori and Apharwat.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

J&K official fired for bungling MBBS entrance exams


Mushtaq Peer was not arrested allegedly thanks to pressure from a senior Congress leader


Ahmed Ali Fayyaz



SRINAGAR: Government of Jammu and Kashmir has terminated the post-retirement service of the former Chairman of Board of Professional Entrance Examinations [BOPEE] Mushtaq Ahmed Peer on account of his prima facie involvement in the multi-crore question paper leakage scam and acquisition of properties worth over Rs 10 crore in the last three years.


General Administration Department’s order No: 1551, issued on November 14 and confirmed by the Cabinet on November 19, did not mention the reason of Mr Peer’s abrupt dismissal. “The contractual appointment of Prof. Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, as Consultant, ordered vide Government Order No.1326-GAD of 2012 Dated 13.12.2012 read with Government Order No. 833-GAD of 2013 dated 31.5.2013, is hereby terminated with immediate effect”, said the order.


Following his retirement as Chairman of BOPEE, Mr Peer had been engaged for a term of two years for providing consultancy to the government on the proposed fast track recruitment of class-4 employees.


Well-placed sources in the Omar Abdullah government revealed to The Hindu that the top corridors of power decided to terminate the consultant’s service weeks after the High Court entertained a Public Interest Litigation and directed the Crime Branch to hold a transparent inquiry into the allegations of manipulating the MBBS selections against him. As Mr Peer’s involvement was established and FIR registered, the State government dismissed the consult “to stave off a huge embarrassment”.


The sources revealed that the Crime Branch decided to arrest and interrogate Mr Peer but a political intervention foiled the move. “A senior Congress leader, who has been instrumental in Mr Peer’s out-of-turn and backdoor promotion, exerted a lot of pressure and warned the officials against his arrest. It was then decided that he would be simply summoned and questioned”, said an official.


Inspector General of Crime Javaid Gillani, however, refused to endorse. “He actually turned up voluntarily to face the questions. We have asked him to return for further interrogation on Thursday”, Mr Gillani asserted. He confirmed that the Crime Branch conducted raids on Mr Peer’s acquisitions and land holdings and seized “a lot of incriminating material”.


Huge acquisitions


The IGP said that Mr Peer had “sold off question papers to some brokers for Rs 65 Lakh who in turn earned Rs 5 crore by collecting money from their clients” in just the 2012 session. “These candidates secretly wrote their exams with masse copying at a private hotel on the Boulevard. We have found 12 of them among the top 30 candidates in the order of merit. Money has been paid by cheques”, Mr Gillani said.


The accused has been found to have purchased over 10 kanals of land in Ganderbal, a built-up house in the posh Tawi Vihar area of Sidhra in Jammu, some properties at Pahalgam, besides three flats in Jammu and New Delhi all in the last three years.    


Shower of favours


While as Estates Department has allotted an independent house to Mr Peer in Jammu, Department of Evacuees’ Properties has transferred ownership of another house to his name. He and his wife have been granted several service extensions after their retirement. Sources said that a senior Congress leader had put the government under tremendous pressure to appoint Mr Peer as Vice Chancellor of Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipore, at the retirement of Dr Abdul Rashid Trag in February 2014.

Mr Peer and his family were not accessible on telephone on Wednesday.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BJP, PDP hand-in-glove to grab power in J&K, alleges Omar

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR: The ruling National Conference’s (NC) acting president and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday alleged that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was “in nexus with Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to grab the power through illegitimate means in Jammu & Kashmir.”

While addressing a public meeting in the opposition PDP’s stronghold at Kellar, in Shopian district of South Kashmir, Mr. Abdullah asserted that there was a discernible chemistry between the PDP and the BJP. He said the two political outfits of “communal orientation” had an eye on the power in J&K and both had stakes in a communal divide ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. He cautioned the NC cadres against the communal forces’ attempts to subvert peace and tranquility.

“There’s definitely a hidden contact between the PDP and the BJP. Mufti Sayeed’s secret meetings with the close associates of Lal Krishna Advani and his close contact with Narendra Modi has surfaced and exposed the PDP’s ideology and strategy,” Mr. Abdullah asserted. “They are running with the deer and hunting with the hound. But take it from me today their boat is destined to sink under the weight of this party’s own duplicity and hypocrisy.”

Mr. Abdullah referred to the two elections in the State’s Legislative Council in the last nearly five years of his regime and claimed that the members of the BJP, Kashmir-based PDP and Jammu-based National Panthers Party had voted for common candidates.

For the second time in a week, Mr. Abdullah pledged that the NC’s friendship and association with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coalition at the Centre was firm and irreversible.

He referred to one of Mr. Sayeed’s purported statements in the recent past and said the NC would never ask the electorate to return 40 seats in the State Legislative Assembly “for resolving the Kashmir problem.” “I have been saying it since day one of the campaigning in 2008 that the Assembly and the Lok Sabha elections have got to do nothing with resolution of the Kashmir problem. This is essentially a political problem that needs a political resolution to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He asserted that the 24-year-long militancy in the State was “purely political” and claimed that the Kashmiri youth had not picked up the gun for elections, development, employment or governance. He implored the separatist leadership to “shun rigidity” and respond favourably to the Centre’s offer of an unconditional dialogue and peace process.

“There are no other options left. Violence definitely is not the way-out,” Mr. Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, addressing a rally at Mendhar in Jammu on Sunday, Mr. Abdullah’s confidante and the NC’s Jammu chief Devender Singh Rana said: “Mufti Sayeed is using a former Director of IB, who advises the BJP on security matters, a women social activist running an NGO and close to Mehbooba Mufti, and a Delhi-based senior journalist who happens to be Mufti’s close friend, as conduits between the PDP and the BJP. Snubbed by the Congress, the PDP is now building bridges with the BJP.”


Website Link:


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear friends

Having been heavily preoccupied with my professional assignments, I regret I had no time to update this blog since April 2013.

Now that nearly 1.10 lakh views have been recorded despite this blog being inactive, I am planning to update it with all of my stories since the day I joined The Hindu on November 14, 2012.

Best wishes

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Senior Assistant Editor
The Hindu

Sunday, April 7, 2013

British woman found dead on houseboat

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Apr 6: A 22-year-old woman from Manchester, U.K. was found dead at her houseboat on Dal Lake here in the morning on Saturday.

Srinagar Senior Superintendent of Police Syed Ashiq Bukhari said that the young British tourist had been staying at New Beauty houseboat on Dal Lake since February last week. Police on Saturday received information about her death.

According to the SSP, the team of doctors that conducted the post-mortem examination on her body at Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital of Rainawari observed as many as 45 marks of violence and wounds. The woman’s clothes were found torn.

“Doctors have taken samples and it would take them some time to ascertain whether the woman had been raped and killed. We have preserved the body at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura,” Mr. Bukhari toldThe Hindu.

The SSP said that Police Station Ram Munshi Bagh registered the First Information Report and flashed a radio signal to all the barriers and Police posts on Srinagar-Jammu highway to intercept and check all the outgoing foreigners.

He said that immediately the only suspect in the case of the woman’s “possible rape and murder” was a Dutch national, Richard Calliper Dennis (43) who was staying in another room of the houseboat after his arrival on April 4 but was missing.

A police party intercepted a taxi carrying the male tourist from The Netherlands from Srinagar to Jammu, a mile short of Jawahar Tunnel on the 300 km-long highway. The taxi was seized and the “fleeing tourist” and the driver were detained.

Police sources said Dennis admitted to the “murder” during sustained questioning.


The Hindu web link:
Kashmir’s dream hospital has seen 12,860 deaths in last 5 years: CAG 

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR: Apr 6: Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), ambitiously created by Kashmiri political icon Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah before his death in 1982, till date has “no roadmap to achieve excellence in medical research.” 

