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Battling the deadliest spell of Violence: Kashmir calm but tense as curfew, shutdown continue

"I appeal to everybody to restore calm and peace so that further loss of lives is avoided," the CM Mehbooba Mufti said

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Violence Struck Kashmir. Image Source: newsdog.today
  • Life remained paralysed almost across the South Kashmir due to the restriction and separatist-called shutdown
  • The Jammu-Srinagar highway was blocked due to continuous curfew
  • CM Mehbooba Mufti paid tributes to the 1931 martyrs and made a fresh appeal for calm in the valley where at least 35 civilians and a policeman have been killed

The restive Kashmir Valley, battling the deadliest spell of violence in years, appeared calm but tense on Wednesday, July 13, amid sporadic incidents of stone-pelting clashes even as large areas continued to be under strict curfew for the fifth day.

Two more persons wounded in street fighting in the past four days died here early on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 36 in the violence triggered by the death of a top militant on July 8.

Life remained paralysed almost across the valley due to the restriction and separatist-called shutdown. South Kashmir – the worst hit in the latest bout of unrest – was virtually cut off from the rest of the state amid snapped private cellphone services and strict prohibitory orders.

However, the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) cellphone network was functional.

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The Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only all-weather motorable link to the valley that passes through south Kashmir, was blocked due to continuous curfew. Private traffic to and from Srinagar on the highway is allowed only at night, officials said.

In Srinagar, roads were deserted while shops and other businesses, banks and private offices were closed. There was a thin presence of employees in the government secretariat. People in the old city complained of hardships as supplies of essentials had begun to dry up in the five days of curfew.

Wednesday, July 13, a police spokesman said here, passed off peacefully amid fears that separatist leaders may stoke trouble.

They had called for a protest march to observe “Martyrs’ Day” in remembrance of Kashmiris killed in police firing on protesters against the Dogra rule on July 13, 1931.

Top separatists Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in house detention for five days, defied the restrictions and tried to walk towards the martyrs’ graveyard in curfew-bound oldSrinagar. Police detained them briefly.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, however, visited the graveyard under a heavy security cover with her senior cabinet colleagues.

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She paid tributes to the 1931 martyrs and made a fresh appeal for calm in the valley where at least 35 civilians and a policeman have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters since the killing of the militant commander, Burhan Wani. More than 1,500 people have been injured.

Burhan Muzaffar Wani. Image source: www.india.com
Burhan Muzaffar Wani. Image source: www.india.com

“I appeal to everybody to restore calm and peace so that further loss of lives is avoided,” the Chief Minister said.

Mehbooba Mufti said “the loss of precious lives” in firing by security forces was “regretted but nothing can bring them back.

“While I am deeply grieved, my grief cannot match that of the families who have lost their near and dear ones,” she said. Her Peoples Democratic Party has its political base in the worst-hit south Kashmir.

The region has witnessed 33 of the 36 deaths. One person each was killed in Srinagar and north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. (IANS)

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Haryana Police Summons 45 Dera Sacha Sauda Committee Members Accused of Plotting Violence Following Conviction of Dera Chief

Dera Sacha Sauda followers had indulged in large-scale violence in Panchkula and Sirsa after the CBI court on August 25 convicted the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape

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DERA SACHA SAUDA
Dera Sacha Sauda followers had indulged in large-scale violence in Panchkula and Sirsa after the CBI court on August 25 convicted the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape. IANS

Chandigarh, October 6, 2017 : Haryana police have issued summons to 45 members of a committee of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect to appear before it regarding the violence that erupted following the rape conviction of the Dera chief on August 25, police sources said on Friday.

Police sources said a hard disk, which reportedly contains details of transactions worth Rs 700 crore, including property and hawala deals, of the Dera has been recovered and sent for detailed examination.

The 45-member committee, which included the Dera’s headquarters campus (near Sirsa) chairman Vipassana and vice chairman P.R. Nain, is being accused of planning the violence in Panchkula and other places that left at least 38 people dead and 264 injured.

Dera Sacha Sauda followers had indulged in large-scale violence in Panchkula and Sirsa after the CBI court on August 25 convicted the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape.

The Haryana Police had last month issued a list of 43 ‘Most Wanted’ people of the sect, including top functionaries Honeypreet Insan and Aditya Insan, who are the closest aides of Ram Rahim, for their role in the violence.

