Friday November 15, 2019
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Kashmir on fire: 7 big developments in the Masarat Alam case so far

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Amid the tense environment after the arrest of Kashmir separatist leader, Masarat Alam, the streets of valley witnessed pitched battles on Friday  when supporters of the Hurriyat Conference confronted the police. The clash led to about a dozen of people being injured and a death of a youth in Narbal.

It is notable that Masarat is accused of organising stone-throwing protests in Jammu and Kashmir in 2010, in which over 100 people were killed.

Let’s have a look at the seven bigger developments in the controversy so far:

  1. After the waving of Pakistan flags in a rally in the valley, a court in Budgam on Friday night ordered seven days police custody for Masarat Alam. His arrest fumed his supporters that led to turmoil in the valley.

  2. Just after the Friday prayers, protesters started to throw stones at the security forces. The clashes led Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to appeal for peaceful protests.

  3. After the killing of a teenager in Tral, Umar denounced the government and commanded an inquiry.

  4. The confidant of Alam, Sayyed Ali Shah Geelani was also stopped from carrying out a march on Friday amidst the tense environment in Tral. The controversial rally carried out on Wednesday was said to be Geelani’s welcome party in the valley after his return from Delhi.

  5. While Alam was taken by police into custody, the hardliner said that,  “Arrest is nothing new for us… this is not happening for the first time. This detention will not deter us.”

  6. Masarat’s controversial remarks and pro-Pakistan slogans raised in the valley attracted great furor in the country, which forced the Home Minister,  Rajnath Singh, to demand from Sayeed strict actions against Masarat.

  7. This forced the Sayeed government to take strict stand against the entire event. On the issue of Pakistani flags hoisted in the rally, Jammu and Kashmir CM said, “Democracy is a battle of ideas, they are free to have their own way, speak their mind. But something which is not acceptable, is not, will not be tolerated.”

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Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Lotus said early snowfall in happening for the second year in succession in Kashmir

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Snowfall, Jammu, Kashmir
The snowfall will peak in the night on November 7, MET said in a statement. Pixabay

Jammu and Kashmir is likely to receive snowfall in the next two days, which could help bring pollution down in neighbouring states.

“The snowfall accompanied by winds will bring down the particulate matter in the air to great extend,” Sonam Lotus, Director of the J&K Meteorological Department, told IANS.

“The active western disturbance and its interaction with cyclone MAHA, currently located in East Central Arabian Sea, is likely to cause moderate to heavy snowfall and rain in plains of J&K, and Ladakh during November 6-8. The snowfall will peak in the night on November 7,” MET said in a statement.

Lotus said early snowfall in happening for the second year in succession in Kashmir. “It’s good for agriculture, but could damage standing crops,” he said.

Snowfall, Jammu, Kashmir
“The snowfall accompanied by winds will bring down the particulate matter in the air to great extend,” Sonam Lotus, Director of the J&K Meteorological Department, told IANS. Wikimedia Commons

The MET has alerted the J&K administration about the likely disruption in road transport, especially through passes, like Zojilla, and on the Srinagar-Jammu-Leh-Manali Highway and Mughal road, due to landslides, low temperature and heavy snowfall.

The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is the main link between Kashmir and the rest of the country.

Last year, the highway remained blocked for several days, cutting Kashmir from rest of the country and causing shortage of essentials in the Valley. Normally, the government stocks up essential supplies ahead of the winter, especially for areas like Tangdhar, Gurez and Ladakh. Most of these areas remain disconnected due to heavy snowfall.

Last year also, Kashmir witnessed snowfall in November. Normally, snowfall begins after November on the upper reaches of Kashmir. The 40-day peak winter season called ‘Chila-e-Kalan’ begins from December 20. Snowfall during the period last longer and is a major source for drinking water in summers.

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The lack of adequate snowfall causes shortage of drinking water in Kashmir in some areas, especially those that are not connected to the drinking water system. (IANS)