Briefing July 11-17, 2021

SOPORE

Masarat Kar, one of the NC councillors from Sopore talking to the media before the start of the meeting on May 29, 2021. When they were in the meeting, two of the members and a cop were killed in a militant attack.

National Conference (NC) finally got the leadership of Sopore Municipal Council after Masarat Kar – the daughter of Ghulam Rasool Kar, defeated PDP by polling 12 of the 18 votes. The position was vacant since January 2021.  The council was the target of a surprise attack by militants in March in which two councillors and a cop were killed.

Jammu Kashmir Police received around 40 thousand applications against 1350 available positions.

RIYADH

OIC General secretariat members

In an interesting development, India’s Saudi Arabia ambassador Ausaf Syed called on OIC Secretary-General Yousef A Al Othaimeen on July 5. In a statement issued by the OIC, it was stated that the top official of the moribund organisation had proposed to send a delegation to Jammu and Kashmir. He also claimed to raise the “situation of Muslims in India” and “relevant UN and OIC resolutions opposing any unilateral actions” on the Kashmir issue. He also suggested playing host to India and Pakistan if the parties request. In Delhi, MEA said Ausaf actually cautioned the OIC against being used by “vested interests” (read Pakistan). It also rejected the OIC’s proposal to facilitate talks between Delhi and Islamabad. “During the meeting, a wide range of issues were discussed. Our ambassador conveyed the need to correct some of the misperceptions about India that are perpetrated by vested interests in the OIC,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. “The OIC should be watchful that their platform is not subverted by these vested interests for comments on internal affairs of India or for anti-India propaganda through biased and one-sided resolutions.”

Flying perishable fruits to Dubai would cost Rs 128 per kilogram and within India less than Rs 55.

HANDWARA

A group of counter-insurgent forces at an encounter site in the Kawarigam Ranipora area of Anantnag on Saturday, July 10, 2021. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Jammu Kashmir police said they arrested Mehraj-ud-din Halwai, 35, a Hizb ul Mujahideen militant operating with code name Ubaid from the Burhan era. A day later, he was reported killed in an encounter in a Handwara village. Police said they were taking the arrested militant to a hideout where he “picked up his hidden AK-47 rifle and started firing indiscriminately” upon the joint search party, which led to an encounter. In the ensuing firefight, he was killed. This is the third instance in which militants were arrested and later reported killed. Lashkar militant, Nadeem Abrar, was killed on June 29, and Mohammad Amin Malik, brother of a slain militant, was killed on June 4, almost in similar circumstances.

Kashmir produces around 13000 Metric Tons of cherry a year

JAMMU

BSF shoots down drone in Kathua; M-4 rifle, grenades recovered

Drones are the new headache in Jammu and Kashmir. After the two explosives were dropped within the premises of the IAF station Jammu on June 27, leaving two personnel injured, authorities have taken a series of measures. The use of drones in most of Kashmir and Ramban has been banned. In Srinagar, the police have asked the drone owners to deposit their little flying instruments with the police. This has created a huge crisis for professionals whose drones were linked to their livelihood. Now authorities have declared Raj Bhawan and Civil Secretariat Jammu as ‘no-fly zones’ for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). “There shall be complete prohibition on flying of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) overall areas/venues in district Jammu as and when the lieutenant governor is scheduled to visit in connection with the holding of events,” a government order reads. What is interesting is that the order permits drone-flying over other landmarks in Jammu, unlike all other districts. This is despite the fact Jammu is the only district that witnessed a drone attack and where drone sightings are quite common.

CHANDIGARH

Punjab Police have arrested two soldiers – deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, for spying for ISI. Identified as Harpreet Singh, 23, posted with 19-RR in Anantnag and Gurbhej Singh, 23, an 18-Sikh Light Infantry clerk, posted in Kargil had shared pictures of over 900 classified documents – pertaining to national security, according to DGP Punjab Police, Dinkar Gupta. They have shared these photographs with Ranvir Singh, a smuggler. The common thread in the trio was that they belonged to the same village. Police were probing a drug case when Ranvir spilt the beans.

