In Shark Tank India 3, two Kashmiri college-going boys, Hamaad and Saad Tramboo, aged 18-20, stole the show. The duo, currently pursuing BBA, sought Rs 30 lakhs for a three per cent equity stake in their business. Their Srinagar-based Tramboo Sports has been making bricking bats from English willow and Kashmiri willow. Since its inception in 2021, the duo told the Sharks that their brand has sold over 20,000 bats, even securing a deal for 1,000 bats in Qatar. The Sharks, including Aman Gupta (CMO, BOAT), Ritesh, Peyush Bansal (Lenskart), and Anupam, conducted a rigorous discussion on financial scalability and scrutinised the revenue charts presented by the young entrepreneurs. Finally, their pitch, a blend of innovation, sharp salesmanship, and the fulfilment of young dreams, won. They secured Rs 30 lakh for four per cent equity. Saad and Hamaad are grandsons of Nazir Tramboo, Kashmir’s erstwhile poultry Czar.
Wildlife Institute of India’s survey (2019-23) revealed Ladakh has 477 Snow Leopards, the highest in India.
Kashmir’s driving class is rude and it shows up on slippery surfaces. Within hours after Kashmir experienced a modest snowfall, a young driver in a remote Uri village filled his sumo with 14 people. He lost control and it fell in a deep gorge. So far 10 people have been reported dead. LG Manoj Sinha announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh each. Later, lot many police and civil administration officers visited the area. RTO Kashmir even cancelled many licences. The question remains: for these entire departments Srinagar is the priority because it pays tons of money as penalties and duties. Srinagar is the least traffic rules violation area but the government agencies must focus on the periphery where too many lives are lost in road accidents.
DC Srinagar, Dr Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat, handed over appointment letters to eligible candidates of Srinagar, under SRO-43 on compassionate grounds.
Kashmir students studying outside Jammu and Kashmir continue to be in the news for one or the other reason. Sohrab Qayoom, a Poonch resident, pursuing his Bachelor’s in Pharmacy at Mewar University (Rajasthan) was arrested on January 26, by the police for making comments on Babri Masjid and Ram temple at Ayodhya. He faces charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 151, 153A, 295A, and 505. In Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), a class-twelfth Kashmiri student, enrolled at Sir Syed Hamid Senior Secondary School was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his rented room. Identified as Adnan Altaf Maglu, a resident of Baramulla, he had been operating from the university hostel but owing to low scores, he was asked to make his arrangements outside the campus. Police have registered a case and investigations have begun.
More than 200 kanals of land have been allocated to different agencies by the Wildlife Protection Department in Jammu and Kashmir. The official data revealed that 2.5 lakh kanals of forest land were encroached upon in Jammu’s ten districts.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is all set to conduct a camp sitting and an open public hearing on grievances related to human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, from February 7 to 9. This is the first since the abolition of the State Human Rights Commission that the national commission mandated to succeed the erstwhile Commission will be showing up in Srinagar. Pertinently, after the abrogation of Article 370, the State Human Rights Commission, which was previously responsible for issues about human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir, was dismantled by the authorities, following which through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, the Union Government gave NHRC the power to address the human rights issues in the Union Territory on March 18, 2020. How the show will shape up, remains to be seen.
Jammu and Kashmir gets Rs 37,277 crore in the interim Union Budget 2024.
The modest February snowfall notwithstanding, Kashmir will take a huge hit in the coming days after the lack of water. Most of the water bodies across Kashmir are polluted and it was not showing up as the water discharge was huge. As the climate change impact is showing up, the discharge in water bodies is gradually getting down. The pollution in them is very huge and it is impacting. It is the same water that is piped to homes. In Pahnoo (Shopian) a jaundice outbreak was reported and so far two residents have tested positive. Doctors will treat them but it is just the beginning. These outbreaks were summer season issues.
In January 186 drug peddlers were held while 107 cases were registered in Srinagar.
Ulfat Khan, a Senior Cadet Captain hailing from Uri, has created a mark for herself by becoming the first-ever female cadet to be chosen as Parade Commander at the Prime Minister’s Rally during the Republic Day Camp 2024 held in Delhi. Ulfat was selected from a pool of 2274 NCC cadets from 28 states and Union Territories and 17 directorates across the country. Born in Uri, in 2002, Ulfat pursued her schooling in various Kendriya Vidyalayas across Delhi, Jharkhand, and Odisha before joining GCW Gandhinagar for her higher education. Her impressive array of NCC camps includes NSC, SNIC, RDC, Mini Sailing, and CATC, where she honed her skills and leadership abilities.
