Briefing November 21-27, 2021

SRINAGAR

Syed M Iqbal Bukhari, FIL Industries Founder

FIL Industries (now called Konhinoor Group) founder Syed Iqbal Bukhari passed away on November 14, 2021. Father of Apni Party founder Altaf Bukhari, Iqbal had given up his government job in the revenue department and started his fungicide business and with the passage of time successfully converted it into a major business group of Kashmir. It was after many years of working towards the goal of setting up a major company, FIL was established formally in 1998. The group has an interest in agricultural chemicals, post-harvest technologies including CA store (that it introduced in India), an apple concentrate plant and many other things.

Bukhari Sr was admitted to SKIMS after a brief illness. His funeral was attended by thousands of people in Ladoora, Rafiabad, his ancestral residence, where Haji Ameer Ahmad Khan led his funeral prayers. His death was widely condoled.

In a condolence message, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has expressed grief over the demise and prayed for strength to the bereaved family to overcome the loss. Those who condoled the death include LG Manoj Sinha, his advisers, all the political parties and business associations and groups.

Kashmiri youth crowded a vast ground of the BSF headquartesr in Srinagar outskirts on October 18, 2020. They had come to write their examination that will pave way for their entry into BSF or CISF. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Of 20323 jobs advertised, 9205 vacancies in different departments stand filled under fast track recruitment in Jammu and Kashmir.

SRINAGAR

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad along with other Senior leaders during an election rally in south Kashmir.

Known for the pyjama wars of the yore, the Congress in Kashmir is heading towards the clash of titans as the ‘class war’ within the party is getting murky. With Ghulam Nabi Azad touring the skirted state, most of his loyalists have resigned from party positions. They all are seeking a reorganisation of the party after they saw almost 200 of their leaders leaving the party and joining other groups. These include some of the former ministers who switched sides in Kashmir and in Jammu.

“We had suggested the party leadership (read Sonia and Rahul) that they must look into the affairs of working (of the party) and intervene,” one senior Congressman said, who said they are unhappy the way G A Mir is running the party. “We waited for the response but we never got anything. So we decided that we must leave our party positions though not the party.” Some of the Congressmen even alleged that they failed to secure an appointment with Rahul Gandhi for more than a year.

When Azad was asked about his stand, he said he will do what the people of Jammu and Kashmir want him to do. “I am not a party to that (resignations). I was not consulted. I, myself, read it in the newspapers,” he was quoted saying. Remote controlled from Delhi, the leader-abundant Congress has multiple factions. Last time, the party was in the news when the party activists in Jammu burn the effigies of Azad.

BR Sharma (centre) Chairman, J&K Public Service Commission

Of 30565 candidates, 4544 have reached JKAS main examination level

DELHI

Mehbooba Mufti’s cinematographer brother, Tassaduq Mufti, presented himself before the Enforcement Directorate where he was supposed to record his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED has registered a case against Mehbooba in which it has recorded her statement, along with her mother. The case pertains to the use of secret funds. Tassaduq was briefly the tourism minister in her BJPDP cabinet.

The Tourists taking photos near icicles in north Kashmi’s Tangmarg area on 28 December 2018. Kashmir valley is witnessing intensified cold this winter. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

So far, Kashmir had an overall footfall of 4.25 lakh visitors this year. These included 91000 in October

WASHINGTON

The US government has issued an advisory for Indi suggesting that female US citizens should avoid travelling alone. “Indian authorities report rape as one of the fastest-growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations,” the US’s Delhi embassy advisory said, urging that “Do not travel alone, particularly if you are a woman”. The advisory also asked US citizens to not travel to the “state of Jammu and Kashmir” (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest.

A view of Leh highway on February 28, 2021. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Jammu and Kashmir has approved the apportionment of 11189 employees in 33 Departments to the Union Territory of Ladakh while it recalled 22 officials back to J&K. This is part of the division of assets, liabilities and employees between the two UTs. Besides, 221 Gazetted and 1535 Non-Gazetted posts have been transferred to Ladakh.

