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Government knows nothing about 'Sher-e-Kashmir'
12/4/2015 11:56:51 PM
Syed Junaid Hashmi
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Dec 4: Much to the embarrassment of National Conference (NC) leadership, General Administration Department (GAD) of Jammu and Kashmir Government has no official record wherein its founder Late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah has been officially given title of "Sher-e-Kashmir".
There is nothing on record to show that Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was ever called Sher-e-Kashmir officially. GAD has not even made any mention of the previous Governments, most of which were either led by NC or the party shared power with Congress, ever having passed a resolution seeking assigning the title of Sher-e-Kashmir to Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.
GAD has said this in response to an RTI application filed by an RTI activist Deepak Sharma. According to Deepak, he had filed the RTI application before the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Raj Bhawan, seeking information regarding the conferment of title of "Sher -e-Kashmir" by the present or the previous Governments to any person in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. He had specifically asked Raj Bhawan to provide the name of the person given/conferred with the title of 'Sher-e-Kashmir' in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Raj Bhawan received the application but referring to the fact that conferment of titles to any person or persons is the sole discretion of State Government, they sent to the application to the PIO General Administration Department (GAD). The PIO of GAD vide letter no. GAD/RTI (Adm.)/1553/2015 informed the RTI applicant that the Government has no such information available with it regarding the conferment of title of 'Sher-e-Kashmir' on Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.
Interestingly, the PIO of GAD is Imteeaz Kacho, who once used to be in the personal section of the then Advisor to the Chief Minister Devinder Rana, presently MLA Nagrota and Provincial President of National Conference (NC). The PIO has asked Deepak to approach First Appellate Authority (FAA) if he is not satisfied with the reply. However, there is strange twist to the tail.
For the reasons best known to it, GAD has also desisted from even stating that the Government has named several high profile institutions across the State after the name of patron of NC Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah. The title Sher-e-Kashmir has been used wherever any institution has been named after the State's highly acclaimed political personality.
This has raised a new controversy with a Jammu advocate planning to move High Court seeking removal of the title "Sher-e-Kashmir" from official records. Even Deepak is puzzled over the reply of the GAD. He said "If so many institutes and establishments in the State have been named after the NC founder, the previous Governments seemingly had even no time to pass a resolution in the Assembly seeking assigning of the title of "Sher-e-Kashmir" to Late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.
He maintained that a number of universities, bridges, conference halls, police training institutes and several other public buildings and schemes bear the title "Sher-e-Kashmir" alongwith the name of Late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah. "If the previous Government have done it out of love and respect for Late Sheikh Sahab, even then they should have passed a resolution in the Assembly or the Council to ensure that future generations do not raise questions over it," added Deepak.
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