The Chinars have historically remained a synonym of Kashmir’s beauty after Emperor Jehangir asked: “Chi-Naar”, which fire, after looking at fallen autumn leaves. Once home to 40,000 Chinar’s, Kashmir has continuously axed the identity trees to pave way for roads and reclaimed the land. Cut down Chinar’s include some as old as 600 years. Now the numbers have fallen to abysmal 500. So Kashmir is shrinking to Chinars’. In this situation, Forest Minister Choudhary Lal Singh has come to the rescue of the mighty tree. He has planted 40,000 saplings in Jammu region. So the new address for Chinar shade is Kathua.


Captivated by Kashmir’s beauty and the feeling of being related to Kashmir, a Turkish professor and writer, Prof OrhanKurnal, is reintroducing the Valley to Turks, centuries after they would fight for Kashmir’s Hindu kings. Already to 174 countries, Kurnal is on a visit to Kashmir and working on a tourist book on destinations in India. Back home, he will talk about Kashmir on his TV show, Lutfen. He wants Turks to visit Kashmir but suggests Kashmir must preserve its architecture and houseboats. “Turkish people would love to come to Kashmir as there is certain connection between two places having Muslim population.”


It seemed so natural when the freshly built embankment on the Jhelum collapsed in Lasjan, at a spot, not far away from the house of State’s Disaster Management minister, Javaid Mustafa Mir. While an enquiry will look for the reasons behind the crucial collapse, the issue is how soon will the government rebuild the embankment and prevent a manufactured deluge. Jhelum will see a rapid surge in volumes late March.


Bollywood film GulMakai, based on the life of teenage Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, is being shot in Ganderbal. Directed by Amjad Khan, the film chronicles Malala’s journey from Swat Valley to her becoming the youngest Noble peace prize winner. Major part of the film has already been shot in Bhuj and Mumbai and the team is in Kashmir to shoot the last leg of the movie.


After becoming viral on social networking sites, the video of a youth resorting to a dangerous stunt of staying flat on the tracks as the train chugged over was arrested. Soon, he has tendered his apology for the stupidity. The damage is done. In Kashmir, perhaps he is unaware; attempt to suicide is a cognizable offence but not suicide. Anyway, why is death wish so common?


A 17-year-old youth, Shakir Ahmad Mir and two militants were killed in a gunfight at Choiegund-Adoo village. Two ladies, including a militant’s sister, were also injured, and one of them is critical. The slain militants were Sameer Ahmad of the same village and Firdous Ahmad Ganowpora.


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