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Muheet Ul Islam

Srinagar, India
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About Muheet
Muheet Ul Islam is a journalist and filmmaker who reports from the Indian-administered Kashmir.  His expertise lies in narrative journalism, honed at the Central University of Kashmir.

Muheet's work transcends borders, gaining recognition from a vast network of international media outlets.  These include established names like TRT World, Voice of America, The New Arab, Newsweek Middle East and The Diplomat reflecting his dedication to sharing the stories of Kashmir with a global audience.
Languages
English Hindi Urdu
Services
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
+14
Skills
Climate Change Fact Checking
Portfolio

Indians ‘tricked’ into fighting for Russia with promise of jobs in Dubai

02 Mar 2024  |  The Telegraph
The article discusses the plight of Indian citizens who were deceived by Baba Vlogs into traveling to Russia under the pretense of employment in the UAE. Instead, they found themselves forced into military training and pushed to the frontlines in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Families of the victims, including Ms Begum and Mohammad Amin Sheikh, have spoken out about their loved ones being trapped and facing harsh conditions. They have sought help from the Indian government, which is in talks with Russian authorities to secure their release. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs, through spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal, has acknowledged the situation and is working to assist the affected individuals. Faisal Khan of Baba Vlogs has not responded to requests for comment.

One Kashmiri man's work to share the message of the Quran through Hindi poetry

02 Feb 2024  |  thenationalnews.com
Shafi Mohammad Mir, an 88-year-old from Srinagar, Kashmir, has translated the Quran into Hindi poetry to share its message with non-Muslims and address misunderstandings about Islam. His work was inspired by a conversation with a colleague and later encouraged by a prominent Islamic scholar. Mir's translation, which took nearly 20 years, was done manually and is currently being digitized and reviewed by Islamic scholars in India. His family, including his son Qaisar Shaifi Mir and brother Abdul Hamid Mir, are involved in the validation and digitization process. The printed version will feature Arabic verses alongside Hindi phrases.

Paper Mache Christmas Decorations Become a Source of Income for Craftsmen in Kashmir

01 Dec 2023  |  voaindonesia.com
Paper mache crafts produced in Indian-controlled Kashmir have become best-sellers in the American and European markets ahead of Christmas. High demand requires craftsmen to spend several months on production. Despite their hard work, artisans like Mohammad Iqbal Shah feel the earnings are not commensurate with their efforts. The process starts in Srinagar, where paper is soaked, ground, mixed with flour and glue, molded, and sun-dried. Craftsmen then decorate the objects, which include balls, bells, and stars, to be sold as Christmas decorations. Mohammad Amir Dar from Ubaid Handicrafts states they receive large orders from Europe and America, involving over 500 individuals per factory. Local demand in the predominantly Muslim region is low, with expectations of sales from tourists. Most producers export their products to national and international markets to earn income.

Prominent Farming Area in Indian Kashmir Turns Into Garbage Mountain

28 Nov 2023  |  voanews.com
The Achan area of Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir, once known for farming and wetlands, has been transformed into a massive garbage dump, causing distress to local residents.

Indians ‘tricked’ into fighting for Russia with promise of jobs in Dubai

05 Oct 2023  |  www.aol.com
At least 20 Indian citizens have been tricked into joining the Russian army to fight in Ukraine after being lured to the UAE with promises of jobs in Dubai. Families of the victims report that they were forced into military service and are facing harsh conditions. The Indian government is aware of the situation and is working to secure their release. The vlogger Faisal Khan, who allegedly facilitated the deception, did not respond to requests for comment.

The Indian side of Kashmir is seeing more female authors emerge in the Indian side of Kashmir.

From Floods to Drought, Kashmir Wrestles With Climate Extremes

26 Sep 2023  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the extreme weather conditions in Indian Kashmir, highlighting the impact of climate change on the region. It describes how the Jhelum river's water levels have fluctuated dramatically, from dangerous flooding to unprecedented lows, causing concern among local residents. The heat wave in September led to a severe water crisis, with people resorting to using contaminated water. The Jal Shakti Department is mentioned as struggling to provide adequate water supplies. Environmentalists and government officials acknowledge the role of climate change and global warming in these events. The article also touches on the economic impact, particularly on the horticultural and agricultural sectors, with significant damage to crops like apples and saffron. Relief from the heat wave is anticipated with expected rainfall and temperature drops.

Risks High for Kashmiris Serving in Indian Army

13 Sep 2023  |  voanews.com
Kashmiri soldiers serving in the Indian army are exposed to dangers both in the line of duty and when returning to India-controlled Kashmir due to the ongoing insurgency and threats from anti-India militants.

