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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Geo TV’s Urdu dubbing of Message creates flare up in Kupwara

Teachers claim it was the current blasphemous one; Army says it wasn’t

 Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Sep 14: On a day when the valley of Kashmir, alongwith entire Muslim world, was burning with rage against a California-based filmmaker’s blasphemous production, Army’s expedition of winning the hearts of local Muslim students with Moustapha Akkad’s classic--- The Message--- boomeranged in Kupwara. As the schoolteachers alleged that Army was screening the same film that had outraged the Muslims since last week, Police and security forces claimed that it was an old, popular production that had been dubbed in Urdu by Pakistan’s Geo TV and certified by the top Islamic universities of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Informed sources in north Kashmir said that as a part of Army’s Operation Sadbhavana, soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles 28 Bn organized a function at Government Middle School Potshai in Lolab valley of Kupwara district today. While a film was being screened on a projector, one of the teachers protested that it was the same blasphemous movie (‘Mohammad’) that had currently stirred up the entire Muslim world. He was soon joined by local schoolteachers and the students too followed.

Within minutes, there were anti-national and anti-Army slogans with the allegation that Army was hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims with the screening of an inflammable film.

Deputy Commissioner of Kupwara, Sarmad Hafeez, told Early Times that he personally visited the spot, alongwith additional DC and SP Kupwara. He said that the officers succeeded in pacifying the gathering with the assurance that the film would be previewed and the guilty would be punished in case it turned out to be a blasphemous film. He said that Police according seized the tapes and projector and later found during previewing that it was not any blasphemous film.

DC Kupwara said that according to the Police it was the famous Hollywood director Moustapha Akkad’s classic film “The Message” that had been duly certified by top Islamic universities in the Arab world and had grown very popular when it was screened throughout the world in 1976-77. “Police told me that it was the Urdu dubbing of Moustapha Akkad’s film ‘The Message’ created by Pakistan’s private television channel Geo TV”, Sarmad Hafeez asserted.

“But, unfortunately, when we left back for Kupwara, some people reportedly gathered and blocked the road. They clashed with Police and in retaliation two or three Policemen got injured”, DC Kupwara said. “However, the situation is now fully under control”.

Civilian sources said that Police were looking for a teacher, namely Mohammad Maqbool of Sopore, who had first raised objection to screening of the film. They said that the clash occurred when troops took into custody two of the residents, namely Abdul Hamid Khan and Mohammad Shafi. They said that participants of the show shouted slogans and pelted stones to register their protest against screening of the film and seeking release of the two civilians arrested by Army. Officials claimed that nobody had been arrested or detained by Police or security forces.

Interestingly, director of ‘The Message’ Moustapha Akkad is also the creator of another Muslim blockbuster ‘Omar Mukhat’, the film on a Libyan revolutionary icon, that is held responsible for generating the first anti-India and anti-Sheikh Abdullah wave in Kashmir in 1986. Political historians insist that ‘Omar Mukhtar’ stirred up the emotions of a young generation in 1980s, eventually leading to the birth of Muslim United Front---father of the post-1990 Hurriyat Conference and armed insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.

Moustapha Akkad
Born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1930, Akkad emerged as a famous film director of Hollywood after completing his studies in direction the University of California, Los Angeles. He died in Amman, Jordan, in a massive explosion on November 11th in 2005.
In 1976, the Syrian-America filmmaker produced and directed “Mohammad, Messenger of God” (released as The Message in 1977 in the United States), starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas. Akkad faced resistance from Hollywood to make the film in Morocco.
While creating “Muhammad, Messenger of God”, he consulted Islamic clerics and tried to be respectful toward Islam and its views on portraying Prophet Muhammad. He got the approval from the Al- Azhar in Egypt but was rejected by Muslim World League in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Governments of Kuwait, Libya and Morocco promised to support the film financially, but when it was rejected by the Muslim World League, Kuwait withdrew its financial support.
King Hassan II of Morocco gave Akkad full support for the production of the film. The production took one year. Akkad filmed for 6 months in Morocco, but had to stop when the Saudi Government exerted great pressure on Morocco to stop the production. Akkad went to Muammar Gaddafi of Libya for support to complete the project, Gaddafi allowed him to move the filming to Libya for the remaining 6 months until the film was completed.
In 1980, Akkad directed “The Lion of the Desert, in which Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas were joined by Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger and John Gielgud. It was about the real-life Bedouin leader Omar Mukhtar (Quinn), who fought Benito Mussolini's Italian troops in the deserts of Libya. The movie later was later critically acclaimed, after initially receiving negative publicity in the West for being partially funded by Gaddafi, then an anti-American and pro-Russian military ruler.

