Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dalgate demonstration over student’s ‘killing’
Soz condemns, says Soniaji’s Congress is for zero-tolerance of HR abuse


SRINAGAR, Jan 9: With the business hub of Lalchowk and Maisuma continuing shutdown to press the traders’ demand of removal of CRPF bunkers, situation in Civil Lines here deteriorated further today as a critically wounded student died at a hospital and residents of his locality, Dalgate, alleged that the 17-year-old had been killed by Police. Suspected militants have, meanwhile, attacked two more surrendered militants, killing one of them on the spot, in Kulgam area of south Kashmir.

According to informed sources, class 11th student, Inayat Khan S/o Amanullah Khan R/o Malteng, Dalgate, was found lying in a pool of blood near Amirakadal Bridge during yesterday’s clashes between stone pelting groups and Police. Men in a three-wheeler rushed him to Bone & Joint Hospital Barzullah. Doctors found his rib fractured but referred him to SKIMS Soura as his excessive bleeding did not stop even after medical treatment. Doctors at SKIMS passed him through a surgery procedure to pump out coagulated blood from his lungs and other organs. However, he breathed his last at 2330 hours.

Death of the 17-year-old student spread like a wildfire as the allegation of ‘killing him in cold blood’ came as usual on Police and security forces. While the business hub of Lalchowk was shut on the fourth consecutive day to press the traders’ demand of removal of CRPF bunkers, tension gripped entire Civil Lines from Budshah Chowk and Amirakadal to Dalgate and Sonwar. Business remained suspended in 2 Km area but today’s tension had little impact on the normal life in rest of the capital city.

Blaming Police and security forces for “firing” upon the student and “crushing him to death”, residents of Dalgate area put up demonstrations, staged a dharna outside Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s residence on Gupkar Road and shouted anti-Police, anti-India and anti-Government slogans in front of the Srinagar headquarters of United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar. They demanded high level inquiry, dismissal of the personnel and penal punishment to the guilty as also delivery of dead body at Malteng.

After conducting post mortem and other procedures, Police handed over the dead body to the bereaved family. It was later buried amid emotional scenes and high tension at the local graveyard at Malteng.

SSP Srinagar, Javed Riyaz Bedar, told Early Times that Police had taken due cognizance of the matter and ordered a departmental inquiry. He said that Police would take necessary action as per law immediately after receiving findings of the inquiry and a detailed post mortem report. He said that even after the doctors at SKIMS had conducted a cursory post mortem, Police today got a complete post mortem conducted in presence of a magistrate.

Sources at SKIMS said that doctors had observed “broken rib and right femor fractured due to injury” and “alleged history of firearm”, suggesting that the youth had been hit by a bullet, tearsmoke shell, pellet or splinter. However, doctors who conducted the second autopsy did not find indication of firearm. Some of the demonstrators alleged that Inayat had been beaten up and later fired upon by Police but others insisted that he had been hit by a 407 vehicle. It was not immediately clear whether it was a civil or Police vehicle.

Hundreds of people later participated in the student’s funeral. They shouted pro-Azadi, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans. They claimed that the young student had been targeted during yesterday’s clashes when he was returning to home from a tuition centre.

Significantly J&K Pradesh Congress Committee President, Prof Saifuddin Soz, condemned the “killing” of Inayat Khan and alleged Police attack on the Graeter Kashmir photographer Amaan Farooq. “I strongly condemn the killing of teenager Inayat Khan at Dalgate, Srinagar, Kashmir, and an attempt on the life of a Greater Kashmir photo journalist Amaan Farooq”, he said in a press release today.

Without directly holding Omar Abdullah’s government responsible, Soz added: “The Congress Party as coalition partner in J&K State will strongly adhere to the commitment of UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr Manmoham Singh’s commitment of zero tolerance to human rights violations. While it is true that law and enforcing agencies, including Para forces and J&K Police, have done commendable work to containing terrorists in the J&K State, there are elements in such agencies who do not understand that innocent lives have to be protected at all costs. I urge the J&K State administration to institute a high-level enquiry into incidents involving innocent persons”.

