Briefing November 27 – December 3, 2022

JAMMU

After a five-month-long mass electoral revision exercise, the electoral office in Jammu and Kashmir has been able to add “around seven lakh” new voters taking the total number of electorates to 83 lakh. There are 47 assembly seats in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu. Officials said nearly 13,000 employees were involved in the exercise. Jammu and Kashmir had 76 lakh voters when the last Summary Revision was undertaken in 2018. And an increase of seven lakh voters in the last three years is “normal”. In August, Chief Electoral Officer had forecast that 20-25 lakh new voters would be added during the Special Revision and that non-locals ordinarily living in Jammu and Kashmir would be enrolled. The statement triggered a major controversy and backlash from regional parties who alleged that BJP was trying to change the poll outcome with the inclusion of “imported” voters.

Northern Command chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said around 300 militants including 82 foreigners are present in Jammu and Kashmir.

DELHI

Gujjar Bakerwal leaders with Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in 2022 summer.

Gujjars and Bakerwals (GB) have been on the road against the inclusion of Paharis’ into the ST. The latter also had counter-protests. It was in the midst of these protests that a GB delegation met Home Minister, Amit Shah. He has assured them that there will be no dilution in the existing 10 per cent quota. The Home Minister has said that Pahari, Gadda Brahman, Koli and Padri will be accommodated as a separate group of Scheduled Tribe with special arrangements ensuring that reservation to them does not affect the quota of Gujjar-Bakerwal. Haji Yousuf Gorsi led the delegation.

An IMHANS study claims Kashmir consumes drugs worth Rs 11 lakh every month.

SRINAGAR

In order to prevent the mess in the campuses of higher learning, the government has announced that professors across the universities in Jammu and Kashmir will now retire at 65. Earlier, teachers would superannuate at 62 in state universities and 65 in central universities. The uniformity will now end the 62-year-old exodus. The universities are facing an acute shortage of professors which was preventing them access funds from various donor agencies. The shortage had added to the crisis as universities were unable to have enough scholars for research. While the change in the superannuation age will be a timely breather, the crisis, however, will remain as the new entries are by and large halted.

Announcing free medicines to LSF-infected cows, the government said 56146 cattle contracted the infection and 1564 animals died.

SRINAGAR

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

On basis of a letter that the law secretary of Jammu and Kashmir has written, the Disciplinary Committee of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has summoned three senior advocates – Mian Abdul Qayoom, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, and Nazir Ahmad Ronga on December 17 at Srinagar. They have been accused of committing professional and other misconduct under the Advocates Act, of 1961. The trio had been the key functionaries of the Kashmir Bar Association. The Disciplinary Committee comprises three judges including Justice Sanjeev Kumar, Justice Sanjay Dhar, and Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary. “Having gone through contents of the complaint and material placed on record, we are of the view that, prima facie, the allegations levelled by the Law Secretary against the three Advocates constitute professional and other misconduct,” the bench has observed after going through the complaint seeking “appropriate action” on the basis of a detailed investigation carried out by the law enforcement agencies.

At least 79 shopkeepers at Sangarmal Complex Srinagar owe more than Rs 2 Crore rent to Srinagar Development Authority

JAMMU

A file photo of train.
KL Image by Shah Hilal

They were on their way to their school at Bajalta – Mohiuddin (12), and his two sisters, Hadia Fatima (11) and Alia (6). Though it remains to be seen why the three used a railway track bridge to reach their school but the reports said they were crossing the bridge when they saw a train approaching. Panicked, they jumped from the railway bridge. Hadia died in the accident and her brother Mohiuddin sustained serious injuries.

KATHUA

Raj Kumar, 36, allegedly axed to death his younger brother and his sister-in-law over a land dispute at a village in the Marheen area of Kathua district. As per the police, the accused attacked his younger brother Naresh Kumar, 32, and his sister-in-law Asha, 26, with a Darat, a sharp-edged weapon used for cutting wood. In Srinagar’s Noorbagh, police arrested Umar Farooq of Pamposh Colony for murdering his sister-in-law.

