Jammu and Kashmir’s less-than-three-year Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who now heads Democratic Azad Party (DAP), made a startling revelation that he had sent a report to the then Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil about the links of some political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir with the militants but the Centre took no action. “Since I do not believe in hearsay, I tried to gather all the concrete proofs and then sent a detailed report to the then Prime Minister and the then Home Minister of India. But unfortunately, there was no action,” Azad remarked. His statement evoked a curt reaction from his former aide and current J&K Congress President Viqar Rasool Wani who alleged that Azad has been deputed to J&K ahead of elections to benefit the Bhartiya Janata Party. The DAP hit back alleging that Rasool was involved in militancy and Hawala funding cases. The general response to Azad’s claim was that he could have acted on his own.
In the last three years, Jammu and Kashmir has booked Security Related Expenditure of Rs 2,814.095 crore – Rs 936.095 crore in 2021, Rs 611 crore in 2020 and Rs 1,267 in 2019.
Kashmiri journalist Samaan Lateef was conferred the prestigious climate change award by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Lateef was awarded the Bronze Medal, a citation, and a cash prize for The Prince Albert II of Monaco and the UNCA Global Prize for Coverage of Climate Change. Lateef had reported on the climate crisis in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India for the Telegraph UK, DW Germany and other major outlets. Early 2022, Lateef was a finalist in the Investigative Journalism category by Asia Media Awards and was also named Freelance Journalist of the Year by the Society of Editors United Kingdom.
The MHA says there has been a “substantial decline” in militant attacks from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021.
The Supreme Court collegium has recommended Justice Nongmeikapam Kotiswar Singh, Judge Guwahati High Court, as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court. Singh was born in 1963 in Imphal, Manipur. His father N Ibotombi Singh was a former judge of the Guwahati High Court and Mnipur’s first advocate general. He was appointed as acting chief justice of the Guwahati High Court from September 2020 to January 2021 and again from May 2022 to June 2022.
Jammu and Kashmir Police said that this year 56 foreign militants along with 44 top commanders of various organisations were killed.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have withdrawn “excess” security cover from 20 former ministers and lawmakers, mostly belonging to National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with a view to “rationalise” the system. Those on the list include Ali Mohammad Sagar, Saifullah Mir, Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, Sartaj Madni, Tanvir Sadiq, Peer Afaq Ahmad, Ali Mohammad Dar, GS Oberoi, Qaiser Lone, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Nazir Ahmad Khan, Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad Shah, Manzoor Ahmad Wani, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, Sheikh Ahmad Saloora, Mohammad Aasim Khan and Asiya Naqash.
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) has attributed around 10000 deaths a year in Jammu and Kashmir to air pollution.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has agreed to list the petitions challenging the reading down of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. The matter was mentioned before a bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha. “We will examine and give a date,” the CJI said. Earlier, former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit had said that the pleas would “certainly” be listed after the Dusshera breaks. However, the petitions did not get listed. It may be noted that in 2019 the petitions were referred to a Constitution Bench. The hearings on the Article 370 cases commenced before the 5-judge bench in December 2019, almost four months after the notifications issued by the Centre in August 2019. A preliminary issue arose in the case as to whether a reference to the 7-judge bench was necessary in light of alleged divergence in the opinions expressed by two coordinate benches of the Supreme Court in the cases of Prem Nath Kaul and Sampath Prakash. By a judgment dated March 2, 2020, the Constitution Bench held that there was no need to refer the matter to a larger Bench.
The Government of India said investment proposals to the tune of Rs 64,000 crore are in the offing for Jammu and Kashmir out of which over Rs 2,500 crore have already been received.
Three from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) students fetched research fellowships for postgraduate programmes at Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA. Sabreena Ayoub (Horticulture), Midhat Zulafkar (Agriculture) and Muazzama Mushtaq (Forestry) will fly to Kensas in 2023 summer to join their masters’ degrees at the first public land grant university of the world. Sabreena and Midhat will be working under the mentorship of Prof PV Vara Prasad, Director of Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, KSU, and Dr Ram Perumal, Professor of Plant Breeding on GWAS and Herbicide tolerance in Pearl millet, and Muazzama will be working under Nobel Laureate Dr Chuck Rice on soil carbon dynamics under climate change.
