Rifleman Javed Ahmad, 25, who went missing on July 29, not far away from his home, has been recovered from an orchard in Chawalgam after six days of searches in the entire south Kashmir belt. He is being interrogated. He had gone to purchase some groceries and did not return, the family found his Alto Car in an orchard with blood stains. A JAKLI soldier, he was on leave at home and is deployed in Ladakh. “He has visible injuries but seems frightened,” a police officer told a newspaper. Since 1990, there have been six soldiers who were allegedly kidnapped in Kashmir, and mostly killed.
The first incident of abducting and killing took place in 1991 when Lt Colonel GS Bali was kidnapped along with his cousin Surinder Singh from Badgam where they had gone to attend a funeral. Both were killed on October 21, 1991.
In May 2017, Lt Umer Fayaz, 22, a promising officer with the Rajputana Rifles, was kidnapped from his Munad Gufan village (Kulgam) home and brutally tortured before being killed. In June 2018, Aurangzeb, a resident of Mendhar serving 44-RR, was abducted at gunpoint and killed at Gusoo, Pulwama. Shakir Manzoor Wagay, a resident of Reshipora Shopian, was kidnapped in August 2020 and his decomposed body was found in September 2021. A year after he was abducted by militants. On March 7, 2022, Sameer Ahmad Malla by abducted from Khag and killed in Budgam on March 10, 2022.
The Pathankot police have arrested two persons with a truck carrying 153 kg of poppy husk, which they were smuggling from Jammu and Kashmir.
A watchman from Jammu & Kashmir, who had spent eight long years behind bars on charges of murdering a senior citizen in 2016, has been acquitted by a sessions court. The case took a surprising twist after the lawyer, Wahab Khan, established unfair investigations by Oshiwara police and offered a compelling defence to the court. The incident dates back to February 11, 2016, when the victim was found murdered in her home, and the police arrested the watchman, claiming to have found semen stains belonging to him on the victim’s clothes. However, the defence contended that these samples were obtained unlawfully through the building’s treasurer, raising suspicions about their validity.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police deployed 21 bunker vehicles along with ‘Peace and Stability’ teams at 21 police stations.
While quashing a detention order under PSA, the High Court of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh has ruled that a fundamentalist Muslim cannot be equated with an extremist or a separatist. “Fundamentalist, an adherent of fundamentalism, pertaining to a Muslim who is a fundamentalist is merely someone who believes in the fundamentals of Islam and steadfastly pursues the same. It cannot have a negative bearing on his personality,” Justice Sreedharan ruled. “The same is as a fundamentalist Muslim cannot be equated with an extremist or a separatist.” The District Magistrate had termed Shahbaz Ahmad Pallawho, 24, a resident of Pulwama, having a “fundamentalist ideology” and becoming a “hardcore fundamentalist” and volunteered to work for TRF. He was set free.
The State Taxes Department has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.63 crore on tax evaders in the last four months.
In a poignant turn of events, the grieving father of Aamir Magray, who was killed in a controversial Hyderpora encounter in November 2021, finally visited his son’s grave after a prolonged legal battle to reclaim his mortal remains. Mohammad Latief Magray, accompanied by his family and relatives, performed Fatha-e-Kwani, a special prayer, at the graveyard in Wadder Payeen (Handwara). The Magray family’s journey to seek justice for their son had been arduous, as they fought tirelessly to bring Aamir’s body back home from the graveyard up north. Though the battle succeeded in getting Rs 5 lahks compensation, the mortal remains could not be exhumed for relocation. Aamir was one of the four individuals killed in Hyderpora. Families of two other victims succeeded in forcing the government to exhume the bodies of Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr Mudasir Gul, returning them to their families.
Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment informed the Parliament that there are estimated 13.50 lakh drug users in Jammu and Kashmir and most of them are in the age group of 18 to 75 years.
Authorities have suspended the passports of several journalists and a Kashmiri political activist, labelling them as ‘security threats to India’, raising questions about the freedom of the press and individual rights in the region. The Regional Passport Office in Srinagar has sent emails to at least two journalists and a political activist, among others, notifying them of the suspension of their passports. The recipients of the email have been instructed to contact the Srinagar passport office, and failure to do so may result in further actions against them. Reports indicate the number of people whose passports are being cancelled could be in three digits.
