Briefing August 28 – September 3, 2022


It never has been a single crisis because tragedies come together. Ayesha Begum is one instance. An old lady, she should have been at home taking rest. Instead, she rows a boat into Wular lake and harvests the water chestnuts for the whole day, sometimes without food and mostly in fear of getting drowned. She had no option because she has to feed the paralysed daughters of her slain son, Javid Ahmad Dar, a fisherman, who in the last Panchayat Raj elections became the Sarpanch in Zurimanz, a village located on the banks of Wular.

On October 12, 2020, Dar was founded hanging at his home. Initially, police mistook it for suicide but the subsequent investigation proved it to be a murder. Police found Dar’s wife had an extra-marital affair with a local, Shahzad Ahmad Dar, a Panch. They had administered some sedatives to Dar and later strangulated him to death. Police arrested both of them are they are in jail.

For Ayesha, Dar’s aged and ailing mother, however, another tragedy started. First, she had to manage Dar’s debts. Then, she had to bring up, Dar’s two mute and paralysed daughters, Bisma 10 and Tanzeela 4. The old lady requested her daughter – living in another village, to take care of the younger girl. To manage the elder one, she works as a water-nut harvester in Wullar lake. Ayesha said she, is unable to manage her life. The girl requires more than Rs 3000 for diapers alone. She is seeking help from the government and society.

Almost 73 per cent of children in the 6month-5 year age group in Jammu and Kashmir are anaemic.


A youth from Kotli on the other side of the LoC, arrested and repatriated in 2017, crossed the line again on August 21. While he was allegedly busy cutting the fence in Jhangar sector of the Nowshera sector, he was fired upon and captured alive. Identified as Tabarak Hussain, a resident of village Sabzkot (Kotli) on the other side of Poonch, soldiers donated blood to save him. Interestingly, Tabarak had barged into this side of the LoC and was arrested on April 25, 2016, along with his brother Haroon Ali. On humanitarian grounds, they were repatriated in November 2017. The other aspect of the ‘border’ drama is that he told his interrogators that Colonel Yunus Chaudhry of the Pakistan intelligence agency had given him (Pakistani) Rs 30,000 “for an attack on an Indian post.” The army, reports said, believes that Tabarak was “part of a squad that carried out recces of Indian forward, and got the final go-ahead on August 21”.

“We were four-five people. We had come to die. We were sent by Pak Army’s Colonel Choudhary Yunus. He gave us money to attack Indian posts,” Hussain was quoted saying on camera. “We were asked to attack the Indian Army. I had come in 2016. This time we could not attack. The others ran away…After I was hit by a bullet, the Indian Army saved me.”

Terming Tabarak a Fidayeen, the army said he has been working for Pakistani Intelligence for about two years and had undergone six weeks of training at a Lashkar-e-Toiba training camp. There are videos in circulation on social media about Tabarak, uploaded from across the LoC, suggesting he was “mentally deranged”. The veracity of these videos can not be ascertained.

Rs 166 crore is the net profit that JK Bank pocketed in the Q1 of the current fiscal ending June 2022.


Last week, after the NC’s top leaders, spent a few hours in a huddle at Nawai Subh, the discussions indicated that the PAGD is on a ventilator. In a formal statement, Kashmir’s grand old party announced that it will contest all the 90 Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir if and when the polls are announced. It indicated that elections will not be contested jointly by PAGD. It almost coincided with a series of tweets in which the party expressed dismay over the speeches made by some PAGD constituents against the NC. Even the statement talked about the party being treated unfairly. As it signalled the possibility of PAGD’s Sajjad Lone moment, Dr Farooq Abdullah was out to defend, asserting that the alliance will never wind up. Abdullah said party leaders should learn to take criticism. “If you don’t, you can’t do anything for your people,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the other, rather the most vocal of PAGD grouping, was sulking. “PAGD was conceived for a much larger cause than just an electoral alliance. If some constituent of the alliance has reservations for any kind of electoral alliance that will not impact our unity.” This was the situation before Ghulam Nabi Azad was in Congress. Now the situation will change again. If Azad decides to launch his own party, NC may require a meeting again.

