Briefing December 11-17, 2022

BANDIPORE

Arbeen Tahir, from Bandipore in north Kashmir, has handwritten the Quran in six months. It has been written on nine hundred pages. Though the Quran is available in countless photo-offset printings and designs, a very small section of the faithful takes a lot of pride in handwriting it and making it a valuable family possession. The holy Quran, it may be recalled here, is the world’s most-read scripture.

PUNJAB

It was an interesting development that cemented the impressive Punjab-Kashmir relations. Gurpreet Singh and Rajwinder Singh, two Punjab businessmen, donated Rs 9 lakh to Shahid, a resident of Kashmir’s apple town Sopore. A driver, Shahid was taking apple laden truck to Bihar when he met an accident and the truck turned turtle in Fatehgarh Sahib area. With Shahid being driven to the hospital for medical care, looters reached the spot and even every single apple home. Some people filmed the loot. After he returned to take control of his truck, he was devastated by the loss and was seen crying. Shahid who had studied in Punjab earlier said he knew the culture and sees the loot as a breach. This moved the two businessmen who donated more than Rs 9 lakh. A similar story was witnessed in Kashmir’s Anantnag district where Akaash Farooq Wani, a Tavera driver, returned gold worth Rs 10 lakh to a Hyderabad tourist, who was on a visit to Pahalgam and forgot the gold in Akash’s vehicle.

Around 133 hectares of land have been brought under lemongrass cultivation in four districts of the Jammu region over the last couple of years.

DELHI

Syed Ali Geelani, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

Kerala Governor, Arif Mohammed Khan claimed Syed Ali Geelani’s ancestors had come to Kashmir after being forced out of their homes in Central Asia. “After coming here (in Kashmir from Geelan in Iran), you (Geelani) wanted to disintegrate India into pieces (by engineering separatism and terrorism in J&K),” Khan was quoted as having said. “Your name says that you have come from outside into India.” More than half a millennium after the entry of Muslim preachers from central Asia and two years after Geelani’s death, Khan has raised a question asking why he was forced to come here and leave his home. Khan said that nobody leaves his home unless there is a threat to his life.

Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid Srinagar claimed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has not been to Jamia for the last 172 Fridays.

SRINAGAR

Fahad Shah

Journalists, Fahad Shah and Khalid Gul were granted bail in two different cases. A special court in Jammu and Kashmir granted bail to Shah in two cases.  Shah was arrested on February 4, 2022, with police claiming that he glorified “terrorism”, spread fake news and incited the people of Jammu and Kashmir.  However, he still has a case against him which is being heard on December 15, his lawyer told the media. Meanwhile, a local court granted bail to senior journalist Khalid Gul, who was arrested by police a day prior in connection with a 2017 case.

Kashmir has pushed Punjab to the third position in substance abuse with North East topping the chart.

KASHMIR

Advocate Aamina Majeed

The National Conference and Apni Party won the two District Development Council wards of Drugmulla in Kupwara and Hajin-A in Bandipore, respectively. Independent candidate Naza Begum won the repoll to Hajin-A by securing 2606 votes. She was supported by the Apni Party. Naza was followed by Peoples Conference candidate Ateeqa Bano who got 2283 votes. On the other hand, Kulsooma Begum of Bharatiya Janata Party secured 387 votes and Independent candidate Zahida Begum 315. The National Conference threw in a catch for the rival Peoples Conference by winning the Kupwara’s Drugmulla seat. The independent candidate advocate Aamina Majeed, backed by NC,  won the Drugmulla DDC seat by a thin margin of 39 votes. Aamina secured a total of 3259 votes against her nearest rival candidate of Peoples Conference Shabnam Rehman who got 3220 votes – leaving a difference of mere 39 votes between the two. The repoll on the two seats was prompted after the two candidates from the other Kashmir had entered the fray last time around in 2020. The two women, Samia Sadaf (Drugmulla) and Shazia Aslam (Hajin-A) are both residents of Kashmir across LoC who have now lost both voting and contesting rights. The two constituencies witnessed 43 per cent voting. However, Amina has claimed that she has not joined NC.

As many as 241 persons have died in man-animal conflicts in Jammu and Kashmir between 2006 and July 2022, while 2,946 persons have survived injured.

SRINAGAR

Rep Picture

The Jammu and Kashmir administration imposed a penalty to withhold promotion for a period of two years of a deputy superintendent of police Basharat Hussain Dar for contracting second marriage without first obtaining the permission of the government.

In 2022, so far, 62 persons including 31 personnel of the security grid and 31 civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in 123 militancy-related incidents.

SRINAGAR

The Srinagar High Court premises during the curfew in August 2019. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Justice Tashi Rabstan, the senior-most judge of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has been appointed as acting Chief Justice from December 8. A notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice read that: “In exercise of the power conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint, Shri Justice Tashi Rabstan, senior-most Judge of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, with effect from 08.12.2022 consequent upon the retirement of Shri Justice Ali Mohd Magrey, Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.”

Officials said 3000 government jobs have been created under the Prime Minister’s Development Package in Jammu and Kashmir for migrants among which 2639 have been appointed in the last five years.

BUDGAM

Man Arrested For Murdering Wife in Budgam in December 2022, within 20 days after they married.

A non-local woman died after twenty days of her marriage in the Nasrullahpora area of Budgam. A police official said that Muslimoon, 30,  a resident of Kolkata had married Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Nasrullahpora Budgam 20 days ago. She was found dead at her husband’s home and the police started investigations. Prima facie, police said it looks like murder.

BARAMULLA

SKUAST students in Sopore’s Wadura protest against alleged molestation of student on December 2, 2022

A professor of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Kashmir (SKUAST-K), Wadura campus, who was accused of allegedly sexually harassing a girl student, was arrested. The case is still being investigated. The arrest followed the family of the girl student lodging a complaint. A girl student had complained against a RAWE programme coordinator of molesting her, following which an enquiry was initiated. Following the allegations, students inside the campus held a candle-lit protest demanding action against the professor. SKUAST quickly put his services under suspension and later police arrested him.

DELHI

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court has dismissed a curative petition of NGO, Roots in Kashmir seeking a probe into the killings of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989-90. On November 22, a bench of CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices S K Kaul and S A Nazeer observed that “no case is made out”. The NGO’s writ petition was dismissed on July 24, 2017, by a bench of then CJI Dipak Misra and Justice Chandrachud “for the simple reason that the instances referred to in the present petition pertain to the year 1989-90, and more than 27 years have passed by since then. No fruitful purpose would emerge, as evidence is unlikely to be available at this late juncture”.  A review petition was dismissed by the same bench on October 25, 2017.

LEH

Ladakh employs Bandicoot robots to clean manholes

The Municipal Committee of Leh (MCL) has deployed Bandicoot, the first robotic scavenger in the world, and it is working.  It is already in operation in more than 17 states across India. The intervention is going to greatly help the scavengers who had to manage the manholes in Siberia like weather situations. Now, they are receiving training about how to manage the robot that removes dirt, debris, and other impediments. It also has a range of sensors and cameras that can identify any issues and find any potential obstructions. The robot can be set up to automatically clean the manhole and inform the municipal staff of its findings. The world’s first robotic scavenger was developed by National Award-winning start-up, Genrobotics. It helps clean confined spaces such as sewers, manholes, sewer wells, storm-water manholes, Oily Water Sewers (OWS), and Storm-Water Sewers (SWS) in refineries. It eliminates the need for human entry into manholes.

 

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