Briefing November 6-12, 2022

SRINAGAR

GMC Srinagar

Dr Masood Tanvir Bhat has been appointed Principal Government Medical College, Srinagar – Kashmir’s key medical school that is at the centre of healthcare with a vast network of hospitals, on a temporary basis after Dr Samia Rashid attained superannuation. Dr Bhat, who heads the department of medicine would retain his charge along with performing the duties of the principal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Jammu and Kashmir Rozgar Mela through video conferencing in which 3000 appointment letters were given out to people from 20 districts of the union territory on the first day.

BUDGAM

National Conference Vice President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah would not be contesting the next assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir till the Union Territory isn’t granted statehood, NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah announced. Seemingly, no Abdullah will be in the election fray. The party recently appointed in-charges for 47 assembly segments in Kashmir indicating their possible candidature in the next assembly elections. The development evoked debate on whether the party’s announcement has put an end to a joint election contest by the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which is headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah. PPDP, the other principal party of PAGD, stated that the grouping has wider goals and hasn’t been formed for electoral politics. Dr Abdullah stated that it was important for the party to start preparations for the polls but at the appropriate time they would consider the PAGD seat sharing as well. NC’s list comes in the backdrop of its provincial committee Kashmir passing a resolution a few months back that the party would contest all 90 assembly seats in J&K on its own.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed Ashish Shelar, Honorary Treasurer of BCCI as an observer for the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association.

SRINAGAR

Sajad Gani Lone

In the first-ever internal election in Peoples Conference for the top post, Sajad Lone was elected chairman unopposed. As per the party, there were eight sets of nominations which all proposed the name of Lone. He would now be administered the oath of office on November 10. Lone won his maiden assembly election from Handwara in 2014 by a margin of 5000 odd votes. The party is facing a lot of music inside after Sajad’s elder brother, Bilal, visited the home turf after a protracted absence amid reports that he would join mainstream politics.

A total of 931326 students would be given free meals in Jammu and Kashmir in the 2022-23 academic year under the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman.

JAMMU

LG Manoj Sinha visited the family of slain Puran Krishan Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit who was killed in Shopian on October 15, 2022

Sixteen Kashmiri Pandit families, who migrated from twin villages in south Kashmir’s Shopian district amid targeted killings, since August 2022, demanded that the administration register them as “migrants”. Of the 13 families comprising 43 members, 10 had left Choudhary Gund village in Shopian district and reached Jammu on October 26. The remaining three had reached Jammu earlier while the other three pandit families from adjoining Choutigam village had migrated in August. The families had not left the valley in the 1990s and were engaged in apple production. Meanwhile, Kashmiri Pandit employees, who fled Kashmir following targeted killings, continue to protest outside the relief commissioner’s office for over 170 days to get relocated to Jammu. LG Manoj Sinha recently visited the family of the slain Pandit and assured them of a job for his widow.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau data, crimes against women including trafficking rose by 15.62 per cent over the past year in Kashmir with 1013 cases of abduction of women, and almost half of such cases ended up in forced marriage in India, and abroad.

ANANTNAG

Representational Image

A son, Aqib Jan was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police from Kehribal (Anantnag) for brutally murdering his mother with the help of a friend, Abid Hussain Ganai for money. Post-murder, the duo created a concocted story to mislead the people and the police by blaming his relatives for the crime. On October 21, police said, at the time of recovery of Razia’s body, Aqib stated that his mother was killed by his grandfather and Razia’s father-in-law along with other paternal side family members, by throwing her from the roof of the house. . During the probe, however, several contradictions emerged and it led to their arrest. Police said the motive behind the murder was to rob Razia of her savings. The duo had attempted to take money from Razia which resulted in an argument. After this, Aqib allegedly beat and punched his mother forcefully and then brought a big stone with the help of his friend to hit her head, causing severe injury which resulted in her death.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has stated that 64,479 animals have been affected with Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD). The worst-affected areas are Baramulla, Kulgam, Kupwara, and Anantnag.

LONDON

Law Professor Shireen Moti

Kashmir woman, Shireen Moti has bagged Women of the Future: 50 Rising Stars in ESG by Women of the Future United Kingdom for promoting access to justice and legal aid in India through her work with rural communities.  Moti is a Kashmiri Pandit whose parents lived at Rajbagh in Srinagar before migrating to Delhi in the 1990s. She is the only one from India and one in 12 Asians to be recognized as a 2022 listee of these international awards. Women of the Future: 50 Rising Stars in ESG, celebrates the talented female trailblazers and role models aged 35 and under from around the world who are at the forefront of ESG.