Exiled Tibetan MPs Visit Indian-Administered Kashmir Seeking Support

06 Sep 2023  |  Voice of America
Members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile visited Kashmir to garner support against Chinese rule in Tibet. They met with local political leaders, including former chief ministers, to discuss the strategic importance of Tibet for India and the human rights abuses faced by Tibetans under Chinese annexation. The exiled lawmakers emphasized the cultural genocide and violations occurring in Tibet, citing reports from Freedom House and concerns from U.N. experts. They urged Indian leaders to recognize Tibet as an occupied nation and to support dialogue between China and representatives of the Dalai Lama. The Central Tibetan Administration officials also met with leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, who expressed their commitment to democratic values and human rights. The article also touches on the historical context of Tibet's relationship with China and the presence of the Dalai Lama in India since 1959.

Kashmir's Female Rappers Fight Misogyny with Music

31 Aug 2023  |  euronews
The article by Muheet Ul Islam and Nawsheena Mushtaq for Euronews Culture highlights the emergence of female hip-hop artists in the Indian side of Kashmir. It focuses on the stories of several women, including Mehak Ashraf (Menime), Anam Nassir (Rapper Annie), and Iqra Nissar (Yung Illa), who have overcome societal challenges and misogyny to express themselves and their struggles through rap. The article discusses the influence of male rappers like Eminem and local artist MC Kash, as well as the support from figures like Ahmer Jawed. Despite facing criticism for promoting 'vulgarity and western culture,' these women are determined to use hip-hop as a medium for storytelling and to address issues like sexual violence. The article also touches on the historical context of Kashmir's conflict and the role of music in social change.

Kashmiri Political Cartoonists Complain of Intimidation, Self-Censorship

17 Aug 2023  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the decline of political cartooning in Indian-administered Kashmir following increased government scrutiny and a new media policy introduced in 2019. Cartoonists and editors express concerns over the loss of free speech and the ability to critique the government, as the region's newspapers now rely heavily on government advertisements for revenue, leading to self-censorship. The new policy allows authorities to control media accreditation, distribution of government advertising, and what is considered false news. Despite claims by the Department of Information and Public Relations that there is space for critical expression, evidence suggests a stark contrast between the bold political cartoons published before 2019 and the subdued ones seen today. Notable cartoonist Bashir Ahmad Bashir, also known as BAB, declined to comment, while Mir Suhail, a U.S.-based cartoonist, emphasized the importance of critique in democracy.

Two Universities in Indian Administered-Kashmir Drop Authors' Works From Program

28 Jul 2023  |  Voice of America
Two universities in Indian-administered Kashmir, the University of Kashmir and Cluster University Srinagar, have removed works by authors Agha Shahid Ali and Basharat Peer from their master's program curriculum. This action is reportedly based on a verbal order from the regional government, which university officials have confirmed. The removed works include Ali's poems and Peer's memoir 'Curfewed Night', which deal with themes of exile, nostalgia, and the political situation in Kashmir. The decision has sparked a debate on freedom of expression and cultural representation in the region. Critics argue that the move is part of a larger effort by the Indian government to suppress Kashmiri identity and intellectualism. Local news reports and individuals such as former education minister Syed Naeem Akhtar Andrabi and author Mirza Waheed have criticized the removal as an attack on academic freedom and an attempt to erase Kashmir's literary and cultural heritage.

Pro-India Political Parties in Indian Kashmir Optimistic as Indian Top Court Orders Hearing on Special Status Restoration

18 Jul 2023  |  www.voanews.com
The Supreme Court of India has ordered a hearing on petitions challenging the 2019 revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status. Pro-India political parties in the region express optimism about the restoration of the special status, citing constitutional guarantees and historical agreements. The government defends its decision, claiming positive impacts, while the court refuses to consider a fresh affidavit. Key political figures, including Muzaffar Shah, Hasnain Masoodi, Mehbooba Mufti, and Raman Bhalla, emphasize the unconstitutional nature of the revocation and the importance of the Supreme Court's decision. The BJP maintains its stance on repealing the articles but respects the judicial process.

Kashmir's Transgender Community Skeptical of New Welfare Board

14 Jul 2023  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the challenges faced by the transgender community in Kashmir, highlighting the lack of basic human rights and increased rates of crimes against them. It mentions the ethnographic study 'Hijras of Kashmir: A Marginalized Form of Personhood' and the recent formation of a Transgender Welfare Board by the Kashmir government. However, the transgender community is dissatisfied with the board's governing body, which includes no transgender members, fearing that their needs will not be understood or met. The community seeks full representation on the board to ensure their rights are safeguarded. The article also touches on the need for a home for older transgender individuals, recounting the tragic deaths of two community members.

