Briefing March 12-18, 2023


social media

Within a fortnight after the Chief Secretary told the heads of departments to oversee what the government employees are doing on social media, the Jammu Kashmir Police arrested a government employee, a peon, for allegedly posting ‘hateful’ comments on social media. Identified as Amrik Singh, a resident of Beoli Doda, he is posted as a class-IV employee in CEO’s office. The data he uploaded, police believe, could trigger law and order problems in the district.

Nearly 6000 Kashmiri Pandit employees called off their 310-day-long protests after the government stopped their pay. They were seeking transfer out of Kashmir on security grounds.


Yet again, the official recruiter, the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) is back in news. This time for managing the examinations of the aspiring employees through Aptech Ltd, a hiring firm that has been blacklisted by other states. As the details of the firm’s shady detailed appeared in the media, there were protests in Kashmir and Jammu. In Jammu, police used force and made arrests of the protesting young men and women. The company was blacklisted in 2019 but re-hired in May 2022. The crisis erupted in wake of serious credibility issues involving the SSB and the third parties it hires. In July 2022, the administration cancelled the selected list of 1200 police sub-inspectors, 1300 junior engineers and 1000 finance account assistants (FAA) following allegations of paper leaks and malpractices. The CBI that is investigating the case has charge-sheeted 24 persons including a BSF commandant and many of them were arrested as well. Though the SSB is justifying the re-hiring, the protesters were insisting that once blacklisted how the company can be trusted now especially when job rackets are investigated by the major agency. The political class especially the JKNC and PDP have strongly reacted to use massive force against the job seekers. “On what basis, and at whose behest, has the company, which is blacklisted by other states, been awarded the contract to conduct the recruitment here,” Mehbooba Mufti asked. Aptech is blacklisted in UP, Rajasthan and Assam. “Laws were changed to make sure it gets the contract.”

65 benches of the special Lok Adalat settled 224 of the 669 matrimonial cases and awarded Rs 51,10,500 as compensation and settlement amount.


Jab Jab phool Khilay, a 1965 blockbuster featuring Shashi Kapoor and Nanda reinforced the belief that if it is love, it is Kashmir

Love is not a lollipop. Sometimes, it backfires. In the last 10 days, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed three tragedies suggesting that Cupid always does not protect lovers from each other. On March 1, a boy and a girl jumped into river Jhelum in Baramulla. It triggered panic and somehow the girl was rescued but the body was recovered dead many hours later.

In Jammu, a young lady, 27, who was about to be a trained dentist, was found stabbed to death at the house of her male friend in Pamposh Colony (Janipur). On March 7, evening, police said the man’s relatives informed them that he had uploaded a message on his Facebook announcing that he will commit suicide. As they rushed to his flat, it was locked from the outside. They broke the door and were shocked to see a young woman stabbed to death. The accused was also found in critical condition in his washroom with the same kind of cuts. The slain lady – who was pursuing MDS in Delhi and had come on vacation – has been cremated and the man is in hospital and now being probed for murder.

On March 9, in Srinagar, a non-native survived with serious injuries after his wife allegedly stabbed him with a knife in Jawahar Nagar. Identified as Rakesh Kumar (Amritsar), he is recovering in SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.

More than 100 thousand tourist arrivals were recorded in February 2023, a record in itself.


An aerial view of Baramulla. Pic: Baramulla News FB page

The new Naya Kashmir has too many colleges and a lot of many students. The problem is there are no teachers. Now a degree college in Baramulla has thrown up a model. In absence of teachers, the Government Women’s College, Baramulla has asked non-subject faculty to have “engaging classes of the departments without staff”. Now, the faculty of Education, Physical Education, and Sports Departments has been assigned the duty to engage the classes of Political Science. Chemistry Department has been asked to take care of Public Administration Department and Botany Department has been asked to engage classes in Economics and the Zoology department would engage the students of Social Work. Mathematics Department will teach Philosophy. Now I know, one scholar wrote on Facebook, why Baramulla creates polymaths. Seemingly it is the beginning. Now every Kashmiri student will be a polymath, courtesy chatbot.

20.8 per cent of adults in Jammu and Kashmir are using tobacco.


Foreign ministers of India and China, S Jaishankar and Wang Yi

The American intelligence community has told US lawmakers that it apprehends increased tension between India and Pakistan and India and China with the possibility of a conflict. The three nuclear-armed neighbours are in a tense relationship for their own reason. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they have said “is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to Pakistani provocations”. While India-Pakistan relations are at a historic low, Sino-India relations are not cordial because of the Ladakh stand-off. The intelligence assessment coincided with the renewed public speech by a number of politicians that within a few years India will retrieve its parts of Kashmir from Pakistan.

