Doda, Udhampur DCs, DSPs shifted
Mi-17s scale new heights
2 militants among four killed in J-K
Amarnath yatra from June 11
Doda, Udhampur DCs, DSPs shifted
Jammu, May 13
Dr Pawan Kotwal, Director, Industries, has been appointed as the new DC of Doda in place of Mr Gulzar Ahmad Qureshi, who has been posted as Director, Local Bodies, Jammu.
Mr Manohar Singh, SSP (North), Jammu, has been sent as SSP, Doda, in place of Mr P.R. Manhas, who has been posted as SSP, Udhampur.
Mr O.P. Kalenderia has been sent to Udhampur as the new DC in place of Mr Ashok Parmar, who has been appointed Secretary, Social Welfare.
The top-level transfers in the district administration are learnt to have been ordered in a bid to restore confidence among the minority community who have been threatening to migrate from here.
The transfers have come following the visit of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the affected villages.
In the reshuffle on Thursday night, the officers belonging to the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) and the Kashmir Police Service (KPS) have got a major share in heading the districts as DCs and SSPs. Four KAS officers have been appointed DCs of Udhampur, Pulwama, Rajouri and Baramulla.
Mr Kalenderia has been appointed DC of Udhampur in place of the IAS officer, Mr Parmar. Mr Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo goes as DC, Pulwama, Mr Parvez Ahmad Malik has been appointed as DC, Rajouri, and Mr Bashir Ahmad Khan has been given charge of DC, Baramulla.
The IAS officers, Ms Sarita Chauhan goes as DC, Kathua, Mr Ghulam Ahmad Peer has been sent as DC, Anantnag, and Sheikh Ejaz Iqbal has been appointed DC, Srinagar.
Among the transfers ordered in the police set up include those of Mr S.S. Bijral, IGP, CID, who goes as IGP, Human Rights Commission. Mr S.K. Mishra on repatriation from central deputation has been appointed IGP, Vigilance. Mr V.K. Singh, DIG, Rajouri-Poonch range, has been appointed Director, Special Security Group. Mr S.M. Sahai, DIG, has been promoted as IGP, Crime and Railways. Mr Dilbagh Singh, DIG, has been promoted as IGP, CID. Raja Ajaz Ali, DIG, Security, has been promoted and posted as Commissioner, Civil-Military Liaison. Sheikh Owais Ahmad, DIG, has been promoted as IGP, Armed Police. Mr A.K. Gupta, Director Police Telecommunications, has been promoted as IGP, Security.
Mr M.A. Anjum, DIG, Armed Police, has been posted as DIG, Rajouri-Poonch range, while Mr Hemant Kumar, DIG, CID, goes as DIG, Anantnag-Pulwama range.
Tribune News Service
Srinagar, May 13
The court had clubbed the PIL filed by the Bar Association and suo moto cognisance of media reports about the sex racket last Wednesday. It had directed the state Chief Secretary, Mr Vijay Bakaya, and the Director General of Police, Mr Gopal Sharma, to appear on Friday, who were exempted following an application submitted by the government.
However, now they have been directed to appear in connection with the proceedings of the case before the High Court Division Bench here on Monday. Justice Hakeem Imtiyaz, who heard the case here yesterday, “agreed with the argument of the Bar Association that this should be treated as a PIL”, said Mian Abdul Qayoom, president of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA).
Meanwhile, the CBI, that has initiated investigations into the alleged sex racket of exploitation of teenaged girls involving police officials, politicians, businessmen and others, questioned three persons here yesterday. They included husband of the alleged kingpin, Sabeena, who had been arrested in connection with the case following a report filed by a teenaged girl in police station, Shaheed Gunj, here on March 14.
The statements of three persons— Abdul Hameed Balla, husband of the kingpin, Sabeena, surrendered militant Shabir Kaala of Hazratbal and Merajuddin— were recorded at Shergarhi police station, for about three hours. The team interrogated the three persons about the contents of the seized CD and other persons allegedly involved in the racket.
