Briefing February 12-18, 2023


Kashmir folklore has always talked about Kruhun Sheen, the black snow, as a mark of disbelief and a complete topsy-turvy of natural systems.  The fact is there has been black snow around for the last half of the century in Kashmir. The soot that the industrial states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have been generating would fly and deposit over the glaciers in south Kashmir. Over the years it has been the major factor in the depletion of the glaciers and a key indicator of the climate change impact. Kashmir’s weather systems have historically remained impacted by the Western Disturbances in which the winds bring all the pollution from the Middle East and parts of Europe and pour it over Kashmir. The latest report is that last week the snow was seen as dusty and yellowish. The weatherman in Srinagar, now having access to better technology, said that it was the impact of dust that flew from Afghanistan and Pakistan and got missed with snow! Kashmir is becoming a casualty of real, virtual and climatic globalisation.

Of the sanctioned 3140 border bunkers in Rajouri, 2782 are almost ready for use.


In a game-changing development, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) revealed that it has discovered 6.9 million tons of lithium reserves in the Reasi mountains near Salal Haimana village.  This reserve will fundamentally shift the global ranking of Lithium-rich countries with India now emerging from nowhere to the second position after Chile. The gold of the IT-driven system, Lithium is the powerhouse linked to almost everything from a pacemaker to a cell phone and to an electric car. This is expected to boost the IT-manufacturing investments in India that have already started with Apple setting up a huge phone-making facility in India. How the discovery will help Jammu and Kashmir shall remain a question for the future when the formal process of extracting the vital mineral starts. Right now Australia is the major Lithium supplier to the world.

Against the sanctioned strength of 4985 village defence groups (VDG), 4,153 have been constituted.


In Kashmir’s harsh winters, Asphyxia has remained a major killer. Desperate to stay warm, people pluck every hole in the room and put on heating devices that deplete oxygen and the people die. That is exactly what happened to the UP family in Krakpora village. Five members of Majid Ansari’s family were declared dead last week when they were driven to the hospital. It was the annihilation of the Bijnore family including the husband, wife and their three children, including the youngest member who was born recently and was yet to be named.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the number of drug abusers includes Cannabis 1,36,000, Opioids 4,47,000, Cocaine 1,000 and 1000 Amphetamines type stimulants. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the registration of 743 drug peddling cases in 2017, 680 in 2018, 918 in 2019, 933 in 2020 and 1324 in 2021.


Eleventh grader, Hanaya Nisar was conferred with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) 2023 for winning a gold medal at the third World SQAY Martial Arts Championship held in Chingju, South Korea in October 2018.  It is India’s highest civilian honour for children.

Two civilians and 25 security personnel were killed in militant attacks across Jammu since August 5, 2019.


LG, Manoj Sinha presented a piece of Basholi Panting to visiting Prime Minister on April 24, 2022, at Samba.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Jammu has authorised a programme for the Geographical Indication (GI) certification of nine items from erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state for submission to the Human Welfare Association in Varanasi. These items being submitted for GI include Basohli Paintings, Basholi Pashmina Woolen Products (Kathua), Chikri Wood Craft (Rajouri), Bhaderwah Rajma (Doda), Mushkbudji Rice (Anantnag), Kaladi (Udhampur), Sulai Honey, Anardana (Ramban), and Ladakh Wood Carving(Ladakh).

2022 saw 111 anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir in which 187 militants were killed.



Federal investigator CBI detained a lecturer at the Government Polytechnic College in Jammu and the Chief Accounts Officer (KAS) of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation in connection with Rs. 2.3 lakh bribery. CBI said the lecturer was being used by the accounts officer for extracting money from a person whose payment bill was with the officer. The arrest was an outcome of the trap.

Two girls were rescued alive in an avalanche that hit Manzgund village of Gurez


Rivalries within professionals can sometimes be interestingly intriguing. In a Pattan hospital when a junior doctor was busy carrying out the surgery, the senior got into the theatre and allegedly abused him. This stunned the staff and almost put the patient at risk. The reason: the senior did not want any procedure to take place without his knowledge. What is right and wrong will be decided by an investigation ordered by CMO, Baramula. Meanwhile, authorities have banned two doctors from doing any private practice across Jammu and Kashmir. The two doctors, Dr Zafarullah, Assistant Professor (ENT) and Dr Shafaqat Ahmad Lone, Associate Professor (ENT) of Government Medical College Baramulla were accused of referring patients from Government hospitals to Private Hospitals for availing treatment under AB PM-JAY and AB PM-JAY SEHAT Scheme.

The cost of the Haj package in 2023 is expected to be about Rs 50,000 less in comparison to 2022.


