Briefing April 23-29, 2023



Remains of the ill-fated army truck that went up in flames after suspected militants attacked it in Bhata Dhurian area in Mendhar (Poonch) on April 20, 2023. Six soldiers were killed and one survived injured.

In anticipation of preparations for the G20 meeting in Kashmir, suspected militants targeted an army vehicle killing five of the six soldiers. The surviving soldier is battling for his life in the hospital. The attack occurred at Bhatta Durrian (Mendhar), where four soldiers were killed in a gun battle with the militants in October 2021. Army statement said militants hiding behind bushes and a cluster of trees opened firing on the Army truck moving between Bhimber Gali and Poonch at Bhatta Durrian on April 20, 2023, at 3 pm taking advantage of rains and thunderstorms. While one militant used grenades to stop the truck, another opened calibrated fire towards its fuel tank, triggering a massive blaze as yet another militant opened fire at onboard soldiers. Four of five Rashtriya Rifles soldiers are from Punjab.

In order to hunt down the assailants, authorities have suspended civil traffic in the Bata-Doriya area. An NIA team is visiting the area for investigations.

How will the attack impact the cold relations between India and Pakistan remains to be seen. Interestingly, Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is expected to lead a delegation to India for a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on May 5 that Goa hosts. It would be the first visit by any Pakistani Foreign Minister since Hina Rabbani Khar’s in 2011.

LG Manoj Sinha says Kashmir will produce Mustard oil worth Rs 800 crore in 2023.


State Investigation Agency

In a first of its kind, Jammu and Kashmir Police’s State Investigation Agency (SIA) has attached a Punjab resident’s property for “his links with militants”. Identified as Amarbhir Singh of Baba Darshan Singh Enclave at Ram Tirath Mahal in Amritsar, he is living in Dubai but is wanted in many cases in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The SIA seizure with the help of Punjab Police was in a case of recovery of Rs 15 lakh hawala money at Nagrota from two alleged JeM associates Parvez and Farooq, who were arrested in 2021. This is the first action taken by the SIA outside Jammu and Kashmir.

Formally opened on November 4, 2022, the Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) has received 10000 calls from people in distress. Women callers constitute 70 per cent.


High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

The High Court has quashed a series of detention orders under the Public Safety Act, including the one against journalist Fahad Shah. In the case of Srinagar resident Peerzada Mohammed Waseem, the court said the prosecution accused him of rioting and stone pelting in 2020 when the person was in jail since 2017. “How can a detenue already in jail and facing trial participate in rioting and stone pelting during that intervening period?” Judge Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal asked.

Wildlife officials said the direct sightings during the biennial census reveal improved numbers of Hangul within Dachigam National Park. In 2021, 261 Hangul were counted.


Ramzan 2023 was the most peaceful month of fasting in the last more than three decades. In Kashmir, there were no killings of militants or by militants. There was one encounter but the militants managed to flee. In Ramzan 2022, 19 militants, two civilians and two security personnel forces also lost their lives in militant violence. More than 20 militants were killed in Ramzan 2021.

Peace, however, did not help markets that remained struggling to earn. The inclement weather added to their crisis. Even though the month of fasting was extended to 30 days, the last days did not help the market revive. Lal Chowk remained deserted unlike in the past and part of the credit goes to the ongoing smart city works.

However, Ramzan 2023 would be remembered for the mess that Kashmir’s so-called grand Mufti, Nasirul Islam landed in. He was in a controversy at the beginning of the month when he declared that his “moon-sighting committee” could not locate the Ramzan crescent. People defied his claim and started fasting as Shia ulema had moon-sighting evidence. On April 19, a brief recording came on social media in which he was saying that his committee could not locate the crescent of Shawaal month on April 20, so Eid is being celebrated on Saturday, This triggered a serious controversy leading Nasir to send a formal request to Jammu and Kashmir Police to investigate the issue. He said he had been recorded for Doordarshan in advance. DD insider confirmed it saying this is the tradition. “We keep two versions recorded and then run the one that he permits at the appropriate time,” an insider said. The question, however, remains – how can anybody record something in advance when he or she lacks knowledge of it? On the flip side of it, police have investigated the issue and have answers. Will they ever reveal? Wait.

Against Rs 217.43 crore, the Government generated Rs 260.94 crore with the e-auction of 257 retail liquor vends for the year 2023-24. Some more vends are auctioned soon.


A youth was killed and his brother survived injured in a mysterious blast in their own kitchen at Chitran village in Kishtwar’s Simbol area. The dead young man was identified as Shabir Ahmad, 20, and the one struggling to survive as Mohammad Yaseen, 18. Gucchi mushroom hunters, the two brothers had located something in the hospital and were heating it when it exploded. In another interesting incident, Ghulam Hassan, an ex-serviceman, from Angloe area opened fire on his wife, Rubeena, and Yasmeena, his minor daughter and rendered them injured. He used a 12-bore rifle. He lost his cool when his wife and daughter pleaded with the drunkard not to have liquor. Now, he is being tried for an attempt to murder.