Jammu and Kashmir has a tobacco use rate of 23.7 per cent, a smoking rate of 20.8 per cent and a smokeless tobacco use rate of 4.3 per cent


It was a high-pitch drama when Mirwaiz Umer Farooq moved in his SUV and crossed the main gate only to be stopped by the police. He wanted to join the Friday prayers for the first time in three years when he was restricted to his home on August 5, 2019. He might not have moved, had not a foreign reporter asked him why he is unable to use video to tell his story even when he is inside his home. After an argument, Mirwaiz went in. However, it proved beyond a point that Mirwaiz is actually not permitted to move out, a fact that everybody in Kashmir knew. The tension over his continued house arrest had started after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha categorically told a foreign media outlet that Mirwaiz is free to go anywhere and he is not under detention. The police and the security deployment around his home, he said were for his protection because his father was assassinated in 1990. As the media outlet followed the textbook journalism and opted for a follow-up, it proved the claim was not right. What is interesting is that Jamia Masjid, where the Mirwaiz delivers Friday sermons, is also not open every Friday. The Auqaf that takes care of the historic mosque said the prayers at the mosque were banned on 30 Fridays in 2016, 18 in 2017, 16 in 2018, 26 in 2019, 21 in 2020, 42 in 2021 and 14 in 2022. The ban was exercised by Kashmir’s elected government earlier as well.

In the last 20 months, JK Police in Budgam arrested 196 persons in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) cases, sent 10 to jail under the Public Safety Act and filed 108 cases.


Safeena Beigh (KL Image by Shuaib Wani)
Safina Beigh

District Development Council Baramulla Chairperson Safina Baig was elected as head of the Jammu and Kashmir Haj Committee after her name was proposed and seconded by two other members of the panel who are affiliated with the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) – Choudhary Talib Hussain and Muhammad Rafiq Chishti. Though NC MP Hasnain Masoodi’s name was proposed by Molvi Muhammad Ashraf, there was nobody to second it. This makes Safina Beg – wife of Muzaffar Hussain Baig, the first woman ever who could head the Haj Committee.


Municipal Committee Anantnag has issued a show cause notice to its Executive Officer after he demolished the second storey of a residential house of a doctor holding proper permission. Dr Sheikh Mushtaq’s under-construction house was demolished at SK Colony Azadpora locality. He is a paediatrician at Maternity and Child Care Hospital Anantnag. He has spent 18 months getting permission and once it was readying, the demolition squad undid it. The demolition took place at a time when the family was out at a funeral.


The JK Police in Kathua have constituted a Special Investigation Team to investigate the mystery surrounding the mysterious murder of a hardcore BJP worker in Hiranagar. Som Raj was missing for three days and later he was found hanging on a tree. Bhawana Bharti, daughter of a deceased BJP man, alleged her father was “killed” by a fellow party man, the Mandal president. Insisting that her father was killed because of “political rivalry”, she identified the accused as Rajinder Bakhshi. Now the SIT will probe the case registered against Bakshi under FIR Number 121 of 2022 under sections 452, 504 and 506 of IPC and an investigation under 174CrPC.


In an incident sending shivers down the spine, a cop murdered his wife while she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. A resident of Dharalta village in the Billawar area, Asha Devi, mother of two daughters, was killed by her SPO husband, Mohan Lal. Posted at DPL Kathua, Mohan had gone on leave for three days during which he killed her over some argument. What makes the tragedy severe is that Asha was barely a month away from becoming a mother again. The baby in her womb also died in the scuffle between her parents. An agitated mob had torched the house of the SPO before the situation was brought under control by the police. He was finally arrested by the police within a day after the heinous crime.


For the last few days, most of the people living in the Chenab Valley region and the peripheries of Jammu have been spending sleepless nights because the tremors have gone so frequent. With epicentre within the region, this is for the second time in a few years that the region is witnessing earthquakes of mild magnitude with such a massive frequency. Experts said that this clearly indicates some tectonic developments taking place within the earth. Most of Jammu and Kashmir falls in seismic zone IV and V. Avoiding panic; experts say the people must stay alert. An earthquake is something that cannot be predicted.

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