KULGAM

Forces personnel near the site of the encounter in Kulgam village on Saturday, April 4, 2020. KL Image by Shah Hilal

South Kashmir has witnessed increased raids on militants. Police said in two encounters in twin Kulgam villages – Gopalpora and Pombay, they killed five militants. Those killed in Gopalpora included TRF commander, Afaq Sikander alias Kashif Bhai, along with Iran Mushraq Lone (Shadcheck Aweneera). In Pombay, the slain dup were identified as Shakir Najar, and Sumair Najar. Earlier on November 12, three militants including one from Srinagar and two in Kulgam were killed in separate incidents. Police said they have killed almost 140 militants, this year.

JAMMU

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha has said that militancy will be over in Jammu and Kashmir within two years. “Many people worry about the law and order situation, I want to tell you that the situation has changed a lot. Some elements are trying, but I want to assure you that after two years, terrorism will not be seen in Jammu and Kashmir, The government is working in this direction,” Sinha told the award ceremony of the EEPC India Northern Region Export. He said the law and order in the Union Territory has transformed a lot under the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre. Earlier, it was officially leaked that Kashmir has only 38 Pakistani militants of whom 27 belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and 11 to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

A man shows new Rs 2000 currency after exchanging old Rs 500 and 1000 denominations at Srinagar on Thursday 11 November 2016. KL Image Bilal Bahadur

Police arrested three persons carrying Rs 42 lakh from Punjab to South Kashmir. Those arrested include Fayaz Ahmad Dar, 40, son of Abdul Rehman Dar, (Mishipura Yaripora), Umar Farooq, 19, son of Farooq Ahmed Malik of Pulwama and Mauzam Parvaiz son of Parvez Ahmad Malik of Dillipura, Pulwama. They were travelling in an Innova car No, DL-1ZB 8261.

JAMMU

BJP leaders during Bhaviya Pooja and famous Shankarcharya temple in Srinagar on November 5,2021. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

In Jammu, the BJP has passed a resolution saying the party will form a government on its own in the Union territory, without any outside support. It credited the “strong and path-breaking leadership” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its key ingredient of confidence. “The BJP working committee resolves to cross 50 (seat) mark to form the government on its own in Jammu and Kashmir,” the resolution said.

POONCH

The remote Poonch-Rajouri belt dominated the news for a long time after an encounter. While the army chief personally visited to oversee the progress of the encounter in which nine soldiers were killed, nobody knows what the outcome of the protracted operation was. However, Poonch is back to the news, this time for the forest fire in areas straddling the LoC. Army sources told media that the landmines planted in the forests exploded because of the fires. However, barring some of the security gadgets installed along the LoC, there have not been any losses.

UNITED STATES

Kashmir singer Qaisar Nizami

Making history, a Kashmiri singer and musician, Qaisar Nizami is in the queue for being nominated for a Grammy Award 2022. The nomination is for lending his voice to a multinational music project piloted by American Ehsaan Matori. “It is a matter of joy that the famous composer Ehsaan Matoori in collaboration with the greatest musicians of the world brought out an album in which many countries lend their voices and the voice of Qaisar Nizami, the legendary singer of the Valley, also is included in the album titled The Voices and Bridges, which speaks in itself about the music and poetry,” Nizami’s brief for the nomination statement reads. In the album, Nizami sang Kashmiri number, Nazninay (O Beauty) and it has been pictured on many characters across the world. The 6.58-minute song is available online. The nomination of a Kashmiri singer-musician is unprecedented in Kashmir history that has a rich cultural past and present.

SRINAGAR

Abdul Rehman, a city street vendor whose lifetime saving of Rs 1.60 lakh was looted on Saturday, November 13, 2021

A city vendor, Abdul Rehman has been selling street food in Bohri Kadal for the whole of his life. Last weekend, some people caught him, beat him and took away Rs 1.60 lakh of his saving. He said the amount he was saving was for his decent funeral. He is alone and has no dependents. The event dominated the social media leading city police chief, SandeepChoudahry, to pay him Rs 1 lakh from his personal savings.

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