Briefing June 26 – July 2, 2022

SRINAGAR

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

Srinagar’s Mathematics teacher, Bilal Ahmad, ruled the social media after he showcased his solar-powered car on which he said he has been working for 11 years. A resident of Sanat Nagar, Bilal is an automobile enthusiast. Initially, Ahmed planned to make a car for the disabled, but resource limitations prevented him to follow the project. His innovation has features of luxury cars and it runs on the electrical energy generated by the most efficient mono-crystalline solar panels. Fully automatic, the car mixes innovation with style and has gull-wing doors to compensate for space constraints. Still, it can be used by four people. Bilal said he spent Rs 15 lakh on the project. Minutes after the car was showcased, heaps of praise were showered over him. “It seems the car could one day also fly,” Omar Abdullah tweeted. “The car has solar panels on the body and a charging point inside”.

Ban of Falah-e-Aam Trust will impact 1915 students in 10 schools across Kashmir, the government said.

DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US Vice President Joe Biden during the former’s US visit a few years before Biden was elected as the President of the USA

In an ambitious and very significant development, Jammu and Kashmir is expected to host the G-20 meeting in 2023. This will be the first meeting of key global players to be in Srinagar formally and officially after the abrogation of Article 370. Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed a high-level committee to organise the biggest diplomatic conclave ever. G-20 represents almost 80 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the global population. Its members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. India will assume the G20 Presidency on December 1, 2022, from Indonesia, and will convene the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in India in 2023.

As many as 23470 wrote their Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to paramedical courses in Srinagar and Jammu at 39 centres.

PAHALGAM

Shakeel Ahmad, the tourist guide and a hiking expert, died in Upper Pahalgam while attempting to save a Uttrakhand tourist, Dr Mahesh – one of the 14-member group, on June 22, 2022.

Shakeel Ahmad, a tourist guide who had taken a group of nature-loving tourists on a trek to seven high-altitude lakes drowned along with Dr Mahesh, a resident from Uttarakhand. A professional hiking guide, Shakeel was leading the 13-member group down the lake site and helped them cross the basic Hamvas culvert. “Dr Mahesh was the last member to cross the log bridge and while doing so, lost his balance and fell down. In order to save him, Shakeel jumped in and both died,” people who were part of the group said. “He almost succeeded in rescuing him and retained him till 300 meters and then the roaring currents threw them down a waterfall.”

Jammu and Kashmir Government terminated the services of 112 doctors over their protracted absence from duty. Some of them were absent for as long as 17 years.

KASHMIR

The rains that broke a long dry spell and brought a lot of snow in the upper reaches and rains in the plains almost pushed Kashmir into a flood-like situation. Parts in the Srinagar periphery were inundated – apparently because part of an embankment was left open by officials. The Jhelum swelled to its capacity but somehow the levels started reducing. The rains shut all major roads but the disaster hit hard on the Jammu Srinagar highway where a major landslide blocked the road and damaged various trucks. The road saw a chain of 33 landslides between Udhampur-Ramban and Banihal. In fact, a stretch of 150 ft of the highway was washed away by the landslides. More than 3000 vehicles remained stranded on the highway and the Mughal Road. A geologist who has worked on the stretch said the contractors employed by the NHAI have not taken his team’s suggestions seriously.

Satvinder Singh, a manager of Grameen Bank and general secretary of its officers’ association, was sacked by his management and accused of provoking employees not to join their duties.

SAMBA

Thousands of devotees throng Baba Chamliyal shrine along International Border in Samba on Thursday, June 23, 2022. However, for the fourth consecutive year, Pakistani devotees were not permitted to join the border festival.

After hiatus of two years, the Chamliyal Mela was held on June 23, 2022, with tens of thousands of devotees reaching Ramgarh (Samba) near the International Border. Chamliyal Mela Committee worked overtime with the district administration to arrange the Mela. However, Pakistan Rangers did not attend the festival as they were not invited to offer the traditional Chadder at the Baba Dalip Singh Manhas shrine. Normally celebrated by people from both sides of the border, the Pakistani side has not been visible since 2018. The festival is being held for three days on the Indian side and the people in Saidanwali (Sialkot) also celebrate it on their side.

Against an expenditure of Rs 88.75 crore in the last 12 years, Srinagar Royal Springs Golf Club Course has earned Rs 13.22 crore. It has 700 members. A private member has to pay seven lakhs as membership and officials only two lakh rupees.

DELHI

Ajit Kumar Doval

National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval has said the people of Kashmir are no more in favour of Pakistan and terrorism. “Post-2019, the mood and temper of the people of Kashmir have totally changed. People are no more in favour of Pakistan and terrorism,” Doval was quoted as having said in an interview. “The best thing is to go on offensive mode against militants and make sure they’re accounted for.” He said the government is dealing with the militants. “We are tackling their equipment, weapons, explosives and money. We are battling on all fronts and in another few months, we will see results.” Talking about the improvement in the situation, he has said: “Where is Hurriyat? Where are those bandh calls… those Friday hartals.. all gone. Some young boys are getting misled but we are doing our best to persuade them… some military organisations are there but we are fighting them with total resolve.” He added: “We can’t have peace and war at the choice of our adversary. If we’ve to protect our interests, then we will decide when and with whom and on what terms we will have peace.”

