To counter “perceived negative portrayal of Kashmiris” by the Indian TV, Mehbooba Mufti released a 5-minute tourism film Warmest Place on Earth. The film, featuring a young Indian couple who are on their first trip to Kashmir, generated lots of interest on social media for its message. While the makers of the video are keen to get tourists back to the valley, a section of neitizens blamed the video for toeing the Bollywood line and showcasing Kashmiris through a particular lense. But the film has already been watched by nearly six million people and was endorsed by various big shots in politics and cinema. Encoraged, the government is dubbing it in Indian languages.


The importance of sleepy Harwan hamlet in Srinagar outskirts is well-documented in Buddhist annals. But the recent discovery of a sixth century rare one-faced Shiva stone sculpture, in a water reservoir, could change the way we understand Harwan and its history. The oval-shaped bust, one side of it cared with Shiva’s image, measuring nearing 2.5 feet, is one of the most important discoveries in recent times. The bust was handed over to the Department of Archives and Archaeology, but it remains to be seen if the discovery will actually trigger a further study of the area or not.


Recognizing their ‘decades of campaign for human rights in Kashmir’ two Srinagar based rights activists, Parvez Imroz and Parveena Ahangar, were awarded Norway’s Rafto Prize 2017. Imroz, the lawyer founder of JK Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) works for human rights in Kashmir. Parveena’s, a homemaker till 90s, when her son was picked up by NSG and never returned, started connecting with other such parents to form Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP).  Known as the Iron Lady of Kashmir, Parveena now arranges peaceful protests and offers assistance to the victims. The award carries a cash prize of US$ 20,000, which will be presented on November 5 in Norwegian town of Bergen.


The face behind mystery man Abdul Qayoom Najar, 43, considered as the longest surviving militant in Kashmir, was revealed only after he was killed in Uri near Zorawar post in Lachipora belt while trying to infiltrate. Najar, who first joined militancy at 16, rose to fame after a string of attacks on mobile towers rocked Sopore town. He was arrested in 1992, but after his release joined militant ranks again in 1995. An expert in disguise, there was no picture of Najar available with the police, which helped him move around at will.


A quick thinking Special Police Officer (SPO), Aquib, saved 15 lives when he threw back a grenade tossed by suspected militants into their vehicle. Recognizing his bravery, Aquib was regularized into the J&K police force immediately. As the news of his bravery reached Srinagar, the first one to acknowledge his dare-devilry was formed CM Omar Abdullah.



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