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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

250 ambulances among 15,000 vehicles damaged in turmoil-2016

68 vehicles set on fire in 54 incidents; 24 in Srinagar alone

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Oct 25: While as the civilian shutdown vigilantes and security forces have torched as many as 68 vehicles in 54 incidents in the last 110 days of the street turbulence, around 250 ambulances of the State Health Department and other major hospitals have been damaged during the same period across Kashmir valley.

Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman told STATE TIMES that as many as 190 ambulances of his department have been extensively damaged since July 8. He did not have figures of the official vehicles of District Hospitals, Public Health Centres besides the private vehicles of Chief Medical Officers, Medical Superintendents, doctors and other medical staff damaged in the mayhem. Conservative estimates put the number of such damaged vehicles as around 1,000.

Incharge Transport Department at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Deen Mohammad, said that 16 vehicles of the State’s only tertiary care hospital were damaged. These include 8 ambulances and equal number of buses. Such ambulances belonging to other hospitals including SKIMS Medical College and Hospital Bemina, SMHS Hospital and its associated hospitals — Bone & Joint Hospital, Lal Ded Hospital, Chest Disease Hospital etc. — are believed to be not less than 50.

Officials claim that around 10% of the ambulances and other vehicles of the Health Department and other government hospitals were damaged by Police and security forces and the rest 90% by the ‘protesters’ clashing with security forces or enforcing the separatists’ shutdown.

Most of the doctors and other medical and paramedical staff, who were beaten up or whose vehicles were torched or damaged in stone pelting, have not filed FIRs for fear of reprisals in an atmosphere of anarchy. They are believed to be in thousands.

According to the official tabulation accessed by STATE TIMES, maximum incidents of vehicle burning have taken place in the capital Srinagar district. SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar claimed that Police swung into action in each case. He said that when two Tata Sumo commercial vehicles were torched at Parimpora on October 17, entire cluster of the residents went into hiding though members of only two families were wanted.

The prime accused, Merajuddin Ganai alias Raju, was finally arrested by the Police on Tuesday. On Monday, DIG Central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat, and SSP Amit Kumar said at a news conference that 15 miscreants involved in torching 13 vehicles had been arrested even as 7 of the accused were absconding. Of them, Ganai was arrested the very next day.

However, the official statistics available with this newspaper put the number of the incidents of vehicle burning in Srinagar district as 24.

Five each incidents of vehicle burning have been reported in Budgam, Anantnag and Baramulla districts, four each in Shopian and Pulwama, three in Kupwara, two in Kulgam and one each in Ganderbal and Bandipore.

The vehicles burned down, mostly by the shutdown vigilantes, include 30 motorcycles and scooters, 18 cars, 9 auto-rickshaws and Tata Sumo passenger carriages, 7 trucks, tippers, JCB earth excavators and big load-carriers besides 2 ambulances and 2 mobile bunkers of security forces. In all 7 of the destroyed vehicles belonged to Police Department, Police personnel and security forces. One escort vehicle attached to Health Minister Bali Bhagat was torched in Rajbagh area on August 10.

Month-wise, 17 incidents of the vehicle burning happened in July. In the first incident, people protesting Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s death in an encounter set on fire a mobile bumker of CRPF at Hassanpora in Anantnag district on July 8.While as 11 incidents occurred in August and 9 in September, as many as 17 incidents took place in 25 days of October.

Even as most of these vehicle were torched by the shutdown vigilantes in their attempts to spread fear and ensure that there was no violation of the separatists’ call, security forces and Police set on fire one motorcycle at Kakkar Hamam Baramulla on October 11 and as many as 15 motorcycles at Adijan Adda in Kulgam district on August 3.

