March 21, 2019

Restrictions, shutdown hit normal life in Kashmir on Afzal Guru’s death anniversary

Delhi/India/Politics by

Security jawans stand guard near a razor wire during restrictions imposed by authorties as separatist groups have called for a general strike against Afzal Guru’s hanging in Srinagar on Thursday. Separatists are pressing for the handing over to the family the remains of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru who was buried in Tihar Jail Delhi.(Photo | PTI)

SRINAGAR: The normal life in Kashmir was affected by the restrictions imposed by authorities in some parts and shutdown called by separatists on the 4th death anniversary of parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.

The shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed in summer capital Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. The public transport was also off the roads. However, two wheelers, three-wheelers and some cabs were plying.

The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded the over five-month long agitation in Kashmir last year after July 8 killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, had called for shutdown today.

In order to maintain law and order and foil anti-government protests, authorities imposed restrictions in some areas of downtown Srinagar and south Kashmir’s Shopian town.

The security personnel had also sealed the Guru’s home town in Sopore.

The police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in volatile downtown areas and other sensitive parts of the Valley. Armed with a anti-riot gears, the security personnel were maintaining a tight vigil on movement of people to prevent any kind of protests in favour of Afzal Guru.

Guru was secretly hanged and buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9, 2013 for his role in 2001 militant attack on Parliament in which 14 people including five attackers were killed.

As a precautionary measure, authorities also suspended the Baramulla-Banihal rail service for the day.

 “The Indian government should return the mortal remains of Afzal Guru to his family for proper burial.  Although it is purely a human issue, India is very reluctant to this demand thereby violating all the principles of morality and constitution and in this way its claim of a largest democracy in the world is getting badly uncovered,” the separatist leaders said.

They have also called for shutdown on February 11, the hanging anniversary of JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat

Bhat was hanged in Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 11, 1984 after being convicted for murdering a CID officer. Bhat’s mortal remains were also not returned to his family.

Meanwhile, police today disallowed a seminar organized by independent MLA Er Sheikh Abdur Rashid on Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru in Handwara area of border district of Kupwara.

After being barred from holding seminar, the MLA alongwith his supporters tried to take out a protest march. However, the police men intercepted them and detained MLA alongwith some of his supporters. They were lodged in Police Station Handwara. Later, they were later set free.

“Delhi must answer if Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru were terrorists? Why people do not forget them after so many years and why Delhi has to impose curfew-like restrictions even in remotest villages on their death anniversaries. While Indian government offered bodies of Ajmal Qasab and Yaqoob Memen to their families but it did not return the mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat to their families,” the MLA said.

Describing Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as “heroes,” Rashid, who is MLA Langate, said, “Had Guru and Bhat been terrorists, India would never have been so scared of handing over their bodies to their families. If Raj Guru, Sukh Dev and Bhagat Singh were Indian heroes, how could Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat and others be labelled as terrorists.”

IT officer involved in Bengali actress Bitasta Saha's suicide, indicates her mother

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Bengali film actress Bitasta Saha. | Express Photo Service

KOLKATA: Mother of Bengali actress Bitasta Saha— whose semi-decomposed body was found hanging from the ceiling of her flat on Tuesday evening—has filed a case under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) against Income Tax officer Saikat Mitra, who was allegedly involved in an extra-marital relationship with the deceased actress.

Sources revealed that 28-year-old Bitasta was in a relationship with Mitra— who is married and has a kid—for over a year.

Gita Rani, the mother of the deceased, claimed Mitra had hidden his marital status to Bitasta during the initial period of their relationship. Rani became aware of the situation when Bitasta informed her.

Since then, the relationship beween Bitasta and her parents had soured following which she moved out of their house three months ago to a rented apartment near Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in eastern Kolkata. Her parents seldom visited her but maintained contact over the phone.

“The semi-decomposed body has been sent for post-mortem, and further action including arrests will be made after the arrival of the report,” a police official in Garfa police station told Express.

Cut marks made with a sharp object were found on Bitasta’s left wrist. Cops are waiting for the report to find whether the cuts were made before her death or afterwards.

Udayan blames adultery for Akansha murder; cops doubtful

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Facebook profile picture of the couple Udayan Das and Akansha Sharma. | EPS

KOLKATA: Triple-murder accused Udayan Das has revealed he killed his girlfriend Akansha Sharma in a fit of rage over his belief that she committed adultery and was involved with two men from Rajasthan and Mumbai.

However, Bankura police have not taken this account for granted even as the Akansha’s call history points at something else.

“Udayan has claimed the motive of the murder was Akansha’s multiple relationships with a school-mate in Rajasthan and a social media friend from Mumbai. However, her cellphone records indicate all calls to the men in Rajasthan and Mumbai were made after she was murdered in August last year. So, we doubt Udayan may have himself made those calls to later prove the adultery angle. He is trying to divert the direction of investigation,” an investigating officer told Express.

To know more about his past, a Bankura police team will meet his mother’s relatives in Bhopal and Gwalior—including her sister, three brothers and Udayan’s paternal uncles, he added.

The accused was interrogated for over six hours on Wednesday. Asked about his past, Udayan claimed he was taunted for his dark complexion and short height by his school friends in Bhopal.

“Udayan has mentioned two of his school friends who named him ‘Brinjal Thief’ and taunted him for his dark complexion and short height. That had motivated him to get rich for giving a befitting reply,” the officer added.

Police have also revealed that red circle marks and signatures of Akansha Sharma were found on five dates in a calendar at Udayan’s Bhopal residence. However, cops are suspicious about the authencity of the signatures, for it’s mentioned Akansha is going to the US at one place whereas in reality she never went to the country.

The calendar has been sent for examination to check whether the handwriting belongs to Akansha or Udayan.

Tiger kills five in Uttar Pradesh, declared 'man-eater'

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NEW DELHI:  A tiger with signs of abnormality was declared a man-eater on Thursday after it killed and ate its fifth prey — a sleeping person — in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh officials now involved in tracking the man-eater said that their preference is to tranquilise and cage the tiger rather than kill it.

“The tiger has been identified as a sub-adult with some deformity or abnormality. It is not a good hunter, killed people around the fields outside the core forest area and ate only soft tissues without even touching the hard flesh,” Conservator of Forests V.K. Singh of Pilibhit district told IANS.

It is still unclear if the tiger is a male or female, he added.

According to Singh from the Pharr Road Animal Hospital, is leading the operation, it seems that the tiger has some sort of infection in mouth and is acting abnormally. Singh pointed out that big cat risked killing a man rather than a goat tied nearby and did not attempt hunting any deer.

Officials said the tiger made its first recorded kill on November 27, followed by December 11, 2016, and January 11, 2017.

The feline was officially declared a man-eater by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Uttar Pradesh, after it killed two persons in a short span between February 5 and 7 in a village near Puranpur town of Pilibhit district.

According to local people, the tiger dragged a farmer sleeping inside the mosquito-net near the fields.

“All the killings were done over a stretch of eight to 12 km,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, four elephants from the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Lakhimpur-Kheri district have reached the Barahi Forest Range of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve on Thursday for search-and-catch operation.

“Three veterinarians from Lucknow Zoo are here to help tranquilise the tiger. We will try to capture and only opt for killing in an extreme event,” Singh said.

The man-animal conflict cases are on rise in the Terai region, including areas of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur-Kheri and Bahraich districts, mostly due to encroachment and settlements in and around the forest areas.

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