The administration has decided to scrutinise more than 700 thousand ration cards in Kashmir.


The bodies of three slain youths who were killed in Amshipora fake encounter were exhumed in Gantmulla Baramulla on Saturday, September 3, 2020. Image: Social Media

Finally, the Court Martial vindicated the residents who, from day one, insisted that the killing of three Rajouri labourers in Shopian village on July 18, 2020, was a fake encounter. Last week, a general court-martial (GCM) recommended life imprisonment to Captain Bhoopendra Singh, a verdict subject to confirmation by the Army headquarters in Delhi. The encounter saw the killing of Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar who were dubbed ‘terrorists’. The CGM followed a Court of Inquiry and a Summary of Evidence found the officer has abused the powers vested under the AFSPA. The Court of Inquiry was completed in the last week of December 2020. A JKP SIT had also established the captain’s culpability along with two civilians. Singh would operate in the area under an assumed identity, Major Bashir Khan. The slain trio were from the same village and two of them were close relatives. After the “encounter”, LG Manoj Sinha personally visited the Rajouri families, expressed his sympathies and assured them all of the help. So far, however, they have not been given jobs which the families desperately require.

LG Manoj Sinha revealed that in the last three years, more than 30,000 vacant government posts were filled and 20,000 more vacancies are being filled.


Royal Springs Golf Course, an aerial picture

The Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to outsource the Royal Springs Golf Course taking the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) route. The world-class golf course is not the only property. Reports said “some properties of JKTDC and Directorate of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir” are being outsourced. The 300-acre 18-hole RSGC is operational since 2001 when Robert Trent Jones Jr worked for years on the erstwhile city forest to make it one of the wonders of Kashmir. Earlier, the officials identified 12 JKTDC assets including the Pahalgam Club, Jammu’s Ashoka Hotel, and various huts at Patnitop for outsourcing. Of the 12 properties, 11 have been divided into three bundles. Bundle I includes the Pahalgam club and convention centre and Pahalgam Hutments and Hotel Alpine with an estimated project cost of Rs 108.44 crore. Bundle II bracket envisages three properties – facilities at Sanasar Lake, tourist bungalow Kud and Hotel Maple Kud with an estimated project cost of Rs 48.89 crore. Bracket III includes six properties – Ramban Cafeteria, Tourist Bungalow at Ramban, Tourist Bungalow Seri-Ramban, Tourist Bungalow Banihal, Hotel Maple Banihal and Cafeteria Qazigund at an estimated project cost of Rs 6.86 crores. JKTDC has invited proposals from reputed national or international entities, and joint ventures for undertaking the Development, Operation and Maintenance of select tourism assets (bundle-wise) with 30 years concession period for I and II Bundles and 15 years for Bundle –III.

Kashmir’s Chest Diseases Hospital reported 47 positive H3N2 infections from a sample basket of 103 in 50 days.


The Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered an enquiry into the alleged misconduct of the president Municipal Committee, Handwara. Earlier, a similar investigation along with a formal police case was registered against a councillor of MC Pulwama. He had abused doctors on duty. In September 2022, the government removed Bilal Ahmad Bhat, President of the Municipal Committee, Awantipora from his office on the grounds of abuse of his official powers.

SMC officials have said Srinagar has Swachh Bharat Mission 730 toilets and 35 toilet blocks are being built.


On the Srinagar-Leh national highway, the government has completed the construction of a new Wayil bridge, a first-of-its-kind arch-truss-girder design bridge. It has been constructed using a unique combination of truss and arch bridge elements and girders and will replace the old single-lane bridge that caused frequent traffic jams and delays. The two-lane bridge, with a span of 110 meters and a width of 10.50 meters, was funded by the World Bank and will be ready at an investment of Rs 23.79 crore.

LG Manoj Sinha said around 350 modern health infrastructure projects are coming up in Jammu and Kashmir.


Regional Transport Officer Kashmir has suspended the registration of two-wheelers (JK01AG-5841) used in the commission of eve-teasing. It was a quick follow-up to the Srinagar police arresting two boys for allegedly stalking and intimidating a girl on March 4.

A woman employee whose infant dies will have a paid leave for 60 days.


VDC members led by BJP leader Sunil Sharma submitted a memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday, March 2, 2022. Pic: Social Media

Arvind Kumar, a 35-year-old man allegedly shot himself dead with his brother’s rifle, at his ancestral Sindra (Bhaderwah) village in Doda district today, a police officer said. The rifle belonged to his elder brother, a Village Defence Guard (VDG) member. This is the second murder after the government revived and rebranded the erstwhile VDCs into VDGs.

MeT calculations suggest Jammu and Kashmir received 176 mm overall precipitation in January and February against the normal of 225 mm, which means 17 of 20 districts received deficit rainfall.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here