It might sound unbelievable but the fact is that Lt Gen D P Pandey, the commander of the Srinagar based 15 Corps and the top officers of various police and paramilitary forces had a quick tea party in a Lal Chowk eatery last week. Later, during his three day Kashmiri visit, Army’s Northern Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, had a brief stopover in Lal Chowk and relished some street food. They later clicked selfies and group photographs near the Ganta Ghar.
Jammu and Kashmir administration has informed a parliamentary panel that it has received 4187 investment proposals worth Rs 45411 crore.
For the first time, a woman, Dr Darakhshan Andrabi, a member of BJP’s national executive, was elected as chairperson of the Waqf Board in Jammu and Kashmir. Wakf has almost 32000 properties including shrines and mosques of which 25000 stand geo-tagged. Newly nominated Board members for a 5-year term include Ghulam Nabi Haleem, Suhail Kazmi, Syed Mohammad Hussain and Nawab Din.
The Administrative Council (AC) has restructured the State Marriage Assistance Scheme to provide benefits to all Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH) card-holder families to the tune of Rs 50,000.
The Delimitation Commission is planning to submit its final report on May 6, paving way for the summary revision of Electoral Rolls by the Election Commission. Reports suggest there is no change is being effected in the delimitation report that has already been published in the government gazette. People can file objections, however. The Commission is planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir on March 28 and 29 for public sittings to decide objections. This is expected to pave way for the process for elections. Jammu and Kashmir is under Central Rule since June 19, 2018.
In the last 3 years, 2708 lives were lost in Jammu and Kashmir in 16634 highway accidents, 21271 survived injured.
Heir Apparent and Jammu and Kashmir’s only Sadr-e-Reyasat, Dr Karan Singh is seeking restoration of Kabutar Khana in Dal Lake. He has gone to the court against the continued occupation of it by the Jammu and Kashmir government and notices have been issued. CRPF operates from the nearly 22 kanal premises. Singh, the scion of the family that once purchased Kashmir, has alleged that in 1990, his property was taken over unilaterally without fixation of any rent or the assessment of rental value by BSF until 1993. On December 11, 2003, BSF was replaced by CRPF even though the BSF’s Water Wing is still there. He has alleged that rates have not been revised and the property should be restored to him.
In Kashmir, the CRPF operates from 737 premises including 333 government buildings, 265 privately owned.
Foreign Ministry spokesman has strongly reacted to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) inviting Kashmir separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to a conclave being hosted by Pakistan. “We have seen in India media reports regarding an invitation extended by the OIC secretary-general to the chairman of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference to attend the 48th session of the OIC council of foreign ministers in Islamabad on March 22-23,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a weekly media briefing. He said the government takes a “very serious view of such actions which are aimed directly at subverting India’s unity and violating our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The OIC’s foreign minister’s council is discussing several political issues, including developments in Afghanistan and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, media reports said. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi is set to attend the upcoming OIC meet in Islamabad as a guest of honour, an honour that the OIC had extended to Sushma Swaraj in its UAE conclave in March 2019. So far, 48 members have confirmed their participation. The conclave is taking place at a time when the Pakistan premier is fighting a serious no-confidence motion.
Jammu and Kashmir government has registered 44,167 Kashmiri Pandit families registered as migrants. They are provided cash assistance of Rs 3,250 per month per head with a ceiling of Rs 13,000 per month per family, 9 kg rice, 2 kg atta and 1 kg of sugar per family.
Almost 37 years ago, a Kangan resident donated land for a school on the promise that he will get a job. Now greying, the angry old man, Abdul Rahim Bhat, closed the gate of the Razen Gund School last week. This triggered a momentary crisis as the landowner refused to open the locks. This led the Middle School students to attend their classes under the open sky. It was not immediately known if the status quo ante has been restored or not. Since 1985, he has been getting Rs 275 a month but not a permanent job for which the government had made a promise publicly.