Kashmir’s mutton requirements are expected to go up post-Eid from the prevailing 35 truckloads of sheep a day to 160.


Jammu and Kashmir’s erstwhile foot-in-mouth governor, Satya Pal Malik has landed in yet another controversy for accusing Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and NSA, Ajit Doval, of making him silent on February 2019 Pulwama attack. The tragedy pushed India and Pakistan to the brink of a war in which the US had to intervene.

“CRPF personnel had requested aircraft to transport their personnel because such a large convoy does not normally travel by road. They had made the request to the Home Ministry, then held by Rajnath Singh, who refused. If they had asked me, I would have provided the aircraft. They had requested five aircraft,” Malik told Karan Thapar. “I told the Prime Minister the same evening (after the incident) that it happened due to our mistake. If we had provided them with aircraft, it could have been averted. He (PM) told me, ‘You keep quiet for the time being.’ I had already told one or two TV channels about it. He (PM) said, ‘Don’t talk about it. This is something else…’. Ajit Doval (NSA) also told me the same thing, ‘Satpalbhai (brother), you don’t talk about it. Please stay silent on this’.” Malik said, it took him a bit of time to realize “that the blame will now be shifted towards Pakistan, so I better keep quiet.”

Though Malik made several claims and told some very interesting stories about the politics in Delhi, it was the Pulwama attack that people have focused on. Congress is seeking a white paper on the Pulwama attack that killed nearly 40 CRPF personnel, days ahead of the national election. “Satya Pal Malik has brought out the explosive satya (‘truth’) which is more explosive than the Pulwama explosion itself…but this is nothing new. People were aware at the time that some Indo-Pakistan incident would be manufactured for political gain. Was the terror attack staged with the aim of winning elections?” Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Sanhjay Rauat has said. “Was there a plot to get 40 jawans killed for political gain? We [Opposition] had repeatedly tried to ask such questions at the time but were silenced by the ruling party and branded as ‘traitors’.”

The anti-climax of the controversy is that even Pakistan is using Malik’s statement. “His [Malik’s] disclosures demonstrate how the Indian leadership has habitually used the bogey of terrorism from Pakistan to advance its sham victimhood narrative and the Hindutva agenda, clearly for domestic political gains,” a statement from Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

Nearly four lakh people have visited Tulip Garden in the last month.



An embarrassed Jammu and Kashmir government had no option but to admit that little Seerat Naaz’s video clip about the condition of the government high school in Lohai-Malhar is “not far from truth”. Naaz addressed the Prime Minister in the 5-minute video that she shot and commented on. After introducing herself as a student of the particular school, she goes on a virtual tour of her school. “Modi-ji, mujhe na aap se ek baat kehni hain (Modi-ji, there is something I need to tell you.)” Seerat then pans the phone camera towards an uncovered concrete surface, right in front of two closed doors which she identifies as the “principal’s office and the staff room” and comments: “Dekho humara farsh kitna ganda ho chuka hain. Humein yahan niche bithate hain (Look how dirty the floor is. They make us sit here).”

Chalo mein aap ko bari si building dikhati hoon aapne school ki (let me show you the big building where our school is),” she goes on, “Yeh dekho, pichle 5 saalon se, dekho kitni gandi building hain yahan pe. Chalo mein aap ko andar se dikhati hoon (Look how unclean the building has been for the last 5 years. Let me take you on a tour of the inside of the building)”.

It was againt this backdrop, she makes a reqiest: “Please, aap se na request karti hoon, aap na achha sa school bana do. Humein niche baithna parta hain aur hamari uniform gandi ho jati hain aur phir humein Mamma marti hain. Humare pas bench bhi nahin hain (I request you to build us a nice school. We have to sit on the floor because of which our uniforms get dirty. My mother often scolds me for this. We don’t even have benches to sit on).” She adds: “Please Modi-ji, mein aap se request karti hoon ki achha sa bana de yeh school. Meri bhi baat sun lo (Please Modi-ji, I am requesting you to make my school better. Please grant my wish)”. She even films the toilet: “Dekho, humara kitna ganda toilet aur tut gaya hain (Look how filthy and broken our toilet is).” She then directs her lens towards a pit where the students go to relieve themselves. “Humein iss naali mein jana parta hain (We need to head to this pit to relieve ourselves.)”

The Government will now offer an ex-gratia relief of Rs 25 lakh (Rs 20 lakh out of UT Budget and Rs 5 lakh out of SRE) to the families of personnel who die in the line of duty and are from Jammu and Kashmir.


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