Briefing May 28 – June 3, 2023



Infant girl abandoned at JVC hospital (File pic)

The trend was uncommon but existed in Srinagar. Now it was reported for the first time in Kupwara. An unidentified person abandoned a helpless newborn. Somebody located the baby in Kralpora and immediately it was driven to District Hospital Handwara for medical care. Regrettably, within 15 minutes of arrival, the baby boy passed away. As a matter of routine, the police might have taken up the investigations. Can the parents of the baby ever be known so that they case face a case of murder?

The salaries of 430 employees have been stopped in Ramban for fudging their biometric attendance.


Even after the CBI raided most of the men and a woman he worked with Jammu and Kashmir’s last noisy governor, Satyapal Malik is still talking big. “Elections (Lok Sabha 2019) were fought on the bodies of our soldiers and no investigation was done. Had an inquiry been done, the then-home minister (Rajnath Singh) would have to resign,” he said at Bansur in Alwar district. “Many officers would have been jailed and there would have been a huge controversy.” Repeating what he had told in a number of interviews, Malik said that when the attack took place, the prime minister was in a shooting at the Jim Corbett National Park. “When he came out from there, I got a call (from him). I told him that our soldiers have been killed and they got killed by our mistake. He told me to keep quiet,” Malik asserted.

The Social Welfare department is setting up one old age home in every district with a capacity of 50 individuals. There are four-day care homes – two in the Srinagar district, one in Chanapora and another in Eidgah, and one each in Bandipora and Kupwara.


The Reasi Railway Bridge is a crucial link between Banihal and Katra. It is one of the world’s highest bridges railway, much higher that the Eiffel Tower Photograph: Asrar Sultanpuri

The world’s tallest railway bridge, the Chenab Bridge in Jammu and Kashmir, has captured the attention of the Republic of Maldives’ Minister for National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure. Standing 35 meters taller than the iconic Eiffel Tower, the bridge has left him deeply impressed. This structure, soaring 359 meters above the Chenab River, is set to connect Kashmir to the national railway network, bringing new possibilities to the region. The senior and junior national planning ministers, Mohammad Aslam and Shifaz Ali visited the bridge on May 17. “Very Impressed with the development the Indian Railways are bringing to the nation,” he was quoted as having said.

Jammu and Kashmir has identified 300 new tourist destinations as the arrivals are increasing.


For the last more than a year, the two words that are in huge circulation in Srinagar are ‘smart city’. It has emerged as a flexible adjective that people use in all situations like a tomato. Last week, photojournalist Bilal Ahmad tasted the other side of the smartness of the city he was documenting. As he was taking some pictures in Lal Chowk, he plunged into an open pit. The incident left him injured and his camera and phone shattered. Bilal’s colleagues rushed to his aid, but their attempts ended in the same perilous fate. With the help of concerned bystanders, he was eventually rescued, though his injuries were severe. Working for a small-time newspaper, Ahmad is gradually recovering. His crisis is once he is ready to work, where from will his equipment come? A smart question?

100 e-buses to start operations in Jammu from August 2023.


Ankit Love, the only son of Bhim Singh and Jai Mala – the founders of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party – is a British citizen. His mother’s coffin waited eight days till the Government of India pardoned him and undid his name from the no-fly list, for which he profusely thanked the Prime Minister. Post-cremation, his first attack was on BJP as he alleged some of his relatives “killed” his parents and requires investigations. His father’s party was in the doldrums even when Bhim Singh was alive. Now it is effectively divided between two factions and Ankit is caught in one’s hate and another faction’s love.

Ankit now is in the news for a different controversy. Harsh Dev Singh, his close relative and three-time MLA and a former minister, alleged that the police arrested a local for his FB post against the mining mafia. Police acted and allegedly dragged him to the police station. In protest, Ankit protested against the police action and was arrested by police for a night. The next day he was bailed out. One out, Ankit issued a statement saying he was protesting against “the upcoming Indian central government auction scheduled for December this year, for the 5.9 million tonnes of lithium mineral reserves discovered in the Himalaya mountainous Udhampur Lok Sabha parliamentary constituency.”

His question is: “how could the Indian central government unlawfully take over the auction rights of J&K’s lithium reserves while purposefully delaying democratic elections for several years that according to the constitution of India must be held within 6 months of the assembly being dissolved?” With the lithium reserves valued at approximately $500 billion, Love argues that Jammu and Kashmir is now the wealthiest place on earth. “There is more lithium in Udhampur than oil in Dubai,” he said. Indications suggest his opponent’s plea that Ankit is a security risk may have an early acceptance.

