Briefing January 29 – February 4, 2023


Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha addressed the Republic Day gathering in Jammu in 2023.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said that every drop of blood and tears that were shed in Jammu and Kashmir due to the killings of innocents at the behest of the “neighbouring” country will be avenged. Highlighting the interventions aimed at getting Jammu and Kashmir back on the rails of peace and progress, Sinha said there are sustained efforts of the security grid to eradicate militancy. “I want to tell those involved in the barbaric killings of innocents at the behest of the neighbouring country that we will avenge every drop of blood and tears”, Sinha said. “Today, I bow to the brave soldiers of Jammu and Kashmir police, army and central security forces, who displayed unmatched heroism and the spirit of sacrifice in defending the motherland.” In 2022, the security grid killed 180 militants as the year witnessed a 55 per cent fall in civilian killings and a 58 per cent reduction in the killing of security forces. He said the security grid has been strengthened.

Jammu and Kashmir Police have constituted a 20-member Terror Monitoring Group (TMG) that will be headed by an SSP rank officer and will have six DySPs, six inspectors, six head constables and a follower.


Army imparting training to Village Defence Committee (VDC) members on weapon handling, cleaning, musketry, firing and weapon maintenance drills at Mendhar (Poonch). Pic: PRO defence Jammu

In the first post-reorganisation of VDC, a young housewife in Surankote was killed by her husband when the latter was playing with the rifle of a VDC member, a relative. Police arrested the man, seized the weapon and are investigating if it was an accident or a deliberate one. The deceased was identified as Rubina Kouser, 30. Her husband, now in detention for the killing, was identified as Nassar Ahmad son of Nazir Hussain of Upper Murrah in Surankote. The rifle belonged to a VDC member. Meanwhile, the High Court has declined to stay the government order of August 14, 2022, that accorded sanction to the creation of the Village Defence Guards Scheme (VDGS) 2022. The court of Justice Rahul Bharti was hearing a plea filed by 619 Village Defence Guards (VDGs) and Special Police Officers (SPOs) seeking direction to the Government not to change the status of VDC SPOs. The 2022 order superseded September 30, 1995, which created the extra-constitutional VDC network.

2022 witnessed 1.8 crore tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir including pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine.


Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha attends Vitasta Festival at Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai on January 28, 2023. Image DIPR

Ministry of Culture is organising a festival Vitasta – the ever-flowing legacy of Kashmir in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir. The first edition of the festival will be held from January 27 to 30, at Kalakshetra, and on January 29, at Dakshina Chitra. It will have a choreographed dance presentation of the Kashmiri folk dance forms, a folk symphony with Kashmiri folk musical instruments, a unique presentation of two folk theatre forms – Bhand Pather of Kashmir and Therukoothu of Tamil Nadu, a recital by Santoor player music composer and conductor, Abhay Rustum Sopori, Kashmiri Sufi Band by Aabha Hanjura, Kashmiri cuisine fair, crafts fair with the handicrafts, needlework and weaves of Kashmir, workshops on pashmina wool weaving and papier mâché, seminars related to the Vitasta river and Kashmir including the impact of Buddhism and Shaivism, art camp for artists, an art competition for schoolchildren, a play, photography exhibition, Sharada Stotram by the students of Kalakshetra, a production on national integration based on a literary work by Subramania Bharathi by the students of Kalakshetra, and villu pattu on Vitasta.

32000 students from across India study in Jammu and Kashmir, according to Home Minister Amit Shah.


LAB, KDA hold protest in Jammu on Sunday, January 16, 2022

China is reported to have blocked access to the Indian Army at 26 patrolling points along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in eastern Ladakh, resulting in the denial to use huge swatches of grazing land to the local herdsmen. A Leh Police reports suggest that there are a total of 65 PPs (patrolling points) starting from Karakoram Pass to Chumur which were routinely being patrolled by the army. These points were openings towards high-altitude meadows as well. The access has been denied by the Chinese Army under the land grabbing inch by inch, which is called salami slicing, the report authored by OPS officer PD Nitya has said. The officer submitted its report to the just concluded annual conference of DGPs and IGPs held in Delhi. “Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37), due to restrictive or no patrolling by the security forces,” the paper added. Though the government has not formally reacted to the findings, informal sources have denied the status quo. The anonymous said the herders have been restricted by the army itself.

Meanwhile, in an unlinked development, reports suggest that the MHA will resume talks with the protesting political leadership of the region seeking assurance for full statehood, and protection of the region’s identity under the Sixth Schedule and jobs. Region’s leaders have boycotted a High Power Committee that MHA constituted and protested in Ladakh and then in Jammu. Now, the regional leaders have written a joint letter to Amit Shah suggesting that to begin with, dialogue should be initiated with two representatives each of LAB and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) with the provision of wider participation as it makes headway.

Jammu and Kashmir Bank netted Rs 311.59 crore profit in Q3, ending December 2022, taking the 9-month profit to Rs 721.05 crore in fiscal 2022.


Co-founders of a logistics company, FastBeetle, Abid Rashid (L) and Sheikh Samiullah (R). They got an institutional investment of 100 thousand dollars after their less than 2-year start-up was evaluated as worth a million-dollar company.