Since most of the victims have not filed complaints with the Police, Srinagar daily Greater Kashmir has reported last week that 6000 to 7000 vehicles had been damaged in Srinagar alone. Officials insisted that no authentic statistics were readily available but many of them claimed that the number of vehicles extensively damaged in stone pelting and other incidents could be around 15,000.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Vehicles torched during unrest 2016

 District Budgam

S.        Date               Vehicle torched                Place                         By

01.      Aug 05             Scooty JK04C-8539           Khansahab                Miscreants   
Owner: Head Constable Gh Ahmad Lone s/o Gh Mohi uddin r/o Badran Magam

02.      Sep 29             JCB     -------                        Hardu Batpora         Miscreants
Bilal Ahmad Sofi s/o Ab Gaffar & Gh Rasool Sofi s/o Ab Ahad r/o Hardu Batpora

03.      Oct 06            Auto JKOIB-5159                Ompora                     Miscreants
Owner: Ghulam Ahmed Mir r/o Ompora, Budgam

04.    Oct 10             Swift  JK01AB-0103            Gooripora                  Miscreants

05.      Oct 10             Estilo JKo1N-6690             Gooripora                  Miscreants


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Govt gets tough over EJAC’s support to dismissed employees

EJAC chief placed under suspension, arrested with five trade union leaders, lodged in Kupwara jail

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Oct 24: Perturbed over the support of Jammu and Kashmir Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) to the dozen-odd Government employees dismissed from service for “anti-national activities”, Mehbooba Mufti’s coalition government has suspended and detained a prominent trade union leader alongwith five other officials.

Apparently acting under the coalition partner BJP’s pressure, Chief Minister is understood to have given green signal to dismissal of 24 more government employees who figure in the list of 180 officials actively involved in the current street turbulence in the Valley. Last week, the State government began its drive with the dismissal of 9 employees. Three more employees were subsequently terminated by two administrative Secretaries.

According to well-placed authoritative sources, Ms Mufti’s government would terminate at least 12 more employees before the Durbar Move on October 27 followed by another dozen of them after opening of offices in November in Jammu.

The dismissals have evoked a deluge of negative reactions and criticism from almost all the mainstream and separatist opposition parties. However, as of them, over five hundred thousand State employees have not posed a substantial threat to the government. The Government did not lose any time in initiating action against the trade union leaders who, under the banner of EJAC, had called for revocation of the termination orders and announced to take to streets if the authorities failed to withdraw the orders.

As the EJAC leaders were assembling here for a meeting on Red Cross Road on Friday, six of them, alongwith seven junior officials, were taken into custody. EJAC President Abdul Qayoom Wani was immediately placed under suspension. Even as the seven junior officials were let off next day, Wani and two other trade union leaders were whisked away to Kupwara and lodged in a sub jail after Police secured remand for custody and detention of six employee leaders. Three more trade union leaders were lodged in sub jail Baramulla.

Wani’s suspension and detention of the six trade union leaders, including Wani, have served as a warning to thousands of the government employees who have, directly or indirectly, contributed to the mayhem for over three months. Sources in the top echelons of the coalition Government revealed to STATE NEWS that a number of the employees figuring among the shortlisted 36 officials could be terminated under section 226 of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Rules and Regulations.

Until now, all the 12-odd employees have been dismissed on the charge of being threat to India’s “security, sovereignty and integrity [sections 126 (b)]”.

“Whereas on perusal of the dossier and other related documents, it transpires that the subject has been found involved in anti-national activities which include taking active part in causing disturbance and disorder to the public peace, intimidation to general public/ shopkeepers to observe shutdown amid calls given by separatists and instigating the youth to indulge in stone pelting…”, read the Government’s typical order.

Individual charges have been served on all the accused employees, denying them chance to defend themselves in a mandatory inquiry. Section 126 (b) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, that has been invoked for outright dismissal of the employees, gives the competent authority in the Government powers to dispense with the mandatory departmental enquiry.

Authorities have noted that thousands of the State’s regular employees do not indulge in stone pelting or organising of the attacks on Police and security forces but they use their offices, telephones and internet connections for promoting Jehad and Kashmir’s separation from rest of India. The Government has been duly informed by CID of J&K Police about alleged activities of the dismissed employees. Sources said that the State government would write to the Centre that a number of its own officials were indulging in anti-national activities and subscribing to the unrelenting mayhem in Jammu and Kashmir.

BSNL, Project Beacon and some other departments and organisations of the Government of India have not initiated any action against the officials allegedly involved in stone pelting, slogan shouting, shutdown enforcement and other secessionist activities.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]