Briefing June 6-12, 2021

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TRAL

Rakesh Pandita, a member of the Municipal Council Tral was killed by unknown gunmen in Tral on June 2, 2021.

Unknown gunmen shot dead, Kashmiri Pandit councillor and BJP’s district secretary Tral, Rakesh Pandita when he had gone to his native village to meet his friend Mushtaq Ahmad. His host’s daughter Asifa Mushtaq sustained gunshot injuries in the attack. The slain political worker, who works for SAIL in Kashmir, had left his accommodation in Srinagar and not taken either of the two PSOs with him. After being hit, he was quickly shifted to a local hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Police said three militants were involved in the killing.

Pandita’s body was flown to Jammu for cremation. He is survived by his son, Parsa (a twelfth standard student), wife, an elderly grandmother, an ailing mother and a disabled uncle. Pandita’s father died on May 18.

While the killing led BJP to seek a probe, it triggered a different debate in Kashmir’s political class. People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, who has Z-category security, pointed out that a bullet-proof vehicle bought by him for his use is still stranded at a Chandigarh factory due to lack of government clearance. “So much about security u talk after someone dies. We know how you use security as a tool,” Lone tweeted, wondering what would happen to “lesser mortals” given that a Z-class protectee could be kept waiting. The impression in Kashmir is that the government is using security as a tool to restrict their moment.

A day later, Tral was back in news, this time for a former militant, Muhammad Amin Malik of Nagabal, Machama, snatching the rifle of a cop during interrogation and taking control of the cell. Malik, brother of a slain militant, was arrested (family says he came voluntarily) and was being questioned when he snatch the rifle of a cop. Though the police got an executive magistrate and Malik’s mother to appeal him to surrender, he refused. After the overnight exchange, he was eventually killed. Parents apart, he is survived by two kids, a wife, and a brother.

Jammu and Kashmir Police booked EIGHT persons under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for sloganeering at the funeral of a youth who was killed in a road accident in Kupwara

NIGEEN

To facilitate easy access for listening to the Kashmiri translation of the Quran Bayan-ul-Furqaan is available online. Translated by Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah, the audio format is available on all major audio streaming sites – Youtube, Music Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Jio Savaan. The audio commentary has been done by Mirwaiz Mohamed Ahmed.

Various government agencies and police have jointly destroyed illegal poppy crop on 569 kanals of land across Kashmir

JAMMU

Mufti Faziul Waheed

The Rajouri Islamic scholar, Mufti Faiz-ul-Waheed, 55, who is credited with the first Gojri interpretation of the Quran died of Covid19 in ASCHOM’s in Jammu. Born in 1964 in Dodhasan Bala in Rajouri, he had gone to Deoband early after escaping from a local school near Shahadra Sharief. He had lost his Aalim father when he was 14 days of age. He started his Madrassa Markaz Maarif Ul Quran at Medina Hill, Bhatindi in around 1990. During his more than 30 years of active life, he authored several booklets including Siraj-um-Muneera, Ahkam-e-Mayyat and Namaz Kae Masayil Quran-o-Hadees Ki Roshni Mei. He is being credited as the only major preacher who has been instrumental in working enormously within the Gujjars and Punjabi Muslims.

What is interesting that the scholar who was in love with Kashmir, did his major work on the Quran, the Tafseer-e-Faizul-Manan, during his incarceration. Initially, he was arrested in 1990 for a year. During that year, he was able to write Mareez, Mouyat Aur Warasat Kay Ahkaam – Quran Aur Hadis Ki Roushi Mein. He was arrested again in May 1997 and remained in Kot Balwal Jail for around four and a half years and was bailed out in 2001. The court, however, acquitted him of all charges in 2006. His Tafseerwas out in 2004.

Waheed is survived by his wife, also a resident of his ancestral village, and four daughters. Two of them are settled and two are studying.

From a 70-year old beggar lady’s hut in Nowshehra Rajouri, municipal officials recovered three bags carrying Rs 2, 58, 507, her income of the lifetime.