It has neither been formulated nor presented in any of the governing body meetings, said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s Report tabled in both Houses of Legislature in Jammu on Friday.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is the Chairman of the SKIMS governing body that performs the role of the cabinet for the semi-autonomous super-specialty hospital and the deemed university. Post-graduate and post-doctorate courses, including MCh and DM are conducted at the State’s most crowded hospital that had been primarily designed as a tertiary care hospital. 

“The research activity has been restricted just to payment of monthly clinical research allowance of Rs. 2,500 to the faculty members without verifying the eligibility conditions for the allowance,” the CAG report observed. It has noticed 40 per cent shortage of faculty at SKIMS and even higher 56 per cent at its affiliate SKIMS Medical College Bemina in March 2012. There is a shortage of over 32 per cent in medical, paramedical and nursing staff. “No staff was posted for the critical care department of the Institute having a bed strength of 12, which was raised to 60 in January 2012.”

The CAG further observed: “The system of drawing of samples of drugs for testing to ensure procurement of quality medicines and drugs is not in the Institute. The drug quality control laboratory stopped functioning since November 2003 and Rs. 1.40 crore released during 2009-11 to set up an advanced quality assurance laboratory was lying unspent in a civil deposit. Physical verification of drugs and surgical instruments had not been conducted since June 2008.”

Even the one-time much-hyped Genetic Centre has been found to be a failure. “The advanced centre for human genetics and local area networking systems could not be established due to the improper planning despite an investment of Rs. 12.12 crore made thereon,” the CAG report said.

Hot on the heels of over 4,000 deaths at SKIMS last year, the CAG has noticed that 12,860 hospitalised patients died in 2007-2012 period, as many as 7,875 after 48 hours of their admission.

Even the emergency medicine department has been found to be “not fully equipped to deal with cases of road traffic accidents having multiple organ injuries including orthopaedic injuries. Ambulances meant for patients have been found mis-utilised to the extent of 40 to 47 per cent during 2008-12.” 

The CAG report has also pointed out large-scale irregularities, financial embezzlements and a unique modus operandi of parking the plan funds without utilisation to hide them from lapsing at the end of the fiscal year. 

Replying to most of the half-margins, Director of SKIMS, Showkat Ali Zargar reportedly said he would “look into the matter.”


The Hindu web link:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Promise of paradise that didn't come true

The absence of a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for surrendered militants has made life hellish for those who decided to give themselves up and join the mainstream

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


Jammu & Kashmir’s first “Surrender Policy” was floated by Governor Gen. (retd.) K.V. Krishna Rao’s administration in 1995. It was almost identical to the policies introduced for militants involved in the North East and Naxalite insurgencies: Rs.1.5 lakh worth of fixed deposit receipts payable after three years, a monthly stipend of Rs.2,000 for three years, Rs.15,000 for surrendering an AK-47 rifle and Rs.3,000 for a pistol or revolver. It held little promise about rehabilitation.

On January 31, 2004, the Mufti Sayeed government introduced a fresh policy. Accepting India’s “integrity” and “Constitution” were flagged as a precondition for surrender. It was offered “to those terrorists who undergo a change of heart and eschew the path of violence and who also accept the integrity of India and [the] Indian Constitution to encourage them join the mainstream and lead a normal life and contribute towards prosperity and progress of the State as well as the Nation.”

It did not work either. Much like its prototypes, it did not carry an assured promise of rehabilitation. Not many militants were enticed by it.

Designated routes

Those who did surrender were used by the police, armed forces and intelligence agencies to set up counterinsurgency groups to wipe out not only separatist militants but also civilians perceived to be the sympathisers or supporters of separatism. Some of them, like the Ikhwanul Muslimoon, founder Kukka Parray and his lieutenant Javed Shah were installed as legislators. Many, including Parray and Shah, were subsequently killed by unidentified gunmen.

Those who survived found themselves in the infamous Red Index of the CID, a confidential register that contains names of over 400,000 Kashmiris “suspected” of links with militancy and terrorism. Very few on the list have ever got a passport or a government job.

Even so, from about 2005 to 2009, over 4,000 “retired militants” and their families in Pakistan were enthusiastic about efforts by pro-New Delhi political leaders to get them back into the mainstream in the State. Politicians, including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, played a key role in promoting New Delhi’s package for returning militants. On November 23, 2010, Omar Abdullah’s government launched the “surrender and rehabilitation policy” specifically for this lot. 

But the recent arrest of Syed Liaquat Shah for an alleged terror plot as he came into India through the Nepal border has shown that this latest scheme has more problems than its predecessors. 

By Mr. Abdullah’s own admission, not one of the 241 militants came back through the designated routes of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Attari [train], Wagah [bus] besides Chakan-Da-Bagh and Kaman Post in J&K.

In Srinagar and New Delhi, officials knew well that the Pakistani establishment would never permit these people to return through the Delhi airport or Wagah. That would have been used by India to establish that the Kashmir insurgency was a Pakistan-sponsored “proxy war” rather than an indigenous separatist struggle.

As Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stated in the Assembly, 241 militants along with over a thousand of their family members crossed into India from Nepal to take up the government’s offer.

What is strange is that no one in J&K or India thought it fit to recognise the Kathmandu route and set up coordination between Srinagar, Delhi, Gorakhpur and Kathmandu to facilitate the surrenders.

Flourishing racket

What is clear is that under the noses of intelligence agencies in both India and Pakistan, the surrender policy was a flourishing business for a whole network of middlemen, from Karachi, Islamabad, Muzaffarabad, Kathmandu to cities in India, including Srinagar.

Nazia, an undergraduate from Government College Islamabad Pakistan, who married former Aljihad militant Mohammad Sahafi Itoo and reached Drusu, Pulwama along with her husband and two children in February 2012, recounted her brush with the agents.

“They take responsibility for getting us through the Pakistan side. They arranged our passports and visa, managed our travel to Karachi, booked our seats on the Karachi-Kathmandu flight and facilitated further our passage from Gorakhpur to Jammu and Pulwama. We spent a total of Rs.8 lakh,” says Nazia.

Losing identity

But in less than a year, both Itoo and Nazia have realised their return as “the biggest blunder of our life.” After suffering a great deal of tribulation, Nazia managed to get her 11-year-old daughter, Kinza Noor and 5-year-old son, Hanzla admitted in a local school.

Itoo, who does not know how to read or write, and claims to have been at a militant training camp for just 13 days, used to earn Rs.5,000 while working with companies and shopkeepers at Bara Koh, a suburb of Islamabad.

“Had suicide not been forbidden in Islam, I would have done so last year,” he says. “I have no work to do, nothing to earn and eat.”

Itoo’s parents have given him a single room at their house. Nazia runs a boutique and earns Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 a month. While the men are treated warily by family members, especially by siblings, and looked upon as another mouth to feed, or as a potential rival in property claims, their wives are seen as “outsiders,” as the language, culture and way of life are quite different from the Kashmiris in the Valley. Mohammad Yousuf alias Jamsheed, who returned to his home at Turkawangam in Shopian along with his wife Shahnaz and four children in December 2011, has been earning Rs.4,000 a month for working at the local taxi stand. Like the Pulwama family, Yousuf and Shahnaz have not found ready acceptance by the family. They have been given a room to live with their children. Guests too stay and sleep in the same room. The washroom doubles up as a kitchen.


“We have been duped into this blunder [of returning to home] by Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. They came to Pakistan and announced that [the] J&K Government had a rehabilitation scheme for us. When we reached here, we learned that there is none,” says the couple. Most schools deny admission to the children of the surrendered militants.

“We have lost our identity. We don’t know the land and the people we belong to,” Shahnaz adds. “It’s a completely different language and culture here. We can’t adjust ourselves. Nobody invites us or mixes with the women and their children from Azad Kashmir or Pakistan.” She sounds more disillusioned with the people in Kashmir than the government.

