Jammu and Kashmir Police have detained six persons after questioning nearly 200 people in Poonch following April 22, attack on an army vehicle in which five soldiers were killed. The operation involving various security agencies in the Bhata Durian belt is still in progress. The agencies investigating the attack have narrowed their focus on two militant handlers based in Pakistan, Rafiq Nai and Habibullah Malik, who are believed to have played a key role in the attack. Both men were designated as militants by the Indian government last year, and their involvement in the recent attack underscores the ongoing threat posed by militants operating from across the border in Pakistan.
Asserting that the attack was carried out with active local support, Dilbagh Singh, the Police Chief said a native, Nasir Ahmad has provided shelter and logistics to attackers. The massive crackdown has triggered outrage after Mukhtar Hussain Shah, a resident of Nar (Mendhar) consumed poison and died by suicide over alleged harassment and torture. Before committing suicide, he had recorded a video.
Singh said the attackers were supplied arms through drones. Three persons formally arrested include Gursi residents- Nissar Ahmad, Farid Ahmad, and Mushtaq. The Poonch Rajouri region is emerging as a challenge. Only six army men were killed in militancy violence in Kashmir since October 2021 as against 21 in Poonch and Rajouri districts during the same period.
School Education Department has directed private schools operating from Government land to admit 25 per cent of their students from weaker sections of society.
For Muslims within and outside Kashmir, Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting, is the era for protracted prayers, charity, and self-introspection. Most of the mosques ensure they have a Hafiz-e-Quran who will lead them in Taraweh prayers and once the month concludes these Imam’s are honoured. Residents of Mareed Mohalla in Kupwara thought out-of-box. Instead of paying him in cash or gifting him worldly valuables, they recognised Maulana Bilal Ahmad Nadvi’s contribution by sending him on Umrah. This was a surprise to the Imam, too. This first-of-its-kind gesture has the potential of becoming the new fashion statement of the faithful, naysayers say.
The government is providing land free of charge in favour of BSNL for saturation of 4G mobile services in all the 303 uncovered villages across Jammu and Kashmir.
In yet another shocking event, the Jammu and Kashmir Police uncovered a prostitution ring in the Reshipora, Kupwara. Police said they conducted a raid on a house leading to the arrest of Shabir Ahmad War, his wife and three more people. This is the fourth such scandal in the last few weeks that has come to light in Jammu and Kashmir, with similar operations having been uncovered in Srinagar outskirts including Bagh-e-Mehtab and Nowgam area, and another in Jammu Jewel Chowk. It is immediately not known what pushes individuals to prostitution.
11 Gujaratis were arrested for taking Gandola for a ride with a fake ticket. Earlier a Mumbai tourist group went to jail for the same offence.
Bollywood’s heartthrob Shahrukh Khan has set Kashmir abuzz with excitement as he returned after 11 years to shoot for his upcoming film Dunki. Directed by Raj Kumar Hirani and co-starring Tapsee Pannu, the movie scenes were filmed in the stunning locales of Sonamarg and Pulwama. He also did some shopping in Srinagar but at the S airport, he was mobbed by fans.
Khan’s arrival for a few days has boosted the morale of the administration that recorded 300 film shootings in 2022. LT Governor Manoj Sinha said the region is experiencing a resurgence of the Bollywood era of the 1980s when many films were shot in the area due to its breathtaking beauty. For Shahrukh Khan, his return to Kashmir is a nostalgic one, having shot Jab Tak Hai Jaan in the region back in 2012. Bollywood has always been in love with Kashmir. The only difference from the 1980s is that the government was not incentivising the Bollywood shooting as it is being done big time in 2020.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha laid the foundation stone of Kashmir Medical College and Super-Speciality Hospital being developed by Milli Trust, Delhi, a 100-bed Rs 525-crore project that will have 150 MBBS seats and provide jobs for 2,000 people.
A government employee was arrested for allegedly raping a woman under the guise of being a tantrik. The accused lured the woman to his house on the pretext of healing her skin disease through “magical powers” and then raped her. The police have identified the accused as Subash Chander of Rarian Ramgarh village and a case has been registered against him. The accused is currently behind bars.
Rekha Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women (NCW), has revealed that in 2022, women trafficking in Jammu and Kashmir have increased by about 15.26 per cent but it is “just the tip of an iceberg”
The Chenab Valley’s mini-Kashmir is purple these days as farmers have switched from traditional crops to lucrative lavender cultivation. Over the past decade, lavender cultivation has expanded from 10 kanals of land to about 4000 kanals, with around 2500 farmers now engaged in it. A single lavender plant bears flowers for 15 years and needs little maintenance, and its oil is used in a variety of products, including soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and medicines.
Bharat Bhushan, one of the first farmers to switch to lavender farming in the region, found that he earned four times more profit from lavender than from traditional maize farming, and he gradually converted his entire 10 kanals of farmland to a lavender farm. After Bhushan’s video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016, the Aroma Mission was launched in Jammu and Kashmir, providing free lavender plants to farmers. The program has been a great success, with 500-600 farmers switching to lavender farming and 1000 kanals of land being brought under its cultivation. Modi acknowledged the region’s effort in his Mann Ki Baat.
KPDCL has 700 positions vacant
Kashmir journalist Safina Nabi has won the second prize in the Outstanding Contribution to Peace category of the Fetisov Journalism Award for her article titled “How Kashmir’s half-widows are denied their basic property rights.” The article sheds light on the plight of countless women in Kashmir who have been cut out of inheritances and left to fend for themselves after their husbands disappeared and could never be traced. Women whose husbands have disappeared but not yet been declared dead are referred to as “half-widows” by in Kashmir.
Last week, more than 1200 flats were inaugurated for migrant Kashmiri Pandit migrants under the Prime Minister’s package.
A government-run school in Kokernag has performed abysmally as only one of its 25 students in the eighth class passed the examination. The Middle School Khokarpora Adhal Vailoo is now the focus of an investigation. It caters to the requirements of the weaker sections but failed in imparting education.
Of 9700 water bodies in Jammu and Kashmir, more than 76 per are ‘in use’. Almost 48.6 per cent of water bodies are privately owned leaving only the remaining 51.4 percent to public ownership.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) attached two houses of sons of banned Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s chief Syed Salahuddin. Shahid Yusuf lives in Soibug and Syed Ahmad Shakeel in Rambagh Srinagar. NIA spokesperson said they “had been receiving funds from abroad from the associates of their father and overground workers of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.” Their properties were attached under Section 33(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the NIA said. In August 2018, the NIA arrested Shakeel, who was working as a lab technician at SKIMS Soura. In August 2022, the administration sacked Salahuddin’s third son Syed Abdul Mueed, Manager, IT, Jammu Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute.
Srinagar Tulip Garden which attracted 375 thousand tourists was open for 33 days, unlike 21 days in 2022.
Days after Padma Bushan awardee, Muzaffar Hussain Baig said the assembly election can take place after the general election across India, LG Manoj Sinha said his administration wants Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir to be held on time. He maintained that three-tier Panchayati Raj System is working very well under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Panchayats will be completing their five-year term in November-December this year and elections to them will have to be conducted in October-November. Polls to Panchayats were held in November-December 2018 after nearly four decades in Jammu and Kashmir during President’s Rule after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP Government in the erstwhile State.