This is for the first time that a coalition partner leader had sought to be judgmental in advance of an investigation and held the “elements in agencies” responsible for a grave human rights abuse in Jammu & Kashmir since the formation of Omar Abdullah government these days last year.

Meanwhile, suspected militants have opened fire on two more surrendered militants, namely Gul Mohammad Dar S/o Jalal-ud-din Dar R/o Brazloo and Samir Ahmed Bhat S/o Abdul Rashid Bhat, at Kaimoh in Kulgam area of south Kashmir today. Gul Mohammad Dar died on spot and Samir Ahmed Bhat was rushed to a Srinagar hospital with critical injuries. Militants had similarly gunned down a former militant in Sopore yesterday.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Valley shedding tears for militants after 15 years
2 militants killed in Pampore gunbattle, civilian gunned down in Sopore


SRINAGAR, Jan 8: With the coalition government’s failure to tackle ‘agitational terrorism’---Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s phrase for the Kashmiris’ fresh support for militants---and the Opposition and mainstream politicians outsmarting each other over the issues of dialogue and demilitarization, a section of people in the Valley has begun to sing a new song for guerrillas after a long pause of 15 years. Even as security forces today eliminated two more militants in a fresh gunbattle in Pampore and suspected militants gunned down a civilian in Sopore, youngsters in Srinagar, Sopore and Baramulla took to the streets to pay homage of clashing with Police to the two militants killed in a gunbattle in the capital city on Thursday.

Authoritative sources in south Kashmir told Early Times that over a specific information provided by Special Operations Group of District Police Srinagar, Awantipore Police, CRPF and Army swooped on Andersoo hamlet in the Police and forces-dominated locality of Khrew in Pampore area early this morning. During the course of house-to-house search operation, two heavily armed militants hiding at the house of one Nazir Ahmed Bhat S/o Abdul Rehman Bhat opened fire and made desperate attempts to escape from the cordoned area.

In a fierce retaliation, Police and security forces gunned down both the militants. SP Awantipore, Bashir Ahmed Khan, told mediapersons that Police acted on a specific information and killed both the militants hiding in the village in a fierce gunbattle. He said that Bhat’s house suffered extensive damage and claimed that none among Police, security forces or civilians was harmed in the whole operation.

SP Awantipore identified the militants killed in the gunbattle as Zahoor Ahmed Mir alias Haroon S/o Khizar Mohammad Mir R/o Armulla, Pulwama, and Altaf Ahmed Mir alias Mohsin S/o Mohammad Yusuf Mir R/o Chursoo, Awantipore. He claimed that both the militants killed in the gunbattle were Kashmiri cadres of Lashkar-e-Toiba, even as they had previously worked with Hizbul Mujahideen. He said that two AK-56 rifles were in the arms and ammunition recovered from the debris of the destroyed house.

A spokesman of J&K Police claimed that Haroon and Mohsin had been found responsible for causing an IED blast near Srinagar Central Jail on September 12th, 2009, and firing on a Police party at Pamore on December 22nd same year. In the IED blast at Kathidarwaza, near Srinagar Central Jail, militants had targeted and damaged a vehicle of District Police Pulwama, killing two Police personnel and a civilian woman. During the investigation, Altaf Ahmed Mir alias Mohsin had figured as the man who had planned and executed the strike but Police had failed to get him until today.

In the shootout at Pampore on December 22nd last, two Police personnel had died and one more had sustained injuries. The spokesman claimed that both, Haroon and Mohsin, had been found involved in it. Police had been in search of the duo particularly since last fortnight.

Meanwhile, official sources in north Kashmir said that unidentified gunmen, widely believed to be regrouped militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba, gunned down one Bilal Ahmed Chaproo S/o Mohammad Sultan Chaproo R/o Bilal Colony, Armpora (Sopore) in broad daylight at 1400 hours today. After his arrest and detention, Chaproo had quit militancy and had been working as a Village Level Worker in Rural Development Department. Regrouping and resurfacing after a pause of nearly three years, militants have spread a fresh wave of terror in Sopore area with nearly a dozen incidents, including killing of four CRPF personnel in a strike, in the last two months.

