Briefing October 3 – 9, 2021

URI

Ali Babar Patra, a Pakistani orphan was captured alive by the army after killing many of his colleagues in the Uri sector in late September 2021.

Amid ceasefire, the army detected a serious infiltration bid (September 18) in Uri, otherwise a clam border belt. While imposing a sort of emergency in the belt, they successfully killed four and captured one of them alive. On September 25, they killed in a nulla in Slamabad and arrested his colleague, Ali Babar Patra. The recoveries include 7 AK series rifles, 9 pistols and revolvers and more than 80 different kinds of grenades and some Pakistani and Indian currencies. The army later released a video in which Patra detailed his association with the militants and the Pakistani security set-up. “I want to tell my mother that the Indian Army treated me well,” Patra, an orphan, says in the video. “I am requesting ISI, LeT’s area commander to take me back home to my mother as soon as possible.” He had been hired against Rs 20,000 and a promise of getting Rs 30,000 more. “I can hear the azaan (call for prayers) on the loudspeakers five times a day. The behaviour of the Indian Army is completely opposite to that of the Pakistan Army. This makes me feel that there is peace in Kashmir,” Patra adds in the video.

After the IAF withdrew the 30% load penalty after six years, the aircrafts flying in and out of Jammu will have a full load, which will reduce the fares. The scrapping of the order came after the airport underwent extension and resurfacing of the runway including the night landing facility.

JAMMU

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal dismissed a PIL and imposed costs of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner observing that PIL should not be used as a weapon to garner political mileage or scandalise the court. The PIL was initiated by a fresh law graduate, Nikhil Padha seeking reopening of Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission, Women Commission, Accountability Commission and State Information Commission which were closed on account of the removal of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution of India. The bench observed that the narration of the facts in the petition revealed that the petitioner was not a bonafide person but a proxy person set up by someone to initiate the litigation in the public interest. The petition revealed that the petitioner is not really interested in the establishment of the above fora but the real intent was to attack the government over the deletion of the special status granted to the J&K.

In the last nine years, Srinagar’s premier anti-Rabies clinic at SMHS recorded 52593 cases of dog bites, of them 2780 in the last nine months.

SRINAGAR

Press Council members meet Kashmir Editors guild members in Srinagar (KL Image)

Last week, when Mehbooba Mufti released her letter to the Press Council of India on Twitter seeking a fact-finding team to check the state of journalists in Kashmir, it was initially seen as yet another news. A day later, however, this emerging as the first demand of the former Chief Minster that was acceded to by the Council that constituted a team to visit Kashmir. Mufti had written that freedom of speech and expression was under attack; unwarranted harassment of journalists; summoning and interrogation of them on frivolous grounds like tweets; conducting background checks of journalists and their family members by CID, withdrawal of benefits including accommodation of some senior journalists, seizure of mobile phones, laptops, confiscating passports, ATM cards etc. She has also mentioned that 23 Kashmir based journalists have been put on the Exit Control List by the government. The council has constituted a team of three editors to investigate the claims made by Mufti.

In Anantnag, the government said they retrieved 26 kanal of the land of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits in Bijbehara’s Thajiwara belt. In Srinagar, the government said of 660 grievances received, 390 alleging alienation by fraud or distress sale were resolved; 129 grievances alleging encroachments on migrant properties were also verified and resolved. In 20 cases eviction notices were issued, though 12 of them are sub-judice. In 16 cases of tampering of revenue records were verified and cognizance was taken and action was initiated against officials involved.

AHMADABAD

Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) visited Kashmir and arrested a resident in a bomb blast case on Kalupur Railway Station platform on March 19, 2006, in which one was killed and several injured. Bilal Ahmad Dar, a resident of Debina (Baramulla) has been accused of “systemic brainwashing of students at a madrasa in Bharuch and later facilitating their travel to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) for terror training”. Gujarat police have said that two persons Aslam and Bashir were also involved in the post-Godhra case. While Aslam is presently lodged in a jail in Jammu, Bashir was killed in an encounter in 2016.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached S A Rawther Spices Pvt Ltd assets worth Rs 145 crore in a loan fraud in the JK Bank. The owner, Anis, had raised Rs 285 crore against a mortgaged collateral of Rs 171 crore and when the account went bad, it had Rs 67 crore interest liability. He had raised from two other banks, mortgaging the same property, to service his loans.

