Briefing September 26 – October 2, 2021

MUMBAI

Bollywood In Kashmir: This photograph offers some idea about the age-old relationship between Kashmir and the tinsel-town. KL Image: Masood Hussain

Shooting is reported to have begun for web series Kashmir-Enigma of Paradise that Atul Agarwal is directing. The star cast includes Rajniesh Duggal, Inaamulhaq, Sajad Delafrooz, Ihana Dhillon, Akanksha Puri, Delbar Arya and Mahesh Balraj. Naseer-ud-Din Shah, Paresh Rawal and Urvashi Rutela are also expected to play a few characters. It is said to be story of love and longing but nothing much is known about the storyline. Agarwal has said the film has certain historical references from Kashmir starting from 1920. The film will be shot in 120 days by around 200 crew members. The Season-1 will have 10 episodes of 45 minutes each.

In three months ending July 2021, 308 thousand consumers in Jammu and Kashmir paid Rs 35 crore of power tariff digitally to JKPDD.

HANDWARA

In a tragic incident, a cop mistook his colleague as a militant and fired upon him. He died instantly. The slain cop was identified as Ajay Dhar, a resident of Langate. Dhar continued banging the door of the temple, guarded by the cop, despite the guard on duty firing in the air. Eventually, he took his target and fired, police said in a statement. “It is a clear case of mistaken identity as the sentry assumed it was an attack,” Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, was quoted saying.

As many as 67 students of Druk Padma Korpo School, the so-called Ranchoo’s School, in Leh tested positive for Covid19.

PATNITOP

Army choppers flying over the Pangong lake in Ladakh.. This water body being controlled by the two countries is the source of dispute. This KL Image captured by Umer Asif belongs to 2017.

Two pilots flying a Cheetah helicopter on a training sortie crashed at village Shiv Garh near Patnitop. They had taken off from Udhampur, the Northern Command Headquarters and were flying in the Seoj Dhar belt. Though an investigation has been launched, the accident is being attributed to poor visibility as dense fog led to a quick dropping of visibility. The slain duo was identified as Major Rohit Kumar, 35, a resident of Ace City Noida West and Major Anuj Rajput, 28, a resident of Sector 20 Panchkula. This is the second accident in three fortnights. On August 3, an Army helicopter had crashed into Ranjit Sagar dam in Basohli. So far, the body of one pilot Lt Col AS Baath was recovered on August 16 while the mortal remains of another pilot are still untraced.

Jammu witnessed 61.33 lakhs tourists against 34.34 lakh in 2020, 156 lakh in 2019 and 160 lakh in 2018. Most of the visitors are Vaishno Devi pilgrims

PUNJAB

Bilal Ahmad Malik

Bilal Ahmad Malik, 22, a resident of DK Marg was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Moga (Punjab). He was selling shawls in the city. Local police have said Malik has killed himself but the family version is still not known.

SRINAGAR

A group photo of Peoples Conference leaders after former J&K Bank chairman Parvez Ahmad joins party on Thursday September 23, 2021. KL Image by Hilal Shah

Former J&K Bank Chairman and CEO, Parvez Ahmad has finally decided to join politics. Last week, Peoples’ Conference chairman, Sajjad Lone wholeheartedly welcomed him into his “caravan of change”. He said Ahmad will play a pivotal role in scripting JKPC’s agenda for the socio-economic upliftment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Parvez was unceremoniously removed as Chairman of the bank and later investigations were launched.

In the latest dismissals under Article 311(2)(c), six employees including two cops were terminated from services.

SRINAGAR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Altaf Bukhari in Delhi

Last week, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party founder, Altaf Bukhari sounded harsh after he presided over a party meeting. Alleging that Jammu and Kashmir’s resources were “being plundered and sold by the people at the helm of affairs”, he said after sidelining the real representatives and stakeholders, rulers are following their “whims and fancies”. Not 22 employees, he said “all the people of J&K have been terminated”. He added: “People from UP and Bihar will not govern us. No one from UP can come and educate us about governance, we know what is happening in UP.” He threw his weight behind the continuation of Darbar Move, insisting that by undoing it an “emotional wedge” is being created between the people of two divisions. He opposed the idea of giving Dul Hasti-II to NHPC for implementation.

