Briefing October 30 – November 5, 2022


Human trafficking gang busted in Budgam on Friday October 28, 2022

The Jammu and Kashmir Police said they busted a human trafficking gang, arrested three persons – Shamim Ahmad Bhat, Shagufta and Asmat, and rescued 14 victims including minors. The raid was carried out at Dulipora Parthan. The trio, police said, were “procuring” girls from different places and “exploiting” them. While the accused are in police custody, those recovered have been shifted to Nari Niketan Rehabilitation Centre, Chadoora. Not many details were revealed by the police. “In a couple of days we will come to know,” a police official was quoted as saying, “if this gang was bringing women here for marriage against money, or there were other angles to it.” The incidence of crimes against women is already up in Jammu and Kashmir. National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data suggests the crimes against women rose by 15.62 per cent over the past year in Kashmir. There were 1013 cases of abduction of women and almost half of these incidents were for the purpose of forced marriage.

Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages has 26 Gazetted Officers, 72 non-Gazetted and 18 Class-IV positions vacant for a long time.


The District Tuberculosis Centre (DTC) operating within the Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag premises at Brakpora has been shifted to Mattan, more than 8 km away, where it operates from the Primary Health Centre. This has created a crisis for patients facing pulmonary issues. Though the authorities insist the arrangement is temporary, the patients are seeking its operations within the town. The facility shifted because the building from which it was operating was demolished to pave way for a car parking facility. Officials said they are exploring the possibility of relocating the facility within the municipal limits of the town.

In Jammu, Dengue fever has killed nine persons as 15679 people contracted the vector-borne infection.


Paahun, the VIP lounge at Srinagar airport, is in lingo controversy

All languages convey everything but have their own peculiarity, grammar and vocabulary. A word in one language would convey a different thing to the speaker of a different language. That is what exactly happened in Jammu and Kashmir. For the incumbent rulers of Jammu and Kashmir, the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) conveyed something different because they spoke in English but understood in their own language. One fine morning, the policymakers had a session and changed LAWDA to Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA). Almost a year later, a similar situation has emerged in exact reverse. It was revealed by former Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu in a tweet. “Perils of homogenisation on display!” he tweeted. “Srinagar Airport Executive Lounge has been named “Paahun” which in colloquial rural Kashmir means defecating. Formally, “Paah” in Kashmiri is collection of excreta or dung to be used as manure. “un” is a genitive suffix denoting belonging.” The lounge renamed is VVIP area where all important persons wait for their take off. So going by the logic, it is offensive to Kashmir. Is it being renamed as well?


10-Year-old orphan boy identified as Rafqat Ali resident of Badamwari area of Hawal in Srinagar sells Kangris (firepots) to support his family

It was heart-wrenching news that broke the internet. Rafaqat Ali, 11, from the Badamwari (Hawal) area sells Kangris (traditional firepot) to support his family of five after his father died a few years ago. Ali’s neighbour provided him with a stock of Kangris. Ali leaves home after school with a load of fire pots on his shoulders. His sole motive is to earn something that will help him and his sister continue their studies. Their mother, who works as a peon in schools, couldn’t help her elder son and daughter to continue their studies. The news story was widely read and many people committed to supporting the preteen orphan. Some suggested that the people must help him by purchasing Kangris from him. “Buy from him to keep his dignity,” one comment suggested. Rafaqat lost his father to blood cancer, four years ago.


Dr Hilal A Makroo

Dr Hilal A Makroo, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Food Technology of the Islamic University of Science and Technology was conferred the Young Scientist and Technologist award by the government of India’s Department of Science and Technology. The award is granted under the theme “Socio-economic Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” for his research on “Ohmic heating based novel aseptic and continuous processing of viscous food materials for shelf-life enhancement”. Under this project, Dr Makroo and his research team will be working on designing joules of heating-based unconventional thermal processing equipment for the aseptic and continuous processing of viscous food materials. The project is aimed to develop novel processing equipment and a process to tackle the limitations of traditional processing.”


Choudhary Lal Singh

Politicians in Jammu and Kashmir are getting houseless again. In the latest list, reports in media suggest that Choudhary Lal Singh, formerly with Congress with BJP, is among the less than a dozen politicians who were served notices to vacate government accommodation in Jammu. They have been given one week to leave their ‘illegal’ occupation. In Kashmir, similar notices were served to several politicians, including the PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Reports said Mehbooba was offered three alternatives but she found them not suitable. Now, she is planning to live in a house that belongs to her relatives in Harwan.


