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J&K Police seeks sanction to prosecute Hurriyat leaders for selling MBBS seats

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J&K Police has requested to acquire sanction for prosecuting nine people including a separatist leader and an advocate from south Kashmir in the case involving ‘selling’ of MBBS seats in Pakistan to Kashmiri students and using the money to fund militancy.

Registered by Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK) in July last year, the case has so far seen arrest of four persons even as two more accused, according to officials, are currently in Pakistan.

Last year the CIK registered the case after receiving information through “reliable sources” that several unscrupulous persons, including some Hurriyat leaders, were hand in glove with some educational consultancies and were “selling” Pakistan-based MBBS seats and seats in other professional courses in many colleges and universities.

Now, the CIK, after a thorough investigation, has moved the Jammu and Kashmir home department and sought sanction for prosecution against the nine people under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the reports say.

According to the officials, more evidence has surfaced during the probe in which it was also found that the money gathered from admissions had been passed on to some terror groups as well as secessionist groups for promoting enmity and waging war against the country.

Significantly, the case could come in handy in carrying out with the provisions of banning hardline Hurriyat Conference as the chief of one of its constituents — Muhammad Akbar Bhat alias Zaffar Bhat of the Salvation Front — is among the nine against whom the sanction has been sought under the stringent UAPA.

Some of the witnesses examined have indicated that many families approached Hurriyat leaders to avail the “programme”, a brainchild of Pakistan’s external snooping agency ISI, aimed at incentivising terrorism by compensating the family of killed terrorists by way of providing free of cost MBBS and engineering seats, the officials said.

However, there have been instances where such families were disappointed as monetary consideration was given precedence over the intended objective of the “programme” run by the ISI, they said.

The officials said that cost of seats ranged between Rs 10 to Rs 12 lakhs and in “some cases, the price was brought down on ‘sifarish’ (recommendation) of senior Hurriyat leaders, and depending upon the political heft of these secessionist leader, who intervened, concessions were extended to the aspiring student and his family”.

Jammu

Delegation of Jammu University Teachers’ Association calls on Lt Governor

Today, the office-bearers of the Jammu University Teachers’ Association called on Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhawan.

The delegation led by the President of the Association, Prof. Pankaj Srivastava, submitted a memorandum of demands to the Lt Governor pertaining to various welfare issues of the teachers of the University including promotion under CAS; grant of earned leave and enhancement of the age of superannuation to 65 years in favour of teachers, and various other benefits as per UGC regulations, besides establishment of housing society exclusively for University teachers.

The Lt Governor, while interacting with the delegation members, advised them to make continuous efforts to create a conducive environment for learning and innovation in the University.

The Lt Governor assured them that the issues projected would be looked into meticulously for their early redressal.

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Jammu

JKP Border Battalion aspirants submit memorandum to Div Com Jammu

Today, a delegation of aspirants seeking recruitment in the Jammu and Kashmir Police Border Battalion called on Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer.

The Aspirants apprised the Divisional Commissioner that they had applied for the post of Head Constable advertised by the Jammu and Kashmir Police Recruitment Board in 2019 and appeared in Physical and medical tests. But now, the JKP HQRS (police recruitment board) has reissued an advertisement notification for the recruitment of Head Constable in the border battalion.

The Aspirants demanded the withdrawal of the new advertisement issued by JKP HQRS. They further appealed to conduct the written examination of already qualified candidates and give a separate ad for more vacancies.

The Divisional Commissioner gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured that the matter would be taken up with police authorities.

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COVID 19

Centre extends COVID-19 restrictions till February 28

On Thursday, the Central Government extended the existing COVID-related restrictions until February 28 because of the rising COVID-19 and Omicron variants.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the order directing all the states and the Union Territories (UTs) to instruct their local and district administrations to promptly take containment measures against the threat of the Omicron variant based on their assessment of the situation.

Taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at the district and local level, as conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the MHA order mentioned that COVID restrictions “will remain in force till February 28, 2022.”

“In exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that the Order of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ of even number dated December 27, 2021, to ensure compliance to the normative framework for taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at district and local level, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) dated December 21, 2021, will remain in force up to February 28, 2022,” the order mentioned.

According to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday, the order was issued when India logged 2,86,384 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 40,371,500.
As per the order, containment measures have been extended to February 28.

“Due to the current COVID wave, led by the new variant, Omicron, there has been a steady increase in the number of COVID cases in the country and the active cases have increased to over 22 lakhs. Though a majority of active cases are recovering fast and a low percentage of cases are in hospitals, it is still a matter of concern that 407 districts in 34 States and UTs are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent,” the order said.

Therefore, looking at the current trends of the COVID virus, the order said there is a need to exercise caution and vigilance.

Against this background, the order issued by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “I would like to reiterate that all the states/UTs must observe all precautions and not let the guard down”.

“Based on the normative framework, mentioned in the MoHFW dated December 21, 2021, and assessment of the situation, local/district administration should continue to take prompt and appropriate containment measures.”

The order directs “imposition and lifting of local curbs or restrictions dynamic and based on the case positivity and hospitalisation status at the local level”.

It also emphasised that there should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy– Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour.

“The state enforcement machinery should strictly enforce the norms of COVID Appropriate Behaviour– wearing of face masks and maintaining safe social distancing in all public areas/gatherings,” the order further reads.

Further, states and UTs are advised to continue holding regular media briefings to disseminate the right information and discourage any misinformation on new variants of concern.

It is also urged to issue necessary directions to the districts and all other local authorities concerned to take the measures required for prompt and effective management of COVID-19, strict compliance with various advisories issued by the MoHFW on the new VOC and strict enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.

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Covid-19 Stats

28 Jan 2022, 5:01 AM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

40,622,709 Total Cases
492,356 Death Cases
38,024,771 Recovered Cases

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