With the militants now also surfacing in Srinagar and Pulwama districts, a section of people has begun to take to the streets in praise of the slain guerrillas at several places in Srinagar, Baramulla and Sopore. Valley is significantly witnessing this phenomenon after a long pause of nearly 15 years.

While scores of youth in Maisuma locality of the capital city clashed with Police in ding-dong stone pelting during the course of Lalchowk gunbattle yesterday and also today, reports of similar clashes poured in from at least six spots in downtown Srinagar and four spots in Baramulla and Sopore. Participants in these demonstrations, known as “agitational terrorism” in New Delhi, paid homage to the two fidayeen killed in the Lalchowk gunbattle. They also demanded removal of CRPF bunkers from Lalchowk and enforced business shutdown on the third consecutive day in the major nerve centre in Srinagar.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Both fidayeen killed in Srinagar gunbattle
IGP orders probe into ‘firing’ on photojournalist; hotel building gutted


SRINAGAR, Jan 7: Militants’ twenty-four-hour-long suicidal gunbattle with Police and CRPF at the business nerve centre of Lalchowk in this capital city today ended with the death of both the fidayeen as the hotel building occupied by them suffered extensive damage in a blaze and one of the three critically injured civilians died at a hospital. In all, two militants, one driver of J&K Police and one civilian have got killed in the strike that has deflated different political parties’ claim of normality and demand of demilitarization in Jammu & Kashmir.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Farooq Ahmed, told Early Times that after evacuating nearly 600 civilians from different buildings in the congested business centre of Lalchowk and maintaining a tight cordon overnight, Srinagar District Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) stormed the 4-storeyed Hotel Punjab at 0900 hours. Conducting room-to-room searches, commandoes of Special Operations Group and CRPF forced both the hiding militants to come out of rooms they had occupied. Both were gunned down in nearly two-long-long fierce encounter.

Both the sides used AK-56 rifles and lobbed hand grenades, leading to the loft of the building catching fire. Even as the fire-tenders sprinkled water from two directions, two of the top storeys of the hotel building were destroyed. IGP said that only one CRPF personnel sustained a gunshot would in today’s encounter. He said that a total of 10 persons, including two CRPF personnel, had sustained injuries in the 24-hour-long shootout and resultant gunbattle.

IGP said that after the death of one Police driver, who had died in the beginning of the firing at Lalchowk yesterday, one of the three critically wounded civilians died at SMHS Hospital in the wee hours today. He maintained that both the militants killed in the operation belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba. IGP Kashmir said one of the duo was identified as Manzoor Ahmed Bhat alias Usman S/o Ghulam Rasool Bhat R/o Seer Jagir, Sopore, and another one as Qari, a Pakistani national.

However, a caller claiming to be the spokesman of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen told KNS over telephone that three militants of his organization had participated in the fidayeen operation. He identified one of them as Manzoor Ahmed Bhat alias Usman of Sopore and claimed that remaining two were from Balochistan, Pakistan. According to him, all the three militants had died in the gunbattle.

Simultaneously, another caller, who identified himself as the spokesman of Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, told KNS over telephone that three militants of his outfit had carried out the operation against the Indian security forces. He claimed that two of the group, namely Abdul Qadir and Abdul Jabbar, had got killed in the gunbattle but their accomplice, Abdul Kareem, had managed to escape late last night and had succeeded in reaching back to his hideout. Officials dismissed it all as “trash” and insisted that only two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were in the encounter with Police and CRPF. Both of them got killed, claimed the officials.

Director General of Police, Kuldeep Khoda, personally supervised the operation. At the conclusion of the operation, he told mediapersons that only the evacuation of hundreds of civilians, trapped in different hotels, shops and buildings, had delayed the final assault of Police and CRPF. He called it a surgical operation and claimed that minimum it had ended with the minimum possible damage. He refused to accept that it was a suicidal strike and claimed that both the militants had been spotted and commanded to halt before they exposed themselves, fired and took shelter inside a hotel. He said that Police were investigating as to what exactly the militants had been planning in the capital city.

