On July 11, 2018, when army shot dead Khalid Gaffar Malik, who was shutting his shop, it turned out to be more than just a civilian killing, a new normal in post-Burhan Kashmir. Interestingly, Khalid’s first brother is in the police, the second a volunteer in the Territorial Army, the third again in the police. Khalid was killed by the same forces his brothers are part of. In last five days, army and CRPF shot dead six civilians in Kashmir, including Khalid.
Coke Studio Pakistan is the talk of the town in Kashmir, reason: Altaf Mir, an ex-militant from Kashmiri now settled in Muzaffarabad, whose band Qasamir features in this year’s season eleven. Mir’s song Ha Gulu, written by Mehjoor is already a hit among youngsters in Kashmir. So is Mir, whose journey coincides with the start of the insurgency in Kashmir in the 1990s. A native of Islamabad in Kashmir, he would sing at marriages, Sufiana Mehfils (gatherings), and private functions. In 1990’s Mir yearned for an AK4 and decided to cross the border. In 2000, Mir got married to a local girl from Muzaffarabad. He is now the father of four sons.
A BJP MLA from R S Pura, Gagan Bhagat, 40, has landed in trouble after his pictures with a young girl were leaked on the internet. He is seen in obscene postures with the girl in these pictures. After the father of the girl filed a formal complaint against the lawmaker, accusing him of kidnapping his daughter, BJP’s Jammu unit has sought an explanation from him. The girl, who was studying at a university in Punjab, is missing from her hostel since February 9.
On July 11, 2018, renowned Kashmiri broadcaster Mahindra Kaul passed away in London. Born and educated in Kashmir, Kaul started his career with Radio Kashmir where he served as a newsreader, actor, and producer of programmes including plays. He was the first Kashmiri to broadcast in the Kashmiri language. Kaul moved to join Voice of America, created the Indian Services department at Voice of America (1955-60) and wrote speeches for Vice President Nixon in relation to India. Later Kaul joined BBC Overseas Service Radio, the Asian unit of the BBC and produced two weekly TV programmes for Asian viewers for nearly two decades.
Shah Faesal, a 2010-batch IAS officer currently pursuing a mid-career master’s programme in the US, is facing disciplinary proceedings over his controversial tweet. On July 10, Government of India asked the J&K government to take action against Faesal for violating the All India Services (conduct rules) through a tweet. Faesal had tweeted about increased rape incidents in India.