MUMBAI

The drama series Mukhbir: The Story of a Spy based on the pre-1965 war between India and Pakistan showcases the world of spying with Kashmir-born, Zain Durrani in the lead role. The eight-episode series streaming on Zee5 has been extensively shot in Mumbai, Amritsar, Patiala, and Manali but not Kashmir where the government has brought in the new incentive-rich Film Policy. The series presents the story of an Indian secret agent who helped in evading several advances from Pakistan by providing intelligence inputs. Durrani was recently in Srinagar for the promotion of his spy thriller series. The Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz actor said Kashmir is opening up to the world of cinema as a lot of production houses are coming up which not only provide job opportunities to the locals but develop work culture. He said that people outside have a micro view of Kashmir and see only those things for which Kashmir remains in the news. He said there are so many different stories related to our culture and history.

BARAMULLA

An aerial view of Baramulla. Pic: Baramulla News FB page

The students of Saint Joseph’s Higher Secondary school Baramulla, one of the oldest modern schools in north Kashmir, showcased their talent by presenting their projects, which include solar systems, censor-based street lights, drones, and water waste management systems during the day-long Academic Exhibition-2022 organised by the school. The school had also invited parents and students of other schools along with their principals for interaction with the students who also presented different projects at the exhibition.

SRINAGAR

The government ordered the exhumation of the body of a girl child girl to collect samples for establishing paternity in order to settle a dispute involving SKIMS hospital Bemina. Last week, a family from the Patlibagh area of Budgam alleged that a baby boy was born to their daughter-in-law. They were congratulated by the staff and the hospital. However, the baby was required to be kept in the neonatal intensive care unit, an area where the attendants are usually not permitted. After 13 days, they alleged that the hospital staff informed them that the baby is no more and handed over to them a body. They took it home for burial and while giving it the funeral bath, they were told it was a baby girl. After burying the baby, they returned to the hospital and told authorities that while they took a baby boy from them why they returned a dead baby girl. The family claims to have written documents issued by the JVC Hospital that they had a baby boy. This triggered a dispute leading to the exhumation.

SRINAGAR

Representational image for phone threat call

Jammu and Kashmir Police have raided over a dozen locations across the valley including the residences and offices of journalists in the backdrop of threats purportedly issued by The Resistance Front (TRF) which, according to the Police, is a front for the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Five journalists, whose names fared in the list, have already resigned from their respective organisations. The raids were launched simultaneously at 12 locations across the valley including the houses of Sajjad Sheikh aka Sajjad Gul and Mukhtar Baba. Other people raided and searched include journalists Muhammad Rafi, Gowhar Geelani, Sajad Kralyari, Khalid Gul, Waseem Khalid, Qazi Shibli, and Raashid Maqbool. The residences of Basit Dar of Kulgam and advocate Abu Adil Pandit were also raided.  In another series of raids, the police also searched the residences of Showkat Mota in Srinagar, Khaksar Nadeeb Adnan in Srinagar, Haji Hayat’s residence in Pampore and his office in Srinagar, Ishfaq Reshi in Budgam, Asif Dar (based abroad) and Saqib Magloo (journalist) in Srinagar. As per the police, some of above mentioned “suspects” were detained for questioning, however, those whose house searches were carried out earlier are being summoned on daily basis for examination. The police said that during the search, all the legal formalities and SOPs were followed and incriminating materials including mobiles, computers, laptops, pen drives, sim cards, Jihadi literature, banking documents, US and Russian currency notes were recovered and seized by the respective teams,” the spokesperson added. Last week, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) had condemned the threats.

SRINAGAR

Musician Waqar Khan joined the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference last week. The musician, who hails from north Kashmir’s Tangdhar in Kupwara district, joined the party in the presence of party president Farooq Abdullah.

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