Briefing July 10-16, 2022

JAMMU

Two militants were arrested in Reasi on Sunday, July 3, 2022

Kashmir-origin residents of Tukson dhok in Mahore overpowered two militants and the LG rewarded the, Rs 5 lakh and DGP Rs 2 lakh. The rare display of bravery, however, did not end at this. It triggered a controversy as one of the detained duo Talib Hussain Shah, has led BJP’s IT cell till late May. The Muslim hosts of the duo tactfully disarmed them and later overpowered them well before they could leave for Kulgam. On Shah’s disclosures, police raided Draj area in Rajouri and recovered six sticky bombs, one pistol along with three magazines, including two Glock pistols and one 30 bore pistol, one under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) along with three UBGL grenades, 75 rounds of AK-47, 15 rounds of Glock pistol and four rounds of 30 bore, besides an improvised explosive device (IED) remote with an antenna.

However, what made the incident very special was the revelation that Talib was a BJP activist and even headed the rightwing party’s IT Cell. His Facebook page revealed many stories. “Talib Shah Bjp Bjp’’ is one part of his FB identity that carries “a purported photograph” of him with Ravinder Raina, BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir president Raina. Another photograph carried a message: “I support NaMo’’.

BJP’s Minority Morcha president Sheikh Bashir confirmed that Talib was made in charge of the IT and social media cell on May 9, 2022, as he worked for the party for quite some time. “However, he did not attend any of the organisation meetings and later on May 27, he himself quit the party position and the organisation,” Bashir was quoted as saying. Congress and PDP seeking action against the BJP over the incident was expected.

The controversy triggered a huge appetite for knowing Talib, an erstwhile woodcutter who worked as a “social media” journalist and then joined BJP and militancy. A resident of Draj (Budhal), he has three brothers and one of them is a lecturer in a Jammu college. At the time of his arrest, he became a father. One of Talib’s cousins was an erstwhile militant.

Police and BJP say the Taliban took political cover to continue his activities and they have evidence to suggest that he was behind the trail of subversive activities in the border belt for the last few years. In order to wriggle out of the mess, BJP has issued a show-cause notice to Bashir and is seeking an NIA probe into the whole affair.

More than six lakh people have availed the benefit of free medical insurance cover that cost Rs 693 crore so far.

SRINAGAR

For the first time in history, the 252-room Centaur Lakeview Hotel is locked since June 14, as authorities have asked its 160 staffers to stay away. It was a special jail for most of Kashmir’s politicians after the government binned Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019. Constructed in 1982, it has seen various Prime Ministers in the last 40 years. In 2005, when the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service started, a delegation from Pakistan-administered Kashmir stayed in this hotel. The government took it over after the Hotel Corporation of India was accused of violating the lease agreement. The takeover was faster than its earlier conversion into a special jail. An employee said he had taken Rs 4400 from a guest and it was to be credited to the account of the hotel but they were not given that much of time and the money is still with him. Hotel Corporation has moved to Supreme Court.

Jammu and Kashmir owe a whopping Rs 9642.15 crore to energy suppliers.

URI

Kashmir leopard

The man-eater leopard that killed three kids has finally been shot dead. The elusive hunt continued for almost a month. Rashid Naqash, a top Wildlife officer said the animal was killed in the Bernate area, Army and police were also part of the operation alongside the wildlife. Almost 10 hunting parties were tasked to kill the 10-year-old man-eater.

Police said they killed 64.1 per cent of the new militants this year as only 26.6 per cent of them could live for more than 12 months after they joined militancy. In fact, 28.1 per cent were killed within one month, 54.7 per cent within six months and 59.4 per cent within nine months.

GUPKAR

A smaller partner, JKPM has deserted the Gupkar Alliance, the PAGD. Dr Farooq Abdullah, however, said they were tasked to break the alliance but they fell on their own. The alliance is planning to context assembly elections jointly.  “We will contest the elections together. There is a political party that said that they have left the alliance. The truth is that they were never part of the alliance. They had come to break us from within,” Dr Abdullah said. “We intend to contest the elections together as it is the will of the people that we should strive together for the restoration of our lost dignity. We will fight for our rights and stand together against the sufferings and difficulties we are facing,” Mehbooba added. It was after these statements that BJP’s national general secretary Tarun Chugh termed PAGD, an “expired injection”.

As many as 88 golfers from the Addicts Golfing Society of Southern India joined their local counterparts in Golf tourism in Srinagar.

SRINAGAR

IAS officer Athar Amin Khan is engaged with Dr Mehreen Qazi, a Srinagar resident.