Thirteen civilians wounded yesterday included a videographer of a television news channel. Local daily Greater Kashmir photographer Aman Farooq was hit in his thigh by a bullet minutes after the gunbattle had ended. He alleged that a probationary Dy SP, Safdar Samoon, KPS 2005-batch, took out his pistol and fired straight into his thigh. He was rushed to SMHS Hospital where doctors discharged him after medical treatment.

Different media organizations in Srinagar condemned the incident and demanded inquiry into the circumstances that led to “firing” on a photojournalist. IGP Kashmir told Early Times that he had immediately ordered an inquiry and action would be taken against the guilty if anybody in Police or security forces was found to have fired on the mediaperson. He said that there was no reason for the Police official to open fire well after the gunabttle had ended, that too on a prominent photojournalist when all eyes were on Lalchowk.

In a disturbing development for the Government, scores of youth from the nearby Maisuma locality staged anti-Police and anti-India demonstration and expressed their solidarity with the militants while shouting slogans in their praise. They also engaged in pitched battles and stone pelting on Police even as the operation was underway at Lalchowk.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fidayeen strike in Srinagar after 3 years
Police driver killed, 13 injured as 2 militants hide at hotel in Lalchowk

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jan 6: Striking in this capital city after over three years, suicide militants today took cover at Hotel Punjab in the crowded business hub of Lalchowk after they gunned down the driver of SHO Maisuma and 13 others sustained injuries in the shootout. Police and CRPF have cordoned the area, identified the location of two heavily armed militants and planned to strike on the hotel after all the civilians trapped in the business centre were successfully evacuated.

Informed sources said that a Police party, headed by SHO Maisuma, Inspector Zahoor Ahmed Khan, beckoned two Phiran-clad suspects in their early 20s at a frisking naka at Palladium Cinema in the crowded business centre of Lalchowk at 1410 hours. Rather than advancing to the Police party, both the suspects took out their AK-56 rifles and began spraying bullets on the target from a short distance of seven to ten metres.

Follower Mohammad Yusuf, a resident of Goripora (Hyderpora) who had been working as driver with SHO Maisuma, died on the spot. Thirteen others, including a CRPF personnel, sustained injuries in the shootout and the resultant encounter even as both the militants succeeded in crossing over to other side of Lalchowk and took positions inside Hotel Punjab on the take-off point of Court Road. Eyewitnesses said that some men of the Police party chased the militants but failed to strike on them for fear of civilian casualties until the duo took shelter inside the hotel.

District Police Srinagar, alongwith CRPF 132 Bn, laid siege to the hotel building, evacuated hundreds of civilians, including shopkeepers, traders, shoppers and government employees, and began planning for a major strike on the hotel building while continuing the cordon overnight. Senior Police and CRPF officials are camping in Lalchowk as the security forces have sealed off all incoming and outgoing routes.

IGP Kashmir, Farooq Ahmed, told Early Times from the spot at around midnight that Police and CRPF had succeeded in evacuating all the civilians who had got trapped at Hotel Punjab and many other structures in Lalchowk and Court Road. He said that Police or any other security agency had not received any distress call or SOS from anybody trapped in the area which, according to him, was an indication that nobody other than the two militants was holed up after this evening. He said that in identical situations in the past, Police had received distress calls from different states as the family members of the holed up tourists used to inform the authorities regarding the presence of their relatives.

IGP said that Police and CRPF would launch a decisive strike on the identified hotel structure in order to get the holed up militants dead or alive. He said that two different outfits had claimed responsibility for the Fidayeen strike but Police had substantial reasons to believe that both the militants belonged to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Local news agency, Kashmir News Service, reported that two different callers, claiming to be spokespersons of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen informed it over telephone, one after another, that militants of their organizations had carried out the strike on Lalchowk.

