Filmmaker Sanjay Kak lined up with nine Kashmiri photo-journalists to tell the visual story of Kashmir. With 200 photographs taken from 1986 to 2016, The Witness is perhaps the first photo book that details different aspects of Kashmir. This coffee table book is a sort of visual narrative of Kashmir. Kak, termed it “primarily a timeline of emotions or feelings than a timeline of history”. Photographers who contributed to the book included Merajuddin, Javed Dar, Shoukat Nanda, Altaf Qadri, Azad Shah, Syed Sheharyar Hussain, Javed Shah, and a non local Sumit Dayal.


The armoured vehicles put across his gate had to make way this time to allow him to move out. The barbed wires could not cage Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after he heard about the emergency operation of his wife. As he rushed to the Modern Hospital, the news coming out from Operation Theatre was just joy that he had fathered third child. Already having two daughters, Zainab and Maryam, Mirwaiz this time had a son. Flashing on the news websites was that ‘Jamia Masjid had a junior Mirwaiz’.  Being only son of his father, Mirwaiz literally had the destiny to follow his father who had two daughters and then Umer was born. Long live the heir apparent.


The silence across the board is worrying. State’s only premier institution J&K Bank, off late, has become the soft target for loot. In last few months, many times the branches of the bank were looted by elements whose identity is still shrouded in haze. Police passes buck to militants, while they refuse of being part of burglaries that have become the new normal.  Beyond the words, the tangible action is missing. The state has only to bank upon this institution which needs care from one and all. Bank executives said they are improving the security and new guards will be appointed soon.


Infiltration is no more panic creator in this remote border belt. Now panic has a different reason. Two wild animals had their day out in Bilalabad, Garkote villages last week. Two leopards and a bear were there.  A lady Zareefa had a providential escape when bear attacked her. She fought with an axe and survived. The animals were taken care off by the department managing these creatures. But the people on borders said the crisis is man made. The fence has prevented the wild creatures from moving around so they frequently move towards human habitations. Ah, costs of the conflict.


A house reserved for marriages and parties consumed a young girl. When flames engulfed Royal Rattan Palace in Mehjoor Nagar, the 22-year-old Roshni Kour could not escape as she was caught in the bathroom. The flames were ferocious and did not allow anybody to enter the house till the young Kour, daughter of owner Darshan Singh was charred to death. She was taken to the hospital, only to be declared brought death. Locals talked about a valiant resident who fought flames but failed to get her out of harms danger.


Accused of many things from waging against the state to attempt to murder, two out of three youth booked in 2005 were acquitted, finally. When serial blasts rattled the Sarojini Nagar New Delhi in 2005, the Kashmiri trio Muhammad Rafiq Shah, Muhammad Hussain Fazili and Tariq Ahmed Dar were charged with the killings of 67 people. Twelve years later, the Patiala House Court found nothing against Shah and Fazili, however convicted Dar. Though the maximum sentence in his conviction is 10-years, he already has spent 12 behind the bars. The trial took 12 years, a lifetime to book, acquit and convict.





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