Both the families maintain that they had been denied everything — driving licence, elector’s photo identity card, ration card, passport, government and private job. 

Other surrendered militants have the same sorry tale to tell. 

Nisar Ahmad Kawa of Nund Rishi Colony Bemina crossed the Line of Control to join the training camp of Ikhwanul Muslimeen in 1991. In 2002, he married Ishrat Fatima of Khwajamal. The couple, with their two sons and a daughter, returned in September 2012. Kawa, who earned Rs.15,000 running a shop at Madeena Market in Muzaffarabad, now earns a paltry Rs.3.000 for his labour at a restaurant in Srinagar.

“We have ruined our life. Whenever someone calls us from Pakistan, we tell them not to fall into the trap. There’s no surrender or rehabilitation policy here. Whenever we’ll get a chance, we will go back,” says Kawa.

Ishrat sounded shattered. “Ham ne suna thaa yeh jannat hai, lekin yeh to bilkul dauzakh hail (We had been told Kashmir is Paradise. But we have found it worse than hell.”)

The impoverished couple had no hesitation in saying that they spend most of their time quarrelling in the room they have been temporarily given by Kawa’s brother.
“We just pray for our death. Everybody here has ditched us. Kashmir has changed fully from what it was in 1990. There is total individualism now. Nobody thinks about others.”


The Hindu web link:

Umeed, Himayat in all rural blocks of J&K

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Apr 5: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh made it clear on Friday that two of his ambitious projects — Umeed for empowerment of women and Himayat for capacity building and employment of youth — would be soon extended to all 143 rural development blocks in Jammu and Kashmir.

Buoyed by massive response in the four blocks, two each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions, Mr. Ramesh is now planning dovetailing of the Umeed with the J&K youth-specific Himayat initiative “to turn the strife-torn State into an Amethi.”

J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited Amethi to see how Rahul Gandhi’s constituency was being transformed. “That’s the model we are using in J&K,” Mr. Ramesh told The Hindu after launching the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) in the once militant-infested area of Khansahab in Budgam district.
Umeed had been launched from Khansahab (Budgam), Lar (Ganderbal), Chinani (Udhampur) and Basohli (Kathua) last year.

“Our experience in U.P, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh is being enriched in J&K. Expanding the project to all the 143 blocks, we are now forming 90,000 self-help groups — thus involving as many as 9 Lakh J&K women,” Mr. Ramesh said. He said that an outlay of Rs .755 crore was earmarked for the women empowerment initiative. Ninety percent of the funding would flow from the Centre and ten percent would be contributed by the State government.
The Andhra-based CAP Foundation has already set up a Himayat Centre at Sopore — the north Kashmir township known only for apple, encounters and stone pelting. 

Mr. Ramesh is visiting the CAP centre on Saturday to hand over certificates to the Kashmiri youth trained in Sopore area.
Addressing the gathering of nearly 1,000 rural women at Khansahab, Mr. Ramesh said all the 90,000 SHGs would be involved in setting up low-cost toilet units. Each unit would cost Rs. 10,000. With Rs. 1,400 of the State contribution and Rs. 900 as the beneficiary’s responsibility, the Centre would provide rest of the Rs. 7,700. 


The Hindu web link:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Rotten agents spoil the Kashmir apple barrel


A NABARD survey says middlemen funded by banks have kept growers captive to high-interest loans


Ahmed Ali Fayyaz




JAMMU, Apr 4: Kashmir’s acres of undulating apple orchards may soon be waste lands, a survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) accessed by The Hindu shows. The Rs. 4,000-crore industry has been brought to its knees by a network of middle-order market functionaries comprising pre-harvest contractors (PHCs), commission agents (CAs) and wholesalers — who are the real and the only assured beneficiary of the Valley’s apple produce, not the farmers.


The survey on "Marketing System and Price Spread of Apple in Kashmir", according to sources, will be released here on April 17 by Chairman of NABARD Dr. Prakash Bakshi before its passage to the State Level Bankers Committee. The survey may compel Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reframe its guidelines and directives to the financial institutions in Jammu and Kashmir as it has shown that the banks have been continuously "encouraging feudal system and usurious lending by commission agents" in violation of rules and regulations.


Burdened by the usury imposed by PHCs and CAs, the grower ekes out a marginal income despite the end-user in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore buying the product at three times the cost. The Kashmiri grower is constrained to sell the apples at just Rs. 40 or Rs. 45 a kilo – Rs. 5 more than his production cost — but the consumer in Mumbai pays between Rs. 90 and Rs. 120.


According to the survey, there are around 3000 CAs — 250 in Parimpora (Srinagar), 250 in Narwal (Jammu) and 2,500 elsewhere in Kashmir division. The Fruit Mandi of Sopore, known as APMC Market Sopore, which is Asia’s largest fresh fruit market after Azadpur in Delhi, has 500 CAs. The wholesalers and CAs, mostly based in Delhi, employ the local PHCs for the purpose of making the growers "captive" and "distress sellers". The survey calls the modus operandi as ‘interlocking of informal credit and output markets’.


It has been significantly pointed out that in flagrant violation of the Jammu and Kashmir Agricultural Produce Marketing [Regulation] Act of 1997, even in 2012 it is the grower in valley who is forced to pay commission to the CA in Delhi for forwarding and trading of apple. It is the other way round in the rest of the country.


The local commission agents (and forwarding agents) of Kashmir are flush with the money — Rs. 1-2 crore — the banks generously lend them. They lend it to the captive growers at a higher interest or charge a commission based on the value of apple sold, which at 12% is interest charged but goes by the name of commission charges.


"In this way banks are (indirectly) contributing to survival of the old traditional system of informal funding by commission agents; this malpractice by commission agents is unknowingly doing three types of harm to the apple economy: (a) Encouraging economic feudal/ slavery type system of lending by commission agents; (b) Misuse of bank capital for usurious lending by commission agents; (c) Encouraging continuation of unmonitored system of captive orchard owners paying commission to commission agents in violation of APMC Act-1997 of J&K Govt. because of their over-dependence on commission agents in market", it adds.


Of the Rs. 1024 crore advanced to the Kashmiri growers in 2010-11, Rs. 645 crore came from Delhi-based CAs and wholesalers, Rs 207 crore from Kashmir-based CAs and Rs 172 crore from rest of the country. The total formal credit provided by all banks to the Kashmiri growers was just around Rs 200 crore. However, J&K Bank’s ‘Apple Project’, which is believed to be the outcome of RBI’s repeated snubs to the bank for maintaining a low level of 11% as against the stipulated 18% funding to the priority sector of agriculture, has changed the situation to an extent in the last two years.


It was because of this default that J&K Bank was once forced to park an amount of over Rs. 300 crore with NABARD against the punitive interest rate of 3%. NABARD in turn lent same money to J&K government’s agriculture sector at 6.8% interest rate.


In the initial year of 2011-12, J&K Bank achieved its 100% target by advancing Rs 363 crore to 17,336 growers but restricted its "Apple Project" to just the two districts of Baramulla and Shopian. The NABARD survey has recommended that the project be extended to all other districts in Kashmir in a phased manner.


"Over-dependence and exploitation of these growers in the market stems from their over-dependence on funding from the commission agents. These commission agents have devised ways of scuttling the approach of small growers (who are separated and independent) to the banks. Banks somehow find it more convenient to have business dealing with traders and commission agents than with small growers although from culture point of view both are locals and Kashmiri. It is apprehended by the study team that Apple Project of J&K Bank could possibly also meet the same problem if onward lending by commission agents/ traders to small growers is not checked, which is not possible except through legislation or provision in the existing APMC Act", the survey has recommended.


