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Forcing Kashmiri students to sing Bhajans, do Surya Namaskar direct interference in religion; move unacceptable: MMU

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Seeks release of Mirwaiz Umar ahead of scared month of Rabi-ul-Awal

Srinagar, Sept 24: Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), a conglomerate of Kashmir’s religious clerics, Saturday said forcing students in educational institutions of valley to sing Bhajas and to do Surya Namaskar was direct interference in religions and the move was totally unacceptable, news agency KNO reported.

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The MMU also sought release of Kashmir’s head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, ahead of the sacred month of Rabi-ul-Awal, that marks the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Mirwaiz is under continuous house detention since August 5, 2019, when Government of India scrapped article 370 and sliced J&K into two UTs.

Talking to reporters after holding an important meeting over several issues here, key members of MMU, Moulana Rehmatullah Qasmi, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) stated that the MMU expresses its concern over the fact that Kashmiri students are being forced to sing Bhajas and to do Suraya Namaskar at various educational institutions of the Valley. “This is a direct interference into the religious affairs and the move is totally unacceptable,” he said.

He said that MMU, during the meeting, took note of several issues including that of students being forced to sing Hindu hymns in their schools in the name of extra co-curricular activities. “This was an attempt to weaken the Muslim identify of Kashmir,” he said.

Moulana Rehmatuallah said that if such things in schools continue and authorities did not budge, MMU will be forced to ask parents to admit their wards in such schools, where such activities are not done.

“We also urge Ulemas, religious scholars and heads of respective sects to make people aware, through their respective social media platform, about what is religious and what is not, so that people do not commit sins and become aware about several things that are being forced on them,” he added.

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The MMU also passed a resolution that reads that the amalgam censures attempts to weaken Muslim identity of Kashmir.

“The Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) Jammu and Kashmir expresses deep and serious concern over attempts being made to weaken the Muslim identity of this ‘Valley of Saints’ and strongly regrets activities being implemented through schools and educational institutions aimed at furthering the Hindutva agenda in Kashmir,” the resolution reads, adding that “this  meeting expresses serious resentment against imposing  acts in the name of yoga and morning prayers in educational institutions wherein Muslim students are made to chant Bhajans and at times asked to perform Surya Namaskar. This is against the fundamentals of our religious practices.”

The resolution reads that the meeting notifies the Government, Education Department and concerned agencies that such activities will not be tolerated by the Muslims in Kashmir as it is a direct challenge to their religious and Islamic beliefs.

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“As such MMU appeals to the Government and concerned authorities to immediately withdraw its orders and stop these practices in schools and educational institutions, which deeply hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and cause them grief,” the resolution states further, adding that the meeting urges the parents that if their children are forced to participate in un Islamic activities  in government schools, they should withdraw their children from these schools and enrol them in private schools. This meeting urges Muslim teachers to avoid promoting such un-Islamic activities and give preference to their faith.

The resolution also stated that MMU expresses satisfaction that Friday prayers and Five daily prayers are now being allowed by the authorities at central Jama Masjid Srinagar and people are not being stopped from assembling at the mosque as such it appeals to authorities to  now release its Patron and Mirwaiz Kashmir Molvi Umar Farooq and end his illegal house arrest since Auf 2019 , in wake of the coming holy month of Rabiul Awwal so that the  Mirwaiz can pursue his religious obligations and duties.

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Sorry State of Education in Kashmir: 5 out of 10 CEO positions vacant; several key positions headless

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The School Education Department (SED) is grappling with problem of filling key vacant posts in Kashmir that includes five out of 10 positions of Chief Education Officer (CEO) continue to remain vacant which is affecting the academic and administrative functioning in the districts.

Also Read: Kulgam student predicts accurate weather; earns huge followers on social media

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Official figures available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), suggest that there are around five out of 10 positions of CEOs, five out of 10 positions of Principal District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) are lying vacant in Kashmir division.

“Some vacant positions are manned by other equivalent rank officers while in some districts the department is completely headless,” an official said.

As per the official figures the post of CEO Baramulla, Bandipora, Anantnag, Pulwama and Srinagar are lying vacant in Kashmir.

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Also the post of DIET Principal in Sopore (Baramulla), Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kupwara and Kulgam district is lying vacant as well.

“The CEO Baramulla who retired in November ending was holding four positions at a time. Besides CEO Baramulla he was given additional charge of CEO Bandipora, DIET Principal Baramulla and Bandipora as well,” an official said, adding that CEO Ganderbal is manning the post of CEO Srinagar as his additional assignment.

