Briefing August 7-13, 2022

BHADERWAH

Actor Mudasir Zafar married Saroosh Zargar in July 2022

Kashmir actor, Mudasir Zafar has married Saroosh Zargar, his sister’s friend. The Bhaderwah actor has performed in Shoorveer, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Behnein and Sanskaar Laxmi. He has been seen in the films Tension Mat Le Yaar, My Friends Dulhania and Nobel Peace. The engagement took place at a family function on July 24.

Between 2019 and 2022, as many as 2700 people were booked under UAPA. These include 437 in 2019, 557 in 2020, 528 in 2021 and 389 in 2022 so far.

BRAZIL

Super Surgeon Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani with Bernardo (left) and Arthur, and parents Adriely and Antonia Lima. The twins with fused brains were separated in the last few days of July.

Kashmir super surgeon, Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani separated the sixth set of conjoined twins, this time in Rio de Janeiro. What distinguished the 33-hour surgery was that for the first time Virtual Reality was put in use in a surgery that had the twins with fused brains and not skulls alone. Of the 33-hour surgery involving seven interventions, the final and the last one was of 17 hours that finally separated nearly four-year-old twins, Bernardo and Arthur Lima in Rio de Janeiro. More than 100 professionals were part of the landmark surgery. Dr Gabriel Mufarrej, who heads pediatric surgery at Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer, where the twin was admitted for the last 30 months assisted in the operation. Surgeons in London and Rio spent months trialling techniques using virtual reality projections of the twins based on CT and MRI scans, a system that Jeelani terms “space-age stuff”. He said that, for the first time in the world, surgeons in separate countries wore headsets and operated in the same “virtual reality room” together.

It’s just wonderful, it’s really great to see the anatomy and do the surgeries before you actually put the children at any risk,” Jeelani said. “You can imagine how reassuring that is for the surgeons…In some ways, these operations are considered the hardest of our time, and to do it in virtual reality was just really man-on-Mars stuff.” While this isn’t the first time that VR has been used in the process of separating children with craniopagus, Jeelani clarified that this was the first instance in which surgeons in multiple countries met in a digital operating room and practised the procedure together.

In fact, surgeons had already failed at multiple attempts to detach the boys, which had led to a buildup of scar tissue, further diminishing the hope for a successful separation.

In the period between 2019 and 2022, at least 136 civilians, 146 security personnel and 57 cops were killed across Jammu and Kashmir.

SRINAGAR

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

On the third anniversary of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, LG Manoj Sinha remained busy. After formally inaugurating the 150-bedded Ujala Cygnus Kashmir Super-speciality Hospital in Nowgam, he threw open a live TV discussion in fortified Lal Chowk and later inaugurate the refurbished Bakhshi Stadium. PDP leader, Mehbooba Mufti came out to protest and vowed to continue her fight for the restoration of Article 370 and Article 35A. “The BJP will remove the Constitution of the country in the coming time and make it a religious nation. The flag that you hoist with pride will be changed to the Bhagwa (saffron) flag,” Mehbooba cautioned. BJP termed her utterances as anti-national. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that they will continue their peaceful struggle. “We will continue our peaceful struggle using all legal & constitutional means to challenge what was done to J&K on 5th Aug 2019. The road ahead may be a long one, full of twists & turns but it’s not one @JKNC_will abandon,” Omar tweeted.

In Jammu and Kashmir, nearly 200 under-trial prisoners have been identified for release on bail. As many as 374 under-trials and convicts were shortlisted.

DELHI

Pahari delegation from Jammu Kashmir with Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on August 6, 2022. They said they were assured of reservations ahead of the assembly elections.

Home Minister Amit Shah has assured a delegation of Pahari leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that they will be granted Scheduled Tribe (ST) status and political reservations well before Assembly elections. Vibodh Gupta led the delegation. Nine seats stand reserved for the STs and seven for SCs in Jammu and Kashmir. The minister, however, did not offer any idea when the elections will take place in Jammu and Kashmir. In Srinagar, LG Manoj Sinha has said that the Election Commission has fast-paced the process of rationalization of Polling Stations and revising voter lists but a final call on conducting Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir has to be taken by the Commission. “Elections will definitely be held in the coming times but when they are held will depend on the Election Commission,” Sinha said.

Jammu and Kashmir was exceptionally wet this summer as it received 230.2 mm of rainfall, the highest in seven years.