In July 2023, Srinagar received a staggering 187.2 mm of rainfall, breaking all previous records since the establishment of the Rambagh Observatory in 1891. This marks the wettest July in at least 131 years.
A data entry operator at the Zonal Education Office Sumbal, Mohammad Saleem Bhat, has been attached to the office of Tehsildar Sumbal in Bandipora. This action was taken following the submission of a report by field agencies regarding an alleged offensive social media post made by the official. The post has raised concerns about its potential impact on communal harmony. Now a committee will probe the allegation.
The traffic police have issued a notice urging 7366 vehicle owners to clear their pending e-challans by August 9, 2023.
The Srinagar-based 15-corps restored 139.04 acres of Defence land to the Jammu and Kashmir government. LG ZSinha administration plans to use the Tattoo Ground for tourism and other recreational activities. The Ministry of Defence and MHA signed an MoU in this regard. The ground would be returned to the government within the next 120 days.
The Gujjar and Bakerwal community is still on the road to insist the Government of India against including the Paharis in the ST list. There are protests almost daily in Poonch, Rajouri and other areas of Jammu where GB have a better population. The government has not stopped the protests and is facilitating these demonstrations some of them are very huge and largely attended. This has put the region in a state of tension. The last report suggested the police have registered an FIR against several unidentified persons for allegedly raising “anti-national” slogans during a rally in Poonch last week. The case is based on a 30-second video.
The relationship between the two wheels of the erstwhile PAGD bicycle is not in order. PDP and NC exchanged bad notes very recently. On his party’s 24th Foundation day, Waheed Parra accused the NC leaders of being responsible for rigging in 1987, the creation of the Special Operation Group and forcing youths towards guns and now, begging for an alliance with New Delhi. “Most of the political parties, including the National Conference, have limited their demands to holding elections or seeking concessions from the BJP. It’s only our party workers who are fighting for upholding democracy with dignity,” Parra claimed, insisting his party was broken in anticipation of the abrogation of Article 370. “Our party wanted implementation of agenda of alliance and offer of peace with dignity through inclusive political process.”
The reaction was inevitable. “Amazed at what Para has said. Sorry to say, but @jkpdp has only been trying to find some oxygen through PAGD. Clearly, they’re not serious about Jammu and Kashmir,” NC additional spokesperson Sarah Hayat Shah tweeted. Former mayor and NC leader Salman Sagar said the PDP is looking for an opportunity to walk out of the alliance. “It seems Waheed Para’s intention was to sow confusion among opposition ranks. If you feel suffocated within the alliance, simply walk away instead of resorting to fake narratives to justify your actions. While we are aware of your historical blunders, our priority is unity,” Imran Nabi Dar added. This is happening in anticipation of the panchayat and Urban Local Bodies polls for which LG Sinha sees the ground is ready. Wait and watch.
Jammu and Kashmir Government has appointed a Secretary in the Housing and Urban Development Department as Inquiry Officer to investigate the allegations of corruption against Parvez Qadri, the incumbent Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC). The decision was taken on the basis of an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, which started last year. Officials claimed they have traced more than Rs 1.5 crore illegal transactions into the Deputy Mayor and his family member accounts and allegations include corruption of Rs 5 crore received by him. Currently, he is affiliated with the JKNC.
The Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has quashed a government order that had granted the government permission to take over a few madrasas in Kishtwar. Justice Sanjeev Kumar after hearing a petition issued the three-page order. The petitioners said that the order was violative in nature as they were not being heeded. They further stated that the trust has no links with the Maulana Ali Miyan Educational Trust, Bathindi, the functioning of which was taken over on the orders of the Jammu divisional commissioner on June 14 last year, for misusing funds received from foreign NGOs. The government lawyer also stated that the madrasas being operated by these petitioners are different from those of the Maulana Ali Miyan Educational Trust. The impugned order, issued on July 3, had instructed the management of Charitable Educational Trust to hand over immediate possession of their madrassas (Islamic seminaries) to the administration. The court clarified that the divisional commissioner’s order was exclusively applicable to the madrassas under the Maulana Ali Miyan Educational Trust and could not be broadly extended to all legitimately operated madrassas in Jammu and Kashmir.