Also Read: Bangladesh beat India by 5 runs, take 2-0 unassailable lead

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The official figures also reveal that around 12 positions of Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) are also lying vacant in Kashmir.

The vacant positions at district and zonal level has badly hit the routine functioning of the department while the department has not taken any step to fill the vacancies.

“The government recently shifted the academic session from November to March and several decisions are to be taken at district and zonal level for smooth implementation of the government order. But 50 percent districts are without heads,” the official said.

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Notably, the government has kept the post of Chairman JK Board of School Education (BOSE) and Director SCERT vacant as well.

A top official in the administrative department said they were collecting vigilance clearance of the candidates for their appointment as CEOs.

“The CEO positions will be filled after getting vigilance clearance of these candidates,” he said, adding that the government is also working on appointment of Chairman JKBOSE and Director SCERT as well.

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Kulgam student predicts accurate weather; earns huge followers on social media

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An 18-year-old boy from Kulgam has emerged as an independent weatherman, predicting accurate weather forecast in Jammu and Kashmir.

Also Read: Bangladesh beat India by 5 runs, take 2-0 unassailable lead

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Adil Mir from Ashmuji area of Kulgam who is pursuing Bachelor of science (B.Sc) degree at a Srinagar college aspires to become an independent weatherman.

Speaking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that he said that since 2018, he started using social media and started forecasting on basis of different weather models.

“I was student of class 10th when I met Director MeT Sonam Lotus which ignited a passion of becoming weatherman and he suggested me that how to read different weather models and forecast,” he said.

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“My family has been very supportive and I have kept all equipment including laptop, phone and other things so as to forecast the weather,” he said.

“I am monitoring international weather models like Global Forecast System, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic) and Global Environmental Multiscale Model also some satellites, local weather apps,” he said claiming that his weather forecasting has around 70-90 percent accuracy.

His accurate forecasting has earned him huge followers on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.

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Also Read: Police attaches property in Khrew for harbouring militants

“During free time in college I am updating the forecast, it gives me happiness to inform people about weather,” he sId.

“I believe youth must follow their passion in letter and spirit and I am sure they will reach their goal if they are hardworking and dedicated,” he said.

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Police attaches property in Khrew for harbouring militants

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Police on Wednesday attached a house for allegedly harbouring militants in Khrew area in outskirts of Srinagar.

Also Read: Implement Power Amnesty Scheme strictly, disconnect supply to consumers with pending bills: DC Bla to officers

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“On 19/20 August 2021, Police in Awantipora received an information through reliable sources regarding presence of a group of (militants) in the house of Ghulam Ahmad Najar son of Ghulam Mohammad Najar of Danak Mohala Khrew who are conspiring to carry out (militant) act in the area,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.

Accordingly, police said, a joint cordon and search operation was launched along with Army 50RR and CRPF’s 185 battalion. “When the cordon was being laid, the hiding (militants) fired indiscriminately upon the operational party with the intent to kill the Police and Security forces,” he said. The fire was effectively retaliated leading to an encounter, he said.

During the gun battle, he said, the militants by taking advantage of darkness managed to shift into the house of Ghulam Nabi Najar son of Ghulam Mohammad in the vicinity. Subsequently, he said, the militants were zeroed down and again the fire fight erupted and two hiding militants were killed. They were later identified as Musaib Mushtaq Bhat son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat and Muzamil Ahmad Rather son of Nazir Ahmad Rather of Chakoora Pulwama.

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Consequent upon this case FIR No. 57/2021 U/S 307-IPC 7/27 A. Act 16,18,20 & 38 UA(P) Act was registered in Police Station Khrew and investigation was taken up, he said.

“During the course of investigation, involvement of Nizam-ud-Din Najar son of Gh Ahmad Najar resident of Danik Mohalla Khrew (son of House owner) came to fore for providing of intentional harbouring and logistic support to the neutralized (militants) and was accordingly arrested in the instant case on 21 August 2021, for the commission of offences punishable U/Ss 19 and 39 UA(P) Act which were invoked in the instant case.”

Also Read: Encounter breaks in south Kashmir

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Accordingly process under section 25 UA(P) Act for attachment of the house for “intentional harbouring of accused was initiated and submitted to DGP J&K for accord of prior approval and was accorded by the competent authority.”

In pursuance to the order and the powers conferred upon investigating officer u/s 25 UA( P) Act of 1967 property (residential house belonging to Ghulam Ahmad Najar was attached.

“The general public is once again requested to not harbour or provide shelter or extend logistics to (militants/militant associates in their houses, failing which strict legal action will be taken against anyone doing so,” he said.

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