On her maiden visit, President Droupadi Murmu addressed Kashmir University’s 40th convocation, commending responsible Kashmiri youth and encouraging their involvement in social service alongside studies. She highlighted the progress, driven by youth embracing peace and prosperity. Murmu praised the picturesque campus and its historical significance, urging students to participate in social service for positive change, drawing inspiration from local youth engaged in social activities. She emphasised the transformative power of education and peace, aligning with the university’s motto, for national progress. Besides, she lauded high female enrolment and toppers, expressing confidence in the Nari Shakti Vandan Act. The administration remained on tenterhooks for the two days and exceptional security measures were taken that included sending the hostel inmates home for a few days. “Shocked to know that I can’t even step out of the house to my party office only because the Hon’ble President is visiting Srinagar today. The right of movement is snapped at a whim anytime,” Mehbooba Mufti wrote on X.

The Army conducted a demining operation in Phobrang, Yourgo, and Lukung areas of the Leh district and destroyed 175 mines.


The Election Commission of India (ECI) has indicated its intention to announce the schedule for Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir at a later date.  “We will inform about holding Assembly polls in J&K at the right time keeping in view the security and other elections that are also due in the (UT),” Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said while announcing polls for five states, excepting Jammu and Kashmir. Ruling remotely by the central government since 2018 summer, Jammu and Kashmir is desperate for elections. With Kashmir being declared peaceful on an almost daily basis, the Kashmir political class is frustrated about the factors that delayed the polls.

Regional Transport Office (RTO) Kashmir has generated a revenue of Rs 216 crore in the first two quarters of the fiscal 2022-23, marking a 30 per cent growth compared to the previous year’s same period.


In Chewa Kalan (Pulwama), the authorities demolished a building belonging to Darul Uloom (seminary) that was constructed on government-owned land. This action was taken on the recommendation of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which had taken over a militancy-related case involving the killing of two militants in the same building in March 2022. Darul Uloom administrators are already in custody. The three-room building had been out of use since last year, and the remnants were removed by Revenue authorities with police assistance.

With an additional 120 cases, Jammu and Kashmir’s dengue cases stand at 3007.


Kashmir’s Rukhsar Saeed Advances to Final 16 in MasterChef India

Kashmir women who pioneered Frozen Food Venture, Dr Rukhsar Saeed has been selected for the cooking reality show Master Chef India. A resident of Hyderpora, she joined the selected 16, after auditioning for the show and clearing several stages. “When someone eats my food with closed eyes, I want to take him or her to the valleys of Kashmir,” Saeed tells in the Sony Liv promo.

As many as 580 people have been killed and 5565 injured in 4165 road accidents across Jammu and Kashmir this year, so far.


Arundhati Roy

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has approved the prosecution of celebrated author Arundhati Roy and former Central University of Kashmir International Law Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain. The case is related to their 2010 comments on Kashmir and has been registered under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The FIR was filed after a ruling by the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi. The charges against them include promoting enmity between groups, assertions prejudicial to national integration, and statements conducive to public mischief. Notably, two other accused in the case, including a Kashmiri separatist leader, have passed away during the proceedings. The decision on prosecution sanction for sedition under Section 124A of the IPC is pending.

The number of terror-related cases dropped from 113 in 2013 to just 42 in 2023, DGP Dilbagh Singh said.


Jammu and Kashmir Court has denied bail to a man and his father who were arrested on charges of making dowry demands and failing to attend the wedding reception, scheduled four years after the nikah (Islamic marriage ceremony) with the bride. The groom’s absence at the reception was allegedly due to unmet dowry demands. The court, fearing the potential disruption of societal norms and values, refused bail, citing public outcry and the possibility of law and order issues. The case is still in the early stages of investigation, and more severe charges, including rape, may be added.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently allocated Rs 16,000 Crore to Jammu and Kashmir for Security-Related Expenditure (SRE) and Relief and Rehabilitation, as per the 2022-23 annual report.