EVEREST

Even though the Covid19 pandemic has cooped up people in their rooms and made them go down the abyss of mental health deterioration, two Kashmir climbers along with a Uttarakhand climber scaled the highest peak in the world. It was for the first time three climbers from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIMWS), Pahalgam, scaled Mount Everest since its inception in 1983.  The trio who achieved the feat includes Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Mahfooz Elahi, both Kashmir residents, and Chandra Singh Negi, a resident of Uttarakhand. Khan and Negi are from the Indian army, Elahi is a civilian instructor at JIMWS.

NEW YORK

Waheed ur Rehman Parra watching from inside as the cops stand guard at his gate. PDP leadesr were prevented from moving out of their homes to attend the party meeting on September 3, 2020. Pic: PDP

Police have booked PDP youth leader Waheed Para under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his involvement with the militancy. The development coincided with the five UN Rapporteurs – Nils Melzer, Elina Steinerte, Tae-Ung Baik, Agnes Callamard, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, revealing that Parra had a closed virtual meeting with current and future members of the UN Security Council on July 30, 2020. It was about Delhi’s 2019 decision. “Following this engagement, Para received threats from officials” that he was “inviting trouble”. “They gave him an ultimatum that if he did not cease speaking out about the Government, action would be taken against him,” the UN experts said in a communication to MEA, seeking details about his arrest and well being. The communication alleged that he was held in a “dark underground cell at subzero temperature”, was deprived of sleep, “kicked, slapped, beaten with rods, stripped naked and hung upside down” as a result of which he required three medical consultations and three visits by a psychiatrist.

JKSSB has collected Rs 77 crore in between March 2016 and September 2020 from the unemployed as an examination fee.

OMPORA

Screengrab of the video in which leopard was seen in Ompora colony today on March 8, 2021

Social media went literally mad in sharing the photograph of the little, Adda Yasir Mir, when she went missing from her Ompora home, June 3, afternoon. Hours later, people started talking about the apprehensions that a wild animal might have killed her. This came true as her body parts were recovered from the nursery near the habitation. Now the authorities have ordered the elimination of the leopard and also placed the services of the Wildlife Range officer under suspension. The fact is that the leopard has been there since winter and it was recorded on video when it moved from one home to another. There is a social forests project where the leopards have taken shelter. At one point in time, the leopard was seen with two cubs. For all these months, the locality was not helped and now when there is a brutal killing, the government has gone into action.

SRINAGAR

A group of Sikh 16 Sikh volunteer has played a key role in the cremation of Coid19 cases in Kashmir. United Sikh Forum (USF) president

Manmeet Singh said they have cremated 68 bodies since the Covid19 entered Kashmir. These included some non-locals, a Kashmir Pandit female and some CRPF personnel. “We did not want Kashmir facing a situation like Delhi,” Singh said. “We responded to every call regardless of everything.” He said they were already into social work but the pandemic added to their challenges. They said they provide food, medical help and sanitising the spaces once the families turned Covid19 negative. This, they said, is in tune with the Kashmir culture and society.

Privately run diagnostic laboratories have stopped RT-PCR tests after the government capped the costs at Rs 400. They were charging on three times more.

GENEVA

Volkan Bozkir, the first Turkish to UN General Assembly does not want any change with the Kashmir status.

Volkan Bozkir, the Turkish diplomat who is the UN General Assembly’s incumbent president for a year, has regretted Delhi’s reaction to his Kashmir comments in Pakistan. His spokesperson Amy Quantrill said his statements were “consistent with the longstanding UN position” and were taken out of context. Pakistan bestowed on him the Crescent of Pakistan, the highest civilian honour.

In a joint presser with host Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, when the latter linked Kashmir and Palestine problem, Bozkir had said: “As the minister mentioned and also compared to two important things, I think the two problems are of the same age, Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir, and I fully agree that this is the case.” Besides, he pointed out that Kashmir lacks the “same enlarged political wind behind it” as the Palestine cause. It was in this response that MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi had reacted: “We express our strong opposition to the unwarranted references made with respect to the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir by the President of the United Nations General Assembly Volkan Bozkir during his recent visit to Pakistan.” Quantrill said Bozkir called upon all parties to refrain from changing the status of the “disputed territory”.

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