Briefing October 24-30, 2021

RAJASTHAN

Governor Satyapal Malik with Home Minister Amit Shah.
Governor Satyapal Malik with Home Minister Amit Shah.

Barey a week after Satya Pal Malik former Jammu and Kashmir governor took a dig on Manoj Sinha administration by saying that in his tenure militants could not dare to get into Srinagar. “Jab tha, tab kuchh nahin ho raha tha, na pattharbaazi ho rahi thi, na hi bharti ho rahi thi, na koi mar raha tha… Terrorist Srinagar ke pachaas kilometre ke daayre mein ghusne ki himmat nahi karte the. Ab toh woh maar rahe hain shehr mein khule aam. (When I was there, there was no stone-throwing by protesters, no recruitment [of terrorists], and nobody was dying. Terrorists didn’t dare to enter a radius of 50 km around Srinagar. Now, they are openly killing people inside the city),” Malik told local reporters on the sidelines of an event that he attended in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district. But the foot-in-mouth BJP leader, now presiding over the Meghalaya Raj Bhawan did not stop there. He later accused Kashmir’s Abdullahs’ and Muftis’ of getting benefitted under the controversial Roshini Scam. Terming Jammu and Kashmir as one of the most corrupt states where 15 per cent goes as a commission (in comparison to 5 per cent in the rest of India), said he rejected two files that could have fetched him a brine of Rs 300 crore.

“After going to Kashmir, two files came to me (for clearance), one belonging to Ambani and another to an RSS-affiliated man who was a minister in the previous Mehbooba Mufti-led (PDP-BJP coalition) government and claimed to be very close to the prime minister,” Malik told an event in Jhunjhunu.“I was informed by secretaries in both the departments that there is a scandal involved and I accordingly cancelled both the deals. The secretaries told me that ‘you will get Rs 150 crore each for clearing the files’ but I told them that I have come with five kurta-pajamas and will leave with that only.”

This triggered a quick response. While Dr Farooq Abdullah accused him of lying, Mehbooba Mufti served him a Rs 10 crore defamation notice asking him to pay the damages for causing a loss of reputation. Panthers Party leaderHarsh Dev Singh slammed him for not taking to task the people who attempted to bribe the governor.

Kalij Pheasant

The administration has discovered adopted Kalij Pheasant as Jammu and Kashmir’s new bird while Hangul continues to be its symbolic animal.

DELHI

15 Corps Commander Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon along with CRPF Inspector General (Operations) Kashmir, Zulfiqar Hasan and IGP Kashmir SP Pani addressing a joint press conference at the army’s 15 Corps headquarters Badami Bagh in Srinagar on Monday, March 11, 2019. KL Image Shuaib Wani

LT Gen KJS Dhillon, former commander of Srinagar based 15-Corps who is now Director-General of Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff has accused Kashmiris of “selective dementia”. Questioning the ‘silence’ of Kashmir’s majority community over the migration of Kashmiri Pandits, he told a webinar that the word “Kashmiri” runs the risk of being treated as a pejorative similar to “Paki” if they do not condemn the killings of non-Muslims. “We are a democratic country where we have a right to dissent, to express our feelings. We have the right to (have our own) feelings but whenever there is a killing by terrorists, selective dementia happens,” he said, insisting “Paki” (Pakistani) was an abuse in the West, and he asked Kashmiris whether they wanted to become “a society like that”. “Where you are called a name… but it is an abuse. Are we heading that way? Do we need to go that way? We have a 5000-year-plus rich history, which is peaceful co-existence, Kashmiriyat, insaniyat (humanity) and Sufiyat (Sufism),” he said.

The General sees Kashmir’s 85 per cent population as silent majority. “Are we headed that way, when someone calls you (Kashmiri), you take it as an abuse? Do you want someone calling you a ‘Kashmiri’ (or asking) ‘are you a Kashmiri’? And it is an offence? So, please be very clear what is happening.”



At an investment of Rs 26.92 crore, the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) set up a 4-level car parking in Press Colony that can accommodate 467 four-wheelers and 132 two-wheelers.

JAMMU

Justice

In a rare case in Kashmir’s judicial history, Khalil Choudhary has convicted Sub-Judge Rajesh Kumar Abrol in a rape case. Police on January 12, 2018, a woman, basically from Ramban and putting up near Nagrota, somehow got in touch with the accused who hired her as domestic help, annulled her marriage, and promised to pay her Rs 5000 per month. He married her but a year later she came to the shock that he had already married twice. As the lady moved to the police, an FIR was registered under Section 420 and 376 RPC. The accused was arrested on January 23, 2018. On basis of the police investigation, Abrol was convicted for the offences under Section 420 and 376 (2) (K) RPC.

Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha dismissed two more employees from the services including the grandson of late Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Anees ul Islam and schoolteacher Farooq Ahmad Butt of Doda.