Honeypreet was arrested from neighbouring Punjab on Tuesday after being fugitive for 38 days. She was booked for sedition and inciting violence.

The disgraced sect chief, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, is now lodged in the District Jail in Sunaria near Rohtak. (IANS)

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Chennai Police Department Makes 19 Year Old Boy with Down Syndrome Police Officer for a Day

Sometimes from a small seed, greatness grows. And despite all odds, the 19-year-old Stevin is a testament to this

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'Sub Inspector' Stevin Mathew on patrol. The Hindu

Chennai, September 28, 2017 : Throughout his childhood, Stevin had just one, very simple wish.

He had longed to be a police officer. His parents claim Stevin grew up uttering “I am police, I am police” as he saw his favorite actors perform the role of a uniform-clad officer in multiple films.

Sadly though, being born with a disability meant that this wish was nothing short of a fantasy.

Doctors had long identified that a young Stevin Mathew was suffering from Down syndrome, a genetic disorder of chromosome 21 that causes developmental and intellectual delays. While the condition can be supervised with treatment, it cannot be completely cured.

For many children, being born with special conditions often means giving up on their dreams. However, we increasingly forget why they are called ‘special’ in the very first place.

Stevin Mathew’s story has been special, too.

Originally hailing from Chennai, the family is currently settled in Qatar. But it was only during a recent trip to Chennai that Stevin’s father Rajeev Thomas approached the commissioner of Chennai police, making a special request to allow his son to wear the prestigious khaki uniform for a day.

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In a gesture of goodwill, Commissioner A.K. Vishwanathan agreed to help young Stevin realize his dream of becoming a police officer. Consequently, Chennai’s Assistant Commissioner Vincent Jayaraj and Inspector Suryalingam visited Stevin at his Chennai dwelling and made the fundamental arrangements for action.

A customized uniform with two stars glittering on the shoulder badge was stitched for Stevin, keeping all necessary details in mind.

“He was fascinated by the police after watching his favorite stars Suresh Gopi, Vijay, and others. He always wanted to become a police officer. So I decided to write a mail to the commissioner when we came to Chennai for a vacation”
                                          – Rajeev Thomas, Stevin’s father 

Welcomed with bouquets at the Ashok Nagar police station, the 19-year sub-inspector assumed position for an hour and was also given his own desk and briefed about the tasks undertaken for crime prevention in order completely experience an officer’s life.

Armed with a walkie-talkie and an agenda, Stevin attended phone calls and also set out on patrol duty in a police jeep along with two other constables.

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Stevin tending to his duties as a sub-inspector. Deccan Chronicle

A bright 19-year old boy, Stevin is a Diploma-holder in Computer Applications and has never let circumstances decide the course of his life.

Stevin’s parents, Rajeev and Ciby Mathew run a special school for children called HOPE Qatar in Doha and believe that special children should be given equal opportunities to help include them into the mainstream society.

Commissioner A.K. Vishwanathan and the Chennai Police department must also be acknowledged for setting an example and motivating children to dream despite all hardships.

Sometimes from a small seed, greatness grows. And despite all odds, the 19-year-old Stevin is a testament to this.

 

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UN General Assembly: Pakistan Representative Maleeha Lodhi goofs up, labels Gaza photo as Kashmir’s

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Maleeha Lodhi at UN General Assembly
Maleeha Lodhi at UN General Assembly

United Nations, Sep 24: In a failed attempt to counter India at the UN General Assembly, Pakistan’s Representative Maleeha Lodhi tried to pass off a distorted fact. She displayed a disturbing picture of Gaza and labelled it as the “face of Indian democracy”.

Lodhi was responding to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s description of Pakistan as a “pre-eminent export factory for terror” at UN General Assembly 2017.

The photo, Lodhi displayed at the UN General Assembly to show Indian “atrocities” in Jammu and Kashmir was of 17-year-old Rawya Abu Jom. In reality, the picture is of 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, where two Israeli airstrikes hit Rawya Abu Jom, family’s apartment in Gaza.

Exercising the Right of Reply, Maleeha Lodhi accused India of “crimes against humanity” and of carrying out a “campaign of brutality” in the Kashmir Valley. To prove her point, she held the photo of the girl whose face was riddled with wounds.

The photo has been featured in many photo galleries online, including by the New York Times and the Guardian.(IANS)