Army Version
“A youth employment and guidance exhibition was organized in Lolab, Kupwara district to educate and guide the youth regarding various employment avenues. During the exhibition educational and motivational movies including one on Indian Military Academy and National Defence Academy were shown to the youth. On popular demand and to generate interest amongst the locals, the Urdu version of movie, named ‘The Message, The Story of Islam’ was also planned to be screened.

During the screening of the initial portion of the movie, few miscreants deliberately spread the misinformation that the movie is anti-Islamic and started protesting. Elders, police and Army personnel explained the facts that the movie is an acknowledged epic on the story of Islam. However the miscreants did not heed to the appeal and involved other local people in the protest.

The police arrived at the site and tried to reason and pacify the agitating crowd which by that time had blocked the road. The positive response of the Awam not only dispelled the disinformation, but also sent a strong message that positive efforts of organisations such as Army will not be allowed to be disrupted just for the sake of some gains by miscreants.

The army sources added that the Movie named ‘The Message, The story of Islam’ is freely available on the internet and is proclaimed to be one of the most authentic Hollywood epics depicting the origin of Islam. The incident appears to be a pre mediated attempt by miscreants from outside to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere and endeavours of guiding and helping the youth to realize their dreams”


TV anchor directed to meet Police, Kaloo’s bail extended

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar, Sep 14: Even as Mr Qayoom Wadera today joined as the new Head of Programme at Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar and the authorities asked a male television anchor, Masood Muntazar, to host the daily morning show “Good Morning J&K” from tomorrow, a female anchor on bail was directed by a court to cooperate with the Police investigation and show up at the Police station forthwith.

Relieved overnight and attached to DD headquarters, Mrs Shami Shair did not turn up for the ritual of a valedictory function as nobody initiated to arrange one in her honour at DDK Srinagar. Consequently, Abdul Qayoom Wadera, who has been brought back from DDK Leh in less than a year, joined as the new Head of Programme in Srinagar.

Sources said that immediately after taking over, Wadera decided to remove all of the outgoing Director’s female hosts whose conduct has caused a major dent to the reputation and credibility of the national broadcaster in J&K. Male anchor, Masood Muntazar, who had actually started the morning show on 1-12-2011 and hosted it till 15-01-2012, was brought back and asked to anchor it from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, sources said that court of Sub Registrar, Mr Manzoor Ahmad Zargar, entertained Chief Prosecuting Officer’s fresh application, seeking cancellation of the release order of a Scorpio and other belongings of the National Conference leader and ex-MLC Altaf Kaloo. The judge put the previously issued release order in abeyance till September 18th.

As already reported, Police Station Nageen had booked the female anchor of DDK Srinagar’s morning show and the NC leader in a matter of “making obscene act at a public place” as mentioned in FIR No: 110 under section 294. While as the female TV anchor had been arrested on spot, the NC leader was alleged to have escaped, leaving behind his vehicle and other belongings. The woman was released later on bail and Kaloo was granted anticipatory bail by Principal District and Sessions Judge of Srinagar, Mr Mohammad Shafi Khan.

On a day when the local lawyers’ fraternity was on shutdown against a blasphemous film made in USA, the judge today extended Kaloo’s bail till September 18th. However, he has been directed to make himself available to the Investigating Officer on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday to cooperate in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Police are now at the receiving end of massive criticism as the people are putting questions how the NC leader escaped from the spot at the time of Police raid on the houseboat on September 9th. Others are now openly asking why Police did not invoke PITA and other harsher laws as had been applied in an infamous sex scandal involving a number of mainstream politicians and government officials in 2006. None of the accused of the Srinagar Sex Scam of 2006 had been caught red-handed as the fresh couple have been according to Police’s own claim.

Further, speculations are gaining currency that the female anchor has gone into hiding and flown to New Delhi though nobody has spotted her at the airport.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Director Doordarshan Srinagar Shami Shair attached

Prasar Bharti takes serious note of tainted anchor’s return to morning show; Wadera appointed as new Director

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Sep 13: Taking serious notice of yesterday’s lead story in Early Times over the audacious return of a tainted female anchor to her morning show after her release on bail, Prasar Bharti has attached Director Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar, Mrs Shami Shair, to the Doordarshan headquarters in New Delhi with immediate effect. She has been relieved and replaced by Director DDK Leh, Qayoom Wadera.

Highly placed sources in Prasar Bharti headquarters revealed that senior most functionaries, including Chief Executive Office (CEO) of the Corporation and Director General of Doordarshan, took cognizance of a detailed story, carried by Early Times in its Wednesday edition, and decided to initiate the corrective measures. After completing necessary formalities, including CEO’s approval, Directorate General of Doordarshan ordered Mrs Shami Shair’s attachment order in the evening today.