"Industrial farming", "contract farming" and "corporate farming" have been visualized among the futuristic solutions. "Other alternatives that could emerge alongside banks and commission agents for financing of apple growers in the existing set up is corporate sector, i.e. industrial companies entering in apple sector. This could take the shape of contract farming or corporate farming. In case of contract farming, the grower himself would have to arrange finances while the marketing of the apples and purchases of inputs problem is shared by the company. In case of corporate farming, the grower is set free from all encumbrances, including the borrowing".


web link: 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

J&K Ministers declare war on each other

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU, Apr 2: Infighting within the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) turned dramatic on Tuesday as two of the party’s Cabinet Ministers, Taj Mohiuddin and Sham Lal Sharma, traded charges publicly and filed complaints before Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the All India Congress Committee headquarters in New Delhi.

A day after Chairman of Legislative Council Amrit Malhotra refused to set up a House Committee and he endorsed the Public Health Engineering Minister (PHE) Mr. Sharma’s action of holding a departmental inquiry into the irregularities in the procurement of pipes and an awareness programme, Mr. Mohiuddin targeted his successor at a news conference.

“This is a plot of settling personal scores as my name is under consideration for the position of JKPCC chief. My successor [Mr. Sharma] and some others in my party are out to defame me to achieve their purpose,” Mr. Mohiuddin said.

“The Cabinet meeting is taking place today [Tuesday]. I’m going to take it up [with the Chief Minister and other cabinet Ministers],” Mr. Mohiuddin disclosed. He added that he was going to take up the matter with the Congress high command. However, it was not clear whether or not the issue came up in the Cabinet meeting later on Tuesday.

In the last four years, Mr. Mohiuddin handled the PHE and Irrigation portfolio while Mr. Sharma held the charge of Health and Horticulture departments. In February this year, Mr. Abdullah shifted Mr. Sharma to PHE and Irrigation and Mr. Mohiuddin to Medical Education. In reply to the discussion on the PHE grants, Mr. Sharma had revealed in the Legislative Council on March 26 that he had set up two departmental inquiries to investigate the “large scale irregularities” noticed in the procurement of pipes and the funds drawn on account of the expenditure on Communication and Capacity Development Unit (CCDU) of the PHE.

Mr. Sharma revealed toThe Hinduthat the CCDU officials, headed by a retired Chief Engineer and Mr. Mohiuddin’s close relative Najibullah Mir, allegedly swindled Rs. 45-47 crore for generating awareness about the quality control maintenance among the PHE department’s staff in the last three years.

“Even this year, Rs. 22 crore had been earmarked for CCDU. Out of that, Rs. 14.72 crore has been drawn from the exchequer till date. But there is no work, no account of the money drawn,” Mr. Sharma said.

Mr. Sharma claimed a Jharkhand-based NGO’s banner had been used to swindle the CCDU funds. He said a four-member departmental inquiry, headed by Chief Engineer Irrigation Jammu K.K. Gupta, had already taken over the investigation into the CCDU scam and the alleged irregularities in the procurement of pipes.

At the news conference, Mr. Mohiuddin, however, described himself as “the most hardworking and successful Minister in PHE.” He claimed that all the works and supply orders in his tenure were “as per law, rules and procedures.” Calling his detractor sarcastically as ‘Raja Harishchandra’, Mr. Mohiuddin alleged that Mr. Sharma had violated the principle of collective accountability of the Cabinet by saying in the Upper House that there had been “too many thieves” in the department.

“As the PHE and Irrigation Minister, I collected water usage revenue of Rs. 1,000 crore a year from the NHPC [National Hydroelectric Power Corporation]. What has he [Mr. Sharma] done in the last few weeks? All the crucial works have been stopped. NHPC has begun to default,” he said.


Web Link:

Monday, March 25, 2013

He gave up militancy before our marriage, says Liaquat’s wife

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

KUPWARA, Mar 24:Contrary to the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s claim that he is a former Al-Barq militant, and the Delhi Police’s assertion that he belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen, Liaquat Shah’s third wife Akhtar Nissa revealed on Sunday that her husband worked for the Tehreek-e-Jihad-e-Islami (TJI) before giving up militancy and setting up a poultry outlet in Muzaffarabad.

“He remained associated with TJI for several years, but gave up militancy before I married him in Pakistan, two months before the earthquake [of October 2005,” Nissa told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.

“He had set up a poultry shop at Chella Bandi near Muzaffarabad and used to sell chicken to earn his livelihood when I tied my nuptial knot to Liaquat sahab.”

Nissa, along with her 20-year-old speech and hearing-impaired daughter Jabeena, came here from Jammu on Saturday morning and surrendered before the Station House Officer at the Kralpora police station.. She was let off, and was told to stay at her brother’s home in Kralpora, after the police recorded her statement.Accompanied by two women, Fatima Bibi and Qasim Jan, she travelled to Pakistan for the first time in 2001 on an Indian passport and settled in Muzaffarabad. Some militant organisations and NGOs helped get her daughteradmitted in a school there. Her grandmother was from that area of the PoK, though an uncle, Ghulam Nabi, still lives in the Jhelum township of the Pakistani Punjab.

Since then she has gone to Pakistan three times, each time on an Indian passport and via Wagah. “In 2007, I got my daughter, kept her with my mother at Kralpora and went back alone. But after nine months, I returned to Kupwara and took my daughter back to Muzaffarabad. I lost my Indian passport but the visas are still preserved.” 

Liaquat’s first wife Amina Begum still lives in his Dadrpora home in Kupwara with their two sons, Shabir and Saddam, who are now 22 and 16 years old respectively. According to the residents, as well as the police, Liaquat became a militant in 1995, came back from PoK a year later and was engaged in militant activities for about a year before going back in 1997. After that he never came back.

Liaquat’s second wife was a Pakistani woman named Naseema, who was a divorcee and had a daughter from her first husband.

“We have very good relations. Amina applied for Liaquat sahab’s return under the government policy in 2011. She was in touch with us over telephone. We also insisted Naseema to accompany us and settle with our husband in Kupwara. She insisted to stay back and said that her brother and others would not agree. She bore Liaquat sahab a son. He too stayed with his mother”, Nissa said.

Over Amina Begum’s insistence, Liaquat left Muzaffarabad along with Nissa and Jabeena on March 16. They travelled to Islamabad by road. On March 17, they reached Karachi in a PIA flight. 

Claiming to be travelling on “fake Pakistani passports,” the family boarded a Karachi-Kathmandu flight and reached Pak Bazar, near Kathmandu, early on March 18. The next day they reached a border town late in the night and presented themselves before the SSB and other authorities the next day.

“Since we had already destroyed our fake Pakistani passports, we claimed to be Kashmiri visitors to Nepal. After rounds of questioning, they opened our suitcases and seized three of our mobile phone sets along with four Pakistani SIM cards. Thereafter, they separated Liaquat from us and arranged our boarding and lodging at a hotel near Gorakhpur. They arranged our tickets and asked us to travel to Jammu by a train. We shouted a lot and demanded Liaquat’s release. We left on their assurance that Liaquat would follow us [to Kashmir] .”

Nissa and Jabeena reached Jammu by a train on March 22 and soon caught a Kupwara-bound Tata Sumo that dropped them at Kralpora. 

She claimed that her husband’s friend and former militant associate, Mohammad Ashraf Mir of Chitti Bandi, Bandipore, and his wife and five children also came along with them. They were questioned at the Indo-Nepal border post, but were not detained. They too reached Srinagar on March 23 and surrendered before CIK authorities.

According to police records, Amina Begum submitted an application on behalf her husband Liaquat on February 5, 2011. “Forms of the Liaquat family, along with 322 others, were submitted to CID headquarters vide letter No; P&V/12/2011/924-25 dated 24-05-2011”, SSP Kupwara Mohammad Irshad said. He admitted that though arrangements for their return through Kathmandu and Gorakhpur were not provided in the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy of 23-11-2010, the police was waiting for Liaquat’s arrival when the news of his arrest by Delhi Police broke in New Delhi.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Hindu story on Afzal Guru’s letter evoked over a thousand likes and these 81 COMMENTS on the website in last 48 hours.

