Briefing (March 08-14, 2020)

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GENEVA

Syed Tehmeena speaking to ANI, a screengrab

Tehmeena Sayed, a Kashmiri woman has hailed the abrogation of Article 370 and asserted it ended the discrimination with the Kashmiri women. She has said that in pre-August 2019 Kashmir, women marrying non-state subjects were deprived of their inheritance. ANI, the newsgathering agency quoted her telling a Kashmir related event: “A Kashmiri girl who will marry outside Kashmir will now not lose her property rights. A Kashmiri woman who married outside Kashmir in the past, she and her children were not having the right to own a property in Kashmir. Now they can buy a land and house, which is her right”. Tehmeena was part of the discussion that took place at an event titled Jammu and Kashmir: Sifting facts from fiction and was held at Geneva Press Club on the sidelines of the ongoing 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). She has regretted that while Pakistan has improved its film industry and theatres, Kashmir’s theatres were forcibly closed down.

SRINAGAR

Dr Samia Rashid, who had earlier served as in-charge principal of the Government Medical College, Srinagar has finally succeeded Dr Parvaiz Ahmad Shah. She has studied in GMC and completed her MD in the same college and eventually headed the medicines department. Earlier, she was appointed the Principal in April 2017; however, the High Court stayed it later.

CHANDIGARH

As the communal frenzy peaked in Delhi, two families from Kashmir and Haryana were busy swapping their kidneys in Chandigarh to save their two family members. Muslim family belonged to Kulgam and Hindu family was from Yamunanagar. The swap took place in Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula where a doctor was treating both the patients. Ifra Jan, 20, gave her kidney to a man from Yamunanagar whose wife donated her kidney to Ifra’s mother under the swap. They were having a mismatch within their families that led to the swap.

A group of four females led by a social worker, Irfana Zargar quietly places sanitary kits, Eva Safety Door, at public toilets for women across Srinagar as a means of charity. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

SRINAGAR

A group of young girls led by Irfana Zargar were seen visiting the SMC run paid urinals for the females last week. Reason: they kept items related to female hygiene available in the washrooms for free. These included hand-washes, sanitary napkins, panties, antispasmodic drugs, and sanitizers. A resident of Nowshera locality, she and her friends surveyed Srinagar and found this much to do at their own costs. She plans to make these basic items available in the city’s all the public washrooms.

JAMMU

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) that has taken the gun licence cases in fast forward mode arrested two officers, Kumar Rajiv Ranjan and Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, both former DMs of Kupwara. Unlike retired Itrat, Ranjan was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Metropolitan Regulatory Authority and Vice Chairman Jammu Development Authority (JDA). The arrest came a day after Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) booked Itrat in furnishing scam during his posting as the Deputy Commissioner Kupwara. The case involves issuing more than two lakh arms licenses, mostly to the residents living outside Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu region where 143013 licences were issued 132321 went to non-locals. Reports indicate that many officers are under radar as the licences were issued from eight districts. Earlier, the CBI raided the residences of eight officers. The two officers are right now in CBI custody.

PULWAMA

Federal investigator, the National Investigations Agency (NIA) said it cracked the Lethpora car bomb case by arresting a furniture shop owner, Shakir Bashir Magrey, 22, for supporting the bomber, Adil Dar. A resident of Kakpora, NIA accused Magrey of purchasing batteries and gloves online; hiding the bomber and a Pakistani militant at his residence and assisting Mir in making the bomb. Besides, he is accused of conducting reconnaissance of the movement of the CRPF convoy in January 2019 and actually driving the bomber to the spot. Though the explosive combination has been evaluated to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX, the origin of the material is yet unknown. NIA said most of the accused in the case having direct involvement are slain – Mudasir Ahmed Khan (March 3, 2019), car owner Sajjad Bhat (June 16); IED expert Kamran and Pakistani national, Mohammad Umar Farooq (March 29, 2019) and Qari Mufti Yasser (January 25, 2020). After raiding Margey’s Hajibal home, NIA arrested trucker Tariq Ahmed Shah, 50, and his daughter Insha Jan, 23, from their Hakirpora residence for allegedly sheltering the bomber since 2018. The investigator said the bomber recorded his video at their residence.

SRINAGAR

Lt Gen Baggavalli Somashekar Raju has taken over as the Commander of the Srinagar based 15 Corps, succeeding Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, who oversaw Kashmir when Jammu and Kashmir was converted into two UTs and the special status was binned. He had earlier served as the brigade Commander along the LoC and later and later led the Victor Force, a counter-insurgency group of the Army that looks after the militancy-hit south Kashmir region. Gen Raju has said his appointment as corps commander is home-coming. He led Victor Force after Burhan killing.

DELHI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to seize assets worth Rs 2.6 crore in a case pertaining to alleged embezzlement of funds of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA). The order has been served to Ahsan Ahmad Mirza and Mir Mansoor Gazanffer.

JAMMU

A photo collage showing various housing colonies of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu

Jammu and Kashmir’s Rehabilitation Commissioner has started the process of locating the migrant Kashmiri Pandits who have got flats in various townships for the migrants but are locked for many years. They have also served notices to the unauthorised people living in some of them. There are almost 200 such flats in Nagrota, Muthi, Butanagar, and Purkhoo localities in Jammu city and Jagti township in Nagrota periphery.

GULMARG

When their hut in Gulmarg caught fire, an Army officer first shifted his family out. Then he rescued his one dog. As he barged in for rescuing the second one, he received serious burn injuries and died instantly. Identified as Major Ankit Budhraja of Corps Signals, he was attached with SSTC Gulmarg. The fire was brought under control by fire-fighters later. By then he had died.

MUMBAI

Vlogger Aashna Hegde found Kashmir beautiful but could not manage the cold when she drove with her peers to leran skiing in Gulmarg. “Kashmir was so beautiful, I’m glad I got to vlog our trip and make so many memories,” Hedge later said. “As far as problems go, it was too cold and I felt sick, it was really difficult to vlog when we were skiing cause our hands were always occupied, so I tried to show as much a I could. My hands froze off trying to get some shots for the vlog when it was snowing really heavily.” However, she asserted the experience was amazing.

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