25 e-rickshaws were seized by the authorities as a part of a crackdown on minor drivers to ensure strict adherence to regulations.
A court has sentenced a Rohingya trio to 10 years in prison for trafficking and raping two Rohingya refugee women in India. They were convicted for trafficking vulnerable women from Bangladesh and arranging their marriages for money at Nuh in Haryana. The women were rescued after their brother contacted authorities. The convicted trio Mohammad Ayas, Hafeez Ahmed, and Mohammad Yunus brought to Delhi via Mizoram and Kolkata brought to Delhi via Mizoram and Kolkata. Before their marriages, the prosecution asserted they raped their captives. The plan was to “sell” the women to another woman from Anantnag for Rs 70,000 each. The police raided several places in Anantnag but have not been able to arrest the lady from South Kashmir.
Nearly 1000 babies were born in 108-ambulances in Jammu and Kashmir over three years.
President Droupadi Murmu declared the dismissal of doubts over the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, asserting India’s prominent role against terrorism globally. Addressing the joint session of parliament, she said: “There were doubts regarding the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Those are now history.” Home Minister Amit Shah credited, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for transforming the region, terminating an era of terrorism, and fostering development through extensive infrastructure and welfare initiatives. Shah emphasized the revitalization of Jammu and Kashmir’s cultural heritage under Modi’s governance and accused dynastic politics of hindering its progress. He highlighted the strengthened Panchayati Raj system, aiming for grassroots development, and celebrated the absence of stone-pelting incidents in 2023, attributing the positive change to Modi’s policies.
In Eastern Ladakh, Indian Army support emboldened local nomads against China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), compelling the latter to retreat as nomads resisted attempts to block their cattle grazing near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The confrontation, captured in a seven-minute video, depicted nomads pelting stones at PLA soldiers and facing off against armoured vehicles. Chushul Councilor Konchok Stanzin credited the Indian Army for fostering civil-military relations, ensuring the nomads’ right to traditional grazing grounds. Despite initial PLA interference, the situation was resolved, allowing nomads to continue grazing. Locals hailed the Indian Army’s role, emphasizing the clash’s location at Kakjung in Nyoma village along the Ladakh border with China-controlled Tibet.
Jammu and Kashmir Police’s renewed collection of personal information from Srinagar residents has sparked concerns and demands for transparency from political leaders. Officials are distributing “census” forms, seeking Aadhaar numbers and occupation details, prompting anxiety and protests. Communist Party leader MY Tarigami expressed apprehensions, urging the government to clarify the census’s purpose. Residents report police visiting homes, collecting data, and even photographing residents. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned the intrusive measure, labelling it an assault on natives. This is not the first such exercise; similar actions by security forces occurred in 2012 and 2021, drawing criticism for political and racial profiling.
A group of Hindus from Rajasthan, belonging to the Rashtriya Anhad Mahayog Peeth, forcefully entered Jammu and Kashmir’s ASI-protected Martand Sun Temple on January 22 to conduct prayers, coinciding with the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Despite ASI staff attempting to prevent their entry, the group unfurled a saffron flag, performed a parikrama, and chanted the Hanuman Chalisa. This marked the third consecutive year of the group’s attempts. ASI guidelines prohibit prayers at protected sites unless they were functional places of worship during ASI protection. The temple, dedicated to Surya, is believed to be the oldest Sun temple, in Kashmir. The ASI raised concerns with the district administration for rule violations. In 2023, the group was detained at a Shiva temple near Martand, and in 2022, they prayed inside the temple, violating ASI rules. The group leader, Maharaj Rudranath Mahakal, claimed their visit aligned with Ayodhya’s temple inauguration, citing Prime Minister Modi’s call for prayers in all temples.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) celebrated a breakthrough in the construction of the Golden Arc Road, specifically the 700-meter-long Naushera tunnel on the Akhnoor-Poonch National Highway (NH-144A). This achievement is a pivotal step in connecting the south Kashmir-Jammu region to the west of Jammu, as part of the broader efforts to upgrade the Jammu-Poonch highway. The Golden Arc Road, a strategic 200 km Rs 5,100-crore highway, aims to enhance connectivity in border belts. The breakthrough in the Naushera tunnel is a milestone in Project Sampark, upgrading National Highway-144A for improved road connectivity and reduced travel time, with completion expected by 2026.