Briefing April 17-23, 2022

AMARNATH

With an anticipated arrival of six to eight lakh pilgrims to the cave shrine of Amarnath, authorities have started preparations. Secretary Information and Broadcasting, Apurva Chandra, talked to the media in Srinagar about preparations. It was followed by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla’s visit. He was accompanied by some top officers of various security agencies with him. He is supposed to hold meetings with various security agencies deployed in Kashmir. Amarnath yatra 2022 is being organised for the first time after it was cut short in August 2019. No Yatra took place in 2020 and 2021, owing to Covid19. The 43-day yatra begins on June 30 and concludes on August 11.

Police arrested all the 13 persons who shouted Azadi slogans in Jamia Majid

DELHI

Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar

Mushtaq Zargar alias Latram, the founder of erstwhile al-Umar Mujahideen has been designated as a “terrorist” under UAPA. Arrested within a few years of his operation, he was released in exchange for passengers on board the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999, with Masood Azhar, and Omar Sheikh. Zargar is the fourth individual to have been designated as a terrorist by the Centre in the last one week and the 35th individual to have been declared a designated terrorist by the Government. Zargar is currently based in Pakistan.

With this move, the security agencies can attach his or his associates’ immoveable and moveable properties. Earlier the government declared Mohiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir as a terrorist for his involvement in the car bomb attack on the CRPF bus.

The Government is merging 700 schools across Jammu and Kashmir because of inadequate enrolment.

KULGAM

When people of Kakran were busy breaking the day-long fast, a suspected militant took out from his home Satish Kumar Singh and shot at him from a very close range. Quickly he was shifted to hospital and later to Srinagar but he succumbed to his injuries. Singh, a driver from the Rajput community, had not migrated out in the 1990s and lived peacefully in the village. This is the second attack after a Kashmiri Pandit was left injured in a militant attack. The village is mourning Singh’s murder. Singh is survived by his mother, wife and three daughters – Sakshi, Senoni and Menakshi, one of them disabled. Singh’s brother Anil said there is fear in the community for the first time. “A lot of our neighbours (Muslims) visited us and helped us in the cremation (of Singh). They also feel helpless,” Anil was quoted saying. Rajputs migrated from Jammu during the reign of Maharaja Ranbir Singh. In this village, residents said, around a dozen families live of whom three families migrated in the 1990s and all others stayed back.

March 2022 witnessed an 80 per cent deficit in rainfall.

RAJOURI

An aerial view of Rajouri town, a major trade centre in Pir Panchal valley. Pic: Internet

Chander Mohan, a government employee and an alleged encroacher attacked Tehsildar Sunderbani, Ravi Shankar Sharma at his residence and then at his office and left him injured. Now the authorities have announced an enquiry and put Mohan under suspension. Mohan lost his cool when he visited the revenue officer at his official residence. He had gone to show him the court stay order that should halt the proposed demolition of his property. Mohan was personally injured in his first assault at the officer’s residence. Later his nephew attacked the officer in his office in presence of a police officer. Now Mohan and the officer are admitted to a hospital in Jammu.

JK Yateem Foundation distributed Rs 4 crore among 5500 poor and needy families including 1000 widows.

KATHUA

Babu Singh

Jammu and Kashmir Police have arrested former Congress minister Jatinder Singh, alias Babu Singh from a spot close to the Punjab border. Now he, along with his aide Mohammad Shareef Shah, has been remanded to five-day police custody. Singh is facing a case of being a recipient of hawala money, meant for subversive activities. His manhunt started after the recovery of Rs 690,000 from Shah’s possession on March 31. Police said Shah was tasked by Singh to collect the money. Reports said Singh’s case will be tackled by State Investigation Agency (SIA).

In March 2022, Jammu and Kashmir’s unemployment rate for the month of March was at 25 per cent.

PULWAMA

Scared, a number of migrant labour have started leaving Pulwama after a series of militant attacks left many of them injured. In the last 20 days, seven migrant workers were shot at and left injured – all in Pulwama. The attacks, seemingly are aimed at triggering fear among seasonal workers, most of whom come from Bihar, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP and Jharkhand. They work in Kashmir for seven to eight months and leave for home before the winter sets in.  Police sources told reporters that the number of workers in the district is barely 6000 right now and it will go up four times at the peak of the work season.

JK Police is purchasing more than 20,000 bulletproof jackets, headgears

SAMBA

A small video clip showing a mother mercilessly beating her child has gone viral. It led to the arrest of the lady. The clip shows a woman, identified as Preeti Sharma, sitting on a bed with the wailing infant in her lap, and arguing with someone. As the baby continues crying, she throttles, punches and slaps her, before slamming the months-old child on the bed. The entire sequence has been recorded on mobile by a relative, possibly by somebody with whom she was in an argument. Police said the lady has been arrested and the baby is safe.  Reports said her husband and Sarpanch of Bri Kamila belt handed over the video to the police that led to the lady’s arrest. The clip has been shot a month back.

In 2021-22, Rs 2,017 crore was disbursed to more than 65 lakh beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

SRINAGAR

The Jammu and Kashmir government has asked traders to install CCTVs for their own safety. A penal action may be taken if the installations will not take place by or before April 19. “It is requested to all establishments in Srinagar to install CCTVs as instructed via DM Srinagar Order dated 5th April 2022. Non-Compliance with this order may lead to Penal Action and FIR. 19th April is the last date for compliance. CCTVs are for your own protection & deterrence,” Srinagar Police tweeted on Tuesday. The magistrate order said the CCTV will keep a check on anti-national, criminals, anti-social and anti-activities.

Dry weather led to more than 100 forest fires in 15 days

JAMMU

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha during the contract agreement signing ceremony between RHPCL & MEIL for the turnkey execution of 850MW Ratle HEP

Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (RHPCL) and Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) have inked an agreement for the turnkey execution of the 850MW Ratle power project. Deepak Saigal represented RHPCL and Umamaheswara Reddy, the MEIL. Details of the agreement were not known. However, the agreement was signed in presence of LG Manoj Sinha who termed it historic.

The central government is providing 1.5 lakh Doordarshan Dish TV free in areas lacking cable service.

SRINAGAR

Sheikh Showkat

Privately run, Srinagar Law College sacked its principal, Prof Sheikh Showkat Hussain, former head and dean of the School of Legal Studies at the Central University of Kashmir in 2019. Hussain was considered close to the late Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Hussain has taught at the University of Kashmir and later at Central University. An anonymous statement used by the media hold Hussain responsible for a speech at the Delhi Press Club and indicated the authorities will halt his pension, Rs one lakh a month.

11 persons were booked under PSA last week

SRINAGAR

Scott sports, a Swiss bicycles producer that also makes winter equipment, motorsports gear, and sportswear, has appointed a 21-year old Kashmiri athlete, Rizza Alee as its brand ambassador for India. Alee is a mountain biker and snowboarder from Nowlari village in north Kashmir. He is the first Kashmiri athlete to get associated with any international sports brand. Now he is planning to promote Kashmir as a mountain biking destination at an international level. This year, Alee would be biking up to Leh, and joining Spring of 2022 in North America on bike rides around Central Park, New York City, followed by a bike ride from New York to Niagara Falls.

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