Mir Ghulam Rasool Naaz (Politician, Bandipore)

In an interesting turn of events, the Jammu Kashmir National Conference expelled Bandipora district president Mir Ghulam Rasool Naz from the party. Naz, a two-time MLA, faced expulsion, reportedly for his absence from a party meeting that Omar presided over. It coincided with, what is being called, some internal strife within the party in the region over the possibility of who would get the mandate for the assembly elections. The conflict erupted following the appointment of advocate Nazir Ahmad Malik as constituency head, a move contested by Naz’s camp. Dr Bilquees, Naz’s daughter-in-law, also seeks the NC ticket from the constituency, intensifying the factional struggle.  The tensions, interestingly, have erupted at a time when the Jammu and Kashmir government is still indecisive whether or not it will ever have an election in Jammu and Kashmir.

The term of nearly 310 Block Development Councils (BDCs) will come to an end on January 9, 2024, along with 4291 Panchayats.


The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has affirmed the conviction of a soldier, endorsing his dismissal from service and life imprisonment for fatally shooting a colleague in Jammu and Kashmir in December 2012. The AFT dismissed the appellant-convict’s claims that the case relied on incomplete circumstantial evidence, asserting that the chain of events was conclusive. The bench, comprising Justice Sudhir Mittal and Lt Gen Ravindra Pal Singh, found the appellant-convict’s contradictory statements and attempts to mislead indicated a planned crime. The AFT concluded that facts demonstrated the appellant-convict’s guilt, rejecting his plea on November 6.

Athletes of Jammu and Kashmir won 46 medals in the 37th National Games at Goa. These included fourteen gold, fourteen silver, and eighteen bronze medals as JK team figured in the first 12 performers in the games.


In an event reminding of the recent past, mobile internet services were suspended in select areas of the Pulwama district. Vijay Kumar, Additional Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police issued orders to Telecom Service Providers to halt mobile data services in Wampora and Hunipora, citing security concerns. The directive aims to prevent potential misuse by anti-national elements, within a three-kilometre radius around these regions. The suspension started on November 5 at 7 pm and continued until November 8 at 7 pm.

The government retrieved 30 kanals of state land in Dragad village and is converting it into a stadium.


A security personnel stands guard as pilgrims proceed for the cave shrine of Amarnath, at Baltal,Sonamarg central Kashmir Ganderbal District on Thursday, June 30, 2022. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has made the Amarnath cave deep in Pir Panchal mountains in the Pahalgam-Kangan belt accessible by road. The newly laid road will allow vehicles from Dumail to the cave through the Baltal base camp. “Project Beacon is involved in the restoration and improvement of Amarnath Yatra tracks,” BRO said on X. “Border Roads personnel completed the formidable task and created history with the first set of vehicles reaching the holy cave,” This accomplishment has faced criticism from political figures, citing ecological concerns. “The move has prompted concerns over the reckless urbanisation of religious sites for political mileage, disregarding the ecological impact and the sacred ethos of Hindu pilgrimage,” PDP said. “The yatra has been going on for so many years, what was the need to take the vehicles there now….It is one thing to facilitate the yatra but it (making a road to the cave for vehicular movement) needs a serious rethink,” Omar said, adding that a road for vehicular traffic to the cave would mean destroying the area. In contrast, the BJP celebrates the road’s opening, dismissing criticism as unwarranted.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided ten states and Union Territories, including Jammu and Kashmir, and detained 44 individuals in four cases of human trafficking involving Rohingya Muslim women.


Choudhary Lal Singh

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has secured seven-day custody of former BJP minister Lal Singh in a money laundering case after a special court rejected his anticipatory bail. The ED probes an educational trust linked to Singh’s wife, Kanta Andotra, also a former MLA. Singh was a Congress MP and then joined the BJP and became a minister in the BJPDP coalition. He was one of the three BJP ministers who were dropped for supporting the rapists and killers of a Muslim nomad girl in Jammu. Later Singh floated the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, which is seeking a separate state for Jammu. With his base in Kathua, he has turned against the BJP. Unlike Singh, his wife and daughter received an extension of interim anticipatory bail, with orders to cooperate in investigating land allocation irregularities for the trust. The case, rooted in a 2021 CBI charge sheet, alleges illicit collusion in land allocation.

 The government plans to add 2000 medical seats to the existing infrastructure.


Sarwar Mufti Joined Azad led party on November 11, 2023

The assembly elections are yet to be declared but the “realignment of political forces” has started. In a significant blow to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sarwar Mufti, cousin of Mehbooba Mufti, is poised to join the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) led by Ghulam Nabi Azad. Coinciding with this report was a meeting between Muzaffar Baig and his wife Safeena with Mehbooba. Amid interesting speculations, reports suggest they had actually gone to enquire about the welfare of late Mufti Sayed’s wife who is not doing well.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha revealed that 55 Jammu and Kashmir government employees were sacked for supporting militancy.


State Intelligence Agency (SIA) in collaboration with CRPF personnel, carried out raids in approximately 22 locations in Kashmir and New Delhi, focusing on a terror-funding case involving a police officer and a prominent businessman. The operations, with 18 locations in Srinagar, one each in Anantnag and Pulwama, and two in Delhi, targeted individuals like Superintendent of Police Parvez Ahmad Dar, Kashmiri businessman Imtiyaz Ahmad Kawoosa, lawyer Uzair Ahmad Ronga, and others. Bank documents, cash books, and credit cards were seized during the raids, contributing to a case involving the illegal raising and laundering of Rs 85 crores within two years. The investigation links these funds to activities like secessionism and militancy.