KATHUA

Normally, the burglars loot the banks in Kashmir. In a departure, however, looted Rs 1.65 crore from HDFC Bank in Kathua. The dacoits barged into the Hatli Morh area bank during the night through the rooftop, tied Pankaj Sharma, the security guard to an iron rod with a rope, cut open the cash chest and stole the money. Within two days, police cracked the case and recovered Rs 1.53 crore. On basis of technical evidence, they arrested Jagandeep Singh, a resident of Ward No 14, a former employee of the bank. Sukhvinder Singh, another resident of Kathua, who accompanied him, is still at large. Singh gave Rs 1,36,87250 from the residence of Sukhvinder and the police also recovered Rs 16,99,040, which had fallen from the robbers’ bag while fleeing through the rooftop of an adjacent building. The looted money was in a polythene bag hidden in an underground water tank.

SRINAGAR

Jammu and Kashmir administration sealed five residential houses in Srinagar for allegedly providing shelter to the militants. Police termed house owners as “willful harbourers”. The seizure was made under Section 2(g) and Section 25 of the Unlawful Activities Prevent Act. Two of these houses are located in the Parimpora locality while one each in the Panthachowk, Nowhatta, and Zakoora localities. “The investigations proved beyond doubt that these houses were used for purpose of terrorism and shelter/ harbour was voluntarily/ knowingly given by the member(s) of the house… Many attacks on civilians, and security forces were conspired and planned by terrorists while using these houses as hideouts,” the Jammu Kashmir Police said in a statement.

DELHI

When he was interested in entering the Rashtrapati Bhawan, he never got a chance. This time, he got a nomination but surrendered it voluntarily. Dr Farooq Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir’s five-time chief minister declined to be the joint Opposition’s Presidential candidate thus paving way for Yashwant Sinha. The presidential poll is slated for July 18, but Jammu and Kashmir will not vote because it lacks an assembly.  “I am honoured to have had my name proposed as a possible joint Opposition candidate for the office of President of India by Mamata Banerjee Sahiba. Subsequent to Mamata Didi proposing my name, I have received a number of calls from Opposition leaders offering their support for my candidature,” Dr Abdullah said in a statement. “I have taken a few days to discuss this unexpected development with my family and senior colleagues. I am deeply touched by the support that I’ve received and honoured to have been considered for the highest office in the country”. However, he withdrew his name saying J&K needs him to “help navigate these uncertain times” and that “a lot more active politics is ahead of him”.

SRINAGAR

Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested Jasir Ahmad Gadda, for stabbing his mother-in-law in Srinagar on June 20, 2022. Pic: JKP

Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested Jasir Ahmed Gadda, a resident of Batamaloo, for allegedly stabbing his mother-in-law, a resident of Ram Bagh. The lady was quickly removed to the hospital and she survived the attack. She had received a serious injury.

JAMMU

After Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) caught a BJP Jammu Corporator accepting cash for favours, the party sacked Jyoti Devi from the party. Representing ward no 53 (Trikuta Nagar), Jyoti was arrested with her husband, Sham Lal, while accepting Rs 10,000 from a contractor. She had promised to issue a debris clearance certificate to the contractor in lieu of the money. The contractor’s bill was not cleared even after the work was done and the contractor approached the ACB.

JAMMU

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

At a function organised to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Raj Tilak of Maharaja Gulab Singh by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha made the following speech for history: “It is a matter of great privilege for me to be a part of 200th Raj Tilak Celebrations of Maharaja Gulab Singh. There have been very few kings in pre-partition India who are not known by the boundaries of their kingdom but because of the vastness of their personality. I bow to the virtuous memory of Maharaja Gulab Singh ji, the epitome of bravery, strength, benevolence and spiritual light. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest warriors of his time and has a special place in every Indian heart. My greeting and best wishes to the people at his 200th coronation ceremony.

In the 18th century, there were many kings and Maharajas, but in the 19th century, Maharaja Gulab Singh was the only great personality who started his life as a soldier and conquered large states with his strength and determination.

Whenever one gets to read the example of bravery and dedication in history, then there will definitely be mention of Maharaja Gulab Singh who shines on the top in the list of mighty warriors.

Jammu and Kashmir is proud to have towering personality like Maharaja Gulab Singh. Due to the Mahalwari system of the East India Company, there was an outcry in that period from the North East Province, Central India, and Punjab to the Ganges Valley. At such a time, Maharaja Gulab Singh had made Jammu the pivot of new kingdoms by establishing the Dogra dynasty with his indomitable personality.

When Maharaja Ranjit Singh crowned Maharaja Gulab Singh, two things happened. On the one hand, bravery was rewarded and secondly, Maharaja Ranjit Singh had found a way to get rid of quarrels between small states and jagirs.

Maharaja Gulab Singh established order in Jammu and was successful in taking the border of undivided India to the boundary of the former Soviet Republic for the first time. He did not bog down despite suffering personal family loss and after acquiring Kashmir in 1846, the history of Jammu and Kashmir is known as a new history.”

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