JAMMU

Finally, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has started investigating the question paper leak in JKSSB for the examination of police Sub Inspectors. As many as 30 locations were raided simultaneously in Jammu (28 locations), Srinagar and Bengaluru after the registration of FIR against 33 persons including three former officers of the Service Selection Board (SSB), a BSF Medical Officer, an ASI of police, former CRPF official and son and brother of BJP DDC member from Bhalwal Brahamana Bushan Bral.  M/s MeritTrac Services Private Limited at Bengaluru which was hired by SSB was also searched. Three former SSB officials, who have been booked by the CBI, are Narayan Dutt, a JKAS officer and then member of the Board, Bishan Dass, then Under Secretary and Anju Raina, then Section Officer. BSF Medical Officer Dr Karnail Singh, who was posted at BSF Frontier Headquarters at Paloura has also been booked and his residence was searched by the CBI at Patoli near TV Tower under the jurisdiction of Domana Police Station. Ashok Kumar, an ASI of JKP, Ashwani Kumar, former CRPF official, Avinash Gupta, owner and Akshay Kumar, Manager of EDUMAX Library at Akhnoor, Roshan Bral, a ReT teacher and Sourav Sharma, both brother and son of BJP DDC member from Bhalwal Brahamana, Bushan Bral, who also run a Library at Bhalwal Brahamana have also been included in the FIR and their houses were raided today.

An estimated 1.06 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir in 2022. These include Vaishno Devi pilgrims as well.

UDHAMPUR

Jammu and Kashmir Police unearthed a massive drug smuggling racket connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Punjab when it chased a suspect and found him carrying Rs 1.91 crore and a lot of drugs. One person was killed in the hot chase by Udhampur Police as he met the accident. SSP Udhampur Dr Vinod Kumar said they intercepted Scorpio No. 6219 PB08BS at Gole Mela Petrol Pump on Dhar road at 10.30 pm. As the chase started, two persons jumped out of the Scorpio and ran towards the main road. In the process, one of them, Mukhtiar Ahmad son of Khalil-ur-Rehman of Prada Tangdhar in Kupwara district was knocked down by an unidentified vehicle while his associate Jagtar Singh son of Jarnail Singh of Pakhopur in Taran Taran area of Punjab was arrested. Recoveries include Rs 1,91,34,030 and 250 grams of heroin. Most of the drugs are coming from the Karnah area.

Of a sanctioned grant of Rs 40.46 crore under the Tourism Ministry’s PRASAD scheme in 2016-17 for development works, Kashmir’s Hazratbal shrine has already got Rs 32 crore.

KERALA

On May 29, 2022, skater Anas, a native of Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, started his 3511 km journey to reach Kashmir. He was only 600 km away from Kashmir when Haryana’s Panchkula district was hit by a speeding truck and killed the 31-year-old.  He had purchased his skating board barely three months back to live his passion and started training. He was also planning the next trip to Nepal, Bhutan and Cambodia.

With 690 militants dead since 2019, JKP has said the recruitment figures have started coming down – 143 in 2019, 172 in 2020 and 136 in 2021.

SURANKOT

Vehicles were damaged in flash floods in Surankote Poonch on August 1, 2022.

The freak weather is leaving behind a trail of destruction this year. The latest victim is the Poonch town of Surnakote where a flash flood last week killed a person, and seriously damaged 180 houses, 100 shops and 60 vehicles. Residents said the devastation was witnessed for the first time. In Hari Mohalla and Iqbal Nagar localities’ homes were submerged under 7 to 8 ft of water. Residents believe that the mass land encroachment had blocked the passage of water as a result of which it actually invaded the locality. Mohammad Zafar, a young man had gone to get his JCB near Kalai when the ferocious Suran river washed him away. Meanwhile, three people were washed away in a similar flash flood in Kathua by ferocious Tarnah nallah.

BEMINA

After weeks, the police arrested five persons – three females and two males – in a murder case of a woman in Nundreshi Colony Bemina Srinagar. They were identified as Hafeeza Begum W/o Ghulam Qadir Dar, Sumiyaa W/o Parvaiz Ahmad Dar, Siaqa W/o Yasir Ahmad Dar, Parvaiz Ahmad Dar S/o Gh Qadir Dar and Shahnawaz Ahmad Dar S/o Gh Qadir Dar were taken into custody for further investigations. They are accused of killing Tasleema Bano, 38. Bano’s relatives alleged that she was being tortured for not giving birth to a child.

DELHI

An outrage by Hindus against the use of a picture of Adi Shankaracharya on an invitation to relish all-mutton Wazwan in Delhi led to the cancellation of the event by the Culture Ministry. Meenakshi Lekhi was hosting the event – the grand Asikni festival – from August 3 to August 5 at Sovereign, Le Meridian in Delhi. Adi Shankaracharya and Wazwan on the same platform sparked a massive row on social media, with people alleging that it has hurt their religious sentiments. In Jammu, Rashtriya Bajrang Dal also staged a massive protest and burnt the effigy of Lekhi. The event was finally cancelled.

GUREZ

Mustafa Ibni Jameel, 26, has set a new record by handwriting the entire Quran on a single 500-meter scroll of paper. Now he is part of the Lincoln Book of Records for “a new world record for the first time in the world to write the Holy Quran on 14.5-inch and 500-meter scroll paper.” It took him seven years to reach the list but the actual work he did was in less than a year. A resident of Hudbal Aham Sharief, he did it in Delhi. It cost him Rs 1.5 lakh.

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