Let me try to explain as how I read Supreme Court's order.
Afzal Guru gave every bit of informations he had, to persons whom he knew were from banned outfits such as LeT, as declared by India and many other countries. And eventually using these inputs the terrorists attacked the Parliament house.

Now the question I want to ask Afzal's sympathizers here is, what did Afzal think these people were going to do with the vital informations he gave them - perform dance shows all over Delhi when they visit there? Surely he wasn't involved directly, neither he had any idea what target they were going to hit, but he knew this for fact that they were going to use those informations against the Indian state which would involve bloodsheding (after all they were terrorists not peaceful freedom fighters). And hence Capital punishment as per the collective conscience.
Also, people in Hindu orgnanization whether hardcore or not, are not sadist. Some people here aren't giving any thought b4 writing.

from: Tilak
Posted on: Feb 19, 2013 at 06:24 IST

I can't believe that The Hindu has stooped so low. Afzal broke the law and was
responsible for the death of innocents. I don't understand why people are trying to
glorify him.

He is not a Gandhi who uttered this a few months before his death.

"Even if I am killed, I will not give up repeating the names of Ram and Rahim, which
mean to me the same God. With these names on my lips, I will die cheerfully."[2]

Afzal is a small minded individual who wishes peace only to followers' of Allah.

That such a letter was published is deeply insulting to everyone Hindu, Muslim or
atheist. Not to mention, those who suffered directly due to his acts.

If people are furious at an imaginary injustice, I suggest they do some grassroots
work helping the millions of downtrodden children (of all religions) in this nation.

from: N Kumar
Posted on: Feb 19, 2013 at 01:23 IST

From the letter, it looks obvious that Guru has never felt remorse for his acts. The day when people understand the poison in religious books which preach that MY god is superior to YOUR god, only then the world will improve. unfortunately that mental maturity in humans is really lacking.
from: Peter
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 20:11 IST

I admire The Hindu for publishing Guru's last letter that he wrote shortly before he was hanged. However, there is an error in the translation that the newspaper also published. Guru did not address to the letter to "devout Muslims." The Urdu words he wrote down mean "people of faith."
from: Sididque Malik
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 19:49 IST

I am a regular reader for more than 30 years. Please keep up with your tradition of not appeasing pseudo nationalists and pseudo patriots. Afsal Guru is a victim of the state, I bow my head in shame.
from: Roopesh
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 19:41 IST

Do you realize that you are instilling a sense of mistrust towards this nation in minds of a section of population by question marking whole judicial and executive system ?
from: Manish
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 16:31 IST

please stop this Afzal series and make some statement about horrifying state of economy which is being ignored by every section of media but being felt by every single person sparring few privileged ones.
from: Manish
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 16:23 IST

I am reader of The Hindu for last 12 Years.I appreciate The Hindu stance on abolition of Capital punishment . But the way , Paper has projected Afjal Guru case and tried to sensationalize the capital punishment. In name of Exclusive coverage of his Family and letter written by him , Paper has belittle itself and Ideology followed by it.
Please take care , in name of Secularism and liberalism do not support anti national stance of person .

from: RAHUL
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 15:15 IST

It is such a pity that an entire cross section of our society suffers from a warped sense of justice and law. even from the last letter it is clear that AG did aid and is an active participant on the attack of parliament. If that does not emminently qualify him for the death penalty I cannot think of another. If this kind of warped sense of justice continues, the day will not be long when the police and security forces will not be ready to defend the nation with their lives. People like Omar Abdullah will probably understand the gravity of the situation when next time he is in parliament and a similar attack is successful. but then probably his understanding will be too late to be recorded.
from: shiva
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 13:32 IST

The message from the news is that Congress used Guru politically, trying to take credit of punishments for rebels in haste inhumanly. Sushilkumar Shinde has failed in his efforts and I am sure Afjal Guru will rise again in his community as martyr than a terrorist. Sushilkumar has acted (obeyed) irresponsibly hence deserves outrage. Guru case will linger around and will drown Congress.
from: Nitin
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 13:31 IST

There was no point in publishing this letter in a national newspaper , the letter only leads to speculations,no one knows what was going on in guru's mind when he wrote the letter and what is his interpretation of Truth and Righteousness.The letter doesnt prove anything,whether he was innocent or guilty.
from: Abhishek
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 13:21 IST

Let us please for heaven sake do not glorify a terrorist last mail to his family as it would create a wrong sympathy and also a wrong message could be inferred. Rather than rememebring those innocent security personnel who lost their lives in that tragedy on the day of the attack on Parliament and also making attempts to ensure whether those families have received adequate compensation from the government, unfortunately the publicity and attention these days is only for terrorists, criminals, etc by portraying them as super heroes. There should not be any sympathy for any terrirists, criminals otherwise, let God save our society
from: Partha
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 13:20 IST

I request my Hindu brothers specially those affiliated to hardcore
Hindu organization not to make haste in calling anyone terrorists.
Please note what the supreme court has said regarding Afzal.
In its judgment on August 5 2005, the supreme court admitted that the evidence against Afzal was only circumstantial, and that there was no evidence that he belonged to any terrorist group or organisation. But
it went on to endorse what can only be described as lynch law. "The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation," it said, "and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender."
It was to satisfy the conscience of society that this penalty was awarded. And these conscience was built by our communally biased media. Had our media been neutral in their coverage we would not have
seen this day. Where many of us Indian believe that Afzal had nothing to do with Parliament attack.

from: John
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 12:51 IST

Afzal Guru always maintained the stance that he was unnecessary dragged into it just because of his past. So True, if a criminal has a past, the society as well as police never allow him to reform. Even in the case of being innocence, they are implicated & there is no justice. Don't jump the guns as the Truth went along with him. Let his soul rest in peace.
from: Chandra
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 12:44 IST

Islam is a religion of peace and no god tells his believers to kill inncoent citizen in the name of religion.

In my view, the Hindu should not even publish this kind of news and should not encourage terrorism in any form.

If he wants freedom for Kashmir, I welcome that he should fight peacefully as Dalai Lama is doing for TIBET.....
Or How Mahatma Gandhi did it but not by killing common public or mp or mlas.


from: ravi kumar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 12:42 IST

I have been a regular follower of the Hindu for past many years... but I find it very disappointing the way case of Afjal Guru case has been handled by the hindu... Trying to glorifying a traitor of nation is not what one expects from a newspaper of this stature... If you do not want to criticize him at least do not praise him.. the least you can do is be indifferent.
However he got what he deserved being a traitor he was!

from: Vandita
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 11:55 IST

"A hundred thousand gratitudes to Allah that He chose me for this stature", these are definitely the words of a martyr,rest upon you as you are enough old to understand things.
from: vikas
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 11:51 IST

He who was condemned as a terrorist, now asks muslims not to grieve and follow the path of truth and righteousness that he has followed...
from: karthik
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 11:49 IST

How do they know that Allah have choosen them???.They are commiting henious crimes and taking the name of Mighty Allah for all this and mixing his blessings with blood. I am a hindu and i dont know about Islam but I am damn sure that the "Mighty Allah" does not choose or give the permission to perform such crimes.
from: Nikhil Chaurasia
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 11:44 IST

Brother Reddy: Don't read the context with the negative feelings...why should a person regret on something which he has never done,,look at the context again it proves if he would have done this brutal act he had definitely ask for forgiveness becoz he is going to die, a person who is going to die in few minutes will surely ask "Please forgive me if i had done something wrong" to have a calm and peaceful death but he didn't do this becoz he knows he has not committed a sin for which he has been martyred.
Second he addressed to those people he knows they will be affected not to the common people who are happy with this vote bank and shameful game,He is advising them to stay calm not to fight.

