Briefing April 11-17, 2021

KULGAM

Shock is quite frequenting this south Kashmir belt. A minor girl was found pregnant after being allegedly raped by two men, a cop and an ex-soldier, in a Qazigund village and police have arrested the accused and a lady and another civilian for their role in facilitating the crime. The second incident was equally shameful when police rescued a girl after being raped in a truck by a driver. The accused duo was identified as Hafiz Farooq Parray, and Ubaid Ayoub Raina, both residents of Gadihama Kulgam. Their JK18A-6426 was also seized near FCI Mirbazar.

PAHALGAM

Pahalgam rabbit girl handing over the lost ring to the tourist.

Honesty has always remained the best policy for Kashmir, especially in the hospitality sector. A tourist was frantically searching for the costly ring that he lost in Pahalgam. As their search concluded in failure, they were surprised by two sisters – Mumtaza,12, and Rubina,10, who had found the ring and returned. The shock to the tourist was when the two girls belong to a poor nomadic family and live on the margins with modest home and income. The two sisters roam around different parks in Pahalgam in search of tourists who take selfies with their rabbits and in return get a little money to make both ends meet. Though the tourists rewarded them for his ring, the two sisters need help to go to school. The elder wants to be medico and the junior a teacher.

SRINAGAR

A residential house up in flames. KL Image

The firefighters were on tiptoes at many places in dousing flames. Given the tradition, they were joined by hundreds of youth. Driven by the desperation to save lives and properties, these untrained youth survived with burn injuries and had to be hospitalised. In Nawa Kadal, the locals rushed to the spot to help the affected families in saving their belongings. Among the locals, there were nearly eleven people who risked their lives in dousing the flames. Seven of them have received severe burn injuries and are currently admitted to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital. The fires have been quite costly in recent days. A mother-daughter duo was charred to death in a massive blaze in Manzgam (Kishtwar). In another tragic blaze, surrounding Haftchinar (Srinagar), a woman and her son were charred to death.

MUMBAI

Saqib Khan, the lawyer turned model before quitting showbiz

In certain cases, mostly in reel life, people rediscover themselves while being on a career trajectory. Not so long ago, actress Zaira Waseem, and Sana Khan left showbiz and returned to the faith. Now model-actor, Sakib Khan bid goodbye to the glittering showbiz to save himself from going against his religion. A lawyer by profession, Saqib Khan was seen in the popular reality TV show Roadies Revolution, where he impressed the gang leaders and the presenter Ranvijay Singha with his introduction: ‘Hi, I am from Kashmir and I am not a stone-pelter.’ Recently, he surprised his fans and followers with his update through social media about his plans of leaving showbiz. He wrote: “In a nutshell, I was going Astray (gumrah) and was going against my tenants of Islam…”

REASI

Constructed at a cost of Rs 1,486 crore to connect Kashmir with the rest of the plains, the arch closure of the world’s highest railway bridge has been completed. The 1.3-km bridge sits at a height of 359 metres above the bed of the Chenab river in the Jammu and Kashmir. With an overall weight of 10,619 MT and part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL), it will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France). The construction of the Bridge involved the fabrication of 28,660 MT steel, 10 lakh Cum earthwork, 66,000 cum concrete and 26 km motorable roads. The most sophisticated Tekla software was used for structural detailing and structural steel is suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature. The bridge has been constructed for blast load in consultation with the DRDO for the first time in India. It can withstand high wind speed up to 266km/hr. It can also absorb the earthquake forces of the high-intensity zone-V area in India. The route via the road between Katra-Banihal currently is 12-hour long. After the completion of the bridge, the route via train would be halved.

SRINAGAR

Scribes at work in Srinagar amid Coronavirus lockdown. KL Image

Terming it as part of coercive tactics to prevent journalists from covering ground situations in Jammu and Kashmir, media bodies in Kashmir have raised concerns at the police chief’s statement advising media persons not to carry live coverage of encounters and law and order situation. Considering covering and reporting law and order situations as of the basic requirements, and an essential part of the role of media professionals, the media fraternity considered such orders as part of the string of measures taken by the authorities to suppress freedom of the press. The advisory comes in the background of already choked space for dissent for journalists.

SKIMS

Omar Abdullah Takes the First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Soon after National Conference President Farooq Abdullah was discharged from SKIMS after testing positive, his son Omar Abdullah tested positive. The tech-savvy politician broke the news on Twitter. “For a year I did my best to dodge this damn virus but it’s finally caught up with me. I tested positive for COVIDー19 this afternoon. I’m completely asymptotic. Based on medical advice I’m self-isolating at home & monitoring my parameters like oxygen saturation levels etc.” The virus got into Omar, the way it attacked father – after the first shot of vaccination.

KASHMIR

Lal Chowk has been sealed and cops prevent any movement of people on Friday, August 28, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

With the imposition of, what is being called, the Corona Curfew from 10 pm to 6 am in the urban areas of 8 districts, five of them in Kashmir, netizens had the last laugh. The counter contagion measures are forcing people to think differently – what is the requirement of a night curfew when dogs take over streets around 8 pm? There has not been any nightlife in Kashmir for more than 30 years now. The people do ask if the congregation in Jamia Masjid is a threat, how a musical afternoon in Badam Wari or Tulip Graden is beneficial to society?

NOWGAM

In connection with the attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Anwar Khan in which a policeman was killed in the city outskirts on April 1, the police have arrested two girls from Budgam district. Identified as Tabasum Maqbool,22, and Anjum Younis,23, IGP Kashmir said the two girls have confessed their crime. But what are the details?

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