Exotic Farming Thrives in Indian Kashmir Responding to Demand for Non-Indigenous Vegetables

10 Jul 2023  |  www.voanews.com
Farooq Ahmad Gannie transformed his apple orchard in Pulwama, Kashmir, into an exotic farm due to declining apple prices. Exotic farming, involving non-indigenous vegetables like parsley and broccoli, has gained popularity, providing job opportunities and meeting local demand. The practice is supported by the government and seen as a way to boost the region's economy without harming traditional horticulture. Advocates like Mohammad Rafiq and Mehraj Ahmad Dar highlight its economic and nutritional benefits, while officials emphasize its role in enhancing the Gross State Domestic Product.

Militancy Resurfacing in Jammu Division on Indian Side of J&K

20 Jun 2023  |  voanews.com
Militancy by separatist insurgents in Jammu, part of India’s Jammu and Kashmir territory, is resurfacing after 14 years, with at least six deadly attacks since 2021 resulting in 33 deaths. Former Indian army officer Deependra Singh Hooda attributes the resurgence to reduced security presence due to troop redeployment to the China border and militants' difficulties in the Kashmir Valley. The militants have utilized dense forests for cover, evading capture despite extensive search operations by government forces. The resurgence has instilled fear among locals, disrupting their daily activities. The police and army are actively pursuing the militants, who have adapted their strategies to avoid detection and do not enjoy the same local support as in the Kashmir valley.

Legacy Craftsmen in Indian Kashmir Face Indifference, Low Demand

06 Jun 2023  |  voanews.com
Kashmir valley, known for its unique craftsmanship influenced by central Asian arrivals with the spread of Islam, is seeing a decline in demand for its traditional crafts. Three specific skills are at risk of being lost. The report is from Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir.

In-depth: As attacks against India's Muslim community escalate, a popular genre of Hindu supremacist songs have provided a new soundtrack to the nation's religious violence.

05 Apr 2023  |  The New Arab
The article discusses the rise of a genre of music in India known as 'Hindutva pop', which promotes Hindu supremacy and contains anti-Muslim lyrics. This music has become popular since the Hindu nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), came to power in 2014. Artists like Ved Vyas and Prem Krishnvanshi, who are associated with the right-wing ideology, have produced songs that call for the 'saffronisation' of India and the exodus of Muslims. Despite the artists' claims that their music does not incite violence, the songs have become anthems for right-wing supporters and are feared to instigate violence against Muslims. The article also touches on the claims by Hindu nationalists that historical monuments like the Taj Mahal are actually Hindu temples. Experts express concern that this genre of music could harm communal harmony and become a tool for violence against the Muslim community.

Security Tightened, Some Residents Detained Ahead of Modi's Kashmir Visit

07 Mar 2023  |  voanews.com
Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kashmir on March 7, security has been heightened and some residents detained. This marks Modi's first visit since the revocation of Kashmir's special status in 2019. The deployment of thousands of security personnel in Srinagar has led to frisking and searches, causing discontent among locals. Modi's visit includes the dedication of an agricultural development program and the launch of tourism projects. The BJP hopes the visit will garner support for the upcoming elections, despite skepticism from some residents about the benefits of the visit and criticism over the region's high unemployment rate and loss of special status.

India Seizes Properties Worth Millions in Kashmir

28 Dec 2022  |  voanews.com
Indian authorities have seized over 20 properties linked to the banned Islamist group Jamaat-i-Islami in Kashmir, escalating tensions in the region. The seizures, including the former home of separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, were conducted by the National Investigation Agency and the State Investigative Agency. The government has targeted dozens more properties, with claims of 188 identified for legal action. Critics, including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, view the seizures as collective punishment, while legal experts call for due process. Affected individuals, like Naseema Begum, whose family is accused of harboring militants, deny any affiliation and decry the actions as unjust.

Christmas Celebrated on the Indian Side of Kashmir

28 Dec 2022  |  www.voanews.com
A small Christian community in Indian-administered Kashmir celebrated Christmas with enthusiasm, contributing to the region's education, health, and sports sectors despite being a minority in the predominantly Muslim area.

