In budget 2022-23, Nirmala Sitharaman gave Rs 27,274 crore to Jammu and Kashmir and Rs 3097.14 crore to Ladakh. The allocations have increased by Rs 877 crore from the last budget. It includes Rs 260 crore for industrial development, Rs 225 crore for scholarships, Rs 273 crore for rehabilitation of Dal Lake and Nagin Lake.
The Government has ordered the superannuation of Syed Shabir Shafi, a Director rank officer, for his disputed date of birth and a possible forgery. Police Crime Branch has been asked to investigate the case and he has been asked to return the benefits including salary for his illegal stay in office beyond March 31, 2021. The Lal Bazar resident had joined the planning and statistics department in 1994 as assistant director. Preliminary investigations initiated on basis of a complaint suggested he had changed his DOB from 1961 to 1966.
More than 10,000 students are currently enrolled in 28 Army Goodwill Schools across Kashmir. Already more than one lakh has studied in these schools.
Imran Khan government-appointed politician Masood Khan as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Masood Khan in November 2021. He is yet to get a formal okay from US States Department to join his duty. The delay in agreement – host country’s clearance, is attributed to Republican Congressman Scott Perry letter to Joe Biden in which he has accused Khan of being a “jihadist” and “a bona fide terrorist sympathiser”. The Rawlakot (PaK) born diplomat, Masood, 70, is a Pashtun. A spokesman for Pakistan’s Foreign Office, he was Pakistan’s man in China for four years before becoming his country’s Permanent Representative to the UN at New York. On his return, he was elected to power in the Muzaffarabad assembly and became its President. As he is waiting to join his duty, there is a debate whether the delay is because of Omicron or his “militant links”. In either of the two cases, Islamabad is not friendly in Washington.
Omicron Killed 146 In January 2022, 48 In Jammu Alone
On February 4, Kashmir journalist and editor, Fahad Shah was arrested by police for “glorifying terrorist activities” on social media and causing “disaffection against the country.” He edits The Kashmir Walla. A day later, a court in Pulwama gave police a 10-days remand while asking him to provide the case details to his defence. Fahad was arrested in a case (FIR No 19/2022) filed by the police in Pulwama district under Section 13 (advocating, abetting, advising or inciting unlawful activity) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Section 124-A (sedition) and Section 505 (public mischief) of Indian Penal Code. The arrest was widely condemned.
The latest figures maintained by the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) suggest around 20,000 children – 11300 boys and 8315 girls, with special needs (CwSN) from across Jammu and Kashmir stand registered. 7025 of them (3948 males and 3077 females) are in Upper Primary and 12590 – 7352 boys and 5238 girls, are in primary classes.
Unlike her counterparts in Kashmir, Kishtwar District Development Council (DDC) chairperson, Pooja Thakur is leading a movement for the right to work of her people. Since January 19, she is on a round-the-clock protest with her followers seeking jobs for the local youth in four power projects currently under construction in Chenab Valley. Four companies – JP Associates, Patel, LNT and Escon are implementing the four projects but claims they are denying the locals their right to get employed. She met the Divisional Commissioner and accused him of talking in a way as “if he was representing these companies”. Chenab region is the only area in Jammu and Kashmir where skilled manpower for the implementation of power projects is available.
More than 16,000 kanals of land in 47 patches, allotted to Industries Department has been found unsuitable for any industrial activity.
Kashmir’s rare entry into the Winter Olympics 2022 triggered a diplomatic controversy as China decided to bring Galwan Valley clash into the sports. Shortly after Tangmarg key skier, Arif Khan with his lawmaker manager, Abbas Wani and four others landed in Beijing, reports emerged that China bestowed the honour of being one of the torchbearers for the Olympic flame to a Red Army regiment commander, Qi Fabao, who had fought in Galwan Valley and survived with a head injury. The two armies are still in hostile deployment on the Sino-Indian borders in Ladakh’s inhospitable terrain for 21-months and the standoff has defied an early resolution. India had gone against a group of Western nations including the US and UK who boycotted the event for their Uygur Muslim concerns and sent Khan as to participate in two events. As the torch issue reached the newspaper front pages, Delhi announced that it will not attend the inauguration and concluding events in protest. Even Doordarshan will not cover the two events.
Galwan valley clash was the peak point of the Sino-India standoff in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. Now Galwan Decoded, an Australian newspaper says China lost double the number but suppressed the news. India and China have had 14 rounds at the local military-level talks to solve the issue but the crisis remains unresolved. Both sides have more than 50,000 troops deployed in the region.
Though Khan, 31, who had delayed his September wedding to be part of the Olympics, is not linked to the diplomatic row but he finds mention every time Galwan-Olympics is reported, the world over. He is not the first Kashmiri to be in the Olympics but from Indian ever to be nominated for Winter Olympics.
After the reading down of Article 370, 1697 Kashmiri Pandits have been given jobs and posted in Kashmir
Young politician, against whom federal investigator, NIA (and later CIK) had registered a case has fallen unconscious in the jail and was briefly hospitalised. Now almost all political parties are seeking his release on health grounds. His bail plea in the court is adjourned for the time being. His party said no charge against Parra was established so far. Court has asked the jail authorities in Srinagar to give him adequate medical care. Para was arrested in November 2020.
The government has transferred 2318 Kanals of land in seven villages at 17 locations in the Srinagar and Budgam districts to the Housing and Urban Development Department for the construction of Housing Colonies.
Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi has taken over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command. Basically from JK Rifles Regiment, he has put in 37 years of service to the army.
Meanwhile, army chief Gen MM Naravane has said that the disputed borders with nuclear-capable neighbours coupled with state-sponsored proxy war were stretching the security apparatus and the resources. In this situation, he said the Army is focusing on “restructuring, rebalancing and reorientig” its forces and the process has already been initiated and that the force is committed to the theaterisation initiative to ensure tri-services integration. “We are already witnessing trailers of future conflicts. They are being enacted daily on the information battlefield, in the networks and cyberspace. They are also being played along, our yet unsettled and active borders,” he told a Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) seminar in Delhi. “It is for us to visualise, the battlefield contours of tomorrow, based on these trailers. If you look around, you will realise that the sci-fi of yesterday, is the reality of today. We too have to leap-frog to the future, skipping many stages, to an entirely new configuration.” He said the developments in Afghanistan have again brought to focus the use of proxies and non-state actors to decisive effect.
SKIMS alone has registered 5000 new cancer cases in 2021. Earlier figures suggested Jammu and Kashmir had 12675 in 2019 and 13012 in 2020.
The State Investigating Agency (SIA) has arrested four persons including a couple from Punjab and Haryana for pumping hawala money in Kashmir. They were held in a case involving the seizure of Rs 42 lakh at Nagrota on November 16, 2021, from a car DL-IZB 8261 carrying Fayaz Ahmad Dar, 40, (MishipuraYaripora in Kulgam), Umar Farooq, 19, (Pulwama) and Mauzam Parvaiz (Dillipura, Pulwama). While three persons were arrested from Sonepat in Haryana, another was nabbed in Amritsar, who was identified as Jaideep Dhawan of Pawan Nagar.