Briefing

CHANDIGARH

It is unprecedented. In a PGI ward, two patients with identical kidney ailment, Hanifa Bano from Kulgam and Harpal Bhardwaj from Karnal, were looking for donors for the past two years but never exchanged a word with each other. Their relatives did not help them. When their spouses Fayaz Ahmad and Champa Devi underwent tests as donors, there was a discovery. The two women were B+ and the two men A+. Their blood chemistries matched. So Fayaz gave his kidney to Harpal and Champa gave it to Hanifa. Balay Balay. Both are happy. A local charity has supported both the families.

SRINAGAR

With J&K having Choudhary Zulfiqar as the full-fledged Information minister, the information department is getting a makeover. With Munir-ul-Islam as new director, reappointed third time in two years, M H Malik is as the secretary. In the last more than one week, the new team did not take rest and announced a slew of measures. The most important was their clear idea of reviving the Research and Reference section, one of the major repositories of newspapers on Kashmir, dating back to early twentieth century. Though most of the data was decimated by the September 2014 floods, the new team must use all the modern technology to secure what it has and to retrieve what it lost. This section has been the principle source of major books on contemporary Kashmir.

KUPWARA

Sameer Ji Bhat was a resident of Pampore who joined police in 2008 and became a counter-insurgent. His family says he was an encounter specialist. In May he went missing creating a situation that his family would be protesting almost daily. Police SIT found Bhat was killed by an SPO from Budgam Aijaz Ahmad. Both lived together and they had gone to Pahalgam to get Bhat’s relative who was transferred to Kupwara. There, they drank, smoked Charas and other intoxicants during which Bhat sodomised the SPO in the police vehicle. When the two dropped the cop in Kupwara, SPO killed him and threw his body in Pahroo rover. The corpse was fished out last week. SPO is in jail and the case is with the court.

KATHUA

It has been the goriest reports that a Border Security Force (BSF) havaldar Neelam Kumar first killed his wife, then burnt her and finally killed self at his ancestral Saiswan village. The incident was discovered by his brother. Interestingly, Ritu Devi, daughter of Mashu Ram of Basohli, was his third wife. Kumar killed himself by jumping in front of a train.

PUNJAB

Believe it or not, Punjab’s women cricket team has a Kashmir star: Jasia Akhtar. A resident of Shopian, she was invited by Punjab’s headhunters during a match. She was given a seat in a university and asked to join the Punjab team in 2013. Since then, she has been a star batswomen for the team and played more than 50 matches. She even flew to Dhaka on US$ 3000, a month but missed her selection for India’s national team. Asked if she could play for J&K, an unwilling cricketer said J&K lacks the facilities and the support structure that exists in Punjab.

TULMULLA

The Kheer Bhavani festival 2017 was unimpressive as quite a few hundred Pandits could participate. It was apparently because of whisper campaign that Kashmir, all of a sudden, has turned unsafe. Though there were scenes of togetherness between hosts and the “guests”, the numerical presence did not create an impact. This was despite the fact that SRTC fleet drove the devotees free from Jammu. This festival normally sees good presence as the migrants try to re-locate and re-discover their roots. Did anybody see the colour of the water in the spring, this year?

SRINAGAR

J&K Bank has expanded its network. Last week, it invited Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti to e-inaugurate 82 outlets including 35 Business Units, 41 ATMs and 6 Cash Deposit Machines. She also bestowed ownership of 150-kg Mobile Handcarts to 50 street vendors, an initiative funded by the bank under CSR. These carts are equipped with digital devices like mPoS and mPay for safe and easy payment process. She also unveiled a special micro-finance scheme for Street Vendors titled J&K Bank Aasaan Loan under which they can avail Rs 15000 loan at 4 percent repayable in four installments.

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