Kashmir’s Unarmed freedom fighters

Flowing black beard, a headband with “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) and a fluttering green flag. This has been the trademark picture of the recent azadi (freedom) processions of Kashmir, where hundreds of thousands marched the streets of this disputed Himalayan region seeking a separation from India. From a distance, it seems as if the past has returned to Kashmir. But the present contains an irrefutable truth: in place of guns, the people carry slogans. The politics of protest this time is not about the argument of power, but about…

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Ahead of darbar move Kashmir started facing drastic power cuts

The Kashmir Valley is facing drastic power cuts ahead of the shifting of the government offices to winter capital Jammu as part of the Dogra-era practice of Durbar Move. The Power Development Department (PDD) has resorted to unscheduled power outages even in autumn when cuts would usually start from harsh winter months. In most parts of the Valley, power woes are causing immense inconvenience to the general public. Consumers from many areas have complained that they face unscheduled power outages thrice a day. According to the residents of Srinagar and…

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GoI needs to pay heed to ‘Clear Message’: Joint Resistance Leadership

Joint Resistance Leadership on Saturday said that people once again rejected the “forcibly thrust, sham and futile exercise of so called election” as there was a near total boycott of it. “People see this delusive cosmetic attempt as another assault on them and hence are resisting it tooth and nail,” said JRL comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik in a statement issued here. JRL said “it’s time government of India pay heed to the clear message emanating from the rejection of these elections by…

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Blurred lines in Kashmir Conflict: Last call between a rebel son and his mother

Haseena’s last phone call with her teen son Zahid before he died in a gun battle with Indian forces went viral when she did not stop him from the fatal fight. But she says, life in India-administered Kashmir is not as black and white. Bashir Ahmad Mir was woken up by the sound of his phone ringing. It was half past midnight and he didn’t know the number. Mir, in his early 60s, did not take the call, thinking it was Indian soldiers at his gate again. Bashir and his…

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No respite from stray dog menace in Srinagar

Though the High Court has directed Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) to provide required assistance to Srinagar Municipal Corporation for controlling the menace of stray dogs in the summer capital Srinagar, the miseries of people faced due to these canines seem to be unending. People believe here that street dog numbers continue to affect people in majority of the areas of Srinagar city and this will be the trend if the authorities continue to do nothing. “The control methods used are inadequate, as trapping is rarely a method that…

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As winter approaches, power scenario set to worsen across Kashmir Valley

Kashmir is likely to face acute shortage of power this winter again as two key projects that would have increased the energy handling capacity within the Valley by around 500-MW haven’t been completed, even as the energy requirement keeps rising. Against unrestricted power requirement of around 1900-MW, the power development department is able to handle only 1250-MW within the region owing to deficient grid infrastructure, leaving deficit of 650-MW. Last year, after a series of reports in Kashmir Post over years of “sabotage” in completion of two centrally-funded grid stations—Alstang…

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From Sainik School to Hizb: Manan Bashir Wani’s journey

From being an outstanding student to one of the most-wanted militants in Kashmir, Manaan Bashir Wani, a former PhD scholar at Aligarh Muslim University, was among a stream of highly-educated youth who joined militancy since 2016 uprising in Kashmir. A profile of 27-year-old Wani as sketched by security agencies shows Wani was a brilliant student from the beginning and after his initial education, he went to prestigious Sainik School at Manasbal for completing his 11th and 12th class. Wani received several awards during his academic years and had also remained…

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Haven’t seen ‘Such An Election’ anywhere before: CRPF Personnel

Deserted polling booths and lack of poll festivity was a “rare sight” for Central Reserve Police Force personnel deployed for the first time in Srinagar to guard polling booths during the second phase of urban local body elections Wednesday. At least six CRPF men were seen guarding a polling booth at ward number 24 in Chattabal area—which witnessed zero voting—and gossiping about why people in Kashmir don’t turn up to vote. Ramesh Kumar, a CRPF man from Chattisgarh, who was deployed for poll duty for the first time in Kashmir,…

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‘Who is contesting against whom’, This is not election but mystery

As Srinagar’s Batamaloo and Karan Nagar areas went to polls during the second phase of urban local body elections Wednesday, the residents in the twin localities said they neither know the location of polling booths nor the names of contestants. This reporter had to roam for around 20 minutes inside Batamaloo to finally locate five polling booths set up outside the police control room (PCR) where—till 3 pm—only 13 votes had been cast. The poll timing was 6 am to 4 pm. “We don’t know anything about polling booths, election…

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Unique elections in India where voters don’t know who the candidates is?

BJP Lotus to bloom in Kashmir? Srinagar: It is a ghost election with secret candidates and invisible voters. Even before tomorrow’s first phase of polling for Urban Local Bodies, the BJP has already got seven municipal committees in the Kashmir Valley. The party says its 75 nominees have been elected unopposed. 60 percent of 600 municipal wards in 10 districts of the Valley have either a single candidate getting elected unopposed or they remain vacant in the absence of any candidate at all. The civic elections are being boycotted by…

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