Briefing July 3 -9, 2022

RAMBAN

Aamir Ahmad Magrey, a Gool resident who was killed in the Hyderpora encounter on November 15, 2021. Police term him a militant but the family says it is untrue.

It has been a roller coaster ride for the Rmban family to reclaim the corpse of their son, Aamir Magrey, who was killed in a controversial encounter at Hyderpora on November 15, 2021. The family eventually dropped the demand and asserted compensation. A single bench court had invoked fundamental rights to order the exhumation. The Jammu and Kashmir administration got it stayed from a higher bench and the family went to Supreme Court in appeal. The Supreme Court requested the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to consider the plea for the grant of compensation to Muhammad Latief Magrey for the death of his son as the family does not want to press the exhumation of the body from a graveyard in deep north Kashmir. The High Court last week upheld the order of a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Aamir Magrey but refused exhumation. The division bench comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javed Wani, finally, permitted the father, Lateef Magrey, and nine others a Fateh at the Wadeer Payeen graveyard. Police believe the slain youth was an overground worker but the family does not accept it.

Automobile workshop owner, Abdul Hamid Bhat has planted two lakh trees in barren lands under Rahim Greens.

BEIJING

G-7 leaders in a group photograph after the meeting on June 27, 2022.

The government on June 24 announced that Jammu and Kashmir will 2023 meetings of G-20, an influential group in the world. A committee was constituted to oversee the event preparations taking place for the first time in history. If held, it will be the first major international summit to be held in Jammu and Kashmir after its special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution of India was withdrawn and the state was divided into two federally governed union territories in August 2019. “Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory has to make arrangements for the historical international event if it is finally assigned to it,” sources in MEA told the media. The ministry had to consult G-20 members to fix the venue and time.

Within a day after the announcement, Islamabad sharply reacted to the plan. It announced that it will reach out to G20 countries against Delhi’s idea because Jammu and Kashmir is “an internationally recognised disputed territory”. Soon, Beijing took over asking all sides to avoid “politicising” the issue. “We have noted relevant information,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a media briefing. “China’s position on Kashmir is consistent and clear cut. It is a legacy issue between India and Pakistan. It should be properly resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements.” He suggested “relevant parties” to “avoid complicating the situation with the unilateral move”.

Manoj Sinha’s administration ordered the premature retirement of nine employees of the housing and urban development department for misappropriation of funds, falsification of records and raising fake bills, allowing illegal constructions, committing financial irregularities and making illegal appointments, during their tenure in various urban local bodies.

DELHI

Amid biting cold, an elderly man was being carried on a wheelchair by his relatives towards a polling booth situated at Ganderbal so that he could cast his vote for the 3rd phase of DDC elections on Friday, December 4 2020.
Kl Image by Bilal Bahadur

With the Election Commission of India (ECI) directing the special Summary Revision of electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir, there is a feeling that Jammu and Kashmir may be approaching elections later this year. Defence Minister had already talked on these lines. Jammu and Kashmir has not updated the rolls for three years and the process is important because delimitation of assembly constituencies has taken place. The rolls will be published on October 31. The Special Summary Revision couldn’t be held in Jammu and Kashmir for the last three years in 2019, 2020 and 2021. It wasn’t conducted in 2019 due to the August 5 decisions of the Central Government while in 2020 and 2021 it was deferred because of delimitation.

Creating a record, so far more than 12 lakh tourists visited Kashmir

GERMANY

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga and the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison at the QUAD Summit, in Washington DC, USA on September 24, 2021.

During his recent G7 meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a hand-knotted silk carpet, a signature product from Kashmir, to his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau. On his foreign tours and while hosting foreign dignitaries, Modi has been gifting special handicrafts from Kashmir to the guests.

The High Court has stayed a government order that wanted educational activities to stop in schools operating from encroached upon pieces of land. The 155 schools have more than two lakh students on their rolls.

JAMMU

Basant Rath talking with the media.

After “politicians” like Fayaz Scorpio and Mohammad Shafi, the Baber Sher, made post-2019 Kashmir politics popular, the political class is on a high. It has encouraged senior police officer, Basant Rath, currently, an IGP, to call it a day and join the politics. A series of tweets by the poet-maverick suggested that he has resigned and will be joining the BJP. He has even said he will contest polls from Jammu and Kashmir and is willing to fight against Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, his erstwhile bosses. He believed that all the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have remained the B-team of BJP at one or the other time. So far, however, officials said that they have not received Rath’s resignation letter. Even if it reaches the relevant desk, officials said it is unlikely to be accepted as he is facing a departmental enquiry. BJP has not reacted to the development.

Only 13 per cent of families in Jammu and Kashmir have some kind of health insurance scheme covering at least one member of the household.