BANGALURU

Umesh Reddy, a serial killer and rapist started his crimes from Kashmir when he was a CRPF recruit.

Umesh Reddy’s first crime on record was in Kashmir when as a CRPF recruit, he raped the daughter of his commandant and deserted the camp. He moved out of Kashmir and reached Chitradurga, where he managed his appointment as a constable in District Armed Reserve (DAR) in November 1996. There, he attempted to rape a girl in the KEB Colony in Chitradurga, but the girl raised alarm. Days later, he raped and murdered a woman in the same district. Arrested for the first time in 1997, he escaped from jail within two months. He was later arrested in July 1997 while attempting to steal women’s undergarments. Within 24 hours, he escaped. He was picked up by Peenya police on February 28, 1998, while trying to escape after killing another woman. He escaped again while he was being brought to court. A psychopath, investigators said he would choose lone women, get in seeking water and use the victims before killing them. Police said they have evidence that he even abused dead bodies. By the time he was arrested on May 17, 2002, he had involvement in the rape and murders of at least 18 women including five minors. Now the court has ruled that taking away the pervert’s life is essential.

KULGAM

Justice

Nature has its interesting ways to punish people. Last week, a court in Kulgam awarded lifer to murderer after 12 years of the judicial process. It was a simple tale. Father Ali Padder, and son, Altaf, residents of Mirhama, had issues after the father, a formerly SOG man, remarried and divorced his wife. He refused property share to his son. The labourer son arranged Rs 50,000 and paid it as supari to his friend, Shahjahan Padder for killing his father. The contract killer, a gambler, shadowed his father for three days and failed. By then, the father and son had a patch-up. With tensions down, the son sought the supari money back and the contract killer had already pent it. As the tensions went up, the contract killer took him aside and killed him instead. Now the Principal District Judge sent Shahjahan to jail for life.

In an unrelated development, police in Srinagar arrested a man, an employee at SKUAST, for strangulating his wife to death. They belonged to Khudwani village in Kulgam and were living in a rented space at Gulistan Colony Gulab Bagh Zakura.

DELHI

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi created a flutter on social media, last week when he suggested the Jammu and Kashmir government must rename, Jammu and Kashmir Lakes and Waterways Development Authority. “Although not a big fan of name change, I’ll do a Bhajpa here and request the J&K authorities to change / slightly amend the name of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority,” Singhvi wrote. Congressman did not mention the reasons but it was eventually found that two official languages were in a clash. While LAWDA clearly indicated the institution, in Hindi it changed its meaning and became a cuss word. Now the issue is what the government will do – retain English or go with Hindi.

UNITED NATIONS

United Nations Flag

Craig Mokhiber, Director of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, New York has remarked that “restrictive measures in Kashmir can result in human rights breaches and generate greater tensions and discontent”. He has described the use of the UAPA and communication blackouts as “frequent” and “worrying”. He has told NDTV: “We will never side with India or Pakistan on Kashmir. But our job is to protect the vulnerable and take the perspective of the victim.” On September 14, a senior Indian diplomat had responded to the comments made by Michelle Bachelet’s, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “India’s approach to global promotion and protection of human rights is based on our own experience as a pluralistic and inclusive society and vibrant democracy. Any shortcomings in upholding human rights must be addressed in a transparent and impartial manner, anchored in respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of States,” the Indian diplomat had said. To this Mokhibar has said: “There’s an old notion of sovereignty that has been replaced by the evolution of the UN. The old notion of sovereignty is that ‘anything that happens within our borders it is up to the government and it’s no one else’s business’. What the UN Charter did is that you have a binding treaty, a binding law for every country that is a member of the UN. What the UN Charter did was that it internationalized human rights for all of members of the UN.” He added: “It is the responsibility of the government. To claim sovereignty you have a job to make sure that you ensure freedom from fear for your people all over the country.”

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