The Little People of Kashmir

12 Dec 2022  |  The Express Tribune
The article shares the personal stories of individuals with dwarfism in Indian-administered Kashmir, focusing on the social challenges and discrimination they face. Parvaiz Ahmad and Abdul Hameed Sheikh recount their experiences of being bullied, not taken seriously at work, and the difficulties in finding life partners due to societal biases. Ahmad, who works in the entertainment industry, and Sheikh, a government school peon, both highlight the lack of support and mockery they have encountered, even from the media. The article also touches on the pain of their loved ones, as exemplified by Haleema, a mother of children with dwarfism, who speaks about the ridicule and exclusion her family has faced. The journalists, Muheetul Islam and Tabish Khan, provide a glimpse into the lives of little people in the region, emphasizing the need for greater understanding and acceptance.

Are “part-time terrorists” on the rise, or is the term used to evade accountability for police abuses?

12 Dec 2022  |  thediplomat.com
The article discusses a controversial operation in Srinagar, Kashmir, where Indian security forces killed three men, including a businessman and a construction worker, during a search for militants. The police labeled one of the deceased as a 'hybrid militant,' a term that has come under scrutiny. The term 'hybrid militant' emerged after targeted civilian killings and refers to part-time terrorists who are not listed as militants and are difficult to track. The families of the deceased and local politicians have questioned the legitimacy of the operation and the use of the term, fearing it could be used to justify police abuses and target dissent. The article also touches on the changing strategies of militants in the region and the potential misuse of the 'hybrid militant' label to cover up intelligence failures and human rights violations following the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's autonomy in 2019.

The Babri Mosque ruling galvanized a new wave of legal attacks, with Hindu nationalist groups claiming hundreds of mosques built by Muslims emperors centuries ago were temples in ancient India.

Indian Kashmir Witnessing Rise in Wild Animal Attacks

02 Nov 2022  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the increasing incidents of man-animal conflict in the Kashmir region, particularly involving leopards and bears. It recounts several tragic events where locals, including children, were attacked and killed by leopards. The region's forests, which are home to diverse wildlife, have seen an increase in human-wildlife interactions due to factors such as habitat disturbance, land-use changes, and climate change. The local wildlife department has been involved in efforts to manage the situation, including compensating victims' families and conducting awareness programs. However, there are complaints about delayed compensation and concerns about the long-term impact of these conflicts on both human and animal populations. Experts warn that the problem may worsen due to habitat loss and an increase in invasive species.

Targeted Killings of Minority Hindu in Indian Kashmir

28 Aug 2022  |  voanews.com
Minority Hindus known as Pandits in Indian-administered Kashmir have been targeted in killings after a 16-year hiatus, leading to increased concerns for the safety of this minority group.

Kashmiri Resistance Leader's Death Leaves Leadership Void

24 Jul 2022  |  TRT World
The article discusses the impact of Kashmiri resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani's death on the separatist leadership in India-held Kashmir and the emergence of Masarat Alam Bhat as his potential successor. Bhat, known for his strong stance against the Indian government and advocacy for Kashmir's merger with Pakistan, was last seen in 2015 after being released from imprisonment, only to be arrested again shortly after. Despite being out of the public eye for six years, Bhat's name resurfaced on social media following Geelani's death, and he was named the new chief of Tehreek e Hurriyat, a separatist party. The article includes insights from Kashmiri political analyst Sheikh Showkat Hussain and details about Bhat's background and political activities.

Workers from India's ruling party targeted in spate of killings in Kashmir

24 Jul 2022  |  TRT World
The article discusses the tragic story of Gousia Bashir, whose family was deeply affected by a militant attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. The attack resulted in the death of her brother, Sheikh Waseem Bari, a young politician associated with the BJP, as well as their father and another brother. Despite opposition from his family, Bari had joined the BJP in 2014, attracted by the political limelight. Gousia Bashir, who had been affiliated with the National Conference, reflects on the dangers of politics in the region and expresses regret over her brother's involvement in political activities. The article highlights the personal toll of political violence on families in Kashmir.

Case against Kashmiris for celebrating Pakistan cricket win is 'fabricated'

23 Jul 2022  |  TRT World
The article discusses the plight of the Ganai family from Bandipora district in Indian-administered Kashmir, focusing on the arrest and imprisonment of their youngest son, Showkat Ahmad Ganai, and his two college friends. The trio was detained in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, after India's loss to Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, for allegedly celebrating the defeat and shouting pro-Pakistan slogans. They were charged with 'promoting enmity between different groups' and 'cyber-terrorism.' The family has incurred significant debt to secure their son's release, and Mohammad Shahbaz Ganai, the father, expresses a sense of abandonment and the need to face tough times alone.

In 2022 well-known hoteliers in Indian side of Kashmir claimed to have created the world's largest igloo cafe.