An exclusive report in this newspaper had revealed how some DDK Srinagar officials managed to get the tainted anchor back to her show on September 11th in an official vehicle from her residence. On the basis of inputs from insiders, ET had reported that DD’s Additional Director General, Ashok Jailkhani, and Director DDK Srinagar, Shami Shair, facilitated the female anchor’s return to the daily morning show “Good Morning J&K” hours after she was released on bail from Women’s Police Station Ram Bagh.

However, Mr Jailkhani called this correspondent from his New Delhi office on Wednesday, making it clear that he had no role or knowledge of the tainted anchor’s appearance back in the show on Tuesday. He claimed that he had been completely kept in the dark with regard to the anchor’s arrest in a criminal matter of “making obscene act at a public place” as recorded in FIR No: 110 under section 294 RPC of Police Station Nageen, Hazratbal. Mr Jailkhani claimed that neither the Director DDK Srinagar, Shami Shair, nor anyone else informed him during his over three-day stay in Srinagar that the regular anchor of “Good Morning J&K” had been arrested in a criminal matter and subsequently released on bail.

Taking notice of the story in ET, Mr Jailkhani had banned entry of the controversial actor into DDK Srinagar and all of DD’s programmes with immediate effect yesterday itself. Consequently, the show on September 12th was hosted by none other than Director DDK Srinagar and producer of the programme Mrs Shami Shair herself.

Even after the Prasar Bharti and DD authorities snubbed Mrs Shammi Shair on her controversial act of getting the tainted anchor back to the show on September 11th, she called her own sister’s daughter-in-law, Surraya, to appear as c0-anchor of “Good Morning J&K” today. The hour-long live telecast generated tremendous criticism in media and broadcasting circles from Srinagar to Delhi and Directorate General was left with no option other than shifting Mrs Shair immediately.

Order No: 74/2012/S.III issued under No: PF/318/S.III Dated 13-09-2012 by A.K. Gandhi, Deputy Director General of Administration at Directorate General of Doordarshan made it clear that Mrs Shair had been attached to the DD headquarters. The euphemistically draft of the order said that she would remain posted in the same capacity at Directorate General with immediate effect and until further orders.

“Smt. Shami Shair, DDP, DDK, Srinagar is hereby transferred and posted in the same capacity at Directorate General Doordarshan (Hqs), New Delhi, with immediate effect and until further orders. She stands relieved with direction to report at her new place of posting” reads the order of her transfer, made available to Early Times.

It adds: “Shri A.Q.Wadera, DDP, DDK, Leh is hereby transferred and posted in the same capacity as Head of Programme at DDK, Srinagar with immediate effect and until further orders. This issues with the approval of the competent authority”.

Sources said that Mr Abdul Qayoom Wadera, who has been functioning as Deputy Director of Programme at DDK Leh since earlier this year, would return to the Valley and join his new posting as Head of Programme at DDK Srinagar in the afternoon tomorrow.

Kaloo’s bail bond accepted
Meanwhile, the male accused of the criminal case and a ruling National Conference (NC) leader and former MLC, Altaf Ahmad Wani alias Altaf Kaloo, today appeared at Police Station Nageen alongwith a number of his counsels and a few party workers. Sources said that Police entertained his bail bond and gave him receipt of the custody of his Scorpio, a gun license, three ATM cards and other belongings that had been seized from the spot of the Police raid in the evening on September 9th.

Sources said that after waiting for the SHO at Police Station, Kaloo and his men went to Nageen Club where SHO Nageen, Inspector Imtiyaz, reportedly entertained them with juice and cold drinks. Later, they came back to the Police Station where the accused on bail was made to wait for over an hour. Reports said that he collapsed. He complained to some senior Police officials that he was being “unnecessarily subjected to long spells of wait”. His bail makes him bound to make himself available to Police and cooperate with the investigation.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Mr Mohammad Shafi Khan, will be hearing both parties on maintenance and cancellation of Kaloo’s bail tomorrow. Even as the accused is said to have been treated to juice at Nageen Club today, unconfirmed reports said that Police press for cancellation of his bail and may invoke Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) in addition to the soft 294 RPC. PITA awards punishment of rigorous imprisonment upto 10 years to a convict.

As already reported, on September 9th, Police Station Nageen claimed to have ‘caught red-handed’ Altaf Kaloo in a compromising position with a female anchor of Srinagar Doordarshan. Even as the female was arrested and case FIR No: 110 under section 294 RPC was registered against the duo, the male accused was claimed to have escaped from the spot leaving behind his belongings that included a Scorpio vehicle, three ATM cards, a gun license and a half-consumed bottle of Hundred Piper Whisky. Kaloo has denied the allegations and alleged that his arrest was result of a political conspiracy within his party.