It was inches away from a war between India and Pakistan. On March 9, 2022, shortly after sundown a BrahMos medium-range cruise missile takes off from Haryana’s Ambala station and travels about 200 km and blasts in Pakistan. After Pakistan objected, India publicly said the projectile malfunctioned and was “inadvertently launched”. By then two days had been over. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gave a detailed statement in the Parliament. Now a global news-gatherer, Bloomberg reported that instead of using the direct hotline between the top army commanders on both sides of the divide, IAF shut down the missile systems to avoid any further launches.
Pakistan’s ISPR said the unarmed missile was located in the vicinity of Sirsa, then proceeded to fly at a high altitude in a south-westerly direction, before making gradual right turn south of the Indian city of Suratgarh towards Pakistan. It then crossed the international border before flying more than 100 kilometres into Pakistani airspace and crashed harmlessly near Mian Channu town of Pakistan. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said “if Pakistan’s Air Force didn’t pick it up inside India and it was matched with an accident reaction”, the consequences would have been “very serious”. There were no losses at the spot it landed. However, the accident has raised questions about safety and security procedures that Indian authorities need to address.
Reports suggest that Pakistan was planning retaliation, when apparently; it saw the missile unarmed and having caused no damage. “Sensing something was amiss after initial assessments, Pakistan held back,” Bloomberg quoted unnamed sources as saying. However, nuclear-armed neighbours can land in a war if such accidents are not taken seriously. The government said it has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry. “While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident.” The US has supported India saying it was just an accident. China, however, has suggested the two neighbours must hold dialogue as soon as possible and launch a “thorough investigation” into the recent “accidental firing”.
The springs of Achabal suddenly swelled last week triggering panic among the locals. It happened almost two months after Brengi rivulet landed in a sinkhole near Wandyalgam on February 11, leaving almost 20 km of the Trout-rich water body into a state of the desert. However, the water level became normal within less than 12 hours suggesting that the additional flow was not because of the Brengi. People said they witnessed a surge in water level in 1995 when Brengi reported a sinkhole. Meanwhile, the authorities have almost completed filling the sinkhole and part of the water has started flowing normally.
Nusrat Razaq, a practising lawyer, had taken her mother to Delhi. Suffering from Alzheimer’s since 2021, Shopian’s Khatija was there for treatment when she simply went missing. After making efforts on her own, the young lady finally made it public. Within hours, it became sort of a movement for the Kashmiri peoples living in Delhi. She would get calls on minute to minute basis as the community moved out of their home and locate the aged lady. “The callers assured me that they were doing their best to locate my mother,” Razaq told reporters. “That brethren-boost gave me hope amid despair and made me believe that I wasn’t alone in Delhi.” She had gone missing on March 9, 8 pm. She had slipped out of her Batla House flat locking the main door. “By the time I managed to break the lock, she had gone out of our reach,” Mir Safdar, Nusrat’s husband, was quoted saying. It was exactly 24 hours later she made it public that a Kashmiri called her revealing her mother has been found. He had spotted her moving on a street.
The police dossier that led journalist Fahad Shah’s re-arrest under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) has described him as “a radical since childhood and anti-national, whose stories finds no mention of the government’s good governance or positive intervention”. Shah was arrested on February 4, bailed out twice, and re-arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He was booked under PSA on March 4. He has been accused of “propagating stories in a particular selective narrative, which is in line with the ISI and separatist propaganda”. The dossier reads: “You legitimize and romanticize stone pelters and other instruments of violence. Your modus operandi is to carry one to two stories per month which are based entirely on the victimhood narrative that portrays anti-India sentiment, glorifies stone pelters, terrorists, and justifies separatism and violence.” It adds: “Your activities are prejudicial to the security and sovereignty of the country. Your aim and objective seem to destabilise the government established by law in J&K and also to assist the local misguided youth for harbouring and providing them with every logistic support in their anti-national activities.”