Briefing August 21-27, 2021


Mian Bashir Ahmad

Mian Bashir Ahmad

Of all the roads outside Srinagar, the busiest is the road to Kangan’s Wangat area. Even though it is a week now but the trickle to the home of Mian Altaf has not stopped. His father, Mian Bashir Ahmad Larvi, died after a prolonged illness on August 14, evening. A respected religious leader of the Gujjars, his funeral on August 15, was attended by nearly 65000 people, according to a senior police officer. Dr Farooq Abdullah was caught in a jam for three hours.

Funeral of Mian Bashir Ahmad at Kangan on Sunday, August 15, 2021. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Mian Bashir Ahmad Larvi (November 1921 –August 14, 2021), the eldest son of Gujjar leader Mian Nizam ud Din, the founder President of Gujjar-Jat Conference a socio-political body established in 1932, was in Congress before the family joined the NC in anticipation of 1996 elections. In three generations, the Mians’ have never lost an election, a rare feat of a political family in Kashmir. Though Mian Bashir is survived by his two sons, Mian Sarfraz and Mian Altaf, it was the latter whom he chose his successor in politician and clergy. Mian Altaf was declared successor by his father on June 8, 2017. Elected four times to the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir assembly, Mian Bashir was one of the few politicians who has worked with Sheikh Abdullah, Bakshshi Ghulam Mohammad, and Mir Qasim. He was close to Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He even visited United Nations as head of some delegations. On January 26, 2008, he was bestowed with Padma Bushan.

However, Mian Bashir was respected for his religious leadership across the state’s Gujjar belt and even beyond the Line of Control. He inherited the status from his father Hazrat Mian Nizam Din Larvi and his grandfather Baba Jee Sahib Larvi. All the generations are laid to rest at Babanagri in a shrine not far away from the Mian’s residence overlooking the forests and the serpentine road.


Bashir Ahmad Bhat, 35, a shopkeeper, raised a huge loan and opened a shop at Nadihal. He was doing well till an army truck crushed to death a woman on July 14. He was part of the crowd that was busy filming the accident. Once the video was put on social media, it went viral. Police summoned him to the police station. Later, that day, the family got a call that he was arrested and is being driven to Jammu. His wife and two minors lack a resource to survive and the shop funded by the bank will be in mess. Interestingly Bhat was one of the eight people arrested. While all others were bailed out, Bhat is in prison, more than 300 km away. His family says they lack guidance and resource to visit him. Police says he was arrested for sloganeering but the family says the video was the issue and he did not shout slogans at all.

Jammu and Kashmir will have 15 Addiction Treatment Facilities (ATF) Six of them will operate from Budgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Bandipora and Shopian Kashmir where drug addiction has become a sort of an epidemic.


Mehbooba’s Mother Reaches ED Office For Questioning In Money Laundering Case on August 18, 2021.

For the third time, Mehbooba Mufti escorted her mother, Gulshan Nazir to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating a money laundering case against her. Ms Nazir is the widow of Mufti Sayeed, India’s only former Home Minister. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against her is linked to the recovery of at least two diaries by the ED during raids on Ms Mehbooba’s friend. It contained the details of some purported payments made from the Chief Minister’s discretionary fund in alleged contravention of rules. These funds eventually landed in the party account.

Mehbooba Mufti sees it as a political vendetta of ‘Naya Kashmir’. “Soon after I showed reluctance to meet the Delimitation Commission and staged a protest on August 5, summons were issued the other day,” Mehbooba alleged. She said the Government of India has “weaponized” central agencies to “harass and punish political opponents”.

27390 government institutions across Jammu and Kashmir unfurled tricolour and celebrated Independence Day in Jammu and Kashmir


Hurriyat (M) members in a meeting.

Seemingly it is a major case. After Covid19 halted life and people started moving home, all the Kashmiri students enrolled in various professional colleges in Pakistan also returned. Back home, they were “invited” for questioning in Srinagar. As the world opened up, these students drove back to Wagha and got busy with their studies. But the protracted investigations led the Jammu and Kashmir’s Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK) to arrest six persons including moderate Hurriyat member Zafar Akbar Bhat. He has been accused of selling seats reserved for Kashmiri students in Pakistani medical and other professional colleges. Pakistan’s professional colleges have reservations for Kashmiri students and the numbers could be around 500.

