Briefing March 5 -11, 2023


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while speaking at the prestigious Cambridge University said that he confronted militants during the Congress-led Bharat Jodo Yatra’s entry into Kashmir. Gandhi stated, according to a report from India Today, “I spoke to my people and expressed my desire to carry on walking. We kept going when an unidentified man came up to me. He said he wanted to speak with me.” Rahul Gandhi went on to say that the man questioned him as to whether or not the Congress leaders had actually travelled to the Union Territory to hear about the problems of the populace. Later, the man pointed to certain bystanders and claimed they were all militants. “I believed I was in danger because militants would likely kill me in such circumstances. Yet, they did nothing as a result of the power of listening,” Gandhi added.

Central Wool Development Board (CWDB) has approved a Rs 50 lakh project for creating a wool raw material bank in Jammu and Kashmir.


Representational image

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) attached the house of banned al-Umar Mujahideen Chief Mushtaq Zargar in the Gani Mohalla area of the Nowhatta in Srinagar. NIA action comes as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared Zargar, “presently in Pakistan”, as designated “terrorist” under the UAPA, a stringent act legislated to control militant activities. An NIA team, assisted by local police and paramilitary CRPF, attached Zargar’s property.. According to an NIA spokesperson, Zargar’s two marlas house (Khasra No 182) at Ganai Mohalla, Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta, Srinagar, has been attached under the provisions of UA(P)A. Zargar was arrested on May 15, 1992, and later “released” in 1999, along with Jaish chief Masood Azhar and Sheikh Omar in exchange for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999.

Earlier in the week, NIA also attached the property of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Basit Reshi in Sopore. Reshi is a resident of Yemberzalwari Shiva Dangerpora and is presently in Pakistan. Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir police have started the process to attach properties of nearly 168 militants from Jammu and Kashmir who are operating from other the side of the LoC.

As per the New York-based internet advocacy watchdog, Access Now Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 49 internet disruptions in 2022 out of a total of 85 across India.


Jammu Kashmir LG, Manoj Sinha felicitating a young cadet of JK Police at PTS Kathua on March 3, 2023. Pic: DIPR

The Amarnath cave shrine that used to be open for pilgrimage for a short summer period may be accessible for a long period in a year as the LT Governor Manoj Sinha administration is planning to make it accessible by road. Sinha chaired a meeting of the officers and Border Roads Organization (BRO) in which the scope for undertaking the widening, restoration and maintenance of the stretch of the Amarnath Yatra track was discussed.

Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has put the current unemployment percentage in Jammu and Kashmir at 17.1 against 21.8 in January 2023, indicating an appreciation of 4.7 per cent for the month of February 2023.


GMC Srinagar

The government has confirmed Prof Dr Masood Tanvir as the Principal of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar. Dr Masood is head of the medicine department and was given the charge of GMC principal in November 2022, replacing Dr Samia Rashid.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued a non-bailable warrant against 13 Kishtwar-based militants operating from across the border.


The Kashmir crisis is getting so serious that even Congressman and former Sadar-e-Riyasat of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State, Dr Karan Singh is pitching for the restoration of the statehood along with the need for assembly polls which haven’t been held since 2014. Such a demand coming from Dr Singh is interesting because he presided over the state apparatus till 1956 during which the head of the state, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was deposed and imprisoned. Speaking at an event in Jammu, Dr Singh said that there is a lack of communication between the public and bureaucrats in Jammu and Kashmir. When asked to comment on the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories, Dr Singh said, “We should look ahead rather than looking back and added that the same remained his principle in life.” Replying to a question about taking back the regions of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan, he said that it was not easy as the same could not be materialized without a war which only brings deaths and destruction.

Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has urged the administration to exempt educational institutes from the ambit of property tax.


Paramilitary CRPF showcased its bulletproof armoured vehicle, named CSRV (critical situation response vehicle) in the Padgampora encounter with militants. The all-terrain sophisticated CSRV is used for house interventions during encounters. “This acts like a force multiplier, in situations like narrow lanes and by-lanes where you need to sort of intervene in a room or house where a terrorist is held up,” IG CPRF (Kashmir Operations) MS Bhatia was quoted as saying. “This vehicle has a bulletproof Morcha. It has a hydraulic system and can be raised to the second floor of the house as well. It has steer and skid technology, it can revolve 360 degrees, in narrow lanes and by lanes, and it can enter easily.”

