Never touched by any militant, two families of Kashmiri Pandits – who did not migrate in the 1990s, are scarred in their Chotigam village in Shopian. Bal Krishan Bhat, a shopkeeper, was shot at by militants last week. The incident has perplexed the two Pandits’ families and their Muslim neighbours. “We have never felt threatened,” Bhat’s brother Anil told reporters. “We don’t know what is in store for us. All our neighbours are very nice, but how will we counter the threat of guns.” Ever since the attack, Muslim neighbours are living in their homes, literally. Cops have also been redeployed, for the first time after 2016, but it is unlikely to get them the required confidence.
In the last more than a week, Kashmir witnessed select attacks on migrant workers in various south Kashmir locations. In around five such attacks, the assailants left the migrant labourers injured. The scare has led any of them to leave for home.
In 146 fire incidents in three months, Srinagar’s 93 families lost their homes.
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has sentenced Mumbai terror attack mastermind and banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed to 32 years in jail in two more terror financing cases. Earlier in five such cases, the 70-year-old cleric had been convicted for 36 years imprisonment. The total sentence of 68 years imprisonment will run concurrently. He is now behind bars in Kot Lakhpat Jail. Hafiz is an UN-designated terrorist on whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty. He is jail since July 2019.
Kashmir witnessed a tourist footfall of around 1.80 lakh in less than the first 100 days of 2022.
The recently appointed chairperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Waqaf Board, Dr Drakshan Andrabi has been given the status of MoS. She is a BJP leader as well.
After reading down Article 370, Government said 14 Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus were killed
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have started implementing an ambitious plan to have 24×7 CCTV surveillance across Jammu and Kashmir. These high-resolution CCTVs would be capable of detecting crowds, defining the number of persons in the crowd and identifying their gender, among others. The police headquarters has floated tenders for a CCTV surveillance system worth Rs 57 crore. These cameras will also have capabilities such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and facial recognition. In Kashmir, CCTV surveillance would be set up at 43 sites while in Jammu, it will be installed at 119 sites.
The government said 2105 migrant Kashmiri Pandits returned home after August 2019.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned Omar Abdullah for five hours in connection with a case related to the purchase of a building by JK Bank about 12 years ago when he was the Chief Minister. His party termed it a “vicious vilification” ahead of possible elections. The case pertains to the purchase of a building in Bandra Kurla in 2010 – 65000 sq ft for Rs 172 crore against the approval of 42000 sq ft for Rs 109 crore.
ARTO Baramulla has generates a revenue of Rs 36 crore since 2017. Rs 27,16,92,287 of this has come in 2021 alone.
After applying for land in 1991, 182 families of Kashmiri Pandits finally got their properties in Bahadurgarh town. It could only happen after the Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar personally intervened. Some families who got the land are currently living in Delhi, Jammu and Pune. Details revealed that
209 families had purchased a total of 10 acres of land in Sector 2, Bahadurgarh. Later, Haryana Urban Local Bodies (HUDA) acquired land to develop Sector-2, which included the land purchased by Pandits. This triggered a dispute and Pandits demanded that their land be released from the acquisition process. The authorities in 1997 had agreed to release 12 acres of land as it was not possible to give plots to all 209 families from only 10 acres that they had originally purchased. However, the authorities asked the Pandits to get the mutation of the land concerned done in favour of HUDA. The mutation could not be done because of several revenue issues related to the land concerned and the Pandits kept waiting for their plots. In 2016, plots were allotted to 27 families in whose cases the technical hurdles were removed, but the other 182 families still kept waiting.
11000 youth were appointed in Jammu and Kashmir in the last year
BJP leader and Wakf chairperson, Dr Darakhshan Andrabi flew a delegation of Kashmir business for a meeting with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The delegation comprised Sheikh Ashiq, Mushtaq Chaya, Showkat Choudry, and Baldev Singh Rana. Ashiq later told reporters that they discussed the business scenario of Kashmir including tensions with banks, flights and other economic issues. “We are expecting some big announcement from Prime Minister soon on the revival of economy and direct flights to Jeddah,” he said. They have raised the issue of Roshni scheme under which the people have paid the cost and utilised the land and are now being asked to vacate. They have sought an extension of the lease in the case of hotels in Gulmarg. However, the opposition has criticised the prime minister for some people who have baggage.
4.5 per cent of women in Jammu and Kashmir were married at the age of 18 years between 2019 and 2021, according to Men and Women in India 2021, a survey by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). It said the mean age for women’s marriage has increased from 24.5 in 2017 to 25.3 in 2021.
