Comrade SitaramYechury was arrested at the airport and sent back along with his colleague when he flew to Srinagar to enquire about the welfare of his state leader YousufTariamni, who is unwell and house arrest. This led the comrade to approach the Supreme Court (on August 19) seeking direction to produce the former MLA before it and have the ailing politician admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Science in Delhi. Finally the Court permitted him to fly to Srinagar on August 29. He has been directed to move to Tarigami’s home, meet him and fly back and report to the Supreme Court. Mohammad AleemSayed, a law student in Delhi had also moved a similar petition fearing about his parents currently in detention. He was also permitted to meet his family.
As Kashmir’s entire political class was in jail in the aftermath of the removal, two Bollywood production houses came with a surprise announcement – a film on Kota Rani, the last Hindu queen whose reign witnessed the transfer of power from Hindus to Muslims. The thirteen century queen had married a relative of her slain husband and finally tied her nuptial knots with Shah Mir ruler and died in custody in mysterious circumstances. “It’s a matter of great surprise that as Indians we don’t know enough or at all about a personality like Kota Rani,” Producer MadhuMantena was quoted saying. “It would be no exaggeration to compare her to Cleopatra and a lot of things that we are witnessing today are directly related to her story. Her life was extremely dramatic and she is perhaps one of the most able woman rulers India has produced till now. It would be a shame not to know about her.”
On August 24, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and many other opposition leaders were stopped at Srinagar airport and flown back home, they met a Kashmir women. The lady talked to Rahul and briefed him about the situation and the video of it went viral across India. Days after, another version of it came suggesting the lady told Rahul not to come to Kashmir as Prime Minister Modi has taken a good decision. It led India Today to investigate the two versions and certify that the first one was genuine and the second one fake.
KannanGopinathan, IAS, quit on August 21, alleging denial of “fundamental rights” to lakhs of people in J&K in wake of scrapping of Article 370 by the parliament. The 33-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was from 2012 batch IAS officer from Kottayam district in Kerala. He was posted in Dadra and Nagar Haveli as Power and Non-Conventional Energy Secretary. After his resignation, he was served a show-cause notice but he responded to every single point. He told reporters that his decision to quit was not on account of the MHA memorandum but his decision to standby fundamental rights of Kashmir. Since his resignation is yet to be accepted, the local UT government has asked him to resume his duties till his papers are accepted.
As Kashmir remained in a protracted lockdown, a delegation of panchayat members reached Delhi to ‘bust’ government claims of normalcy. Led by TalibHussain, a panchayat member from Anantnag, the delegation comprised Gujjar and BakerwalPanchs, mostly from Congress. They met media in Delhi insisting the normal basic rights have been ceased and there is no room for dissent, they alleged. They gave the firsthand account of their lives in the lockdown and asserted even the hospitals are under-performing because of the movement and communication lockdown.
Jammu and Kashmir Police have booked five people belonging in PirPanchal Valley for allegedly writing sensitive posts on Facebook. They all live abroad. The case has been registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66B of the Information Technology Act. The accused were identified as ZaheerChowdhary Kala and Imran Qazir from Rajouri, and Zakir Shah Bukhari, NaziqHussain, and Sardar Tariq Khan from Poonch district. The police is approaching the External Affairs Ministry to get their passports cancelled.
A young doctor who protested against the problems faced by the patients in Kashmir was whisked away by police minutes after he spoke out. Identified as Omar Salim, a urologist at the Government Medical College, he appeared in Srinagar’s press colony wearing a doctor’s apron and carrying a placard suggesting he was making a “request and not a protest”. Information blockade, Omar said, was endangering the lives of patients, particularly those who needed dialysis or chemotherapy. “I have a patient who required chemotherapy on August 6. He came to us on August 24 but could not obtain the chemotherapy medicine,” Omar said. “Another patient whose chemotherapy drug has to be obtained from Delhi was unable to place an order for the drug. His chemotherapy has been postponed indefinitely.”
Rs 4000 Crore is the possible loss to Kashmir because of frequent internet shutdowns in last six years, according to International Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).