Social media is an addiction. When Athar Aamir Khan fell in love with Tina Dabi – both while being trained as administrators in the IAS academy, every moment of theirs was a social media hit. Their marriage was also a huge event and tragically when they separated it was again national news. Later, Tina married her colleague and the new couple moved to the newspaper front pages again. A month later, when Khan decided to give marriage another life, by getting engaged to Dr Mehreen Qazi, it also became major news. This time, however, the focus was on the medico bride. A doctor, Mehreen calls herself a dreamer and an achiever. A resident of Lal Bazar, she has MD in medicine and works in Delhi. She has studied in the UK.

National Highways Ministry has granted Rs 1337.51 crore for the Jammu-Akhnoor (NH-144) section of the highway for 4-laneing.

 DELHI

Navin K Chudhury

In the alleged kickbacks case involving the Chenab basin Kiru power project case, the CBI, raided 16 spots – two places in Srinagar, five each in Jammu and Delhi, three in Mumbai and one in Patna, mostly on homes and properties belonging to the associates of senior IAS officer, Navin Choudhary, who was recently shifted out to Manipur.  “The CBI recovered over Rs 21 lakh cash during the raids besides sensitive documents, electronic gadgetries etc. The investigating agency detected that several shell companies had been floated in New Delhi by one Amrendra Kumar Singh, whose flats were also raided today, and Anita Choudhary wife of Navin Choudhary had taken Rs 28 lakh per year from KK Resorts as well as the shell company for rendering accountancy work though she had no such experience,” reports said. In Srinagar, the raids were carried out at the Bemina home and Rangreth steel plant of Shahid Kamli, a business leader. Others whose premises were raided include KK Resorts at Talab Tillo Bohri, owned by Vijay Gupta, his nephew Ricky Gupta, chartered accountant Rakesh Kumar Gupta, and Ritesh Gupta. Besides, the federal investigator searched at the premises of Rupen Patel, the promoter of Patel Engineering Limited at Santa Cruz in Mumbai, and various other functionaries of the company including Vaibhav Patel, James Kurian and Amrendra Kumar Singh in New Delhi. Delhi premises raided belonged to Amrendra Kumar. There was a raid in Bihar as well.

For June, the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir has declined was 17.2, slightly less than 18.3 per cent in May.

DELHI

Congress State President G A Mir addressing people in South Kashmir.
Congress State President G A Mir addressing people in South Kashmir.

The fiction-ridden, Congress party in Jammu and Kashmir in Jammu and Kashmir is heading for a change in leader after Ghulam Ahmad Mir put in his papers. He has been heading the party since 2015 succeeding Prof Saifuddin Soz.  A two-time MLA and former state minister, Mir, 66, belongs to Dooru (South Kashmir), and has been close to the Gandhis in Delhi. Off late, however, he saw the emergence of strong opposition within the party and the other group was supportive of Ghulam Nabi Azad. Now the party is being restructured in Jammu and Kashmir.

Families whose soldier members will fall in the line of duty in Jammu and Kashmir will now be paid Rs 25 lakh by the government.

GUREZ

Gurez resident, Mustafa Ibn Jameel, 27, has handwritten the Quran in seven months on a 500-metre scroll paper. This fetched him a mention in the Lincoln Book of Records. “Mustafa Ibni Jameel, son of Jameel Ahmad Lone set a new record by writing the Holy Quran on a 500-meter white scroll paper.” The paper had 14.5-inch width and the record attempt was recorded in Delhi. He got into calligraphy after he failed in matriculation and dropped out. Passionate about calligraphy, Mustafa has spent a lot of money on it.

In a week, 100 thousand pilgrims had Darshan at the cave shrine of Amarnath. Authorities hope the number in 42 days will cross eight lakh.

SRINAGAR

Insisting that he personally was a “participant” and not a mere eyewitness to the drama that took place in Kashmir post-partition till 1975, Dr Karan Singh hoped the Government returns Jammu and Kashmir its status of a full-fledged state. “So I have seen the entire drama before my own eyes. I have been a participant in this drama and not only a witness to all this, but a participant,” Dr Karan Singh, the only Sadr-e-Reyasat of Jammu and Kashmir said while speaking at a function at Amar Singh Club where he was felicitated for his lifelong achievements. “The latest event in the drama was the 2019 August when drastic changes took place and we became a Union Territory”. He addressed Manoj Sinha: “I can say as you have been saying that Article 370 is temporary, I have the faith that the UT status of Jammu and Kashmir is also temporary. Very soon we will get back our statehood.” He added: “It is tremendously important that the political process continues (because) whenever the political processes get frozen, the society also gets frozen,” Dr Singh said, insisting, “We are hopeful the political process will start soon.”

After a hiatus of 12 years, 14 retired and 14 serving Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services (JKAS) officers were inducted into the Indian Administrative Services (IAS).

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