Sources said that in all 13 persons reported for medical treatment at different hospitals in Srinagar after sustaining gunshot and splinter injuries. Officials and eyewitnesses said that after spraying bullets on their target, both the militants lobbed at least three grenades before taking shelter inside the hotel building.

By late tonight, nine of the injured civilians had been discharged from hospital. Officials said that two of the critically injured civilians, namely Mohammad Akbar Lone of Tangmarg and Wahid Zahoor of Mustafa Nagar Zainakoot, were under treatment at SMHS Hospital and a CRPF personnel was under observation after a surgery at MI Room of the same hospital. One more civilian, identified as Riyaz Ahmed Malik of Barsoo, Awantipore, was admitted at Bone & Joint Hospital, Barzalla.

IGP Farooq said that Police and security forces were already on high alert as they had received inputs that militants could cause a car blast anywhere in the capital city. Checking of vehicles and frisking of passengers and pedestrians had been accordingly intensified since Sunday last.

After a series of strikes, including killing of four CRPF personnel, in Sopore area last month, militants have launched this kind of a suicide strike in this capital city after over three years. In late 2006, militants had engaged in the last fidayeen attack in Budshah Chowk- Lal Chowk area as nearly a dozen personnel, civilians and three militants had got killed in the encounter at Standard and Taj hotels. It is also for the first time since Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took over the reigns of his coalition government on January 5th, 2008, that militants have carried out a major fidayeen attack in Jammu & Kashmir.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For Shias and Sunnis, there’s a lot in the name of a Chowk
Pattan-Magam belt under curfew


SRINAGAR, Jan 5: In immediate response to the eruption of sectarian tension---exclusively reported by Early Times in today’s issue---authorities have imposed curfew over around 50 villages in the Central Kashmir Magam-Pattan belt, even as the residents have formed a joint forum of 60 representatives of Sunni and Shia Muslims and Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla is personally participating in its first meeting on Wednesday to resolve the crisis. Conflict over the name of a Chowk has snowballed into a major trouble as the Shias want it to be known as ‘Imam Khomeini Chowk’ and the Sunnis insist that it be christened either after the name of a hamlet or a militant killed over a decade ago.

DC Baramulla, Lateef-uz-Zamaan Deva, told Early Times that curfew was imposed as a precautionary measure in Pattam-Magam belt, bordering Baramulla and Budgam districts in Central Kashmir, late last night as mischief mongers seemed to be bent upon turning a trivial issue into a sectarian clash. He said that rumour mills worked overnight to spread that this particular number of the people had been killed and that particular place of worship had been set on fire. “Fact of the matter is that nobody was either killed or injured and not a minor incident of any desecration or attack on any place of worship, mosque or Imambargah took place”, DC Baramulla said over telephone late tonight.

Mr Deva said that he, alongwith SSP Baramulla, Viplab Kumar, camped in the tense Pattan-Magam belt in the last 24 hours. He said that the prominent Shia spiritual and political leader, Maulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, played a very positive role in defusing the crisis as he deputed his brother, Amjad Ansari, who toured the area under curfew with Additional DC Baramulla, Mohammad Ashraf Shonthu, and the tension began receding by this evening. On the other hand, DC Budgam, Mohammad Rafi, and SSP Budgam, Aftab Ahmed Kakroo, remained camping in Magam-Beerwah area.

Police and Civil Administration of both the districts met at Magam late in the afternoon and their persuasive interaction with the residents resulted in shouting of Shia-Sunni unity slogans in the township.

DC Baramulla said that he personally interacted with the representatives of both the Muslim sects and succeeded in forming a joint forum of 60 men---40 from the Sunni populated Sherabad (Khour) and Begpora villages and 20 from the adjoining Shia village of Naulari. He said that the first meeting of this joint body would take place at a doctor’s residence at Naulari tomorrow and he would personally attend it. He said that the situation was tense but under control. He expressed optimism that the tension would substantially recede in the next 24 hours and the prohibitory orders could be withdrawn in a day or two.