Along with Bhat, the CIK Fatima Shah wife of Nisar Ahmad Shah of Palhalan, Mohammad Abdullah Shah of Kulpora Salkoot (Kupwara) and Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh of Nowgam, Shangus (Anantnag). Those not arrested include brothers of two accused Altaf Bhat of Shakarpora Bagh-i-Mehtab (Srinagar), presently living in Baheria town Karachi (brother of Zafar Akbar) and Manzoor Ahmad Shah of Kulpora presently living at Gulmohar Colony Rawalpindi in (brother of Abdullah Shah). The latter two are in Pakistan since 1990. Some separatist leaders, reports said, were part of the racket. Part of the money, CIK claims funded militancy. The police charges were on basis of more than 80 cases that the investigator studied between 2014 and 2018. A seat, reports said cost up to Rs 12 lakhs ad every year Hurriyat allegedly filled 40 professional berths.


Police detained BJP workers at Lal Chowk on Monday. KL Image (used for representational purposes)

In the restive Kulgam village of Khuwani, the troops from Rashtriya Rifles (RR) signalled a bike to stop. The response was abnormal – they brandished a pistol and fled. This was enough reason for a chase. They were arrested. From their possession, a pistol and two magazines with 12-live rounds were recovered. They were identified as Aqib Shafi Badder of Badderpora Qaimoh and Mohammad Amin Hajam of Hangalgund Kokernag. Badder is a sarpanch and residents said he is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A case was registered against them but the details were not revealed. The people are asking if the BJP has started arming their political activists as was the case of the NC in the 1990s. There are no answers.


A truck carried a caption on its rare: “Love Kills Either Way, Dipper At Night”. This has proved true for the young man, Shahid Ganie, 21, a resident of Upora Nagbal, if one goes by what his family claims. Ganie was found at Turkawangam village and was driven to the hospital where doctors said he was brought dead. Police have taken cognisance of the case. Now the family claims their ward was murdered by the parents of a girl he was in love with. In fact, they allege that the girl had invited him to her home following which he was “killed”. If one goes by their claims, it is an honour killing but let us wait what the police finds during the investigations.

In a completely different case reported from Rajouri, the police have found that a sister and her boyfriend have jointly murdered her brother Ankush Bakshi, 28, at Chakli. The duo had planned to accuse Muslims of the murder but the police found the real killers – Rajan Sharma, 21, a resident of Chingus, an unidentified juvenile from Sangpur and Priya Bakshi, slain man’s sister. The brother had objected to the relationship.

JKP got one President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG), 256 Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG), two President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and 16 Police Medal (PM) for Meritorious Service.


The BJP is emerging as a prime target of the insurgents and that is the key reason why its activists are seeking an enhanced security cover. Last week, the party’s in-charge of Hoomshalibugh constituency, Javeed Ahmad Dar was killed in the third attack on BJP office-bearers in a week. A newspaper report quoting a BJP leader said the Saffron party has 530,000 members in Jammu and Kashmir but the police have extended security cover to only 200 as 500 other activists are operating from secured accommodations. Now the party is at loggerheads with the police over Dar’s killing at his Brazloo residence. Even as the party is accusing police of lackadaisical attitude towards their activists, police have said how could they extend security to Dar when neither he nor his party sought security for him.

The two sides have even a dispute over the number of BJP men who were killed by insurgents. Altaf Tahkur Thakur has claimed that BJPs 23 leaders and workers were killed in recent years. Police records, however, suggest 12 listed BJP functionaries have been killed in the past two years.

As many as nine BJP workers were gunned down in Kulgam district in the last 12 months. Now the party is seeking accommodation and security for 1270 BJP workers and nearly 600 leaders in Kulgam.


Dr Shakil Ramshoo

Eminent earth scientist, Prof Shakil Ahmad Romshoo was appointed as the as Vice-Chancellor of The Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora for three years. At the University of Kashmir, Ramshoo has contributed immensely to the subject he knows better. Apart from supervising a number of world-class studies, Ramshoo was one of the factors that helped society to understand the ecological costs of the climatic change better. Hope that IUST also has an earth science wing where the focus will be on research. The University is already working on various projects as part of the innovation and design.


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