A genderqueer waiting for his turn to collect the food kits in Srinagar surrounded by other members who have already been provided the kits. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered all administrative departments to add “transgender” as a distinct gender category for government job recruitment. This directive mandates the modification of examination and service rules to include a ‘third gender or any other category’ option in application forms for various positions. The move aligns with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2019 and is intended to prevent discrimination and promote inclusion. Similar actions were taken by the Government of India in 2020 for central government departments.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has terminated the services of 35 employees and the premature retirement of 32 more to stop corruption.


The Police in Jammu and Kashmir have unearthed an inter-state narcotic racket liking Kashmir’s Kupwara with Punjab’s Ludhiana as the major trading centres. So far, eight people – four each from Punjab and Kashmir, stand arrested. DGP, Dilbagh Singh said Kupwara’s Amrohi is the favourite route used for narco-smuggling. “Twelve narco-terror cases have been registered in the area. No evidence of drone drops but credible leads show narcotics have been smuggled physically,” he said. The police stumbled on the gang after it recovered 30kg of cocaine-like at Ramban. While investigating the case, they recovered five crore rupees in cash, 40 fake number plates, seven passports including a fake one, two fake badges of BJP and Punjab Police, one fake sticker of the Punjab government, 14 chequebooks, two fixed deposit receipts, 22 passbooks, 12 Aadhaar cards, nine ATM cards, two pen drives, 38 fake number plates of vehicles, one fake driving licence, 14 RCs, one PAN card, eight mobile phones, one German-made revolver, four diaries and a currency counting machine. The police also seized 44 gm of gold and 385 gm of silver. Manjit Singh of Nawanshehar was the drug magnate who was using fake vehicle number plates were of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. His father Satnam Singh had been declared a proclaimed offender in an NDPS case. The case was cracked with the arrest of a truck driver (JK04F-8057) who had delivered the consignment and taken Rs 45 lakh in cash at Parimpora.


Ravinder Raina

Within days after the administration set free some of the religious figures, the BJP has started visiting them. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was greeted by Dr Darakhshan Andrabi who later personally visited Mushtaq Veeri. Now BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir president, Ravinder Raina has visited south Kashmir cleric Abdul Rashid Dawoodi, who was also set free with Veeri. Dawoodi and Veeri were released last month after spending a year behind bars under the Public Safety Act. Raina also visited Anantnag to express condolence over the demise of slain cleric Dr Qazi Nisar’s wife. Media reports said the outreach is linked to elections.


A heap of currency notes.

Teams of the Income Tax (I-T) department conducted searches at over 40 premises belonging to a business group in Kashmir and Delhi. “During the search operation, incriminating documents, handwritten diaries, and digital devices have been seized. Variation in stock has also been noticed in the various factories and retail outlets. Evidence of undisclosed investments in immovable properties located in the Kashmir Valley of more than Rs 50 crore has also been found from various premises,” an I-T department spokesman said. The Arco Group’s 40 premises were searched in Srinagar, Sopore, Budgam, Sonamarg, Pulwama and Delhi. The business house is in cement, steel, glass, plywood, real estate, tourism, textiles healthcare, etc. The group allegedly was suppressing its taxable income by grossly under-reporting its sales in the cement sector by more than Rs 60 crore over the past several years.


Lubna Nazir Shaboo, A Srinagar resident stuck in Gaza

With more than two million people living in the Gaza Strip that Israel has been pounding non-stop for more than a week are trapped 20 Indians. These include a Kashmiri woman, a biochemist, Lubna Nazir Shaboo, 52. A mother of three, she is married to Gaza engineer Nadal Toman, whom she met when they were studying at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Their two children are in Cairo and the couple is stuck with their daughter in Gaza. She has lived in Gaza since 1997. “My eldest daughter is a doctor and is on an emergency call. She is not safe,” Lubna told reporters on the phone. “I have witnessed every war here and never requested an evacuation. But this time, the situation is different.” She has been appealing to the Government of India to rescue her family. So far, there has not been any possibility of any movement from Gaza to the West Bank or Israel. The last time Lubna visited home in Srinagar was two years ago. She is working for the local university. 


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