Jammu and Kashmir Police said that one of the two militants killed in the Padgampora was behind the killing of Sanjay Sharma who was mowed down in his Achan village, last week. And two of his brothers and parents had not migrated from the village in the 1990s. A bank security guard, Sanjay’s killing was the first attack on a Hindu civilian in Jammu and Kashmir in the last four months.

A preliminary census by Wular Lake Conservation and Management Authority (WCMA) has revealed that over 50,000 migratory birds have made their way to the famous Wular Lake in northern Kashmir.


Kunan (Kupwara) family protests in Srinagar on December 21, 2022, seeking whereabouts of their son, Abdul Rashid Dar

Exactly 75 days after going missing, the body of Abdul Rashid Dar of Kunan (Kupwara) was retrieved and handed back to his family. “In continuation to missing of Abdul Rashid Dar of Kunan area of Kupwara on December 16, 2022 today early in the morning a dead (the body was) recovered from Zurhama-PK Galli forests,” a police spokesperson said in a statement, adding, “The body was brought to SDH Kupwara where it was identified by the relatives of (the) missing person. After completing all medico-legal formalities including post-mortem by a team of doctors, he said, the body was handed over to the family members for burial. “Cognisance of the matter has been taken for further investigations,” he said, adding, “Further details will be shared.” At a presser, a police officer had said that the man was allegedly picked up by the army for questioning in connection with a militancy-related investigation. However, the officer said that he fled from custody. The family, which carried out a series of protests seeking the whereabouts of their ward, had allegedly that Dar picked up by the army for questioning. Dar was a driver.

LG Manoj Sinha said almost 40 per cent of the residential structures in urban and semi-urban areas in Jammu and Kashmir are exempted under the newly created property tax rules.


A group of more than 24 cyclists were flagged off in Srinagar for a race from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The participants shall peddle the 3651 km length in Solo, Team of 2, Team of 4 with a cut-off time of 12 days, 10 days and 8 days respectively. The race route passes through 12 major states, three major metropolises and over 20 major cities. None of the cyclists was from Jammu and Kashmir. In Pune, Veeranarayan Kulkarni left on a cycle for Kashmir to make people aware of diabetes. He will be cycling a distance of 4,000 km in 40 days.


Within days after a video showing Bilal Rather, a councillor of MC Pulwama, allegedly misbehaving with a doctor on duty at the District Hospital (DH) Pulwama, went viral, the district administration ordered an inquiry. ADC Pulwama is probing the incident. Rather was seen shouting at a doctor on duty, and even hurling the choicest abuses. After the incident, the staff of the hospital wrote to the administration detailing how a “few miscreants” accompanied a “mob” barged into the room and misbehaved with them. Hospital management also registered a police case against the identified miscreants.


The thought process (L to R) in male and female brains. Graphics: Economist

India’s largest-ever dementia study has shown that Jammu and Kashmir has the highest prevalence of the condition, a report in a British newspaper said. Some 11 per cent of the region’s over-60 population have developed dementia, according to a joint study published by the University of Southern California and AIIMS-Delhi. “Since the study’s publication, experts have called for further research to establish whether a 26-year insurgency that has raged in Jammu and Kashmir could be a reason for the region’s high prevalence of dementia,” the report said. Earlier in 2019, a survey by Médecins Sans Frontières found 70 per cent of Kashmiri adults had witnessed the sudden or violent death of someone they knew, while the average adult living in the territory has experienced 7.7 traumatic events during their lifetime. “The association between trauma and dementia is a fast-growing area of research,” the report quoted Dr Katrin Seeher, a mental health specialist in the Brain Health Unit at the World Health Organisation, saying. “We do have more and more evidence that exposure to adversity, particularly in early childhood, changes our brain architecture and the ways the brain changes to deal with stress. We do see that early childhood adversity might be linked to later life dementia diagnosis.”


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