BARAMULLA

The Tribal Bachao Manch, formed in October 2022 by various Gujjar-Bakerwal groups, started their march from Baramulla to Kathua against the inclusion of the Pahari community into the Schedule Tribe fold. Meanwhile, the National Commission for Schedule Tribes also gave assent to the recommendations of the GD Sharma committees recommendations according to which the Paharis, Paddaris, Kolis, and Gadda Brahmans are being accorded ST status.

SRINAGAR

Muslim residents were part of the huge mourning gathering in Nadimarg village of Shopian on March 24, 2003, where 24 Pandit residents were killed in the overnight massacre. The photograph shows Muslims getting the slain civilians for cremation. Police held Lashkar-e-Toiba responsible for the carnage. Photograph: Fayaz Kabli

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court allowed the prosecution’s review petition in the 2003 Nadimarg case in which 24 Kashmiri pandits were killed. The High Court, after 11 years of abrupt halt in the case, directed the trial court to ensure the examination of witnesses through video conference and expedite the proceedings. On the evening of March 23, 2003, unknown gunmen showed up in the remote Nadimarg (Shopian) and lined up the Kashmiri Pandits killing 24 of them including several women and two infants. In April 2003, police had said they had arrested a Pakistani militant Zia Mustafa, that he, along with other Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, had carried out the massacre on the directions of the LeT leadership in Pakistan. Trial in the case dragged on as the prosecution found it hard to get witnesses to court. In eight years of trial, the prosecution could produce only nine of the 38 listed witnesses. In November 2011, the trial court closed the evidence of the prosecution, saying no more time could be granted to produce witnesses.

PAMPORE

The Saffron production in Kashmir has gone up by 30 per cent this year. The annual yield of saffron crossed 13 metric tonnes in 2020 for the first time in 10 years.  About 30,000 families from 226 villages around Pampore are growing saffron. This forms over 95 per cent of India’s saffron production. Saffron is also grown in the Kishtwar district. Kashmir’s saffron is rated as high quality due to longer strands and stronger flavour in comparison with the produce from Iran. The rate of the finished product has increased from Rs 2 lakh a kg last year to Rs 2.4 lakh this year.

DELHI

Radio Kashmir Srinagar

Well-known broadcaster, actor, and theatre director Upinder Khashu breathed his last at a Gurugram hospital after a brief illness. Khashu, 70, is survived by his wife, Girija Khashu Watal, also a noted broadcaster of All India Radio (AIR), and two daughters. Srinagar-born Khashu was an Urdu and Kashmiri newsreader at the erstwhile Radio Kashmir until 1990. He later migrated to Delhi. Khashu was a household name in Kashmir after playing a key role in the teleserial Chauraha (crossroad) in the mid-1980s. He gained national prominence with a powerful performance in the hit serial Gul Gulshan Gulfaam, telecasted in 1987 by Doordarshan. It was one of the first serials based in Kashmir and portrayed camaraderie between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims.

In his later years, Khashu wrote and directed Kashmiri plays that were staged in Mumbai, Delhi, and Jammu.

SRINAGAR

Two prototypes including a Saffron Processing Machine and Seed Sowing Machine developed by local Kashmiri innovators, Tariq Ahmad and Naik Qayoom, were formally displayed at the National Institution of Technology (NIT). The innovators were felicitated by NIT Srinagar which is the host institute (HI) and an implementing agency for Incubation and Design schemes of the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), where the process of creating value for ideas through incubation and design intervention for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises takes place. Tariq, a PhD student at NIT, created a state-of-the-art machine that processes 500-gram to 1000-gram Saffron flowers and, using different inbuilt capacities, manages to comb, cut, and separate the medicinal and medical parts of the flower. Qayoom is an engineer from a Delhi college, who has been into innovation for almost a decade.

SRINAGAR

Students of Tyndale-Biscoe School Srinagar attending morning assembly after schools reopen in Kashmir on Monday February 24,2020 after seven month long break since August 5 in the wake of the Centre’s decision to abrogate special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

The Government Fee Fixation Committee (GFFC) has barred private schools from charging and collecting the annual fees for four months beginning from November 2022 to February 2023. The order came on the heels of the government shifting the academic calendar to March in Kashmir. The schools were supposed to go for new admissions in February 2023 but some private schools already took in new students in October this year and collected annual charges from parents till November next year. The GFFC has now barred schools from taking annual charges, taken at admission time, till March 2023 which some schools had already collected.

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