As already reported, tension had erupted over the name of a village square at Hagarpora-Kongamdara last weekend. While the Shia residents of Hagarpora had installed a hoarding of their spiritual leader and godfather of the Iranian revolution of 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, after his death 20 years ago, Sunni residents of the adjoining Kongamdara had installed the hoarding of a militant killed over a decade ago. Shias had christened it as “Imam Khomeini Chowk” and the Sunnis as “Shaheed Nazir Ahmed Chowk” after the name of the militant. Romanticism, however, remained restricted to the hoardings as the Shias called it Hagarpora Chowk and the Sunnis knew it by the name of Kongamdara Chowk. Tension erupted when both the hoardings disappeared in mysterious circumstances last week.

DC Baramulla insisted that the Shias had actually named it after the former Iranian President and the living spiritual leader, Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamnai. He said that he had already worked on it and fixed a meeting of residents of both the villages on January 6th as members of the rival groups had agreed to name it after the “much revered Imam Khomeini”. The meeting would decide whether it would be named as “Khomeini Chowk Hagarpora” or “Khomeini Chowk Kongamdara”, he said. According to him, leaders of both the villages, divided on sectarian lines, had agreed to go by the revenue records and accept his decision.

Meanwhile, last week another incident occurred at Naulari, not far away from Hagarpora which accentuated the trouble. Officials said that residents of Naulari had organized a sit-in while demanding better power supply. Entire vehicular traffic, including security forces, changed the route. Inspector Mohammad Ramzan Ganai, resident of Sherabad (Khour), who is posted in Traffic Police, insisted to pass through the dharna. Someone in the mob lobbed a Kangri on his car and he was booed away towards his home. Later he filed FIR against residents of Naulari and allegedly mobilized residents of three adjoining village to plunder the hamlet of Naulari.

Reports said that SHO Pattan, Inspector Abdul Majeed, failed to handle the situation judiciously and his continuous raids in Naulari around the sensitive 10th of Moharram led to spreading of trouble to a new flashpoint.

Meanwhile, most of the separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Jamiat Ahli Hadith chief, Maulvi Showkat, Anjuman Sharayee Shia’an President, Aga Syed Hassan, besides J&K Shia Association President, Maulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, and Speaker of Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone, have condemned “attempts of divisive forces and mischief mongers to create sectarian tension in Kashmir, known for its communal and sectarian harmony for centuries”. In their separate statements, they have invariably made an appeal to members of both the sects of Muslims to maintain the centuries old atmosphere of harmony and remain vigilant against the evil designs of mischief mongers.

Sectarian tension erupts in Pattan

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Jan 4: Mysterious disappearance of two hoardings of the Shia spiritual leader late Ayatollah Khomeini and a Kashmiri militant, have resulted in eruption of sectarian tension in a cluster of about a dozen villages in Pattan area of Baramulla district.

Informed sources told Early Times that residents of the predominantly Shia populated Hagarpora village had installed a hoarding of the godfather of the Iranian revolution Ayatollah Khomeini at a marketplace over 20 years ago. Later, in early 1990s, residents of some Mohallas of Hagarpora and Kongamdara installed a hoarding of a local militant, namely Nazir Ahmed, at the same place. Both disappeared by night in mysterious circumstances immediately after the 10th Moharram (Ashoora).

With the Sunni Muslims insisting on naming the square as “Shaheed Nazir Ahmed Chowk” after the militant killed over a decade ago and the Shia Muslims calling it “Imam Khomeini Chowk” after their spiritual leader who passed away 20 years ago, confrontation snowballed into a major clash this evening.

Police officials said that over two thousand residents of Zangam, Hanjivera and Sherabad gathered and marched towards Nauleri village. On the other hand, resident of Nauleri and adjoining Shia villages also gathered as the groups in confrontation used public address system of their mosques to call their respective supporters.

Senior Police officials rushed to the spot and they were busy in dousing the flames of sectarian tension that has erupted in Pattan area in days of a similar situation at the one-odd Shia population village of Gund-e-Sayyidaan, close to LoC in Tangdar sector of Kupwara district. Even as some members of a sect have fled due to “insecurity”, Kupwara Police have swung into action and arrested few of the mischief mongers.