The CBI had initiated investigations into the alleged sex racket after the Deputy Chief Minister, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, wrote two letters to the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, leading to handing over of the case to the central investigating agency.
Mr Beigh, while expressing concern over the recently exposed racket, said it was “exploitation of poor women of Kashmir”. He lamented that the exposure was misconstrued around the world and hoped that the CBI would take immediate action to expose the guilty. “The names of those identified should be made public”, he said while adding that the case was different from that of a scandal exposed about two years ago. In that case the police officers, politicians and bureaucrats were not involved. ‘‘In this case at least 43 girls are reported to have been exploited and this requires immediate action’’, Mr Beigh said adding that there could be more victims.
In view of the sensitive nature of the issue, various educational institutions here have publicly imposed certain conditions on the students and have also asked their parents to take precautions so that their wards did not fall prey to such exploiters.
Mi-17s scale new heights
Siachen, May 13
Never in aviation history have helicopters of this size been taken to such heights under such trying conditions. Operational requirements coupled with skill and guts have led the pilots to re-define flying parameters, often pushing the machines beyond the limitations mentioned in the books.
The IAF has now started para-drops over Sonam, among the highest and most important forward posts on the glacier. Sonam overlooks the relatively flat ground along Bilafond La Pass, one of the two passes through which intrusions into the southern glacier are possible.
We began trials for para-drops over Sonam about a year ago and now we do it on a regular basis,’’ Sqn Ldr Siddharth Rawat, a Mi-17 pilot with No 130 Helicopter Unit, the Condors, said.
Pilots say that the service ceiling of the Mi-17 V1, as stated by the manufacturer, is six kilometres (about 18,000 feet) and that too under dense air conditions. In the rarified atmosphere of the Siachen area, conditions are much different, where at certain times of the day aircraft cannot operate because the air is not dense enough due to climatic conditions.
Para-drops over Sonam, which has witnessed bloody battles between Indian and Pakistani troops in the past, became feasible only after the induction of the helicopter’s V1 version, which is more powerful than the original Mi-17s. In fact, the Condors was the first unit to re-equip with the V1 models.
Flying to Sonam has its fair share of the hazards associated with flying at that height and in that terrain. It is a 55-minute sortie from Base Camp to the drop zone, flying between imposing snow-clad peaks and battling constant winds and down drafts, which threaten to slam the chopper into the valley if the pilots are not too careful. The ground is totally white, risking white-outs, a condition where it is difficult to differentiate the ground from the air. Such are the terrain and the flying conditions that the air speed of the helicopter is just 120 to 140 km per hour, compared to the 450 kmph it can normally fly up to. Even the load is restricted and is generally kept under 1,000 kg, though it keeps varying as per requirements and climatic conditions.
To be among those who can achieve such feats is not easy. Every pilot to aspires to be the captain of a helicopter undertaking such sorties has to fly at least 75 sorties in such terrain. Before he is finally cleared to be the pilot-in-command, he has to undertake two sorties as a captain under the watchful eyes of a supervisor.
Srinagar, May 13
Two militants, whose identity was not immediately known, were killed in a gunbattle with security forces at Hadigam in the Kulgam area of Anantnag district, 70 km from here, today, the spokesman said.
One security jawan was injured during the encounter while a residential house belonging to one Abdul Rashid Beig got damaged in the exchange of fire, he said.
Militants shot dead one Mushtaq Ahmad Dhobi at Panzan in the Chadoora area of Budgam district last evening, he said.
Dhobi was a surrendered militant, he said adding the village today observed a strike to protest the killing.
The police recovered a bullet-riddled body from Gugal Hardril in the Marwah area of Doda district, he said adding, the deceased was identified as Ghulam Hussain of the same village. — PTI
Pahalgam, May 13
However, this is subject to clearance of tracks, which are still snowbound, J&K Governor S.K. Sinha, said. — UNI