Briefing July 26 – August 1, 2020


A museum coming up in the memory of Sir Marc Aurel Stein (26 November 1862 – 26 October 1943), the Hungarian Botanist and archaeologists who gave Kashmir what no other researcher could give. It is the same spot where he did a major translation work for Kashmir..

Almost nine decades back when Hungarian archaeologist Sir A Stein was wandering in the meadows of Lar (Ganderbal) he sat down at Mohand Marg and started translating the Rajatarangini from Sanskrit to English, he would have never thought that one day a museum dedicated to him will be set at the same place. Conceived in 2017, the tourism department has finally started the Rs 3 crore construction on the Stein Museum. It will be a Museum cum Tourist Facilitation Centre. The Mohana Marg located on banks of river Sindh at an altitude of 3400 meters is part of the Koaihama range overlooking Sindh valley with a panoramic view of Pir Panjal range, Gadsar range and Mount Kalahoi. After spending many summers at Mohan Marg meadows translating the Kalhana’s chronicle, Stein erected a memorial at the place to commemorate his achievement.


Real Kashmir Football team and Chennai Football club players playing I-league football match at TRC Synthetic Turf on Thursday December 26 ,2019. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Shamim Meraj, one of the co-owner of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC), who gifted the glory of football back to Kashmiris, is no longer associated with the club. Reportedly it has happened two months back when the team participated in the last I-League match but it has now come in the public notice but both the owners are tight-lipped about the reasons behind this development. Now Sandeep Chatoo is the sole owner of the Club.


Two teachers, two classes and one classroom.

The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has revised a chapter in its Class 12 political science textbook in which it has removed a portion on “separatist” politics in Jammu and Kashmir and added abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, by the Centre on August 5, 2019. The NCERT has revised the chapter in the textbook Politics in India Since Independence for the academic session 2020-21. In a chapter on Regional Aspirations, a section titled 2002 and Beyond has been added. It lays out the history of coalition governments in Jammu and Kashmir between 2002 and 2014, the death of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and his daughter becoming the first woman Chief Minister of the State. “During the tenure of Mehbooba Mufti, major acts of terrorism, mounting external and internal tensions were witnessed,” it says, adding that President’s rule was imposed in June 2018 after the BJP withdrew its support to the Mufti government.  Meanwhile, the NCERT has also replaced the old map of Jammu and Kashmir in Class 12 political science textbook from this year. NCERT textbooks are used by all schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and several state boards have also adopted these books.


Kashmir artist Masood Hussain’s recent work making a demand for the restoration of high-speed internet for fighting the Coronavirus.

As per a report by vpnMentor, the VPN apps which were used in Jammu and Kashmir after the government suspended internet last year and later blocked many websites, it has come to fore that most of these VPN apps were insecure and the personal data of millions of users who installed them on their phones has been leaked. The report claims that the user data of seven Hong Kong-based VPN providers has been leaked online. The VPN apps include UFO VPNFAST VPNFree VPNSuper VPNFlash VPNSecure VPN and Rabbit VPN. These services claim to have as many as 20 million users around the world. Researchers have discovered that the data of potentially all of these 20 million users was leaked online, totalling up to as much as 1.2TB worth of data.


Tony Ashai, a Kashmiri American architect

The Kashmir born celebrated architect Tony Ashai is in quite a mess after his tweet where he wrote on July 21, “Why do I feel that Kashmiris living in Kashmir could do more but they aren’t? Ever since Aug 5 last year I see Diaspora here in the US and elsewhere working day and night to advocate the cause but I don’t see the same energy among Kashmiris in Kashmir. Why?” His tweet led a sharp reaction over the social media and it finally reached the prime time news debate in India where he was accused of having “ISI links, a JKLF member and instigating violence in Kashmir.”

Ashia, who has been much vocal on social media about the human rights situation in Kashmir, has threatened that he will sue these people in California court for lying about him if they don’t apologise within 48 hours. In this virtual war from California to India and to Kashmir, the celebrities like Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan, Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan and many others were also accused of having ties with Tony Ashia. Many Kashmiris were supporting him who started with hastag #westandwithtonyashia.


Police arrested Abdul Majeed Khan, the husband of Rubeena, whose body was recovered from Nallah Sindh on July 14, claiming that it was actually Khan who had murdered his wife for having an extramarital affair. Khan while confessing his crime has said that he was suspecting his wife of having multiple love affair. The accused also suspected that his wife wanted to go back to her maternal home in West Bengal, which has led to heated arguments between the couple and the husband strangulated her to death. The accused has further disclosed that he kept her dead body in his shop for five days and later with the assistance of his brother Nissar Ahmad Khan threw the body into the river Sindh from Akhal Bridge.


Actress Mahira Sharma

The Big Boss 13 fame celebrity Mahira Sharma, who is actually from Jammu, is in Kashmir these days for her work. Excited about her Kashmir visit, she has said, “I’m so excited that I am in Kashmir. Jammu is though my hometown which is close by but I won’t be able to visit as it’s a difficult time, but while shooting here I will be reliving my growing up years. I am thrilled and if time allows, would like to see my cousins, of course, while maintaining a social distance. I am excited to be here and will make the most of it in this situation.”


Aditya Mahajan, Jammu’s Forensic Expert

Aditya Mahajan, an expert in the field of cyber and computer forensics, was recently listed among top 20 digital forensic professionals in India. The list was published by one of the scientists on a blog Aditya has done his master’s degree in digital forensics from the premier Gujarat forensic sciences university. He has worked with top consulting firms in India which include Deloitte and PwC (Price WaterHouse Coopers). Reportedly he has an experience of counts of multiple high profile cyber forensic investigations. He has worked on large corporate investigations involving business email compromise, whistleblower investigations, investigation of compromised servers, websites and systems involving malwares. He has worked on some global assignments involving different countries like USA, Dubai, Sri Lanka, and Germany.


As the Kashmir is battling with the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases everyday and the administrations imposed the lockdown second time to fatten the curve, Asma Mohidin, a food technology graduate, had an experiment at her father’s bakery shop where she prepared immunity-boosting bakery. She is hopeful that her innovation will be a star attraction on the coming festival Eid ul Azha. She has added spices and seeds that are easily available in the market in Kashmir, to her cookies which made them rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, B 6, Omega 3, and Omega 6. These things in turn have anti-inflammatory properties. This experiment has been approved by a food lab in Delhi.


The new building of Kashmir Nursing Home.

It was recently revealed that the authorities have spared the Kashmir Nursing Home on Srinagar’s erstwhile power street, the Gupkar Road, for the elites who get inflicted with the Covid-19 infection. A report suggested that the authorities were admitting asymptomatic Covid-19 cases from medical bureaucracy and the politics to this exclusive facility while the commoners with similar issues were put up in faraway places like NIT, Zakura facility of The University of Kashmir. Government has maintained silence over the issue. 


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