Briefing March 19-25, 2023


In a situation where every visitor is first investigated by the security set-up before being permitted to the high offices, an Ahmadabad (Gujarat) resident managed Z-plus security, luxurious 5-star lodging and a lot of facilities during his two February visits. ‘Dr’ Kiran J Patel had claimed to be an Additional Director (Planning and Strategy) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). He enjoyed the trips till he was formally arrested from The Lalit in Srinagar on March 2. FIR is lodged at Police Station Nishat and Patel is in extended judicial custody, currently in Central Jail Srinagar. At the time of his arrest, he had three more “PMO Officials” with him including Amit Pandiya and Jay Sitapore (Gujarat), and Trilok Singh (Rajasthan).

The JKP has showered the super VIP protocol on Patel on basis of the recommendations, allegedly made by a Deputy Commissioner rank officer, currently posted in south Kashmir. He was given a bulletproof sports utility vehicle and two Seema Sashastra Bal (SSB) escort cars.

Dr Kiran J Patel, the Gujarat conman who took Jammu and Kashmir administration for a ride for most of February till he was arrested on March 3, 2023. This photograph shows the so called PMO officer at Kama

Interestingly, Patel’s Twitter handle details his “exploits” throughout February across Kashmir including Ahrabal, Sonamarg, Shankaracharya Temple, Dal lake, Doodhpathri and even the Kaman Post (Uri). Interestingly, he had several meetings with host officials in which he sold them “dreams of boosting apple production”. Once, even an SDM rank officer was tasked to escort him. Once, he even rebuked some officials and even had cheeks to stake the claim for the recent reshuffle in bureaucracy. Cops could feel the “unreal” VIP in him but waited till a Delhi informer blew his cover leading to his arrest. A basket of fake visiting cards and two cell phones have been seized from Patel. He has been booked under IPC’s section 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonesty), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document). His lawyers have said Patel is the victim of “political rivalry in Gujarat”. Details suggest that he even tricked BJP leaders by telling them he is working “undercover”. A report said the embarrassed JKP questioned two officers, one each from civil administration and police, in the case.

Patel visited Kashmir first time in October 2023 and was arrested on his fifth trip. Interestingly, he had at least two cases registered against him already.

Expectedly, the political class reacted strongly. “While the security of former chief ministers and ministers have been withdrawn or downgraded, here a con man comes all the way from Gujarat and gets security cover without any proper verification. This is not something that can be ignored and is a big security lapse considering his reach while he was in the valley,” NC’s Tanvir Sadiq said.

While ‘rescuing’ animals 2348, the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Ramban registered 101 cases and seized 95 vehicles.


The family of Achan resident Sanjay Sharma, who was killed by militants on February 26, has migrated to Jammu. Three of the four Sharma brothers had stayed put in the 1990s. Sunita, the bank guard’s widow, took their three minor orphans and left for Jammu. Currently living with a relative in the Udaiwala area in Jammu outskirts, she has moved an application for getting migrant status for 14 family members. The family has still three of their members in Achan. Meanwhile, after the Pandit employees who were on strike for last many months, the SC employees who fled from Kashmir in wake of killing, have also decided to resume their routine in Kashmir. Now, people who have migrated from Doda, are demanding the same facilities that the government has extended to the migrants from Kashmir.

Instead of Rs 5 lakh, the Jammu and Kashmir’s Administrative Council decided that the next of kin of slain CRPF personnel will now get Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia relief.


The Delhi Police asked Gandhi Peace Foundation to cancel the March 15, meeting on Media Blackout and State Repression in Kashmir. Those slated to speak to the function included NC MP, Hasnain Masoodi, filmmaker Sanjay Kak, and lawyer Comrade Yousuf Tarigami. Police gave them a cancellation order saying the event can trigger law and order problems. People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) termed the Delhi Police move as “arbitrary, malicious and unconstitutional”.

Since 2019-20, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have charge-sheeted more than 20,000 people and imposed a penalty of Rs 152 1552 in the last four years.


JKNC President & Member Parliament Dr. Farooq Abdullah joined Bharat Jodo Yatra in UP on December 3,2022

Jammu and Kashmir’s five-time Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah took a non-BJP all-party delegation to Delhi to meet the Election Commission and the major opposition parties with a single plea – holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir. “All leaders from Jammu and Kashmir were with us. We met national leaders and then the chief election commissioner and another member. We submitted a memorandum to them, which was duly signed by national leaders and regional leaders,” said Dr Abdullah. “We asked them why was there a delay in holding elections when the delimitation exercise has been completed and the home minister and others are claiming that normalcy has returned,” Abdullah said CEC said the elections will happen soon. The last elected government in Jammu and Kashmir was pulled down by BJP on June 19, 2018. Since then, it is remotely ruling Jammu and Kashmir. In their meeting with opposition parties, a consensus emerged that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir should be restored.

More than 63500 candidates are writing their tenth-grade examinations in Kashmir.