GANDERBAL

An elderly Muslim bids tearful goodbye to a neighbour pandit girl on her marriage in Ganderbal in June 2022

Kashmir’s tragedy is that events that have remained part of the routine for centuries are becoming news. The latest was Muslims actively participating in the marriage of a Kashmir Pandit girl in Lar (Ganderbal).  Meenakshi Kumari, daughter of late Pandit Mohan Lal, was seen off by the family’s Muslim neighbours after three days of joint celebrations. Muslims attended the wedding the same way they would attend their own – but that is how marriages take place in mixed populated areas. Pandit families are used to having a special feast for the Muslims and vice versa.

Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank) will raise up to Rs 2,000 crore, through a mix of debt and equity, in fiscal 2022-23.

BANGALURU

Junaid Majeed Bhat

Kashmiri student, Junaid Majeed Bhat has bagged the inaugural pan-TIFR Prof S Naranan Memorial Research Award, which honours young researchers for their contributions within the TIFR community. Junaid is a graduate of the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), currently nearing his PhD. He was selected for this highly competitive award “for his outstanding contribution in the physics of transport in linear chain systems for varied fields of research. His works provide a new direction in the study of classical and quantum transport of heat and charge in ordered and disordered low dimensional systems.”

A resident of Handawar, Junaid did his masters in Physics from NIT Rourkela, following which he got admission at ICTS – one of the TIFR institutions.  “For the past two years, I am probing how energy and particles move from one end to another end, from one place to another place,” Bhat said on phone. Offering details about the award for his work, Junaid said he was nominated by one of his supervisors and a committee reviewed all the nominations that eventually acknowledged my work. “This is for the first time the ward is being given. In a way, I am fortunate to be the first person to get the award but I do not have any idea about what it carries other than a citation and acknowledgement of my work.”

Centre sanctioned four lanning of Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri section of the highway in Kashmir at a cost of Rs 823.45 crore. A budget of Rs 2574 crore was approved for two sections of the Delhi-Katra expressway.

ANANTNAG

It was a tragedy in the dusky Chattergul village. Arif Ahmad, a young boy, was on his motorcycle and collided with a passenger vehicle in the Shangus area. He died soon after. As the news of the tragedy reached his home, his father, Abdul Rahim had a cardiac arrest and died within moments. The coffins of father and son moved out together.

The State Investigation Agency (SIA) is investigating 1000 SIM card vendors in Kashmir

BANDIPORE

Wullar Lake is just not the Asia’s largest fresh water lake or a Ramsar site alone. It offers livlihood to tens of thousands of people living on its shores. These women are home bound after collecting the waternuts, a major small econmy of the area. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

In order to prevent the further conversion of the Wullar lake into a landmass, the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir are contemplating constructing a non-motorable walkway around the major freshwater lake of the subcontinent. Apart from adding scenic beauty, it is expected to make further encroachments impossible. In phase one, a walkway will come up between Banyari bridge to Naaz Nallah including the approach road to Delta Park at a cost of Rs 19.42 crore. The project is very crucial as authorities believe almost 640 kanals of the lake stand encroached upon.

WASHINGTON

Three Jammu Kashmir photojournalists Mukhtar Khan (second from L-R), Dar Yasin and Channi Annand in a group photograph after receiving their Pultizer Prize on June 26, 2022. They work for AP and AP and were given the prize for their coverage of post-2019 Kashmir.

Two Kashmiri photojournalists Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan, and their Jammu colleague Chani Ananad were among several other scribes, poets and authors who were bestowed with the Pulitzer Prizes ceremony at Columbia University last week. Dar and Khan received the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Kashmir post-August 5, along with their Jammu colleague. “Receiving the Pulitzer Prize at Columbia University in New York,” Mukhtar Khan wrote on his Facebook wall. “What a great honour. A big thanks to both families AP and home. I am humbled.” The three Jammu and Kashmir scribes are photo-journalists working for the American news gatherer, Associated Press.

Yasin started his career as a videographer in 2004 as a freelancer with the AP. In 2006, he joined the agency as a full-fledged photographer. During his around

CHENNAI

A poster of the South Indian film, Sita Ramam, shot in the backdrop of the 1965 war

Actor Duqluer Salmaan has said that it felt like he was stepping into a photograph or a painting while he was shooting in Kashmir. He is part of Hanu Raghavapudi-directed period romantic drama, Sita Ramam, written against the backdrop of the 1965 war. The film was shot at Thajwass Glacier, Dal Lake, Jalali House, Rockstar house and in many other locales in Kashmir. “It’s hard to take in the depth and beauty of Kashmir with your eyes and believe you are witnessing it in person,” the actor said. “It’s that awe-inspiring. In a heartbeat, I would love to visit Gulmarg and Pahalgam.” The film follows the love story between a soldier played by Dulquer Salmaan and his lady love, played by Mrunalini Thakur. Rashmika Mandanna will also be playing a very significant role as Afreen in Sita Ramam.

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