Jammu and Kashmir has reported 51,000 cancer cases in four years as 66 per cent of women are anaemic. Drug abuse affects 1.35 million people.


Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Octroi Post, Suchetgarh on the India-Pak International Border

In a breach of the 32-month peace, a Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, head constable Lal Fam Kima, a resident of Mizoram, lost his life in a ceasefire violation on the International Border in Jammu’s Ramgarh sector. This incident comes amid four ceasefire violations in the last two weeks, escalating tension in border areas. Kima was earlier posted on counter-insurgency operations in Gool village where the Aizwal resident once saved many of his colleagues. On October 28, Pakistan Rangers indulged in heavy firing and shelling for around seven hours, resulting in injuries to two BSF jawans and a woman. On October 17, two BSF personnel were injured in unprovoked firing by the Rangers in the Arnia sector. It is the sixth overall violation since the two sides signed a ceasefire agreement on February 25, 2021


Kashmir alpine skier, Arif Khan would be participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 in February. He is the only skier selected for the top spectacle in winter sports.

Kashmiri skier Arif Khan has secured a gold and bronze medal in the Slalom event at the FIS International Ski Races in Dubai. Khan accomplished this feat in 51.98 seconds over three runs, navigating challenging icy slopes of around 200 meters. He described the tournament as a significant challenge and highlighted his recovery after a challenging start, securing a bronze medal on the third day and winning the first international gold medal on the fourth day. Khan, the sole Kashmiri participant at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, aims to earn more accolades in the Asian and Olympic Games, inspiring fellow skiers in Kashmir to compete at larger international championships.


Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister Maharashtra met JK LG Manoj Sinha and sought a piece of land for a Bhavan in Kashmir. They met in Srinagar on June 11, 2023.

Naya Kashmir got a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj unveiled by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in Kupwara. LG Manoj Sinha was also part of the unveiling function. The 17th-century Maratha king has been positioned as a ‘Hindu icon’ who fought Muslim Mughal rulers even though he is widely seen as a secular king from a marginalised caste. The 10ft statue of the Maratha warrior king riding a horse was installed at a Maratha Light Infantry Regiment camp amid special prayers. The statue was a joint initiative of the Pune-based NGO Amhi Punekar and the 41 Rashtriya Rifles. Interestingly, it was Eknath Shinde’s fourth Kashmir visit in less than a year. He made two visits to Kupwara. He has already made a request to Sinha to grant him some space for creating a Maharashtra Bhawan.


Ratle Power Project Abandoned by the GVK in Kishtwar

Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) which is implementing the 850-MW Ratle Hydro Electric Project on Chenab in Kishtwar has stopped working. It had started work in April 2022. “The project progress is suffering severely due to the lack of the work culture among our manpower, frequent stoppage of work, manhandling of MEIL staff, dharna and strikes by local influential persons to pressurise the management for personal gratification thus resulting into irreparable losses and bad name to the company,” the company GM said in a poster that declared a halt in work. “Consequent to the above, the management has decided to close the project for an indefinite period with effect from November 6 (20.00 hours). All dues of the employees and the stakeholders will be dealt with as per the law of the land.” The project has been riddled with controversies since its foundation stone was laid in 2013. Its foundation was re-laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2022. In October 2022, four persons were killed when a landslide struck the construction site of the project. This is the second company that has stopped working on the project. In 2016, another company exited the project and paid the penalties as well.


High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

A Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court found no legal evidence to prove that a teacher had committed an alleged rape of a minor, her student and set him free many years after a trial court convicted him. “It would be highly dangerous and hazardous to hold the appellant-convict guilty of offences alleged against him on the basis of weak, shaky and unacceptable evidence,” the Court concluded. The government school teacher was accused by an eight-class student of raping her at his residence after school. The alleged incident was said to have taken place in July 2015. However, the complaint was only made 38 days later, in August 2015. Besides, the medical examination conducted on the student indicated that she had a “freshly torn hymen”, which could not have taken place 38 days ago. Another inconsistency was revealed by the complainants personally. While she alleged that the rape took place at 2 PM in the afternoon, she also mentioned that he had lunch with her family and friends on the same day at 2.30 PM. The Court, therefore, acquitted the teacher and set aside the trial court judgment which had earlier sentenced him to 20 years of imprisonment.


Kashmiris collect saffron flowers after plucking them at a saffron field in Pampore, South Kashmir, on Monday 01 November 2021. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

After the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) successfully grew Saffron in a greenhouse in 2017, a Gandhinagar-based startup, Aeroponics Saffron Farming incubated at the Swarrnim Incubation Center of Swarrnim Startup and Innovation University developed saffron farming in Gujarat through Aeroponics. “Using aeroponics, we have successfully cultivated saffron in a 10×10 ft area on our university campus,” said Sahil Ninama, co-founder of Aeroponics Saffron Farming. “The key uniqueness here is that the crop can be cultivated four times in a year instead of once a year. Moreover, we have also improvised on the saffron production process and reduced it by one-fourth.” Now, they are planning to cultivate saffron in wasteland as well as unused places in Gujarat. Aeroponics is the practice of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of any substrate so it requires neither soil nor water. From 100 kgs of bulbs, they have grown 600s grams of saffron at an investment of Rs three lakh.


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