Jamia Masjid continues to retain its protest theatre status. It remained unchanged with the regime change. Last week, the mosque was locked. This week, it witnessed massive protests. But two things were different for Bilal Bahadur, Kashmir Life photo head. Firstly, he clicked a shot showing a flash-bang exploding on the wall of the historic mosque. Secondly, Bahadur was one of the many news photographers who were marshalled by a few locals, not police. Apparently shop-keepers, they seemed convinced that Nowhatta would stay peaceful if newsmen skip visiting it. Police have the copyright for the theory but it is absurd.
It has happened for the first time in J&K. As advocate general Reyaz Jan ‘resigned’ within three months of his appointment, Mufti government replaced him by Jehangir Iqbal Ganai who will be the youngest ever lawyer to hold the position of AG. Jan, one of the leading lawyers of the state, was picked up for his capabilities and his resignation is one long story. The story of his successor is more interesting. Jehangir, son of former secretary assembly M Iqbal, was the defence lawyer for Dr Farooq Abdullah in the notorious cricket scam, till Mufti gave him the coveted position. In between the two stories lies the Hazar Dastaan that PDP has scripted between March and June – a real long story that may have parallels in Medieval Kashmir when Chak’s ruled the Vale.
This is a perfect success. Zahid Qureshi from remote Safawali belt was orphaned in 1995 when the “unidentified” gunmen killed his father Farooq Qureshi. No options around, his grandfather took up the responsibility of brining Zahid up. Himself with meagre source of income, Azizullah Qurehsi, his grand-pa, runs a tea-stall outside Kupwara’s tehsil office. He enrolled him locally at Dudwan and later he was admitted to one of army’s goodwill schools where he studied up to 12th standard. Last week, he cracked IIT (JEE) examination and was reported to have figured at 89 position. Army and an NGO help him coach better to achieve his target.
The latest from Taj Mahal, the epitome of love that Jehangir built for his wife, is that its custodians prevented Omar Abdulah’s two sons Zaheer and Zamir from entering the monument as Indians. They were suggested to get tickets as foreigners. Additional crisis that delayed their visit to the Mahal was the security detail that accompanied them. It is not uncommon that Kashmiris, given their complexion, are considered foreigners in India. But it creates interesting anecdotes. Last time when a Kashmiri school goer was chasing the ball to the goalpost and was about to kick it in, he stopped. The reason: the boy manning the goalpost was Omar’s son and he had a long man shadowing him with a gun. It ended up a penalty corner!
It was a rare sight in Bakhshi Stadium where around 1200 boys and girls – all students and NCC cadets, were seen with their mats, for Yoga. Managing an International Day for Yoga in UN is the single biggest achievement of Narendra Modi. It just is an exercise, everybody knows. But once it is used in a particular set-up of faith and belief, reactions come up. That was exactly what happened in anticipation of the event. There were statements against it in Kashmir. In quick retaliation, RSS-BJP men flew across the Vale and ensured impressive participation. Security forces contributed their bit.
Technology challenges have all the more increased the competition at J&K’s Sino-Indian border. Now, Delhi is planning setting up small 20 MW solar power projects close to the ‘border’ to help Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) light up the LAC and man it better. Currently, most of the energy requirements in the remote border is managed through diesel generators that is making the supply costly. Reports suggest the centre is in talks with the state to have a plant each in Leh and Kargil.
Power inebriates. When journalist Javaid Malik ‘slam-stopped’ Agriculture Minister Ghulam Nabi Hanjura in city outskirts, he should have understood one basic thing – when a young man along with a female (his wife) can resort to such an act, it must be a real grave issue. Hanjura acted like a viceroy and his security detail did the ‘talking’. He complained with the police and later publicized his willingness to apologise. Scribe and the politician could fight the case in court or in police station. But, by now, he should have ensured justice to his wife who was humiliated by the minister security detail by passing a lewd remark on her. It obviously is a blot after his rare success.
Cops say it was attempted many times in past but it was for the first time that the plan succeeded. Militant Waheed Noor Khan of Rawlakot was detained on August 23, 2010 and was facing trial. Last week when he was attending court in Sopore, police says somebody handed over him a grenade. On his way back, the vehicle that carried him back was ripped apart by a blast that killed him almost instantly. Of the five cops who were injured in the blast, one died later. Now police say they have identified the person who passed the grenade to Khan.
Rs 65 crore is the allocation for Srinagar district for developmental activities which is slightly less than one third of Rs 193 crore that Jammu got
25000 passengers travel by train a day in Kashmir. Northern Railways is adding one more train to augment its 22 trips between Baramulla and Banihal