Briefing September 6 – September 12, 2020

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August witnessed the recovery rate in Covid-19 cases improving to 77 per cent but the deaths are surging. Jammu and Kashmir has already lost 790 people as around 8500 are fighting the contagion, right now.

Jammu and Kashmir Cements Ltd, a PSU rendered defunct since July 2019 by bad decision-making has its liabilities crossed Rs 300 crore. Its 600 staffers on rolls have an uncertain future as their colleagues retired in the last five years are awaiting the savings of their careers.

Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued 12.50 lakh domicile certificate and 99 per cent were state subjects. Now parties are asking who the One Percent (120500) recipients are? The government said 11,398 were West Pakistan refugees, 415 were Valmikis’ and 10 were Gorkhas.

SRINAGAR

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha visits Hazratbal Shrine on September 1, 2020. Photo:DIPR

Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha has started a sort of outreach and he has been visiting the urban and peripheral spaces. He already visited Hazratbal Shrine and later drove to the Chrar-e-Sharief shrine, where he took stock of the facilities and also interacted with the people around. He directed the safety audit of the shrine at Chrare-e-Sharief and Dargah by IIT Roorkee. He also drove to Pulwama. For the first time since the BJPDP government fell, Sinha emerged as the first CEO of Kashmir who has started meeting the media.

LADAKH

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressing the Indian troops, during his visit to Nimu in Ladakh on July 03, 2020. A PIB Photo

With around 1,000 sq km already under Chinese occupation, the Red Army has warmed up the high altitude Pangong Pso forcing authorities to close the highway and induct more troops. PLA has made ingress on the southern banks of the lake that was resisted and foiled. Talking to US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) conclave last week, General Rawat said China and Pakistan are collaborating militarily, economically and diplomatically. The tensions led Army chief General Naravane to fly to Ladakh, meet the soldiers and visit the Chushul sector. This sector is home to Pangong Tso and Rechin La near Rezang La, where India reportedly occupied vacant heights last weekend, giving its troops a commanding view of the terrain. Troops can keep an eye on China’s Moldo garrison and prevent any attempt to ingress via the Spanggur Gap.

The army has already deployed the Special Frontier Force (SFF), an elite para-military unit manned by volunteers from the 120,000-strong Tibetan refugee community living in India, since 1962. It was one of the unit’s leaders, Nyima Tenzin who was killed in action last week as his colleague survived injured. In the recent standoff, amid three months of peace-making, PLA is reported to have crossed into the Indian side of the LAC south of Pangong Tso and occupied a mountain called Helmet Top. Soldiers from Thakung post intervened and this triggered a new crisis. Ajay Shukla, a defence journalist, reported that PLA now occupies two Indian positions of Helmet Top and Black Top. On lake’s northern bank, China dominates areas between Finger 4 and Finger 8, a distance of about 8 km, which comes within the Indian side of the LAC.

India has advanced soldiers to effectively hold around 30 dominating heights on lake’s southern bank which were hitherto unoccupied. “Neither side is backing down. Both countries are driven by dominant, nationalistic leaders — in India’s case, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and in China’s, President Xi Jinping,” New York Times reported. “Each nation has sent in thousands of reinforcements, supported with all the tools of modern warfare — tanks, artillery, helicopters and fighter jets. And no third country has emerged as a peacemaker to ease the tensions.”

NEW YORK

The 'controversial' Pellet Gun

KL File Photo

Human Rights Watch has reiterated its suggestion that Delhi must ban the use of shotguns firing metal pellets to disperse crowds. The demand came in wake of the use of the weapon against the Muharam mourners in Kashmir. It quoted February 2018 MHA data saying that 17 people had died from pellets between 2015 and 2017. IndiaSpend has reported, according to HRW that pellets blinded 139 people between July 2016 and February 2019. In January 2018, Mehbooba Mufti told the erstwhile assembly that 6,221 people were injured by pellets between July 2016 and February 2017 and among them, 782 people had eye injuries.

SRINAGAR

Finally, Urdu has lost its special status in Jammu and Kashmir. After being the official language for more than 131 years, the BJP government in Delhi ruled that Dogri, Hindi, Kashmiri will be the additional official languages in addition to English. “It is not only the fulfilment of a long-pending public demand from the region but is also in keeping with the spirit of equality, which was ushered in after August 5 last year,” Prakash Javdekar said in Delhi. Urdu replaced Persian as Kashmir’s official language in 1889 as the Dogra monarch’s believe it had acceptability across the diverse regions of the new state created by the deceit of 1846. Though Urdu continues to be the language in revenue, court and police records at the base level, it is global English that is the real official language. NC leader Agha Ruhullah sees it as “cultural invasion”. People see it a deliberate attempt to add to communication gaps: You write in Kashmiri, get a response in Dogri and eventually both English and Urdu speakers would require a translation! This has led to new tensions, Sikhs see the order as discrimination to Punjabi, and other groups see what will happen to Gujri and Pahadi.

DELHI

The Srinagar couple Jahanzaib Sami Wani and Hina Bashir Beg who were arrested by police on March 8, 2020, in Delhi. Pic: internet

Federal investigator, the NIA has filed a charge sheet against five people for their alleged association with the banned Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), an Islamic State affiliate. These include Jahanzaib Sami of Delhi, Hina Bashir of Kashmir, Abdullah Basith of Hyderabad and Sadiya Anwar Shaikh and Nabeel Siddick Khatri, both of Pune. They have been accused of conspiring to create disaffection against the government, promoting enmity among different religious communities and committing subversive activities.

JAMMU

Lt Governor meeting with Kuldeep Hondoo, National Chief Coach, WUSHU along with Bilquis Mir, National Chief Coach, Water Sports

Kuldeep Handoo, the 11-time national champion who took to coaching in 2006, and guided several Asiad and World Championship medallists in his mentoring career has bagged Dronacharya award. Born to an STC clerk in Motiyar Rainawari in Srinagar, Handoo’s migrated to Jammu where Kuldeep learnt wushu from coach Vishal Sharma. After becoming an expert, Handoo won 11 national titles between 1995 to 2007 in 75 Kg and 80 Kg in men’s sanda event. In 2006 Handoo started coaching Wushu Association of India for the world junior wushu championships in Malaysia. He later started coaching the senior team.

ANANTNAG

A conman, projecting himself to be a faith healer, was arrested by police for allegedly raping two girls. Identified as Ashraf Mir, son of Ghulam Ahmed Mir, a resident of Akingam village, he was arrested after a resident of Tailwan Achabal village lodged a complaint with police levelling charges of raping his two daughters against Mir who used to visit him at his residence. Off late, these cases are getting frequently reported. Police said they have formally registered a case FIR 68/2020 under section 376 and are investigating the case.

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