SHOPIAN

Shakir Ahmad Wani, a tractor driver who was killed in an encounter on October 21. The family says he was a civilian not involved in militancy.

Soldier Karanveer Singh’s family in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna was looking forward to celebrating his birthday. The same day, his ex-serviceman father got a call revealing that his 23-year old son was killed in an exchange of fire in Shopian. Two militants were killed in the encounter at Dragad village. One of the slain militants was Shakir, about whom his family is consistently insisting that he was not a militant. His brother, Rafiq told reporters that Shakir, also 23, who was a tractor driver, was home and after having tea, he took a shower and left for Pulwama Court on his motorcycle to appear in a mining-related case. Then the neighbours informed the family that Shakir’s motorcycle is parked just a few metres away from the house, with the key in the ignition. Police, however, insists that Shakir was a militant and was involved in the killing of a non-local carpenter Sageer Ahmed in Pulwama’s Litter on October 16. The family has evidence to prove Shakir was with them when the carpenter was killed.

RSS Chief, Dr Mohan Bhagwat with students at Seva Bharti Hostel in Jammu on October 2, 2021. Pic: RSS Sewa FB page

In a revelation that even shocked the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat claimed that before the abrogation of Article 370, about 80 per cent of funds allocated to Jammu and Kashmir used to land in the pockets of political leaders.

 JAMMU

In the lawns of the Chief Electoral Officer in Srinagar, CRPF personnel are testing the drones on October 22, 2021. Security grid is deploying drones during the visit of Home Minister, Amit Shah. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Jammu and Kashmir Police have arrested one of its own members, selection grade constable, Ishfaq Malik from Verinag in the drone arms dropping case in Jammu. The police had recovered a packet from the Phalian Mandal area that contained a rifle and three magazines with 30 rounds and an optical sight. It was dropped by a drone from Pakistan during the intervening night of October 1 and 2. Police registered a case under Sections 120-B IPC, 7/25 of the Arms Act and 13,16,18,23 of the ULAP at Satwari police station. During the investigations, police said they arrested Irfan Ahmed Bhat from Anantnag on October 12, allegedly a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant.

The main entrance to the Central Jail Srinagar,, Kashmir’s major jailing facility.

In anticipation of Home minister Amit Shah’s Kashmir visit, the government shifted 26 detainees from the district jails of Baramulla, Kupwara and Poonch and Central Jails Srinagar and Kotbhalwal to Agra in UP.

LADAKH

Ladakh students protested over the delayed recruitments in the UT of Ladakh. Pic: Social Media

With the entire society of Leh joining together and seeking protections and jobs, the administration is in the process of creating a mechanism for meaningful engagement. Last week, Thupstan Chhewang while speaking to a gathering protesting over delay in the recruitment process told the government to avoid making a Kashmir in Ladakh. Now the government is planning to constitute a high-powered committee for holding negotiations with the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) in view of the threat of agitation given by the LAB due to prolonged delay in the constitution of the panel to address their issues including the grant of Statehood and protection to their culture, faith, ecology and demography.

CBI Vehicle outside gate of former minister Lal Singh’s Premises

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Jatinder Kumar for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a civilian on behalf of the branch head of the Jammu and Kashmir Grameen Bank in Kathua.

JAMMU

Within weeks after the protest sponsored by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha administration has authorized the District Collectors to grant permission to an agriculturist to alienate land to a non-agriculturist subject including Mahajans, Khatris and Sikhs. After the state was demoted to UT, they were prevented from purchasing land. The decision allows the Deputy Commissioners to permit the sale of land up to 20 kanals for agriculture and allied activities, and up to 80 kanal in the case of horticulture orchards. The entire process will be completed within 30 days of making an application to this effect.

DUBAI

The government of Dubai and Jammu Kashmir on October 18, 2021, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at developing the Industrial sector and various business enterprises in the UT. Pic: DIPR

The J&K government has signed an MoU with Dubai for real estate development, industrial parks, IT towers, multi-purpose towers, logistics, medical college, super-speciality hospitals. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha and HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World were present on the occasion. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, Dubai expressed confidence that the MoU would bring many opportunities to transform the Industrial sector in Jammu Kashmir. He informed that DP World is a leading provider of smart logistics solutions, enabling the flow of trade across the globe.

DELHI

A senior official of the Jammu and Kashmir administration was robbed by members of the Thak-Thak gang in south Delhi’s Sangam Vihar. The lady official, a Deputy Labour Commissioner in Jammu and Kashmir, has complained that she was travelling from Vasant Kunj to Faridabad and when she reached the Khanpur T-point, two boys signalled her to stop saying fuel was dripping from her car. As soon as she stopped the vehicle to check, two persons riding a scooty snatched her sling bag and fled. The lady officer was accompanied by her son, 15. The bag carried only Rs 2000 besides her ID and ATM card. However, in the bag snatch, the officer suffered minor injuries. The lady, 47, is a resident of Vasant Kunj.

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