Briefing July 4 – 10, 2021

JAMMU

A senior Police officer used drones into service for surveillance in Srinagar, other parts of Valley on Monday, March 23, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Two drones overflying the IAF station at Jammu – located only 14 km away from the India Pakistan border, dropped a kilogram each of payload and flew back unscathed is not an ordinary event. One bomb landed on the administrative building, not far away from a helicopter hangar and the other exploded in the lawns. Two personnel – Arvind Singh and SK Singh survived with mild injuries. Given the crucial nature of the attack, the case was quickly handed over to NIA as NSG also joined the investigations. Police believe it was a terror attack. Delhi raised the issue at the United Nations and Pakistan rejected its involvement.

While the take-off point of the drones is yet to be determined, the real issue is how to manage the new war that could have drones as a key element. Army Chief said they are developing the counter-drone capabilities. Prime Minister presided over a high-level meeting in this regard. This is happening at a time when the security grid believes the drones are in use on the Line of Control (LoC). Drones, they believe dropped weapons almost 10 km deep inside Rajouri twice last year when five instances of weapon airdropping by drones were reported in 2020 and one in 2019. Now every day, drone sightings are being reported around Jammu and even one in Srinagar. Authorities have banned the use of all kinds of drones and even asked owners to hand them over to the police.

Security experts believe that these little flying machines are not merely remote controlled but are satellite managed and this capacity is with Russia, China and the US. Almost all the members of the security grid in Jammu and Kashmir have their little flying machines. In Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone have around 50 DJI MAVIC2 drones, fitting with infrared-sensing systems and a fully stabilised three-axis camera.

For violating Covid19 protocol, Jammu and Kashmir Police recovered Rs 18986690 from 131560 people besides sending 1098people to jail in 528 police cases.

CHANDIGARH

Amir Hassan Mir, a resident of Bomai in Sopore, was found dead in his hostel in Punjab.

Amir Hassan, 21, a resident of Bomai in Sopore was found dead in his hostel room at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Chandigarh, where he was pursuing BSc in Nursing. The family alleges he was murdered as the two students who informed the administration about his death were his seniors who had completed their degrees already and had no reason to be there. Eldest of the four siblings, Aamir’s father would cycle 4 km to work to earn Rs 5,000 and pay Amir’s fees.

India has deployed 50,000 troops on the Sino-Indian border taking the total to around 200 thousand.

AHMADABAD

The Adani Corporate House at Ahmedabad will have a Kashmir mural on its walls. Designed by Kashmir artist, Veer Munhsi, implemented by Padma Bushan papier machie artists Fayaz Ahmad Jan and his team, the artwork was managed by Rajiv Sethi, a Kashmir origin designer who heads Heritage Foundation and is designing Adani Corporate House. Before being flown to Ahmadabad, the artwork was on display in Srinagar for two days. The mural comprises two sets containing sixteen fragments and is one of the perfectly done pieces of papier machie.

HUMHAMA

Racing for career, Kashmir young girls at a JK Police recruitment rally at Humhama Srinagar in June 2021. Photo: JKP

More than 1500 Kashmiri girls defied Covid19 fears and participated in physical endurance tests to get into the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Right now, the first step of the process to raise two women battalions is completed. For three days, the CRPF RTC Ground Humhama remained extremely busy with the candidates being called in groups to compete in physical endurance tests. Those appearing for the tests included some driven by unemployment and a few who had always dreamed of joining the police.

More than 800 central laws have been extended to Jammu and Kashmir since august 5, 2019

 KULGAM

Zakir Naik Bashir, 17, killed in the encounter at Chimmer Kulgam

Police says it is just a rumour but the facts on the ground suggest that one of the three “militants” killed in an encounter at Chimmer, a godforsaken village, more than 80 km north of Srinagar, is a cricketer who lacks any link with militancy. Identified as Zakir Bashir, he was playing cricket with friends for most of June 28. Police says he was missing since June 18 and had joined militants, an allegation that lacks evidence on the ground. The family alleged that he had returned home after the pesticide spray in the orchard when he was dragged out and killed. Police have denied and are publicly saying it will book the people who spread the “rumour”.