Two civilians were injured when Army personnel allegedly opened fire during an altercation in Handwara. The Army later said the fire was “accidental”. The altercation was the outcome of objections that residents raised over the Army trying to take pictures of people who had gathered to offer Zuhr prayers. The soldiers were allegedly forcing some students to take photographs of these assembled for prayers which they were refusing. This triggered the crisis. The injured duo are shopkeepers – Mujeeb-ur-RehamSofi and Abdul Ahad Mir. “In view of the Iftaar party planned by the Army near the town chowk, the troops at about 1.30 pm took few photos of Jamia Masjid Handwara to showcase happiness and offering of prayers…,” Defence spokesman said. “Thereafter, they requested a local to get a few photos from inside. It is when the local person was going to take photos, some rogue elements protested and instigated others to get into an altercation with the troops. While attempting to pacify them, two or three individuals got into a scuffle with the troops wherein there was an accidental discharge of the weapon, injuring two civilians.”
Srinagar airport is chasing its own records. It has handled 98 flights a day, to and fro.
Jelaja Ratheesh, 40, from Kerala drove a cargo lorry from Ernakulam to Srinagar. Instead of driving a car or bike, she came in a truck with her husband, Ratheesh P S and a relative Aneesh K S. Starting February 2, from Perumbavoor (Ernakulam), they took plywood to Pune and from there they loaded onion for Kashmir. The lady documented her travel through Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and finally to Kashmir. She has driving after marriage while accompanying her husband. “The most memorable part of our journey was the visit to Gulmarg. I couldn’t believe that it happened,” she was quoted as saying.
A class 11 student from Rajwar belt committed suicide after being allegedly stalked and harassed by her neighbour. The deceased’s family alleged that on March 28, the boy living in her neighbourhood made her photos viral, adding that on the same night, she consumed a poisonous substance at her home. She was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors shifted her to SKIMS Soura, where she breathed her last. Police said they have taken a boy into custody.
Teacher and academic administrator, Atiqa Banoo had created a museum, Meeras Mahal, that showcases items of routine use and discarded by modernity. She died in 2017. Now Aliph Foundation, an international organisation has approved grants for the e-museum, a project that Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Kashmir will implement. It is located in a 2-storey building that she donated land for. INTACH said the museum has 8,000 items, ranging from kitchen utensils to agricultural tools, clothing, earthenware and manuscripts. Apart from earthen puja thalis, wooden palanquins, gods and goddesses, the collection includes terracotta items from the 4th Century Kushan period, coins from the pre-Islamic era and artefacts from the Buddhist period.
The National Conference ruled Kargil Council with BJP support. More than two years after when BJP pulled out of the informal alliance, NC managed to get the adequate numbers to continue ruling the council. Kargil Council has 30 members including NCs 10, Congress’s eight, BJP’s seven and five were independents. After BJP decided to pull out, one of its members Mohsin Ali refused. With its 10 members and support of Mohsin Ali, the NC managed to get the backing of five more independents taking its tally to 16, the majority mark in the House of 30. The LAHDC Kargil completes its term in August 2023.
After more than 150 days of being in jail, three Kashmiri students – Showkat Ahmad Gania, Arshad Yousuf and Inayat Altaf were bailed out by the Allahabad High Court. Serious strictures were passed by the court in the case in which the Kashmiri engineering students were accused of celebrating Pakistan’s T-20 victory over India. They were bailed out. A week later, however, they are still in the Agra jail. Bail was granted on the condition that they will submit cash surety or a local resident will sign the surety bond. Since no resident in UP is willing to give the bond, only one option is left. The families are poor and are finding it difficult to manage the surety bonds.
In an interesting turn of events, a person flew home after a decade. Moments after he landed at Jammu airport, he was arrested by the police. Identified as Tariq Hussain Mughal, a resident of village Gursai (Mendhar), police said he was evading arrest since 2013. In 2009, he was booked in a police case but soon he fled to Saudi Arabia. Now, when he flew home, the police were waiting and arrested him quickly.
Two Kashmir University professors – Muhammad Yousuf Ganai (History) and Gul Mohammad Wani (political science) – were relieved from the headship of their respective departments following their involvement in a scuffle that led to police complaints against the duo. They fought on April 1, the April Fool Day. The two seniors are accused of entering into a fistfight as students watched them exchange choicest verbal abuses.