Non-irrigated land at Vilgam. KL Image

Jammu and Kashmir’s administration has banned the sale of agricultural land belonging to individuals who are missing for the last seven years. This was done on basis of the police enquiry that suggested the use of these incomes into subversion. Now revenue officials will have to declare a landowner not present and not in occupation on formal records. People holding their immovable properties will have also to be mentioned and will continue to harvest these lands. No revenue papers in these lands can be issued by the revenue officials to prevent their sale. Though the orders will not be applicable to the immovable property of people who have migrated, the order is silent about tens of thousands of people – mostly professionals, who are working overseas and are technically not present.

Of 33,426 Gazetted and Non-Gazetted positions in Jammu and Kashmir government, Lok Sabha was informed that 25450 vacancies stand filled by December 2022.


A review into the British government’s scheme set up to prevent terrorism has flagged the radicalisation of UK Muslims over Kashmir and “potentially toxic” pro-Khalistan extremism as some of the areas of growing concern and made recommendations for improvements to tackle Islamist extremism as the “primary threat” to the country, reports in media said. The report said Pakistan is impacting UK Muslim communities when it comes to “inflaming anti-India sentiment, particularly around the subject of Kashmir”. Commissioner for Public Appointments William Shawcross presided over the review.


In a veiled jibe at Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his Ekta Yatra in 1991 that concluded with the tricolour unfurling in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk at the peak of militant threat. “Those who came back from Jammu and Kashmir recently must have seen how easily you can go there. I too had gone on a yatra to J&K with the resolve to unfurl the Tricolour at Lal Chowk,” Modi said. “Terrorists had put up posters and said, dekhte hain, kisne maa ka doodh piya hai jo Lal Chowk aake Tiranga phehra paaye. That day on January 24, at a public rally, I had said, ‘terrorists pay heed. On January 26, sharp at 11 am, I will reach Lal Chowk without security and a bulletproof jacket. Faisla Lal Chowk pe hoga kisne apni maa ka doodh piya hai’. Then I unfurled the Tricolour at Lal Chowk.” Modi said Kashmir has changed after the reading down of Article 370 and tourism is on a historic rise. He said theatres are also running houseful in Kashmir and separatists are nowhere to be seen now.


It was an interesting happening. A traffic cop intercepted a car near Tagore Hall and fined him Rs 2000 for some violation of the rules. Infuriated, the “victim” promised a response. Within an hour, he returned to the spot with his bulldozer – he was an SMC driver handling a bulldozer for removing encroachments and dismantling a booth from which the traffic cops were operating. These booths are technically encroachments but practically these are important spots for the cops. This triggered a mess and after a lot of controversies, the police registered a case and arrested three SMC officials who were later bailed out by the court.


SKUAST-K’s 15 students have secured Innovation Grant Funding Support as seed money from Jammu and Kashmir Science, Technology and Innovation Council. They are mentored by the university’s Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (SKIIE) Centre and Team IDP. They will use the grants for validating the proof of concept and turning their ideas into viable marketable products.


Bollywood flick, Pathaan poster showing the lead actors including Shahrukh Khan, John Ibrahim and Deepika Padukone

Effectively and surely, the tinsel town is reviving its Kashmir love story. At a time when Shah Rukh Khan’s flick Pathaan is ruling the box office, Bollywood actors Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan are in Kashmir. They are shooting Fighter. Directed by Siddharth Anand Fighter also involves other actors including Anil Kapoor, Karan Singh Grover, and Akshay Oberoi for decisive roles. The movie is planned to hit the theatres on January 25, 2024. In Kashmir, the actors will be seen in and around Dal Lake and Pahalgam to capture some action arrays and scenes of a song. The movie Fighter is anticipated to be India’s foremost aerial action franchise which will enact and display the bravery, slaughter, and patriotic sentiments of the Indian Army. Now Karan Johar is flying Alia Bhat to Srinagar – cancelling Switzerland, for shooting Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.


Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi Reviews Security Situation In Kashmir

Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, the Northern Command chief said they are ready to give a befitting response to any Chinese aggression in Ladakh. Addressing the Northern Command Investiture Ceremony, the General said that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has brought forth many lessons such as the employment of disruptive and dual-use technologies. “On the LAC, our response to Chinese attempts to unilaterally change the status quo was a swift, undaunted and synergised action by the Indian Armed Forces. Any adverse aggressive designs or attempts will definitely be met with appropriate posturing of Forces and a strong intent with complete synergy among the three services,” he said. “I assure you that the LAC in Eastern Ladakh is being dominated by physical patrolling and through technical means and our territorial integrity is being ensured.”


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