Briefing

GURGAON

They are 188, all Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated in 1990’s. In 2001, they had purchased 12 acres of land in Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar. But that was it. They are yet to get the possession. Now they have floated Kashmiri Pandit Plotholders Welfare Association to fight their case. The HUDA has, at the end of protracted negotiations, agreed to move to an altered site in Sector 2 in Bahadurgarh but even that is being delayed. Can Omar put a simple word?

 MUMBAI

It is officially ruled out. The Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif starrer spy romcom Bang Bang is unlikely to be shot in Kashmir, despite the best efforts by its director Siddharth Anand. The crew was scheduled to spend 45 days in Kashmir but the producers, Fox Star Studios, thought otherwise, because of the situation. The entire unit is in a fix. The film needs snow scenes which will not be possible before December. And then they are expected to give it a thought – may be they go with the director’s decision. In between, the parts of the film will be shot in Europe and Turkey. The film is a desi remake of the 2010 Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz starrer, Knight and Day.

LUCKNOW

It is not a filmy plot but a fact. In 2003, cops drove an insane to the psychiatric hospital in Srinagar. They treated him for gross psychotic illness and psychosis. After prolonged treatment, he started remembering things. The last clue he offered to his doctors was that he was an alumni of SD Inter College. Doctors took the pains in tracing the college to Lucknow and finally they got his identity – Kedar Ballabh Tripathi, 56, a former Treasury clerk at Roorke and celibate by choice who was missing for 21 years. Back home, his family had performed his last rites assuming he was dead. The family was contacted. They drove to Srinagar and a reunion took place in the psychiatric hospital. Tripathi recognized his relatives and they are living happily.

DELHI

India’s well known documentary filmmaker Pankaj Butalia has screened his 61-minute film Texture of Loss. It tells the story of Kashmir’s former militants, victims of firing on mass-protests, and the commoner’s physical and psychological trauma. Shooting of the film started in 2005 and concluded in 2010 at the peak of the unrest. The film was screened on March 23 at India International Centre and is scheduled to be screened again on April 5 at India Habitat Centre. “The idea behind making the documentary was to make people feel the sense of loss among Kashmiris who lost their loved ones in two decades of conflict,” the director was quoted as saying. “So we went to the families of victims, the children who lost their parents or young people who have suffered, and tried to show their sense of loss.” The unit was forced to delete part of the shooting by a posse of Army near Pattan.

UDHAMPUR

An NGO Jiyo aur Jeene Do is working to restore the pristine glory of rivulet Devika, which is sacred to Hindus. But what makes it special is that the NGO leader, Tariq Shah, is a Muslim. Shah is an employee and once he returns home, he goes river cleansing. This rivulet in Hindu myths is being termed as elder sister of Ganga. His wife, a school teacher, is also part of the team. The activities include organizing awareness programmes, apprising people about the importance of keeping river clean. Earlier, the NGO had put in some fish in the river but they did not survive because it is filthy. Tons of human waste is washing into the rivulet, the NGO says.

AGRA

It is a murder that rocked assembly last week and the state police are sending a team to UP to know the exact details of the investigations. It is about the sensational murder of Neha Sharma, a PhD scholar who is daughter of a Jammu resident, now living in UP. She was found stabbed to death in the Zoology laboratory of Bio-Technology Laboratory of Dyalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, on March 15, 2013. Though the state government briefed the house about the details of the investigations including forensic reports, it is still sending a police team to know the exact details of the investigations. After questioning 100 persons, samples of hairs and fingerprints from nine suspects have been taken by the Agra police.

Rs 100 crore is the expenditure that J&K government is making on VIP security, mostly as salary and allowances of 4000 personal security officers whose monthly wage bill is Rs 897.70 lakh.

More than 14000 hectares of forest land stands encroached – 9469.4875 hectares in Jammu and 3890.608 hectares in Kashmir.