Briefing February 20-26, 2022


On February 12, the Trout-rich glacial-fed Brengi stream did the vanishing act. Near Wan-Dyalgam, it diverted itself into a sinkhole in its river bed and is yet to recover. With more than 20 km of the downstream converted into a desert channel with boulders but no water. Residents say that the fish downstream have died and those upstream and being eaten by the sinkhole. Now the crisis is that they will have to hunt for an alternative source of water for sustaining life and agriculture. Experts said the rivulet is used to such sinkholes and it is a natural process. They believe the gradual siltation will eventually get it back to its channel but it is yet to happen. For all these a number of experts have visited the spot, barred people and media from visiting the spot but have not been able to offer a quick-fix solution. Even suggesting the locals to help relocated the fish was delayed to the extent that they died.

Initially, officials said they would fill the sinkhole. As experts suggested a wait, they diverted the water discharge to the corner of the stream but within days another cavity appeared on it. Now, authorities have deferred filling the sinkhole till a piece of expert advice will be available. So far, there is no indication of where the water will come out. There are apprehensions that if there was a blockage underground, it could trigger a sudden burst. In 1995, a sinkhole had developed in the stream, not far away from the 2022 spot and it was said the diverted water reached Achabal.

Jammu and Kashmir will pay Rs 25 lakh to the families of soldiers who are killed in the line of duty with Jammu and Kashmir.


Gowhar Geelani
Gowhar Geelani

An Executive Magistrate has ordered the Jammu and Kashmir Police to arrest and produce Srinagar-based journalist and author Gowhar Geelani before him on February 19. Gowhar writes for German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle and The Federal, had been summoned on February 3 to appear before the magistrate, Shopian, on February 7 under Section 107 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The section empowers a magistrate to extract a “bond”, or a written statement, from a person who “is likely to commit a breach of the peace … disturb the public tranquillity … (or) occasion a breach of the peace”. Geelani has not attended the court and now police have been asked to get him. He has been summoned for a tweet.

Rs 18,839 crore stand earmarked for Security Related Expenditure in Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas.


State Investigation Agency

The State Investigation Agency (SIA) has questioned Ameer of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami and his six colleagues for eight hours on foreign funding and the party’s foreign operations. They were asked about the party properties “having direct or indirect links with (militant) funding”. The case registered in Batamaloo police station has been taken over by the SIA. The questioning and the raids recently were carried out in the backdrop of a conference on Kashmir in Bosina. The proscribed party, however, has distanced itself from the conference.

Eight schools run by the Jammu and Kashmir education department have zero pass percentages in the just declared tenth class results. As many as 41 government schools have registered pass percentages below 30 per cent.


Army has said it has adopted Doda’s Dadhkhai village that has “deaf and mute” children in abundance. Of 105 families living in the village, 55 have at least one person who can neither speak nor listen. There are 78 such people, 41 of them women and 30 children between three to 15 years of age. Army has distributed hi-tech specialised hearing aids among the deaf and mute on January 18. Now plans are afoot to extend overall comprehensive welfare schemes. Experts from 4 RR have trained at Hyderabad and Secunderabad are helping kids pick up the sign language. Plans include creating a hostel facility and a school.


Kerala filmmaker, Melvin Thomas walked 4000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He started on October 9, 2021, from Kanyakumari and walked for 118 days to reach Srinagar on February 7, 2022. “So far, the journey has been thrilling,” Melvin was quoted saying. “It’s a fresh narrative, a new task, and a new experience every day.” Throughout his “walk” he told people to donate blood.


A tunnel along Baramulla – Jammu railway line. KL image by Bilal Bahadur

The Northern Railways has finally completed its t-49, the longest 12.758 km tunnel, between Sumber and Arpinchala station on the Katra-Banihal section. T-49 South portal is located in Sumber village at a distance of 45 km from district headquarters Ramban at an altitude of 1,200 metres, while the North portal is located near Arpinchala village in Khari Tehsil at an altitude of 1,600 metres. It has two tubes, the main tunnel and the escape tunnel. It has been constructed using a modern drill and blast technique called the New Austrian Tunnelling Method. There are three adits, one each at Urnihal, Hingni and Kundan. HCC laid the 5.1 km and AFCONS 7.658 km stretch.