10 scholars, graduates from IIT Jammu, IIM Jammu, NIT Srinagar, and other National Institutes having requisite work experience and have qualified GATE, MAT, NET examinations will be selected for a 2-year LG Sustainable Development Fellowship with Rs 60,000 per month.

MUMBAI

The tragedy king and Bollywood’s first super-star, Yousuf Khan aka Dileep Kumar (1922-2021)

Actor Yusuf Khan aka Dileep Kumar’s death at 98, after being unwell for years, laid bare his Kashmir connections that were pushed to the margin of the history of Bollywood’s first superstar and the tragedy king. Son of Sarwar Khan, a Pathan trader who would purchase and sell Kashmiri apples, Kumar and his brother had spent eight months when the two were infected by TB. They lived with Drabus’ at Rajpora. Being in love with Kashmir, Kumar would spend, most of his summers in Pahalgam and Nishat flying with his friends and family. Admitting that he had ideated most of his plots during his Srinagar sojourns, Kumar was keen to work on a film Kar-e-Begar, around pre-partition forced labour, a project he abandoned like Kalinga. He also could not set up a film studio in Srinagar he was so keen to do. Kumar had interviewed the famous Pakistani singer Noor Jehan in Srinagar for Doordarshan.

The Government has approved the land allotment to two industrial units in Kashmir with a possible investment of Rs 430.4 crore and jobs to 100 people.

KOLKATA

Dr Syama Prasad Mookerji

Almost 70years after, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, a monk turned lawyer has submitted a PIL before the Calcutta High Court seeking an investigation into the “mysterious” death rightwing ideologue, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee in Srinagar on June 23, 1953.  Mookerjee, a minister in undivided Bengal and later in Nehru’s cabinet, was the youngest VC of Calcutta University. He was detained by Sheikh Abdullah’s government in Kathua on May 11, 1953, for violating the entry rules into the state. According to details mentioned in the petition, Mookerjee and his two companions were first taken to Central Jail, Srinagar and later transferred to a cottage outside the city. Mookerjee’s condition started deteriorating and he was diagnosed with dry pleurisy from which he had also suffered in 1937 and 1944. The doctor prescribed him a streptomycin injection and powders, however, Mookerjee informed him that his family physician had told him that streptomycin did not suit him. The doctor, however, told him that new information about the drug had come to light and assured him that he would be fine. On June 22, he felt pain in the heart region, started perspiring and started feeling like he was fainting. He was later shifted to a hospital and provisionally diagnosed with a heart attack. He died a day later. If the petition is permitted, reports said it will open a pandora’s box where similar efforts have opened up many unheard details of leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose and Lal Bahadur Shastri. The petition wants investigations by a Supreme Court judge.

GANDERBAL

The Assam Riflewomen have been deployed in Ganderbal.

After parts of Kupwara, the Army has deployed women soldiers from Assam Rifles to man checkpoints on the highway to Ladakh. They are primarily tasked to check narcotics and weapon smuggling, reports in media said. Confirming the deployment and the task, 34 Assam Rifles Commanding Officer, RS Karakoti said the female soldiers are a force multiplier as they bridge the gap between forces and the female population.

MHA said it has issued four orders regarding correcting 64 spellings or grammatical errors in Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act that parliament passed in August 2019.

SRINAGAR

It took a few days for the residents in a Srinagar bypass locality to understand that a house located in a remote corner is being abused by its new tenant. They rang up police and the raid led to the arrest of five women from different localities. The residents also identified the auto’s that were offering the special service to the clients of the white leather trader, whose name is still not being revealed. The house basically belonged to an old city butcher who had rented it to a doctor. When the latter constructed his own house, the premises was rented out to somebody who offered better rent only to start a white leather cartel. Within a week or so, the residents ensured the business closes. When the relatives of the house-owner tried to rescue the kingpin, the locals beat him, witnesses said.

 

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