Briefing July 24-30, 2022

TIHAR JAIL

Dr Rubaiya Sayeed, who lives in Chennai, has identified Yasin Malik as one of her abductors.

Dr Rubaiya Sayeed, has appeared before the designated court in Jammu and identified Yasin Malik as one of her kidnappers in a 1989 case. Then, she was a medical intern and was kidnapped from Lal Ded. Later, she was released in barter of five jailed militants on the directions of the Government of India. Besides, Malik she identified Mohammad Zaman Mir, Mehraj-ud-Din Sheikh and Manzoor Ahmed Sofi. Yasin Malik, who is convicted for life in another case, has threatened to go on hunger strike if he is not permitted to personally cross-examine Rubaiya.

“She [Ms. Sayeed] was called as a witness to identify someone in the case. Yasin Malik has been in the public domain for a long time, so it was easy for her to identify him. Thirty-two years is a long time and people tend to forget a lot of things. But it was easy to identify Malik,” Ms Mehbooba Mufti said on the issue. “Rubaiya could not identify the other people, as 32 years is a long time. She only did her duty as per the law.”

This, however, landed Mehbooba in a controversy. “We may have a thousand disagreements with Yasin Malik, but he deserves a fair trial. He deserves a trial where he is able to present his side,” Sajad Lone said on this issue. “She (Mehbooba) is an advocate of reconciliation that we need to talk to Pakistan, Salahuddin or militants. If I was at her place, I would have adopted the other model; that of Priyanka Gandhi, who forgave her father’s killers.. Though it was wrong and we condemn that, in the spirit of reconciliation given that Malik is already under life imprisonment, the other way could have been adopted. I think the people of Kashmir should also see whether any mainstream party really wants reconciliation.”

In the latest National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), the University of Kashmir stands at No 53 – five ranks down from last year, and the University of Jammu at No 56, 10 points above the rank it had last year.

DODA

2 Houses, Shop Among Several Structures Damaged In Cloudburst In Doda on Wednesday, July 21, 2022

In areas straddling the Pir Panchal, it is the cloudburst time. Last week, at least three major cloudbursts were reported. In Doda, where the highway town of Thathri had a providential escape on July 9, as many as 13 structures were washed away and another 20 seriously damaged in flash floods in the Tanta area. Even the Tourist Reception Centre Kahara had serious damage. The inclement weather closed the Jammu Srinagar highway again as shooting stones and mudslides blocked the highway.

Ali Mohammad Sheikh, a resident of Wahidpora Ganderbal has donated one kanal of land to Waqf Board in memory of his deceased daughter.

KUNZAR

The four Kunzar boys who peddled their distance from Tangmarg to Leh in July 2022.

Four youth from Kunzer have completed their pedalling expedition to Ladakh in five days. Cycling the heights, they covered a distance of over 460 kilometres. They were a BBA student, Zahid Hilal Dar, Danish Hamid Sheikh, Syed Junaid and Ashique Ahmed Sheikh. They have been rehearsing for this long journey since 2021. Interestingly, Danish peddled almost 100 km a day despite having an iron rod inserted into his leg as part of earlier surgery.

After purchasing milk worth Rs 350 crore from Kashmir farmers, Amul India is seeking suitable land to set up a new dairy plant. This year it anticipates a turnover of Rs 325 crore.

KULGAM

Khushboo Aftab, an emerging lady cricketer from Kulgam

For Khushboo Aftab, now 18, it was a dream to play for the Jammu and Kashmir’s official cricket team. She put in a lot of effort and realised the dream in 2018-19 when she was included in the U-19 women’s team by Cricket Association. She is part of the team for three seasons now.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha announced a 10 per cent reservation in Jammu and Kashmir Police for the youth intending to join as Agniveers.

DAL LAKE

Tourists enjoying a sunset in Dal lake rendered golden by the sub. KL Image Bilal Bahadur

Kashmir’s Dal Lake may be the ultimate tourist destination but quite a few people know that it is seriously ailing. A red algal euglena has bloomed and is spreading fast. Currently, the disease is visible near the Dal pipeline bund at Nishat. This is for the first time after the 1990s when the algal mess has reappeared. Prof MRD Kundangar, who was invoked in the management of the lake in the 1990s, has said that the sub-microscopic creature is Euglena, which has animal and plant characteristics. It impacts the fish population. He links the blooms to “erratic massive de-weeding” , which led to the release of nutrients from the lake bottom. Ammoniac Nitrogen, one of the nutrients, he said is the main feeding source for the bloom.