from: Sheikh
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 11:16 IST

There is something to be learned from his last letter. It clearly shows he had risen
above the politics, and the "human" construct of life and death. This letter shows a
calm mind, devoid of fear. Makes me question - did the death penalty really punish
him? Maybe not - in his mind he had accepted death long before he was hung.

from: Sanjay Joshi
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 10:39 IST

What are you going to achieve by
glorifying those terrorists?How come this newspaper alone is
forgetting the pains and sufferings of the family members of
parliament attack victims and other terror victims?Every time a
terrorist is executed,The Hindu goes virulent in attacking the
goverment, but never did they publish one article narrating the
horrors of victim's family.

from: Johnson P John
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 10:14 IST

Problem with some critics like Arundhati Roy is that they use to view
every situation from one angle- anti-democracy and anti-national. It is
indeed anti-democratic to prevent the people of Kashmir from self-
determination. Having said that we must not forget that no plebiscite or
voting can be done at the gun-point whether it belongs to Indian army or
Militants. Only Kashmiri muslims don't own the right to determine the
fate of kashmir, there are Kashmiri pandits too, who have been driven
out of valley long back.

from: Shakti
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 10:00 IST

I have seen the border, where Indians are killed very bitterly with no discrimination of religion. Myself Army background will appeal Indians to be less biased with various religion in the country. Every Indian either from any religion should have harmonious relations with each other. Have you ever thought about us where different religious personnel stay together with a common bonding of friendship and if such thing would take place then no one can imagine what can happen. Anyone tarnishing the image of the country by doing such thing should be hanged. I do have respect in the Honorable court's decision. This would have been done earlier rather than delaying. This country in its present shape is not because of Afzal Guru, this is because of the freedom fighters, leaders and the soldiers who have laid their lives for their country (motherland). Soldier's wife knows consequences. Avoid such comments and debates to ensure peace in the country please.
from: SUSHIL
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 09:40 IST

This doesn't suit for The Hindu to publish a terrorist letter. what you want to glorify by publishing his letter. you want to make him religious hero, while he is not. Please do your introspect and your duty towards the Nation.
from: Krrish
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:59 IST

Really now, some people here are saying that if Afzal was "secular" he would have
addressed the letter to the nation rather than the muslims. Arent we (Hindus)
bitten badly by the secular bug.
Understand that secularism happens when law stands tall above religion; and when religion becomes a personal matter, not the other way round. As it stands today, Congress wont allow (in its past 65 years of rule) a uniform civil code to be passed, because of the muslim vote bank. BJP's core agenda cites uniform civil code. Even
for a newspaper run by Marxists, this should be music to the ears.

Guess who is really secular then?

from: Guneet Kaur
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:48 IST

Is it not true that many of those who commit heinous crimes are
remorseless and even justify their wrong doing either in the name of
god, country or their conscience? History is full of such instances and
it is also common knowledge that fundamentalists in all religions are
known to support such individuals who refuse to repent for their crimes.
A democratic society like ours has to find a way to reduce the number of
such crimes to the bare minimum so that it can move towards abolition of
death penalty.

from: Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:27 IST

Really heart touching words from afzal.I am seeing his words in perspective of a father who is worroying aout his family.But he may show his regret for what he did in past....
from: kranti kumar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:17 IST

Let's read these lines 'Also my greetings to all Believers [of Allah]
that we all remained on the side of the truth and the right. May we all
be on this path [of righteousness] and die for the truth and the right'.
A man convicted for a crime, on the way to his death speaks of Truth and
Right. Something to ponder about. Was he speaking truth or lying when
writing his last letter?

from: Syed
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:10 IST

By publishing this news, The Hindu has once again gone irresponsible.
If The Hindu expected to create a sympathy for Guru and accuse the
Govt alleging that the Govt has gone wrong(by hanging), absolutely NO.
You are wrong. For the heaven's sake, change your attitude towards
this kind of issues and capital punishment in India. A good number of
people are still notorious and a good number of people are activated
by external forces to work against India. So, we still need capital
punishments here. If The Hindu is not changing your views and
behaving responsibly, you are doing harm to the very society who you
think you are the saviour for. Up to you The Hindu.

from: Mani
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:03 IST

I have began to the doubt his role in the parliament attack, from the
day i read that his case was mis-dealt and was given no opportunity to
present his version, nor he was given a competent lawyer to defend his
innocence(if any) and neglecting the fact that the accomplices were
introduced to him by the body which was keeping a close eye on him.

from: Sai Kumar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 08:02 IST

Dear Hindu, thanks for sharing.
from: PSMayo
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 04:52 IST

RIP those who are wronged by justice (as we know from numerous articles
on this case) and the victims of terrorism (who sacrificed their lives
for many corrupts in the parliament) whose souls should be shaking if an
innocent man is hanged while we don't even know the identities of those
real terrorists who carried out the attack. What a shoddy investigation
and kangaroo justice.

from: Samar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 03:38 IST

How can people blame him for seeking God at a time when he is about to
be hanged for what most say is dubious evidence (for those that hate,
he was the nearest Muslim and Kashmiri who believed in self
determination, available). Of all moments, surely at deaths door is
the one time you will mention the creator you believe in. He makes no
mention of those that fabricated deeds against, those that killed him,
but gives hope to the innocent & that he is the first of many to be
killed by state terror. I wonder what the comments from these same
people will be if (& a big IF) when one of the Hindu terrorists are
hanged (Rajiv's killer, Samjauta express, Hyderdabad terror attackers,
Sikh killers, Gujarati nazi's). No talk of traitors then.

from: Pb Sutton
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 03:27 IST

There is no glory for the crime against a nation. Allah won't forgive
any of the terrorist for killing innocent people. Why can't people
think for nation instead of religion? Being extremist of any religion
in a secular country is not going to help for any body.

What he did was a crime. A crime against nation so please stop glorifying him. He is dead and was not at all feeling guilty for his cruelty.
Problems of Kashmir can't be solved by terrorist activities. It can only be solved by democratic means. Rather than doing separatist activities, political parties should show concern on overall development. No religion says killing of innocents is right.

from: Rahul
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 02:46 IST

By giving most publicity to a terrorist who is given capital punishment
by The Supreme court The Hindu is slipping miles down from the
patriotic premises on which your newspapaer was founded.

from: K.Sreenivasan
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 02:33 IST

Afzal Guru is hinting at his martyrdom in his letter. If he had no part in the parliamentary attack, he is a martyr. If he had any complicity in the attack, he is just a criminal. All along he had been saying that he was unnecessarily dragged in to this. In the past, people have been falsely framed for sedition, like Dr. Binayek Sen.
from: Syed
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 02:20 IST

Hmmm!!! May Allah forgive him for his sins he had committed while he was alive. I guess it was mainly due to his ignorance, inability to love people & also because of wrong interpretation of Islam. What a waste of a life.... He could have done something good for everyone rather than spreading hatred. I dont understand why cant people love each other without thinking about cast, religion & creed. But I am hopeful that I'll be able to see that day....One day!!! Amen! :)
from: Aashiq
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 01:33 IST

I am really sad that how The Hindu could be so poor in publishing its report. What purpose this letter we serve? This will only inspire some of uneducated and radical Muslims on the path of Jihad. His letter clearly shows that he has no sense of remorse and wants all the Muslim's to follow the same path. And by pulishing this letter The Hindu did a grave mistake of making this psychopath terrorist a martyr. As one of reader rightly pointed out, why Hindu did not pulishes the letter/message of those who died in the attack? Why The Hindu did not pulishes the letter of our soldiers who are everyday being killed by these terrorist on border. The Hindu must have a proper scrutiny for what to publish and what to not.
from: Md Sonu Ahmad
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 01:07 IST

First thing:- I dont find any non secular essence from the letter.
Secondly The Hindu shouldnt be blamed about printing it. Well it might
be wanting to portray the state of mind of the Terrorist, although he
never mentioned statements like:- He was proud for making this
heinious crime or killing Indians as enemies.
And yes I can always expect this kind of release by The Hindu only
which is undoubtedly a Pro Social, Secular and very analytic news
I hope we can trust on to the Editors in chief and its non commercial
attitude of releasing news.