IMPACT of Ahmed Ali Fayyaz Blog and Early Times:


Director Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar, Shammi Shair, has been just removed from her Srinagar posting and attached to Doordarshan Headquarters in New Delhi. Director Doordarshan Kendra Leh, Qayoom Wadera, has been appointed as the new Director for Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar. Reason is one; Getting a tainted TV anchor back to "Good Morning J&K" daily morning show after her arrest and bail in a criminal matter involving NC's ex-MLC Altaf Kaloo.

Read a detailed story here later today.

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jailkhani to DD’s anchor: Good bye lady!
ADG bans tainted anchor’s entry into ‘Good Morning J&K’

‘DDK Srinagar officials kept me in the dark about her arrest and return to the morning show after her release on bail’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Sep 12: Doordarshan’s Additional Director General, Ashok Jailkhani, has banned a controversial female anchor’s appearance in Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar’s morning show “Good Morning J&K” with immediate effect.

“I have taken cognizance of reports in Early Times and other newspapers and banned her booking in all of Doordarshan’s programmes with effect from today”, Jailkhani told Early Times from his office in New Delhi. His statement was confirmed with the fact that the anchor, currently in negative news on account of her booking by Police in a criminal matter involving a ruling National Conference (NC) leader, did not host today’s morning transmission of the Srinagar station. According to reports, hundreds of thousands of DD’s viewers in J&K and outside were keenly watching whether or not the controversial anchor would host the show today.

As reported in the last two issues of this newspaper, DDK Srinagar’s most sought-after female anchor was arrested by Police near Bagh-e-Shagoofa in the picturesque Nageen Lake in Hazratbal area in the evening on September 9th and booked in a matter of “committing obscene act at a public place”. In FIR No: 110 under section 294 RPC, Police claimed to have arrested the female anchor after she was allegedly caught ‘red-handed’ with the NC leader and former MLC, Altaf Ahmed Kaloo.

Even as Police claims to have seized the protected politician’s Scorpio, a gun licence, three ATM cards and a half-consumed bottle of Hundred Piper Whisky, the FIR mentions that he escaped when the raid was conducted in a car parking area beside Royal Palace houseboat. After three rounds of questioning during her 24-hour-long custody, the accused woman obtained bail from through her counsel from a judicial magistrate.

In hours of her release, officials of DDK Srinagar sent her a vehicle and got her picked up from her residence in Harwan area in the morning on September 11th and asked her to continue anchoring the daily morning show. To the surprise and dismay of thousands of viewers, she hosted the show as usual without any hesitation or embarrassment. According to reports available with the authorities, her appearance in the show generated a palpable wave of resentment against the Indian national broadcaster.

In his prompt reaction to an exclusive report published in today’s edition of this newspaper, DD’s ADG incharge North India, Ashok Jailkhani, asserted that his order of freezing all of the controversial anchor’s bookings had been implemented with effect from today. He claimed that he had been kept completely in the dark by DDK Srinagar Director, Shammi Shair, and other officials of the station with regard to the anchor’s arrest, Police custody, her release on bail and returning to the show yesterday.

“It was only when I was returning to New Delhi by a flight yesterday that some of my friends and colleagues called me by phone and revealed how the female anchor had been brought back to the show after her arrest and subsequent release on bail”, Jailkhani said. “Back in Delhi, when I read the newspapers, I realized that her entry into DD premises should be banned till she is cleared in the criminal matter booked by Police”. Jailkhani said that public perception and image of the television anchors could not be compromised in any circumstances.

Significantly, Jailkhani revealed that Mrs Shammi Shair had herself hosted the programme on September 10th after telling him that the regular anchor would not turn up as her aunt had died overnight. “Being in Srinagar since last week in connection with the release of my book (on theatre) by Governor, I was myself the guest in Good Morning J&K on September 10th. Shammiji told me that she had sent a vehicle to get the anchor but the lady would not turn up as her aunt had passed away last night. She said that she would herself reach the station and host the show. Shammiji reached on time and interviewed me while herself hosting the show. Even after the regular anchor had been brought back to the show on September 11th and newspapers carried stories in the day’s editions about her own arrest, I was not told about it”, he disclosed, making it clear that he had no role in getting the controversial anchor back to the show yesterday.

ADG further refuted allegations that he had ever asked DDK Srinagar to promote three particular casual women artists, including the controversial anchor, by increasing their fees and frequency of bookings. “This is all rubbish”, Jailkhani dismissed the allegation and claimed that he did not know any of the three. According to certain reports, the three casual artists were conspicuously present during CEO Prasar Bharti Jawahar Sircar’s recent visit and stay at SKICC beyond midnight though none of them was supposed to be there. They had been also hanging on Prasar Bharti’s General Manager during a meeting of the Parliamentary delegation at EDI building near Pampore.

With the ADG banning the controversial anchor’s entry into DDK premises, Director DDK Srinagar, Shammi Shair, who is herself producer of the programme, hosted today’s episode of “Good Morning J&K”.