The road into Panthyal tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway bypasses the shooting stone area and will save lives.

Finally, one of the dangerous patches of the Jammu Srinagar National Highway is expected to be safer as a tunnel between Peerah and Kunfer will bypass the crippling shooting stone area. The 880-meter nearly Rs 100 crore tunnel will reduce the highway distance by 1.1 km. Though the new highway is re-laid and functioning, the Banihal –Ramban stretch still continues to be a challenge. Three tunnels are planned in this stretch to make it a 24 x 7 highway. Work on the Panthyal tunnel started in February 2020. The new projects on the highway being commissioned in the coming days include the Ramban flyover which will bypass Ramban Market (April 15), the Jaishwal bridge near Karole (March 31) and the 873-metre Kunfer tunnel between Peeda and Chanderkote in April.

MHA confirmed that stated that between October 2019 and December 2022, 1164 cases pertaining to violations of human rights were registered with NHRC and 200 cases are pending. As many as 111 cases were considered and closed; 368 were disposed off with directions; 484 were dismissed.


Kashmir’s multi-course mutton feast, Wazwaan in making. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Gordon Ramsay, the multi-Michelin-starred chef and television personality has landed in controversy over cooking Rogan Josh improperly. Rogan Josh is a key ingredient of Kashmir’s multi-course Wazwaan and has a standard style of making. His brief video has been adversely commented on by people. “You need a stop whitewashing our cuisines man. This is nothing close to authentic rogan josh. It don’t gotta be pretty! It has to taste good. Wouldn’t feed it to my worst enemies”. The show is on.

The Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) has so far disconnected around fifteen thousand power connections in Jammu for not paying the tariffs.


Grouped and organised by Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission’s UMEED scheme, Kashmir saw the rise of an all-women squad of chefs, the traditional Kashmir Waza’s who prepare all-mutton multi-course Wazwaan. Operational for many years, they deliver mouth-watering cuisine on orders and have been doing good. Off late, they go to functions for making meals. It is a group of more than 50 girls, mostly from Ganderbal, who are associated with the culinary enterprise.

An investment of Rs 1547 crore has been received by Jammu and Kashmir in the current fiscal till January, MHA said.


Jammu University’s Bhaderwah campus

Researchers have recorded the first photographic evidence of an elusive semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal in Neeru stream of Bhaderwah. Three Jammu University scientists from the Institute of Mountain Environment (IME) camera-trapped three Eurasian otters – two adults and one sub-adult. Earlier, it was said that the rising water pollution has annihilated the species but it still survives in areas where the water pollution is less. The Eurasian otter is classified as ‘near threatened’ on the IUCN Red List. Its existence is an indicator of high-quality aquatic habitats. The species is seen as a pest in India, China and Nepal, and its populations in Europe and Asia have declined in recent years due to hunting for food and pelt, habitat loss, pollution and climate change.

47 people were dismissed from Government services for anti-national activities, LG Manoj Sinha revealed.


Governor Satya Pal Malik meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

Satya Pal Malik, the most talkative governor that Srinagar’s Raj Bhawan ever hosted, has said the government has withdrawn his Z-plus security cover. “I have just been given a PSO, who has not turned up for the past three days. Anyone can attack me. I am a sitting duck,” Malik, who earlier was visited by CBI, told reporters. “All previous Governors of Jammu and Kashmir have good security cover. If anything happens to me, the central government will be responsible for it. When I was the Governor, I only dissolved the assembly in Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 (under the Constitution) was removed during my tenure.” The political class in Srinagar did not hide their happiness. “What goes around comes around, jaisa karoge vaisa bharoge,” NC’s Omar Abdullah said. “He messed with a lot of people’s security, including mine and of my senior colleagues.”

Within 68 days of its closure, the BRO opened the Zoji La Pass. It usually would take between 73 to 180 days earlier. DG BRO, Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary said it means a net daily saving of up to Rs 7 crore that would be spent in sending “defence equipment including guns, bullets and tanks besides” troops to Ladakh.


SPS Museum Srinagar

If everything reported by a Delhi newspaper is true then Srinagar’s SPS Museum may have competitors in the US. Established in 1898, SPS Museum has almost 80 thousand collections. But some of them that have gone mysteriously missing in Srinagar have been adoring the wall of American institutions. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has more than 90 artefacts that have originated from Jammu and Kashmir, These include 81 sculptures, five paintings, five pages of a manuscript, two Kashmir carpet antiquities and one page of calligraphy. Some of the antique pieces have police cases registered terming them missing. Interestingly, 24 of these artefacts related to Kashmir Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Buddhism are linked to an American mathematician, the late Samuel Eilenberg, who had been an associate of a US-based antique dealer on the radar of investigative agencies. Three of the artefacts — two sculptures and one painting — are linked to Subhash Kapoor, the smuggler who is serving a 10-year jail term in Tamil Nadu on charges of idol smuggling and theft.

Kashmir apple is selling at much better rates – as high as 50 per cent up from routine – these days, across India.


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