GUJARAT

Bashir Ahmad Baba showing his degree certificates that he earned while in jail for 11 years in Gujarat. He reached home on June 29, 2021, after the court acquitted him of all charges. KL Image: Ibtisam Fayaz Khan

After around 11 years, a Gujarat court has acquitted Rainawari (Srinagar) resident Bashir Ahmad of all charges under UAPA. He moved out of Central Jail Vadodra carrying the photographs of his father, who died while he was incarcerated and the courts denied him parole to join his funeral. The 87-page verdict came on June 19, when the court upheld Bashir’s arguments and detected holes in police allegations that Bhat had come to set up base for Hizb ul Mujahideen and was externally funded. Bashir was actually in the middle of a fortnight-long training course with a Gujarat NGO for cleft lip management when Gujarat Police arrested him on March 13, 2010. As he reached home, the family broke into a sort of a celebration. “How do I describe how I felt?” he told a reporter. “It was a moment of immense joy and sadness simultaneously.”

TRAL

Two gunmen, suspected to be Jaish-e-Muhammd militants, killed a special police official, his wife and daughter in Tral’s Hariparigam village. The slain SPO, Fayaz Ahmad, has been working as a carpenter while being an SPO. His wife Raja Begum and daughter, Rafia received bullets while saving him from the assailants. The only survival was Fayaz’s daughter in law and her minor daughter. She said she was speared only after she begged with her daughter in the lap. Her husband Liyaqat is an army soldier and was on duty. While Fayaz died on the spot, the two others died during the subsequent 12 hours in the hospital. The killings were widely condemned. A number of political leaders visited the family and expressed their sympathies with them.

In Maloora, located in the outskirts of Srinagar, the counter-insurgency grid arrested a Lashkar militant Nadeem Abrar hours before an encounter and said he was killed in the subsequent gun battle. Kashmir Police Chief, Vijay Kumar said a posse of the personnel accompanying Abrar came under fire when they took him to a house for recovery of arms.

SRINAGAR

Justice Hasnain Masoodi
Former High Court judge, Hasnain Masoodi (KL Image)

National Conference MP, Hasnain Masoodi, a former judge of the High Court took the steam out of the argument that nobody can talk about Article 370 because it is in the court. The 25 petitions against the reading down of Article 370 does not stand in Delhi’s way to undo the injustice, he has said. Despite the CAA having 144 petitions, it was an electoral issue and Kerala and West Bengal Assemblies passed resolutions against it. “People are not as gullible as the leaders believe, and do very well understand the game plan,” Masoodi was quoted saying.

Under Special Assistance Scheme for COVID Mortalities – SASCM, Jammu and Kashmir’s 512 beneficiaries will get Rs 1000, a month and yearly scholarship of Rs 20,000 for school going students and Rs 40,000 for college-going students.

BHADERWAH

Several locals of various panchayats of Bhaderwah had assembled on Bhaderwah-Pul Doda road and blocked the road, demanding road connectivity to their panchayats.

It needs the courage to talk and demand something. The police booked eight persons including four Sarpanches and a teacher of a government school for violating Covid19 protocol. They had actually protested against the inordinate delay in the construction of 1.5 kilometres road and had stopped the cavalcade of Farooq Khan, adviser to Lt Governor, who was on his way to Bhaderwah. A day later, police booked them under Sections 188 IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Section 51 of Disaster Management Act read with Section-3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1997. The accused include Sajid Mir (Sarpanch Kulsari), Majid Khan (Amera Nagar), Firdous Butt, Anchal Singh (Kulshari), teacher Kuldeep Kumar (Lamout Daranga), Raju (Sarpanch Sungli), Yasir (Sarpanch Nalthi) and Ayaz Khan (Sarpanch Dandi). SHO Bhaderwah said more are being arrested.

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