Altaf Kaloo wanted in another complaint
DIG among officials trying to subvert investigation

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar, Sep 12: National Conference’s south Kashmir leader and former MLC, Altaf Kaloo, is wanted by Srinagar Police in another complaint filed against him two months ago by a woman. Police today filed an application seeking cancellation of Mr Kaloo’s bail that has been granted to him by Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar in a matter of ‘obscene act at a public place’ allegedly involving a female television anchor working for Doordarshan and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that Srinagar District Police today submitted an application in the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge, seeking cancellation of his bail that had been granted to him the other day in FIR No: 110 of Police Station Hazratbal. According to the FIR, Kaloo had been spotted in a compromising position with a female television anchor at a car parking near Bagh-e-Shagoofa at Nageen Lake in the evening on September 9th.

Enlarged on bail, Kaloo had not yet submitted bail bond of Rs 20,000 that was a condition in the relief granted to him by the court. He has not either produced himself before SHO or concerned Investigation Officer to fulfill formalities and cooperate in the investigation. Sources said that someone informed Kaloo by telephone and he quickly arranged a lawyer to contest the Police application. In the wake of objections by his counsel, the application was placed for hearing on September 14th.

Sources revealed that Kaloo was also wanted by Police in another complaint that had been filed against him two months back by a woman in Police Station Saddar in Srinagar. He is likely to be called for questioning in the next two days.

Sources made another sensational disclosure that Kaloo had escaped from the spot of Police raid in Nageen on September 9th  with a licensed pistol in his hand. “It was only his good luck that he did not open fire. In that case, he could have even died in a possible encounter”, said a Police source.

Sources revealed that despite “green signal” from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and no political intervention, some of the Police officers were “desperately trying to subvert the investigation”. They, according to very responsible sources, include a DIG who has previously remained posted in south Kashmir and enjoyed intimate relationship with the NC leader.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the ruling National Conference (NC), Tanvir Sadiq, told Early Times that Altaf Kaloo had already been placed under suspension on the direction of the party’s Working President Mr Omar Abdullah. He said that Kashmir Province President, Ali Mohammad Dar, has accordingly shot off a notice to Mr Kaloo asking him to appear before him with an explanation with regard to his conduct within seven days, failing which the party would initiate necessary action in the matter without any further notification to the respondent.


NC, Congress, PDP, CPM, Hurriyat silent but
MLA seeks action against DD officials

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Sep 12: Even as almost all the mainstream as well as separatist politicians have chosen to remain mute to the fresh sex scandal unfolding in the summer capital, independent MLA from Langet, Er Sheikh Abdul Rasheed has demanded action against the female television anchor, NC’s former MLC and DDK Srinagar officials involved in the scam.

In a statement today, MLA said that rather than dismissing the tainted anchor, DD authorities should had added salt to the injury by getting her back to host the morning show.

“There can be nothing more shameless and immoral than the fact that morally degraded authorities of Doordarshan allowed the said female anchor to carry on the programme Good Morning J&K within12 hours of the incident”, he added.

“It seems that Doordarshan Srinagar has become a den and base camp of immoral activities where, in the name of cultural activities, minds of Kashmiri youths are being poisoned with immoral and shameful acts”, he said and demanded stern action against the DD officials.  “Common masses have right to know that how the said TV anchor was allowed to host a program after this grave incident”, MLA asserted. He, nevertheless, appreciated role of J&K police in acting promptly “despite the huge pressure from the political and bureaucratic set up”.


Ex-MLC, DD anchor try shamelessly to defend their act

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Sept 12: How shameless and defiant can a politician become even after being caught red handed with a cohort? An ex-MLC who held the prestigious and constitutional position of a law-maker some years back has not only started shamelessly moving around, but also defying the society by claiming he did nothing wrong.

A half empty bottle of 100 Pipers whisky, an abandoned Scorpio, three ATM cards, a .12 bore gun licence still lying in the possession of the police have also not shaken the conscience of the man who was some time back regarded as a gentleman to whom men, women and children would go seeking remedies to their problems.

As if this was not enough for the involved to drown themselves in shame, the DD anchor went on air the very next day she was given bail. As an affront to millions of its viewers, the DD authorities sent the woman an official car to take her out of the Ram Munshi Bagh police station as if she had gone there to receive some prestigious award.

Obscenity in a public place might legally be a small offence that attracts an imprisonment of just three months and a fine if proved, but its social import is tremendous. The exposure has caught the imagination of every morally conscious and law abiding citizen of the State as media reports flashed the news about the shameful act of the duo. In fact, not only the ex-MLC, but the DD anchor as well are in the public domain and condemnation of the act has to be universal and befitting.

State Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has already directed the police not to succumb to any pressure in the matter and take its investigations to a logical conclusion, but the legal process is always a protracted affair in our country. People get released on technicalities. Production of witnesses for an act like this is not always an easy affair. First of all nobody would like to be known to have stood as a mute witness to such a shameful act. Admission in a court of law that somebody stood watching the duo perform their obscene act in itself attracts a lot of social stigma. The worst punishment the perpetrators of such a shameful act can be given is to expose them in the public eye. After all, people are the final judges of who is doing right or wrong in the society.

That this incident has been widely condemned is proof enough that our society is still alive to its moral and social values. Nobody approves such an act and those indulging in it must receive the widest possible condemnation.

If politicians and men of influence continue to take the law for a ride then what hope is left that an ordinary citizen would feel safe in our society? It is essential that the involved persons be turned over to the process of law and charged for their obscene behavior. It is a different matter what is the ultimate fate of the case, but the people must know that howsoever influential the involved might have been, law is uniform for all violators.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

--------------‘Good morning J&K’----------
DD’s centre of fame turns into centre of shame!

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Sep 10: In a brazen outrage of the social and cultural sensibilities of the ten million people of Jammu and Kashmir state, Doodarshan’s Additional Director General incharge North India, Ashok Jailkhani, and Director of Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar, Shammi Shair, have asked a tainted female anchor to continue to host the daily morning show ‘Good morning J&K’.

Even after the anchor, according to FIR No: 110 of Police Station Hazratbal, was caught red-handed in a comprising position with a former MLC of the ruling National Conference (NC) while consuming liquor at a public place at Nageen Lake in the evening on September 9th, she appeared at DDK Srinagar today and hosted the one-hour multi-segment programme without an iota of shame.

According to well-placed informed sources, the female anchor called Director DDK Srinagar, Shammi Shair, over telephone in two hours of his arrest by Police late in the evening on September 9th and revealed to her that she had been detained. The communication was all the more important as none other than DD’s Additional DG, Ashok Jailkhani, was scheduled to be the guest in the morning transmission on September 10th. It was decided between the three that Mrs Shair herself would host the programme in absence of the regular anchor.

Thus, it was for the first time since the programme was launched these days last year that Director DDK Srinagar anchored Good Morning J&K (GMJK). Jailkhani, who happens to be a Kashmiri, had come all the way from New Delhi to organize a drama festival at SKICC besides getting his book on theatre released by Governor N N Vohra. During his presence in Srinagar, DDK Srinagar fell from its grace as the station’s most sought-after lady anchor was arrested by Police and a criminal matter of ‘making obscene act at a public place’ was filed against her and her alleged male partner under section 294 RPC.

With the pause of just one episode, the tainted female anchor appeared on the show as usual, evoking invectives and criticism and surprise from thousands of DD’s viewers. Interestingly, even the headlines from today’s local newspapers were a feature of the programme. Headlines were read out obviously while skipping the news of shame about the programme’s anchor.

“This has happened never before. Previously, one would die of shock, commit suicide or at least disappear from public appearance till the people would forget such an incident. Now, DD is bravely putting up a bold face!” was invariably the reaction from hundreds of callers to the Director and Producer of the GMJK, Mrs Shair, and other DD official while they were in a routine programme review meeting in the forenoon.

Enquiries revealed that in the evening on September 10th, the detained anchor succeeded in getting bail from a judicial magistrate. Lodged at Women’s Police Station Ram Bagh, she was released and sent back to her home on an undertaking that she would cooperate with Police in the investigation, as and when required, and called. Immediately after her release, telephonic conversations ran into hours between senior officials of DD and the tainted anchor on the question whether or not to continue her as the host of GMJK.

Sources revealed that Additional DG, Mr Jailkhani, expressed his desire that the anchor be continued without gap as her “performance” had been always impressive. Consequently, Mrs Shair contacted the anchor, who lives in her neighbourhood in Harwan area, and asked her to come prepared to host the programme regularly and continuously from September 11th. She was told that a vehicle, engaged by DDK Srinagar, would pick her up from her residence and drop her back at her desired location after signing off the show at 9.00 a.m. Thousands, or may be hundreds of thousands of DD’s viewers, were taken aback when they saw the same anchor hosting the show without any signs of nervousness on her ‘bold face’.

As exclusively reported in today’s issue of Early Times, this controversial female anchor has hosted almost all the high profile public and television shows, including those of Prime Minister, J&K Chief Minister and UPA Chairperson in the last eight years. While working as a Consultant with Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) during its Mughal Road execution, she has also anchored over a thousand of musical serials for DDK Srinagar and DD Kashir besides a number of the promotional programmes of the state Power Development Department and Public Health Engineering Department. 