The Government of India-led National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited (NIIFL) has acquired an equity stake in the Navayuga Quazigund Expressway Private Limited (NQEPL) for the US $380 million (Rs 3035 crore).

JAMMU

Ikkhutt Jammu founder Ankur Sharma addressed a press conference on March 6, 2021.

Jammu-based right-wing pressure group, IkkJutt Jammu led by lawyer, Ankur Sharma is seeking a separate Jammu state. To press for his demand he led almost 100 workers on the streets to court arrest. “The only rational, national and constitutional solution to the 75-year-old Jammu’s political problem is it’s separation from Kashmir Valley and grant of full state status” to it, Sharma said. “Otherwise historic reforms of August 5, 2019, have failed to produce the desired results.” Jammu apart, there were similar protests in Udhampur, Doda, Bhaderwah, Ramban, Kathua, Samba, Kishtwar, Reasi, Poonch and Rajouri. The RSS, it may be recalled here, had passed a resolution in 2002 calling for the trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.

The government acquired 2359.45 hectares of land in Jammu and Kashmir after August 2019.

POONCH

In quick succession, there were two fratricidal incidents. Two soldiers were killed and two others in Surankote garrison of 156 Territorial Army. Ibrar Ahmed of Kalakote died on the spot while three others including Makhan Singh, Khalil Ahmed and Imtiaz Ahmed were seriously injured. Imtiaz who allegedly opened fire died later. A day later, at Devika Temple in Udhampur, an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawan fired at his three colleagues causing them serious injuries before killing himself.  The Company was deployed at a temporary camp for Shri Amarnath yatra duty in Udhampur.

118 civilians, including five Kashmiri Pandits and 16 other Hindus and Sikhs, and 128 security personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

SHANGUS

Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan, the horse owner from South Kashmir’s Shangus area, died while saving an Amarnath-bound lady pilgrim on July 13, 2022. The photograph shows him as the groom, barely more than a year ago.

Imtiaz Ahmad Khan, 22, a horseman from Chitragul slipped down the slope while helping a lady pilgrim he was carrying to the cave shrine on his horse. “He (Imtiyaz) was walking his horse when he realized that the yatri was sleeping,” Nazir Khan, Imtiaz’s uncle said. “He seemed to be falling over from the saddle. He rushed to alert him and shook her up. As he was trying, he lost his balance and fell down the cliff.” Khan belonged to Chateragul village down south Kashmir. It has been a huge loss to the family that lost its main breadwinner. The family had sold a patch of land to own a horse so that Khan can help the family. Apart from his wife and eight-month-old daughter, Imtiaz had a partially blind father, two sisters and a younger brother. The family hopes the government and the SASB help them.

The government has provided land to industrial projects intending to invest Rs 36,000 crore.

POONCH

Rozina, a resident of Pakistan, was arrested in Poonch’s Chakan da Bagh area in third week of July 2022, after she crossed the LoC.

A Pakistan resident, Rozina, 49, was arrested in Poonch after she crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and entered Chakkan Da Bagh area. Police are investigating if the crossover was deliberate or inadvertent.

KUPWARA

The government has ordered a magisterial enquiry in an anti-militancy operation at Chandigam Lolab in which four militants were reported killed. The sub-divisional magistrate Lolab has been appointed as enquiry officer. Police had said that they killed four militants including three Pakistanis and a local, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh of Sedow Shopian. However, the political class in Kashmir strongly reacted to the claims and said Sheikh was already in custody.

SRINAGAR

Bilal Ahmad, a Mathematics teacher, who built a solar car in Srinagar.

Sanat Nagar Mathematics teacher Bilal Ahmad, who put in his earnings into a car that runs on solar energy, has been noticed by Industrialist Anand Mahindra. Heaping praises on the man who worked on the project for 11 years, the billionaire businessman has offered him assistance from his team at Mahindra Research Valley who can work alongside the inventor to develop it further. “Bilal’s passion is commendable. I applaud his single-handedly developing this prototype. Clearly, the design needs to evolve into a production-friendly version. Perhaps our team at Mahindra Research Valley can work alongside him to develop it further,” Mahindra’s tweet reads.

JAMMU

Amid pro-election mood, reports suggest the government may go for filling the vacancies in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), District Development Councils (DDCs) and Panchayats network through a by-election before 2022 comes to a close. Elections to the PRI are due in November-December 2023.  “If the Election Commission of India decides to hold Assembly elections in the Union Territory in November-December, the by-elections to Municipal boVisit Sitedies, DDCs and Panchayats can be held simultaneously. Even if the Assembly polls are deferred, the by-polls can be conducted,” some unnamed official sources were quoted as having said by a Jammu newspaper.

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