Around 1000 members of 340 displaced families from Kashmir living in Chandigarh registered with Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (M), Jammu and Kashmir during a three-day special camp for domicile certificates.

RESHIPORA

The family and relatives of an Army soldier, Shakir Manzoor, who was allegedly kidnapped and killed staged a protest in Srinagar on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

For Manzoor Ahmad Wagay, it was the conclusion of a long struggle when he finally traced his soldier son; Rifleman Shakir Manzoor’s highly decomposed body from Mohmmadpora village in Kulgam. His son disappeared on August 2, 2020. While eyewitnesses insisted he was kidnapped by militants, as his body did not appear anywhere, some police cops did not rule out the possibility of him joining the militants. Finally, when the body was traced and it was established that he had been killed by militants, Manzoor said finally he was vindicated.

“Naturally, as a father I’m sad. But I’m also happy because whenever I went to the police, they would express suspicion that he had joined the militants,” the 56-year-old told GOC Victor Force, Major General Resham Bali, before a large crowd. “I was living with a stain and felt humiliated. I’m happy that the stigma is removed.”

A close-knit village, the Reshipora had been on tenter-hooks for last one year. On mere suspicion, they would go and dig deep and vast areas. Manzoor had gone melancholic and would routinely sleep outside during the nights. Wagay said someone must have brought the body to the spot and dumped it, after which some residents informed him. He identified his son from his bracelet and stitch marks on his foot.

Jammu and Kashmir has successfully given nearly 11 million counter-Covid19 vaccine shots so far.

BUDGAM

A tournament is in progress at the picturesque Lehanthora stadium in Shopian. Photo Abdul Wajid, Facebook

There might be an emphasis on sports but the Daharmuna youth have raised donations to recreate a cricket field at Dagital ground that had submerged in the 2014 floods. Since 2019, when the patch resurfaced and the people started working on it, they spent around Rs 12 lakh on its revival. Hoping that the government will help in their effort, they alleged the official agencies interrupted to harass them. Cricket is in the air in this village which has two teams, one of the seniors with above 50 and the junior one with players below 50. They compete with each other. The playing ground hosted a tournament recently with 32 teams participating.

NEW YORK

United Nations Flag

September is the month when Kashmir literally moves to New York owing to the United Nations General Assembly. But before Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart flew to the USA, there were a number of interesting developments. During his India visit, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, one of the key allies of India, said Kashmir continues “to be a dispute between two countries” and his country would encourage India and Pakistan “to resolve these issues in a way that can settle these concerns permanently.” It was followed by the OIC contact group on Kashmir, asking Delhi to reverse its decision of scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. To this, the Ministry of External Affairs reacted by asking OIC to disallow “vested interests to exploit its platform”. The MEA also condemned the use of abusive language that some of the UK parliamentarians used against Prime Minister, Narendra Modi while participating in a debate on motion on human rights in Kashmir. “The government takes the situation in Kashmir very seriously but it’s for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political solution, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” Amanda Milling said. “It’s not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to act as a mediator.”

But before Modi and Khan spoke to the UN, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had raked up Kashmir in his speech. “We maintain our stance in favour of solving the ongoing problem in Kashmir for 74 years, through dialogue between the parties and within the framework of relevant United Nations resolutions,” he told the UN. It was quickly followed up by MEA Dr S Jaishanker meeting his Cyprus counterpart Nikos Christodoulides during which he emphasised the need to adhere to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions in respect to the Island nation. “Working to take our economic ties forward. Appreciated his regional insights. Important that relevant UN Security Council resolutions in respect of Cyprus are adhered to by all,” Dr Jaisjaker tweeted. The tweet is seen as a reaction to Erdogan’s Kashmir reference.

This season around six Kashmiris died after falling from walnut trees during fruit harvest.

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