A 37-year-old prison inmate – Mohammad Yousuf Bhat son of Abdul Aziz Bhat, a resident of Prangroo Mawer Handwara – died in Kupwara jail. While the family alleged that the inmate was killed in custody, the police said he fell off the stairs within the jail building. The deceased was under trial in an NDPS case.


The lumpy skin disease infections among cows in Jammu and Kashmir are on an upward tick. Following the increase in cases, the authorities have now started mass vaccination of livestock. Rapid Response Teams consisting of veterinary medics have been formed by the concerned department who are going door-to-door to administer the vaccination. The department said they vaccinated around 175,353 cattle till mid-October. The government expects to vaccinate the entire cattle population by mid-November. In Kashmir, 17488 cases have been reported of which 7779 have already recovered and 6467 cases are active. Pulwama has reported the highest number of 2641 cases followed by 2548 in Kulgam. So far 1242 deaths have taken place.


At a time when Ladakh is up in anger and is keen to start an agitation for its rights, tension is brewing in neighbouring Himachal with which it shares a lot of boundaries. The issue is at the centre stage ahead of the November 12 Assembly elections in the hill state, with the point of contention being Sarchu on the Manali-Leh highway. The Lahaul youth claim that Leh residents have “intruded” into Himachal territory and are operating almost 17 km deep into Himachal. The Leh residents have set up summer eateries and camping sites where thousands of tourists are being served. Sarchu is the mid-point between Manali and Leh at 14,000 ft and has emerged as a popular camping site. The dispute owes its genesis to July 2014 when the Jammu and Kashmir Police set up a post at Sarchu for Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s Kaalchakra initiation in Ladakh. In 2019, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur raised the matter with the Centre, but to no avail. There were many scuffles between the residents of the two areas in past.


Asserting that India is committed to retrieving Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) from Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the government will abide by the 1994 Lok Sabha resolution. “Pakistan Government is sowing the seeds of hatred in PoJK and time is not far when people will resort to mass rebellion there,” Singh said in his speech on the Infantry Day, the Shaurya Diwas observed on October 27, in Budgam. “People of PoJK are being deprived of all basic rights and we are fully aware of it.” Asserting that the dream of Sardar Valabbhai Patel will be fulfilled when all refugees of 1947 will get their land and homes back. “And I assure you that day will come….” Post-Art 370, Singh said Jammu and Kashmir is marching towards success, peace and prosperity. “Before rolling back Article 370, Kashmiri society was divided into segments, but post-August 5, 2019, all sections of society are collectively marching towards success and prosperity. This was just the beginning.” He added: “We have only just begun walking north, our journey will be complete when we implement the resolution passed unanimously by the Indian Parliament on February 22, 1994, by reaching the remaining parts (of PoK), Gilgit and Baltistan.”


Weeks after his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister, Amit Shah said that there has been a drop of 90 per cent in terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir after the reading down of Article 370. Addressing a Chintan Shivir in Haryana, the Home Minister said that in 34 months post-August 5, terror incidents went down by 34 per cent as compared to the number of incidents recorded in 37 months before August 5, 2019. He said that 64 per cent fewer deaths were reported. He said Jammu and Kashmir received a total investment of Rs 19,000 crore till 2019 while in the last three years an investment of Rs 57,000 crore has come in.


The government banned the medical practice of three doctors for violating the Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs). The doctors were identified as Dr Junaid Khursheed of District Hospital Budgam, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Sub District Hospital (SDH) Sopore, and Dr Yawar Nisar of Super-Specialty Srinagar. The ban came from the National Health Authority (NHA). The STG’s promote therapeutically-effective and economically-efficient use of medicines.


Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

Asking Kashmiris to change their mindset, LG, Manoj Sinha said: “There is a peculiar social problem among Kashmiris. They don’t want to go outside Kashmir. There is a Tata Technology Centre in Baramulla. I met 58 engineering graduates and post-graduates. They had been trained in artificial intelligence, robotics, everything. But when I asked Tata guys how many of them were in job, they said 7. I was like what is the point of running a centre that can ensure jobs for only 7 out of 58. He said students were not ready to go outside of Kashmir… In Bandipora, the DM had organised a job fair. A Chennai-based mobile manufacturing company had come there and offered jobs to 18 people. Only two joined. So I wish to urge the Kashmir intelligentsia that it is important to create more opportunities in Kashmir and the same is being done, but we also need to go out and look for opportunities.”


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