from: samar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 00:40 IST

Guru is a real man of soul are these are his last words, he has
written this letter for his family in kashmir, Guru has not used the
word muslim devout, it is translated as such, in urdu he has written
"mohtarram aahli khanah aur aahli emaan aasalam u aaliakum" which
means Respected family members and those who believe in God and the
day of judgement,if anyone believe in God and the day of Judgement
this letter is for him. And by the way it was the Collective
Conscience of Indian Society which was satisfied by hanging him.

from: Suhail Bhat
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 00:37 IST

This letter is enough to explain about his belief system. " great
stature" oh my god!! by sending terrorist and killing innocent people at
parliament of India has given him a stature in which he felt greatness.
I don't know why the hindu has publish his letter. Certain section of
Indian media is doing great harm to the nation by publishing such news
and the hindu is one of them.

from: Madhav Krishna
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 00:18 IST

Maybe I would have used the word Indians too but he was from kashmir where people have been alienated from rest of Indians. Does his addressing devout muslims make him fit for death sentence? Religiosity is no crime but intolerance is a crime.
from: Seema Alam
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 00:02 IST

To all who have commented:
He has never been adjudged as Terrorist by the Supreme Court. The Court
in its verdict has said that he was not member of any of the
organizations but Keeping the sentiments of majority in consideration he
was awarded the death. Being a Muslim he has written very well and the
letter is for the Muslims and not Indians or Kashmiris.

from: Nadeem Khan
Posted on: Feb 18, 2013 at 00:01 IST

It is very sad that this newspaper "Hindu" will incorrectly translate the letter of Mr.
Guru. This is the orginal translation of letter:

"Respected family and all the believers.

Asalam u alikum (peace be upon you)

I thank almighty, that he has chosen me for this destiny. From my side, I want to
congratulate all the believers. We all should stay with truth and righteousness, and our end must also come on the path of truth and righteousness. My request to my family is that instead of grieving over my end, they should respect the destiny I have
Almighty God is your greatest protector and greatest help.
I leave you in Allah's protection."

from: Jammal Kashur
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:48 IST

This letter gives a completely different picture. We all consider him as a terrorist. But he is actually sounding like a freedom fighter, at least it looks like he believed himself to be so, similar to some Tamil people who have fought in Srilanka, attacking rulers with the aim of wanting freedom. This world is complicated!! Many of whatever we call as good or bad are mostly from a specific view point which most likely would look otherwise from a different view point. Not sure what is the best system that would suit everyone in this world.
from: labki
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:31 IST

Enough of Afzal Guru, please get over it and allocate your highly
regarded media space for some productive and nation building purposes.

from: Sunil
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:30 IST

I think this country will soon discuss the plan about execution of editors of newspapers.My suggestion to the editor is to better be silent in this secular and democratic country.Say what the 'collective conscience' of this nation says.Be careful,you never know when the 'circumstantial' evidence will become lead you to gallows.Besides our president is in a T-20 mode.
from: wartj
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:25 IST

Where are we heading as a nation??
There is no second thought that, a person like Afzal Guru should be
executed or not. He was not some one who is in anyway helping the
cause of the nation, or at least Muslims to that matter.
We have so many people who are sacrificing everything just to make
sure that we are safe. Why should not we talk about them. What exactly
media is trying to do by unnecessarily holding on to this issue.
At least be happy that the Indian government is taking some tough
decisions after a long time. We, as a nation have so many things to
worry about... corruption, poverty, bad economy and so many. Let us
give some thought to those, and help ourselves.
Respect those who are who are protecting us, who are feeding us and
creating jobs for us. Nothing wrong in taking out something if it
eating away the system itself.

from: sandeep
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:24 IST

The letter of Afsal Guru does contain neither any message or nor his repentance on what he has done to the country, people who died in the parliamentary attack. It does not deserve the prominent print media space. "The Hindu" paper should change its name for the sake of Indian Population. To portray its secular image against the back drop of religion in its Title, newspaper "The Hindu" is always trying to defend or glorify the activities of members of minority community.
from: Srinivasa Rao
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:07 IST

That was Great Work By THE HINDU.
I Expect THE HINDU Comment Section will be expanded with Likes Facility for each Comment and Nested commentings.
A True Souls Letter it seems

from: Rashid
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 23:01 IST

The letter shows that Afzal has attained great and strong spirituality
in the Tihar jail. This is only the spirituality which made him write
this letter in these strong words even few hours before his death.

from: Reyaz
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:59 IST

This letter is,clearly addressed to the family members.It is not
intended to be a public document. A letter or no letter,when I view the
matter solely from human angle,my sympathies are with the bereaved
family.At the same time,I cannot help think of the people who lost their
lives in the shoot out.

from: Gajanan Tamasn
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:50 IST

The letter shows that religion can be a source of great strength. This
man will be remembered as a hero.

from: Hilary Pais
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:37 IST

This reads like in glory of someone.I am taken aback with this post
from "The Hindus",such a good time to country that right decisions are
falling in line and we cannot stand anything playing with safety and
faith of countrymen.We are living in era where goodness has multiplied
and so has evil,until culprits are punished with right judgement there
is no sureness of preserving agony and accidents.We have already
confused a percentage of Indians with media showing on political
parties outrageously speaking against this decision ,done over and
again will infuse people with sorry feelings with culprits in years
apparently there is no quick judgment ever which itself is a biggest
irony.We have to stay one as a family for issues which threatens our
esteem & peace.Media plays such a life like role in broadening our
horizons,they really need to be conscious about good and bad
considering status quo.

from: Manisha
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:31 IST

@abhay: The letter is written in urdu and he has not written "DEVOUT
MUSLIMS" It is the wrong translation that may be translated as "people
of faith" instead of "DEVOUT MUSLIMS".

from: Mir
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:24 IST

The calmness that he showed at the time of his death is worth
admiring.Our society has this hegemony of terrorists that want to kill
all.But,terrorists are not born like that,its the society that makes
them like that.For one group they are matyres(and for the
others they are terrorists.

from: owais dar
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:22 IST

I congratulate The Hindu team for publishing this letter. There has been so much debate and controversy about Afzal's death sentence. And this letter is a testimony that the Indian judges were absolutely right in interpreting the existing laws of the land. Because no one would register a single lie just moments before death.
Given that this letter bears his own handwriting, I'd compassionately hang him a thousand times to take him to the cloud number 9 of his sectarian "martyrdom".

from: balhara
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:13 IST

Some people are expecting a sense of "Indian-ism" from Afzal Guru. Did the British expect a sense of British-ism from Bhagat Singh??