Reports from Tangdar said that Attiq-ur-Rehman, brother of the National Conference (NC) MLA from Karnah, was in the forefront of creating a situation of the confrontation between members of two sects and Police had not taken any action against him. After allegations of desecration to the holy scripture, members of a sect have allegedly set on fire a place of worship of the other sect.

2 IGs, 2 DIGs, 6 SSPs being promoted to higher ranks
Ram Lubhaya, Gopal Reddy, HK Lohia, Pankaj Saxena tipped for elevation

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jan 4: New Year is carrying a bonanza of rank promotion for a number of senior and middle rung officers in Jammu & Kashmir Police as two Inspectors General of Police, two Deputy Inspectors General of Police and half-a-dozen Senior Superintendents of Police are likely to be elevated to higher ranks. Cabinet is expected to take a decision in its meeting on Thursday next even as the elevation is yet to be cleared by respective Departmental Promotion Committees (DPCs) in favour of the senior Police officers.

With a number of positions falling vacant due to retirement of incumbents and central deputations, state government is likely to promote a number of top and middle ranking Police officials, albeit in their own pay and grade. Those tipped to be elevated to the rank of Additional DGP include IGP Security Ram Lubhaya and IGP Home Guard, Civil Defence and Railways Gopal Reddy, both regular recruits of 1985. Sources said that both of them were due to get rank promotion against substantive posts of ADGs by the end of current year but, in keeping with a much repeated tradition, they were likely to be promoted and placed in their own pay and grade till confirmation at the maturity of their term.

On one point of time in recent past, as many as six officers had been granted the rank of ADG against three substantive posts. While as DG (Transport Commissioner) M K Mohanty has reached superannuation on December 31, 2009, DG Prisons Dr Ashok Bhan is due for retirement in a few months from now. They are following Radha Vinod Raju, who proceeded to Central deputation and simultaneously retirement from service, and P S Gill, who was last year appointed as DG of Police in his home state of Punjab.

With another 1985-batch IPS officer, S K Mishra, being on the Central deputation (BSF), Ram Lubhaya and Gopal Reddy are two-odd contenders for the rank promotion as ADGs.

Since a 1992-batch IPS officer, Rashmi Ranjan Swain, is on Central deputation (Research & Analysis Wing), DIG Central Kashmir and Ladakh, Hemant Kumar Lohia, and DIG Traffic Jammu, Pankaj Kumar Saxena, are likely to be promoted to the rank of IGP. Swain will be entitled to proforma promotion.

Sources said that in case of these promotions and also in order to extend some benefit to the State Police Service (SPS), Government was likely to elevate six officers of the rank of SSP to the level of DIG. One-odd regular recruit (RR) of the group, namely Munish Sinha, has returned from the Central deputation last month. The SPS officers being considered for promotion to the rank of DIG include SSP CID Headquarters, Sham Lal Sharma, Director PTTI Vijaypur, Jagjit Kumar, SSP Rajouri, Shafqat Wattali, SSP Crime Branch Jammu, J P Singh, and SSP Railways Kashmir, Mubarak Ahmed Ganai.

In this particular group, AIG (Personnel), Naseeruddin Wani, is unlikely to get the instant benefit as he is yet to be recommended by a Central Administrative Tribunal, which he had approached to get his grievance of seniority redressed.

Government is said to be considering nominations for the vacancies of DIG Vigilance, DIG P&T P Hqs, Director Police Telecommunications, Joint Director Sher-e-Kashmir Police Training Academy Udhampur, Director Civil Military Liaison besides two posts of DIGs in IRP in Kashmir and Jammu. Even after Suleman Salaria had been recently appointed as DIG Vigilance, Commissioner Vigilance P L Gupta is said to have requisitioned for a separate incumbent as DIG for Kashmir in State Vigilance Organisation.

Sources said that Department of Home was presently considering whether these rank promotions could be recommended and subsequently sanctioned by Cabinet in anticipation of clearance from DPCs.