After the announcement of New Industrial Policy, 202, the government has received 5,327 proposals received; the land has been allotted in respect of 1854 units and 854 have paid the premium;560 units have signed Lease deed (sic) and have taken over the possession of the land allotted and 129 units have started work on the ground.


Waseem Ahmad Bhat, an IRS officer, is the No 7 rank holder in UPSC 2022 list, the results of which were announced last week. He was serving Nagpur. Bhat is among 16 residents from Jammu and Kashmir who made it to the list? Three candidates are from Kashmir and 13 are from the Jammu region. The surprise of the list was Prasenjit Kaur, who got AIR 11. A Chemistry student from Poonch, she passed three examinations in three years without any tuition or coaching. She was undergoing training as a JKAS officer when the UPSC results made her an IAS officer.

In fact, six candidates were JKAS probation officers. Others who made it to the coveted service include Nitin Singh (AIR 32), Naved Ahsan Bhat (82), Ambika Raina (164), Navneet Singh (191), Arjun Gupta (228) Manan Bhat (231), Manil Bejotra (314), Irfan Choudhary (476), Dwarika Gandhi (505) Anjit Singh (565), Abhinandan Singh (749) Nivranshu Hans (811), Iram Choudhary (852) and Aadesh Basnotra (888).

Of 55,88,000 records, the Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Jammu and Kashmir have already digitised 38,88,000 records.


Roads across Kashmir are literally eating people. A vehicle carrying power project workers in Kishtwar lost control on a blind curve and plunged down a hill. The road was slippery because of the rain. Seven individuals were killed and two survived injured. In a separate incident, a man was fatally hit by a truck near Bijbehera (Anantnag).

At an investment of Rs 21.26 crore, the Jammu and Kashmir government is installing harmonious call-blocking system in all 14 jails for blocking 2G, 3G and 4G signals that could later also be suitable for 5G.


A couple came all the way from Gujarat and died in Pahalgam in a tragic accident. They were rafting in the fast-flowing Lidder and their boat could not resist the gusty winds and capsized. The rescue teams managed to recover the bodies of the couple, identified as Patil Sharmilaben and her husband Petel Bhikhabhai Ambalal from Saijapurbogha, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Interestingly, a Mumbai woman, Muskan Khan, who was also on the same boat, was rescued but remains in critical condition.

In 2022, Kashmir saw almost 2.6 million tourists. So far 13000 foreign tourists have flown to Srinagar in 2023.


Weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir are changing so rapidly that predicting them in time is a real big challenge for the weathermen. It is May end and still, the Kashmir mountains area getting snow. A hailstorm literally devastated the fruit crops in most of north Kashmir. Winds turn into small storms so quickly that romance in weather change looks utopian now. The worst incident of its kind was reported from Kishtwar where a tree fell onto a makeshift tent of a nomadic family, claiming the lives of four members. Identified as Nazir Ahmed, Anwar Begum, Shama Begum, and Shakeel Bano, they basically hailed from Kathua and were on the move into the forest of Kishtwar when fate literally devastated the family.


BTS, the cell phone tower station.

The picturesque Rampura village in Sopore is now enjoying the sound of ringing cell phones. After two long decades, this remote village has finally embraced mobile connectivity, bringing cheers and relief to the local residents. The villagers consider this long-awaited connectivity a true blessing, marking a new beginning for their community.


The number of cancer diagnoses in Kashmir has increased by 11 per cent in 2022, with a total of 5,284 new patients reported. The Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) maintains the Population Based Cancer Registry (PbCR), which provides a comprehensive record of cancer patients in the region. The data shows that gastrointestinal tract cancers, particularly of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, gall bladder, and rectum, remain prevalent. Lung cancer has also become a significant concern, particularly among males, while breast and thyroid cancers affect a substantial number of women. Healthcare professionals stress the importance of early diagnosis and improved expertise at peripheral hospitals to enhance cancer management outcomes.


The construction work of Tirupati Balaji Temple at Majeen in Jammu is expected to open for devotees on June 8. Built on 62-acre land at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore, it is set to become one of the largest temples in the Jammu region and is expected to boost religious and pilgrimage tourism. It is the sixth Balaji temple constructed outside Andhra Pradesh, with the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) having previously built temples in Hyderabad, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Delhi and Bhubaneswar. It falls on the route between Jammu and Katra and is located in the Shivalik forests.


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