Carrying the slain Iranian General, Qasim Sulaimani’s photographs, Shia Muslims protested the US attack in Srinagar. (file image)

A serious law and order crisis erupted in Budgam’s Magam town when some army men allegedly burnt the photograph of Qasem Suleimani, the Iranian General who was killed in an attack by the US in August 2020. It triggered massive protests and clashes between the residents and the police. The incident was reported from Malbuchan village.


A rare genetic disorder was reported from Thana Mandi’s Manyal Gali village where nine births have taken place without eyeballs in the last 12 years. The most recent instance is that of a baby girl born a month ago. Local medical practitioners are baffled and have suggested that the particular gene that triggers the crisis must be identified. Formally, these kids have been diagnosed with rare anophthalmia and microphthalmia disorders which impede the development of eyes. Ophthalmologists say they can restore their vision but to help them have some confidence, they need to be helped. Authorities are trying to convince the parents that they should shift the kids to the blind school in Jammu but they are not ready.


The police in Madhya Pradesh have registered a case of sedition against a minor college student from Jammu and Kashmir in Neemuch district for posting objectionable social media posts on the 2019 Pulwama terror attack. He has termed the attack as “an act of revenge for the Babri demolition and some other incidents”. The student, a minor, is enrolled in the first year of BCom on PMSSS. The video was brought to the notice of college authorities by other students and eventually led to police action. The FIR was registered under 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code. This FIR coincided with the three Kashmiri students completing 100 days in Agra jail.


Kashmir’s igloo owners have applied for a world record listing saying their café is the world’s biggest so far. They are expecting a team next week, reports appearing in media said. The igloo that serves kehwa in a café completely made of snow in freezing temperatures has snow tables with goatskin laced desks and benches. It is getting a lot of attention for the last fortnight. Its owner, Waseem Shah said it will last till the middle of March. “We have applied for Guinness World Records, a team of which will be visiting us next week,” Shah told reporters.

The Igloo-making in Gulmarg started a few years back. Now people are investing in these seasonal hobbies and it is emerging a good attraction for the winter tourists. Shah has said that he saw an Igloo is Switzerland in 2017 and flew home to make it later. The recent sensation is a snow sculpture of Taj Mahal that its staffers made in 100 hours in 17 days. The 16 x 24 ft sculpture is the new destination for selfies for the newlyweds.


Jammu and Kashmir Police have deployed two women’s squads for ensuring the safety and security of women in Srinagar. These squads will be patrolling around coaching centres, schools, colleges and other vulnerable areas in Srinagar. One of them will be in Parrypora, Srinagar’s coaching hub. Each squad comprises five women cops and an officer. Police have also set up a dedicated women’s helpline at cell number 9596770601.


A cop was suspended following a complaint by the Jammu and Kashmir Prisons’ Department that he had smuggled a phone inside the high-security Srinagar Central Jail. He has been identified as Constable Mutazir Abbass from JKAP6.


 This Valentine Day, the Cupid was not around in Srinagar. What was visibly was a group of Hijab wearing young women who were presenting a flower to every girl who was wearing Hijab. They were also giving them a bar of chocolate. The symbolic gifting of things was part of a reaction campaign to the happenings in Karnataka where a group of right-wing activists was seen heckling a young Muslim lady in Hijab. The young lady, apparently on her way to the college shouted Allah o Akbar. Even the twelfth class Kashmir topper Arusa was also caught in the Hijab controversy for talking to the media bareheaded.


Three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir (L to R): Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah

Authorities have withdrawn the luxury of a jammer as part of the security details of the former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, a special security group that was providing them security was undone. Jammers are special security machines that block signals to prevent IEDs from exploding. These are stationary and even carried in cars, which are added to the cavalcades. One media report said even the ambulances, which used to be part of the cavalcade, have also been withdrawn

I agree to the Terms and Conditions of Kashmir Life


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here