Kashmir Current Affairs - 2019
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G D Robert Govender, an Indian–origin journalist in South Africa was honoured with V K Krishna Menon Award 2019 in United Kingdom for his contribution as pioneer of decolonised journalism. He became first person to be honoured with this award posthumously. The award was given by ‘V K Krishna Menon Institute’ on 123rd birth anniversary of renowned Indian diplomat and politician V K Krishna Menon.
About G D Robert Govender
He was born in South Africa in August 1930. During his career in journalism spanning nearly 60 years, he had developed international repute as campaigning journalist and author and was also first journalist to call for international boycott of whites-only sports teams of South Africa.
His books include ‘The Martyrdom of Patrice Lumumba’ which had exposed role of Western intelligence agencies in murder of Congolese independence leader. He died in London, UK in 2016.
About V K Krishna Menon
He was India’s first High Commissioner to Britain (United Kingdom). He served as Defence Minister of India from April 1957 to October 1962. He holds the record for longest speech (8 hours) before UN Security Council (UNSC) while defending India’s sovereignty over Kashmir.
The government has issued an order approving the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) which includes their journey for joining duty, transfer, tour or going on leave.
The facility till now was available officers in the rank of Inspectors and above has been now extended to the ranks of constable, a head constable and assistant sub-inspector. This decision will benefit approximately 7.8 lakh paramilitary personnel.
Now the jawans and sub-officers can book tickets in regular commercial flights and claim reimbursement from their organisation or force for this travel to and from Kashmir.
The decision is an extension to the existing air courier services for CAPFs where an entire aircraft is booked for the force personnel from either Delhi or Jammu to Srinagar and back. For the Jammu and Kashmir sector, an air courier service was already available for CAPFs jawans and this was extended in December 2017 to cover more routes like Delhi-Jammu, Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jammu and Jammu-Delhi.
Why the decision has gained significance?
During the February 14 Pulwama attack, 40 personnel of the CRPF were killed when an explosives-laden vehicle was blown off by a JeM terrorist, near the force bus that was plying between Jammu-Srinagar as part of a convoy. Questions were raised on why the troops were not allowed to travel by air so that the risk and threat of travelling on road, in large convoys in the Kashmir Valley, is eliminated.