Neither Mr Jailkhani nor Mrs Shair could be reached over telephone for their comments as calls to them failed to mature. However, some of their subordinate officials said on the condition of anonymity that the tainted anchor had been advised to continue hosting GMJK even if new guests refused to appear on the show and the old segments would have to be repeated.

Meanwhile, scores of artists, script writers, private producers and directors, who have been associated with DD for 10 to 35 years, expressed their dismay and shock over the way Mr Jailkhani and Mrs Shair had got the tainted anchor back to the show within 24 hours of her arrest in a criminal matter and asked her to continuously host the morning transmission.

“This was a centre of fame for decades since its establishment in 1972. It has created great personalities in the field of film and television production and broadcasting. It has now lost all of its sheen and credibility and become a centre of shame”, observed a famous actor and senior producer-director.

“Recently, a former Director of DDK Srinagar has been placed under suspension on account of his largescale loot of the public money. CBI is investigating two FIRs against the same official separately. Three deputy directors and producers are also facing serious allegations of favouritism and indulgence in corruption. To cap it all, the station’s key anchor has been trapped in a criminal matter that is threatening to surface as another sex scandal. Who would like to visit this station or view its programmes?, asked another actor-director whose drama serials once broke all records of popularity of a television programme.


After TV anchor, NC leader too gets bail

CM asks Police to ‘firmly’ proceed with the investigation

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Sep 11: National Conference (NC) leader and former Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Altaf Ahmad Wani alias Altaf Kaloo, who has been booked by Police in a matter of “causing obscene act at a public place”, alongwith a female television anchor, has been granted bail by a judicial court in Srinagar.

Informed sources revealed to Early Times that Altaf Kaloo approached the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Mr Mohammad Shafi Khan, through his counsel and sought anticipatory bail. In his application filed under section 497-A Criminal Procedure Code, the petitioner expressed apprehension of his arrest by Police.

The judge heard the petitioner’s counsel and issued notice to Police through public prosecutor in the evening on Monday, seeking a detailed report in the matter on September 14th. “SHO concerned, in the event of his arrest, shall release him on bail on furnishing bail bonds in the amount of Rs 20,000 provided he is not involved in any offence which entails punishment for more than three years or which is triable by a special judge or a designated court”, said the Principal District and Session’s order of anticipatory bail in favour of the petitioner.

“However, he shall cooperate with the investigating agency during the period”, it added. The matter has been listed for hearing on September 14th.

Early Times learned from well-placed authoritative sources that Police would strongly contest the anticipatory bail on September 14th with a host of its arguments, including the one that the petitioner’s freedom of movement could influence the witnesses and thus hamper the investigation. Sources said that no less a top authority than Chief Minister Omar Abdullah himself today made it clear to Police that no intervention or pulls and pressures from his party or government be entertained.

“Chief Minister has conveyed that law would take its own course, asking Police to firmly investigate the matter”, said an official source. He asserted that Police would contest the bail and get the protected politician arrested as a manhunt had been launched to detain him wherever spotted. However, there was no possibility of his arrest in the next three days and Police would only perform a formality of calling the accused for his presentation and cooperation in the investigation.

Following obtaining anticipatory bail, Altaf Kaloo started his efforts of getting his belongings, including his seized Scorpio JK01N-6565, released from Police custody. However, he did not succeed in it immediately. Thereafter, he arranged another Scorpio of the same colour and make, bearing registration No: 6940, and drove all the way from Srinagar to Anantnag last evening even as Police claimed to have launched manhunt to arrest him. He stayed for the night at his officially allotted residence at Khannabal, in close vicinity of the residences of DC, SSP and DIG of Anantnag.

In the forenoon today, a Police agency provided additional escort of one Tata-407 and a Gypsy to the NC leader who was seen waving triumphantly to people while touring his constituency and driving to his village in Aeshmuqam. In the evening, Kaloo returned to Anantnag in the same Scorpio, No: 6940, escorted by Policemen in three vehicles. Again, he is staying at his Khannabal residence.

Efforts to reach Kaloo for his comments and his reaction to the allegations leveled against him in FIR No: 110 of 2012 under section 294 RPC, failed as his mobile phone was either switched off or ‘not reachable’ for most of the time.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DD anchor caught red-handed with NC’s ex-MLC

Couple stayed in houseboat for two nights; protected politician escapes but Police seizes his Scorpio, gun licence, ATM cards and a bottle of whisky

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Sep 10: Apparently a fresh sex scandal, involving a ruling National Conference (NC) leader, known for his proximity to the party top brass, and a female anchor of Srinagar Doordarshan, who has stage-anchored Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s public shows, has surfaced last evening in Hazratbal area of the summer capital. While as the anchor of DD’s daily morning show has been reportedly caught red-handed and arrested for “obscene act at a public place”, Police have registered a criminal matter and launched manhunt for the former Member of Legislative Council (MLC) who is said to have escaped from the spot.

