JAMMU

Apparently, the right wing BJP that got a landslide mandate from Jammu in 2008 elections is reduced to four seats from 11.

Unlike the last session of the assembly, they operated and acted separately – 4:7. The official minority group led by Jugal Kishore and the allegedly pro-coalition majority led by former defence minister Prof Chaman Lal Gupta was distinct. Minority wore black apparels and shouted slogans against the government on the day one. On obituary references, even Speaker called them separately to speak. When a Congress minister pointed out, Speaker said: “Listen what I say and understand what I do”!

LONDON
British investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark have authored a “definitive story” of the 1995 kidnappings of backpacker visitors in Kashmir by al-Faran. The incident that dominated international news for a long time and even encouraged FBI to place a “cell” in Srinagar for some time eventually got a terrorist tag to the Kashmir militancy. The book – The Meadow, has detailed the “terrifying escape, secret letters and a horrific beheading” of the Norwegian victim. The two authors have accessed diaries, letters, classified police reports and secret tape recordings that New Delhi provided besides speaking to “some of the jihadis involved”.

SRINAGAR

Protesting is nothing new in Kashmir but last week it was a new cause – the dogs. The fast breeding pariahs are a major problem as they bite over 40,000 people a year. As almost everything failed, members of civil society came out in a protest. Led by poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef and many others, police tried to invoke section 144 to unmake the event in Lal Chowk. Somehow cops action went off script. They were carrying placards: “Dogs are out to kill us. Dog lovers, what should we do?” and “Save dogs, kill humans”. Srinagar Municipality has sought Rs 925 crore and 312.5 acres of land to manage dogs!

LONDON

A Western TV network is running a Kidnap and Ransom thriller and the story is set in Kashmir. Trevor Eve, one of UKs best actors, plays Dominic King, an expert hostage negotiator, has to release Mehtas, a British Asian family kidnapped while on holiday visiting their son Mahavir. As the handover is completed, the police arrive and a shoot-out ensues. Dominic gets the family released, but the kidnappers get away with Mahavir on a tourist bus, where they take all those on board hostage. When the tourist bus crashes in a packed market square, Dominic has to negotiate for the safety of a multi-national group of people, battling against the intervention of the Indian police and trying to get to the bottom of the kidnappers’ motives.

TANGMARG
Folks, it is the new non verbal language. Yes. Since the Speaker raised one of his fingers in the house in 2009 and dominated TV news for a long time, politicians seem to be not in control of their fingers. The latest is the lawmaker Ghulam Hasan Mir who raised his finger against the media whey they asked him about fleecing of tourists by the locals, some of whom were his possible voters. Police even asserts that they are aware of the crisis but can not touch them because they are well protected, politically. Post script: Mir told BBC he was merely joking and did not have any “ill intentions” when he showed his middle finger!

JAMMU

TCI Max Director Waseem Tramboo is the new head of CII’s J&K chapter. He was elected to the position by consensus in the last meeting that CII north head Vijay Thadani presided over in Jammu. He replaced KC Group scion Raju Choudhary. Waseem regretted that Kashmir lacks professionalism, an industrial set up and the work culture. Let us see how he changes this all or at least makes an effort to.

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