Srinagar-based e-commerce start-up, Fast Beetle succeeded in raising Rs 90 lakh by diluting its shareholding by 7.5 per cent to two shark investors, Piyush Bhansal and Aman Gupta. The development took place at the business reality show, Shark Tank India. Investors were impressed by the story of start-up promoters Sheikh Samiullah and Abid Rashid, who in 2019 started a logistics company that delivers parcels to buyers. This is the second time that the company succeeded in raising money from the highly competitive open market. In 2021, they had raised almost one crier from a group of venture capital investors. Now the two co-founders retain 76 per cent of their company’s equity.

Jammu and Kashmir’s government has launched an Rs 879.75-crore Food Processing Programme for the Development of Clusters for Specific Products to maximise farmer income and minimise post-harvest losses.


Kashmir’s last Santoor maker Ghulam Mohammad Zaz was among three eminent persons from erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir who were awarded Padma Shri this year. Others are litterateur Mohan Singh (Jammu) and Ladakh’s religious personality Kushok Thisksey Nawang Chamba Stanzin. Zaz is the eighth-generation Santoor maker and lives in Srinagar’s Zaina Kadal. “The legacy will end with me,” he regrets. Santoor is a trapezoid-shaped instrument with 87 strings and 28 bridges. Traditional Kashmiri Santoor, however, has 100 strings. For use in Indian Classical Music, the number of strings is reduced. Zaz is survived by his wife and three daughters. Normally the instrument made with almond wood is considered better.


JK LG Manoj Sinha with the family of Mudasir A Sheikh, an SPO, who was killed in an encounter in Kreeri on May 25. Sinha visited the family in Uri on May 28, 2022.

Mudasir Ahmad, 32, a Jammu and Kashmir Policeman who was slain in a counterinsurgency operation was awarded Shaurya Chakra posthumously. He was killed in an encounter in Najibhat Kreeri (Baramulla) on May 25, 2022. Three foreign militants were also killed in the encounter that was mounted by police, the army and CRPF. On October 5, 2022, Home Minister Amit Shah visited Sheikh’s family and paid respects at his grave barefoot. He has worked undercover earlier, reports in the media suggest. Mudasir is survived by his father Maqsood Sheikh, a retired sub-inspector, mother Shameema Begum, two sisters, and three brothers. Sheikh was hired as SPO after his father’s retirement and on basis of his extraordinary services with SOG, he was formally adjusted into police. He was a daredevil police official.


After formally and informally identifying the encroachment on the state land basket, the authorities have started demolitions in certain cases, In a high-voltage operation, the Budgam district administration demolished the outer wall of National Conference (NC) leader Ali Muhammad Sagar’s security detail near his Humhama house. The government had raised a plank suggesting the piece of land had been encroached upon by the politician. Officials said they demolished the outer wall, the main gate and the entry of the guardroom. Official records said the Saleema, wife of Sagar is the owner of land measuring 3 kanal 18 marlas. However, the family had allegedly encroached upon 2 kanals of state land on which a building had been raised.


Mubeen Fatima was a mother when she enrolled for MSc Botany and soon she fell apart from her husband. She is now a JKAS officer.

Marriage, after all, is a social contract with a lot of emotional, moral, ethical and economic equity. Sometimes it does not succeed. Instead of staying in a bad relationship, it is better to move out formally and rediscover life. That is what Mubeen Fatima did. Daughter of Abdul Sattar of Upper Thathar, Bantalab, the mother of a young daughter, put in her efforts and made it to Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS), with a rank of 154.  She graduated in 2018 and was a mother in the same year. As she joined for her masters in Botanay, she was divorced by her husband – conveyed the same digitally. She was declared MSc Botany in 2020 and soon she started preparing for JKAS. On the first attempt, she made it.


Lt Governor Manoj Sinha with Kashmiri Pandits after he laid foundation stone of Transit Accommodation for PM Package Employees at Zewan on Friday January 20, 2022

The Zewan locality on the borders of the Srinagar and Pulwama districts will have a series of towers that will house a Kashmiri Pandit township. LG Manoj Sinha laid the foundation stone last week for 936 flats. These are for the employees who will be posted in Kashmir. In comparison, it is a better-secured locality. LG said by December 2023, 1200 flats will be ready for the Pandit employees who were appointed under a special package of the Prime Minister.


Kanak Mandi Jammu.

Finally, the government has decided to collect Property Tax in Jammu and Kashmir and it will start with commercial establishments. Officials said collection of this tax is linked to the devolution of various grants to Jammu and Kashmir. Slabs for the imposition of the tax are reportedly being worked out. For the time being, it will not be collected from residential establishments.


Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on one of his initial visits to SKIMS after the institute started functioning. Sheikh was the Chief Minister.

A young SKIMS doctor survived an electric shock while performing on a cardiac patient in the operation theatre. Reports suggest that when he started the procedure, he got an electric shock, following which he collapsed on the ground and was admitted. He has suffered injuries on his hand and fingers. After the shocking incident, SKIMS management started an audit at key spots in the hospital.


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