Informed sources revealed to Early Times that a party from Police Station Nageen conducted a raid over a complaint at a car parking near Bagh-e-Shagoofa at the famous picturesque Nageen Lake last evening at around 7.30 p.m. and took into custody a 42-year-old woman. Her alleged partner, who happens to be a leader of the ruling NC, managed to escape from the spot. However, Police seized his Scorpio, bearing registration No: JK01N-6565, alongwith his gun licence of a .12 bore rifle, three ATM cards, a pair of shoes and a half-filled bottle of Hundred Piper whisky.

“We have arrested the female and launched a manhunt to arrest the male who managed to escape. As they were in a comprising position and taking liquor at a public place, we have filed FIR No: 110 of 2012 dated 10-09-2012 under section 294 RPC at Police Station Nageen”, one of the investigating officials confirmed to Early Times. He said that Police was on the job to arrest the escapee with the help of questioning of his PSOs, contacts, acquaintances and relatives.

According to the official, the escapee male was married and the female, taken into custody, was a divorcee. Asked if a medical test or a liquor consumption test had been conducted on the detained female, the official said that neither of the two was required in this matter. He said that the investigation was underway in light of the female’s disclosure and a corroboration that the couple had stayed for two previous nights at Royal Palace houseboat, anchored yards away from the car parking.

Section 294 of Ranbir Penal Code is invoked and slapped on “whoever, to the annoyance of others, does any obscene act in any public place or sings, recites or utters any obscene songs, ballads or words in or near any public place”. It is non-bailable and seeks “punishment with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months or with fine or with both”.

SSP Srinagar, Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, could be reached over telephone but he refused to make comment and answer questions on the subject. He also refused to confirm or deny reports that Police was “under tremendous pressure to hush up the case”. “I have to say nothing”, SSP maintained.

The detained television anchor, who has been anchoring small screen shows, as well as high profile government functions, was placed in custody of Women’s Police Station Rambagh after three rounds of sustained questioning. Later, this evening she was released on the bail granted to her by a judicial magistrate.

The FIR identifies the escapee as Altaf Ahmad Wani alias Altaf Kaloo of Aeshmuqam, Anantnag, who is holding a party position and has functioned as NC’s MLC from April 2009 to April 2011. Even after he failed to get a fresh ticket in Legislative Council elections in 2011, he is known for his proximity to the NC’s top brass. In the Assembly elections of 2008, he was NC’s candidate from Pahalgam but lost to PDP’s Rafi Ahmad Mir with a deficit of about 14,000 votes.

Reportedly a favourite of the incumbent Director of Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar, Shammi Shair, the accused woman has been regularly anchoring the station’s daily morning show “Good Morning J&K”. She has anchored hundreds of DD’s programmes besides over 2,000 musical serials of DDK Srinagar and ‘DD Kashir’ in the last 10 years. Among the high-profile political and government functions, she has acted as anchor for a number of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s and AICC President Sonia Gandhi’s public shows in Srinagar. It was she who anchored Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s 10,000-strong show which was organized by Social Welfare Department, School Education Department and then Chairman of State Social Welfare Advisory Board, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, during Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s regime at SKICC in 2006.

Enjoying intimate relationship with a number of J&K’s politicians, bureaucrats and Heads of Departments (HoDs), and extensively promoted by a former Director of Information, the accused has also anchored nearly 400 episodes of Omar Abdullah government’s top promotion programme, titled “Aks-e-Parwaaz”, running six-days-a-week on DD’s all stations in J&K and sponsored by the state Information Department.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Nearly two dozen vehicles drawn illegally from a number of J&K Dy CM’s subordinate departments by him and his personal staff, which received petrol and diesel worth Lakhs of Rupees from Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) instead of Secretary Housing and Urban Development.
S No:
Vehicle number
Drawn from which Department
Chassis: 73773
Scorpio  BP
Security Wing of JK Police
Gypsy (Pilot)
Security Wing of JK Police
Gypsy (Pilot)
Security Wing of JK Police
Gypsy (Pilot)
State Motor Garage

Ambassador car
State Motor Garage

Ambassador car
State Motor Garage
Tata Safari
Under investigation
Under investigation
Gypsy (Pilot)
Under investigation
Under investigation
Jammu Municipal Corporation
Ambassador car
Jammu Municipal Corporation
Ambassador car
Srinagar Municipal Corporation
[With Commissioner Secretary UD]
Ambassador car
Under investigation (Kashmir)
Ambassador car
Under investigation (Kashmir)
Ambassador car
Under investigation
Ambassador car
Under investigation

Under investigation

Under investigation in Kashmir

Under investigation in Kashmir
Ambassador car
Under investigation
Ambassador car
Under investigation
Under investigation
J&K Police
JK02 N-9627
Under verification
J&K Police