How is Afzal Guru an Indian?? He is a Kashmiri secessionist wanting freedom from India.

from: Avinash V
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:06 IST

What purpose does this article serve apart from inciting people to do detestable things in the name of religion ? It is indeed shameful on the part of THE HINDU to have published it. Please take this down.
from: Ashish
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 22:00 IST

Request you to not to glorify
Afzal. In India it doesn't
matter what religion he
supposedly belongs. Afzal is
enemy of the state.

from: Raju
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:58 IST

I am against death penalty, but let’s, for the argument sake, assume that it is a good thing. How about the cause of justice? How can a prisoner be hanged as a result of a judicial verdict in which the court admits that the proof of guilt is not clear but the man still should go to the gallows because it will please the country? What if hanging the judge who penned down that logic makes the country happy? I had a lot of respect for India's judiciary, but after hearing this logic, I am having second thoughts. Judicial verdicts should be based on justice, not vengeance toward someone against whom the state does not have evidence that proves the guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
from: Siddique Malik
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:46 IST

I don't understand why a news paper like The Hindu is giving so much attention publishing news about Afsal Guru.If he had denied his role in the attack, indeed the news could have been more relevant.Now that the law has taken its course,please stop publishing more about him because it will only help creating false sentiments over all the convicts in the death row.I always believe that terrorism should be put down with an iron hand but there should be ample evidence to prove involvement.
from: pallikunnil Divakaran
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:42 IST

This letter clearly shows that he had no part in the crime and unfortunately he was convicted without a solid DIRECT proof of his involvement.
We have seen many people are punished throughout the world for the crimes that they never committed and here, politics was the main reason to send him to gallows suddenly.
May God rest his soul in Peace and have mercy on his family.
Thanks a lot for Hindu to publish his letter.

from: Mazil
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:36 IST

To all those view Afsal's last letter as communal, ask ur mind? r u
not communal on telling that? He didn't told Muslims to retaliate
against his death but to keep calm. Is it communal? Narendra Modi has
killed thousands of people cold blooded which u people don't think
communal. Is n't it? Ask your minds? Many questions regarding the
Afsal case still remains unanswered. He is not at all directly
involved in the killing and there is no evidence against him as
pronounced by Supreme Court and it want to fulfill someones
consciousness. Hats off to Hindu on their commitment to stand along
with Justice.

from: Iyas
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:33 IST

Personally, I'm a little(euphemism of course)disappointed with Afzal
Guru's letter and so I'm sure would be the reaction of many of my
secularist and not-so-secularist Indians. Let us get this clear: He was
not saving anyone as a residual motive of his mission. The media has
been rife with statements pertaining to his execution and I agree with
the fact that benefits of doubt are there to be given, even to most
heinous crimes committed. His letter is addressed to 'Muslims'- his
community and so goes down the abyss all those secularist vows that
this man apparently endorsed. Give us (all of us: Indians) reasons to
believe that we are diverse yet, unified. That a man about to fact the
gallows would undertake such a communal stance is shocking to say the

from: Upasana Bose
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:33 IST

Some readers are suggesting that Afzal should have addressed the Indians rather than Muslims in his letter. Well, to which Indians would he have addressed. To the ones who tortured and humiliated him for several years after he gave up the gun or to the one's who made him a political football for their petty political gains. Or to the one's who burst crackers and distributed sweets at the news of his death. Every Kashmiri and every truthful Indian knows that he was wrongly implicated in the case by the state agencies to cover something really fishy. His is a story of thousands of Kashmiris who have been a victim of state terrorism for many many years now.
from: Misbah
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:29 IST

Hanging is neither a penalty or an instance for other criminals.There
is only the sense of revenge which multiplies the enimocity,does not
reduce enimoicity by any measure.Religeous craze generally is created
by Gurus and preasts.Better would have been to hand over Afzal to his
respected Mulla to give him true meaning of Kuran.
So many leaders of extremists have been killed including Osma Bin Ladan
yet the violence does not stop.The root cause are Mulla who should have
been taken in confidence which no one has done including America.India
could have shown their real spirit of reduce enimocity.

from: Ashok
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:26 IST

Some parts of the letter are mistranslated and does not reflect the true words (meaning) of the author. Let me transcribe that part in Roman for all to read (non urdu readers).

"baki meri teraf se aap tamam ehle emaan ko bhi mubarak ho ki hum sab sachai aur haq ke saath rahe/rahain*(i am unable to figure which verb author intended, former seems appropriate with the preceding sentence while letter seems compatible with following sentence fragment)".

The Hindi version in English :
"I also have a sense of gratitude for you all followers of the faith that we are all on the side of the truth and the right."

"ehle emaan" is an exclusive term, since the letter addresses the family of the victim, the referents of the term should only be the members of the victims family (not All Indian Muslims)

"sachai aur haq ke saath rahain" it means, we all BE on the side of truth and right, as opposed to Hindus version of it WE ARE ALL ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH AND RIGHT.

I may be WRONG.
from: Riyaz Ahmad
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:25 IST

Afzal Guru was an Indian and a Kashmiri. This letter throws light on the
kind of thinking ksahmirirs have cultivated and developed over the
years. Death penalty given to convicts like Guru will only harden this
feeling among the Kashmiris, especially the youth. What the government
needs to do is to find ways to make people of kashmir feel homely and
feel that they are an integral part of the nation.

from: Akshat Agarwal
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:21 IST

THE HINDU is just treading the wrong path. Glorifying a terrorist is
itself an act of terrorism in my belief. Rather than singing songs of
martyrdom for afzal guru , THE HINDU should work for the glory of our
martyr soldiers at the border or those who lost life in parliament
attack defending the soul of country. His confession itself proves he
was not innocent at all and he deserve what he got. JAI HIND

Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 21:05 IST

I fail to understand as to why some extreme hindus seem to be at fire on seeing the letter written by Afzal to his family.The letter does not contain anything against India.Any innocent person killed is a martyr and shall be rewarded hereafter and the killers have to pay the price.
from: Mohammad sayed
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 20:52 IST

It has made clear to all those who questioned the death penalty of
Afzal. Afzal conviction was correct and he hailed his act as some sort
of islamic propaganda. His life sentencing was correct or not is a
matter of debate.
Our country needs to suppress all the religious bigots of any religion
and it is probably the fundamentalist who are the biggest threat to

from: VIkrant Singh
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 20:45 IST

He was so convinced that he was not the part of conspiracy that he did'nt even file his mercy petition which was later filed by his wife. He would have ofcourse addressed to the people who have been a part of the protests against injustice right after he was dragged in this case and not address those who could'nt ever understand his innocense.The media only intervened when they found some serious loopholes in the case that amounted to an unfair trial and not because of the emotions elicited for him posthumously.Various reports seemed to suggest that the 2001 parliament attack could have been stage managed in wake of war against terror after 9/11. How do people expect him to address INDIAN PEOPLE in his last letter when the INDIAN people had alienated him? He was being hanged for the crime he never commited which unfortunately no Indian could either understand.It is really a shameful for people to expect him having addressed the whole nation, where he was considered a terrorist.
from: Nadeem
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 20:27 IST

Actual Translation . That one is also Correct no doubt .

6:25 am the time
in between is that " Starting With the Name of Allah The Almighty.


Respected family and all the believers.

Asalam u alikum (peace up on you) All

I thank almighty, that he has chosen me for this stature. From my
side, I want to congratulate all the believers. We all should stay
with truth and righteousness, and our end must also come on the path
of truth and righteousness. My request to my family is that instead of
grieving over my end, they should respect the stature I have achieved.

Almighty God is your greatest protector and greatest help.

I leave you in Allah's protection."

from: Mubarak ahmad
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 20:21 IST

Mr Godse also had given an affidavit.All terrorists have their own
reason justifying their crime.Nothing unusual

from: Ramakrishnan P
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 19:47 IST

What a great inspired man!
from: Venugopal Reddy
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 19:27 IST

Afzal's last letter clearly shows that he had NO regret for the crime he committed, for which the highest court in our land sentenced him to death. It is a very communal letter as well-- if he was really secular, he should have addressed it to all Indians, not just Muslims.
from: Vaidyanathan
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 19:25 IST

Well, I am confused, I opened this page with the hope to see, if he
really was the person as some media men have been projecting him, all
myths destroyed the moment I read "THE DEVOUT MUSLIMS", I am not a
religious person, but believe in "INDIAN" as my religion. To THEHINDU,
Can't you publish the last letters of the people, who die ON THE BORDER.

from: abhay
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 19:19 IST

This letter don't look like a letter written by a terrorist. He may have a noble soul.
from: dr ajay
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 19:18 IST

By publishing this letter the hindu is glorifying the death of a enemy
of state, being widely circulated daily I would urge hindu to refrain
from giving martyrdom(wide news coverage) to such anti-state elements.

from: sreenivasa reddy b
Posted on: Feb 17, 2013 at 19:15 IST