BJP’s Devender Singh Rana opened a hornet’s nest alleging that the 1996 Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly elections were fixed in Delhi to pave way for a particular political party in the sensitive state to form the government after nearly six years of gubernatorial rule. The beneficiaries of the crucial 1996 elections, he said know the fact that the number of seats to be won by the contesting political parties were fixed on a High table. Rana said the BJP is credited with holding free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 1977 under the leadership of Morarji Desai, in 2002 under the premiership of Atal Behari Vajpayee and in 2014 under Narendra Modi.
Dr Khursheed Ahmad Dar of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) was nominated as a scientific advisor by Egyptian-based El-Salhiya Agriculture Co and its European investment partner Netherland Alyasin for the introduction and infrastructure development of sericulture in the desert country. Dar, an assistant professor of sericulture at SKUAST-K’s College of Temperate Sericulture, Mirgund, will be visiting Egypt at the end of February 2023 to provide technical guidance for the establishment of sericulture production infrastructure there.
Two civilians, Kamal Kishore and Surinder Kumar were killed while another was injured in a firing incident outside the Alpha Gate of the army camp in Rajouri. The area witnessed protests with locals claiming that the duo worked inside the camp as labourers and were killed by the army. In a statement, the Army said that the two were killed in firing near Military Hospital by unidentified “terrorists”.
A 17-year-old girl ended her life in Sopore by jumping into river Jhelum with family members saying that she was depressed because of their financial condition. While the authorities are yet to trace her body, the mother of the deceased girl has appealed to the people to help their family financially. The girl lost her father in 2009 while her brother is bedridden.
Founding Vice Chancellor of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University and former ADGP J&K Police Masud Chaudhary breathed his last at the age of 78 in Jammu after a prolonged illness spanning over two years. Survived by a son, two daughters, brothers and a number of notable relatives., Chaudhary’s wife died of Covid last year. Born on April 10, 1944, to Babu Faiz Ahmed, in Kala Ban village of Mendhar, Poonch district, Chaudhary did his early schooling at Poonch. He obtained a Degree in Law from AMU and was one among the five under-graduates from the community at that time. Appointed Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1967, he rose on to become Additional Director of Police in 2004. He was awarded Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 1985, Presidents Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1994 and Sher-e-Kashmir Police Medal for Distinguished Service. Owing to his efforts, the Gurjar Center was born in the late 1980s situated on the NH 44 bypass in Jammu. In 2004, the Mufti Sayeed government further amended the legislation and subsequently appointed Chaudhary as project officer to do the basic spade work. He was appointed as the founding Vice Chancellor, a position he held for two terms till 2010 post which in 2012, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the varsity. The university declared three days of mourning on his death. Two former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah while condoling his death, praised him for his efforts. Former minister Naeem Akhtar wrote a long note on Masud’s death, saying that he (Masud) was a dear friend who was an institution within himself.
Jammu police solved a sensational armed robbery case at the residence of a prominent businessman Rakesh Aggarwal alias Kesha Baniya in posh Gandhi Nagar with the arrest of five hardcore gangsters including, Amit Rana, the mastermind of the murder of prominent transporter and former MLC Tarlochan Singh Wazir. As per police, 9 of 10 gangsters were from Punjab and they had come to Aggarwal’s house with the intention to call prominent businessman Choudhary Nagar Singh (Naggo) to his residence and kill him there (at the house of Aggarwal). However, when they failed in their efforts to convince Rakesh Agarwal, who is also a close friend of Naggo, they did the robbery and escaped with the cash. Police disclosed that one among the five arrested criminals namely Amit Rana alias Harpreet Singh was the mastermind of the murder of prominent transporter and former MLC Tarlochan Singh Wazir. Wazir was killed in a cold-blooded murder in Delhi last year.