Annual Hindu Pilgrimage to Indian Side of Kashmir Resumes After Three Years

07 Jul 2022  |  www.voanews.com
The Amarnath pilgrimage in Indian-controlled Kashmir is being held for the first time in three years, expected to be the largest in the history of Jammu and Kashmir according to Apurva Chand, Secretary of India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The 40-day-long Hindu pilgrimage is covered by VOA's Muheet Ul Islam from Pahalgam, with Elizabeth Cherneff narrating and Wasim Nabi as the videographer and video editor.

Indian Kashmir Forces Accused of Killing Civilians in Raid on Alleged Militants

17 Nov 2021  |  www.voanews.com
In Indian-administered Kashmir, a controversial gunfight resulted in the deaths of four individuals, including two civilians. Families of the deceased accuse government forces of using civilians as human shields and demand the return of the bodies for burial. The police claim the civilians were caught in crossfire during a raid on militants. The incident has sparked outrage and calls for an independent inquiry, with political figures condemning the government's actions.

Targeted Civilian Killings Shock Region of Indian-Administered Kashmir

08 Oct 2021  |  www.voanews.com
A series of targeted civilian killings in Indian-administered Kashmir has left the region in shock, with militants targeting religious minorities and individuals accused of collaborating with Indian authorities. The Resistance Front, linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the assassination of a school principal and a prominent pharmacist. The violence has drawn condemnation from local and national leaders, while police continue to investigate and assure the public of their efforts to maintain security.

Kashmir Traders Accuse Police of Forcing Shop Openings on Autonomy Revocation Anniversary

05 Aug 2021  |  Voice of America
On the anniversary of the revocation of Indian-administered Kashmir's special autonomy status, local traders in Srinagar have accused the police of forcing them to open their shops to create an illusion of normalcy. The region observed a shutdown to protest the Indian government's decision made on August 5, 2019, which downgraded the area to two union territories. Shopkeepers reported police breaking locks and opening shops, with some opening their businesses under duress to avoid similar treatment. The Budshah-Chowk traders association and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the police actions. Mufti also called for dialogue between India and Pakistan over Kashmir's sovereignty. Meanwhile, the BJP celebrated the autonomy revocation with rallies and firecrackers, claiming the move was necessary for development and ending separatist conflict, despite its unpopularity in the Muslim-majority region.

Koshur Nizam — a hip-hop collective — is reviving "Conscious" hip-hop music in Indian-administered Kashmir. The genre made its way in the disputed territory following an anti-Indian government uprising in 2010.

Hurriyat leader Ashraf Sehrai’s death raises concern on the plight of Kashmiri prisoners

05 May 2021  |  archive.siasat.com
The death of Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, a senior separatist leader and chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, in custody has sparked concerns over the treatment of Kashmiri prisoners. Sehrai passed away in a Jammu hospital after being detained under the Public Safety Act. Allegations of custodial killing and denial of medical care have been raised by residents, activists, and his family. Human rights defender Ahsan Untoo and others have criticized the discriminatory treatment of Kashmiri political prisoners. Political figures like Sajad Lone have questioned why Sehrai died in incarceration rather than at home. Sehrai's political background includes association with Jamaat-e-Islami and participation in elections against Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

With poor health infra, Kashmiris see lockdown as only prevention against COVID-19

29 Apr 2021  |  archive.siasat.com
The second wave of COVID-19 has severely impacted Jammu and Kashmir, with a significant spike in cases and deaths. The region's poor healthcare infrastructure, with limited ICU beds and oxygen points, is overwhelmed. Many residents and health experts advocate for a lockdown to control the virus's spread, criticizing the government for inviting tourists and not taking timely measures. The administration has imposed an 84-hour lockdown, but opinions are divided, with daily wage earners opposing it due to economic hardships. Organizations like the Doctors Association Kashmir and local trade bodies emphasize the necessity of lockdown despite its economic impact.

The death of alternative media

09 Apr 2021  |  The New Arab
The article discusses the severe impact of the internet ban in Indian-administered Kashmir following the revocation of its statehood and semi-autonomy by New Delhi. The ban, which lasted seven months, is considered the longest of its kind globally. It led to significant economic damage, increased unemployment, and hindered students' education. The media, particularly independent outlets, suffered greatly, with the ban marking the end of a rise in alternative media in the region. The restoration of broadband internet brought some hope, but high-speed mobile internet remains restricted, complicating the situation further amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare professionals and educators are struggling with the slow internet speeds, which affect their ability to provide services and information. The article includes insights from various individuals affected by the ban, including Fahad Shah, Editor-in-Chief of The Kashmir Walla, and Mansoor Peer, a health correspondent for Rising Kashmir.

The life of Kashmir’s pellet-gun victims is littered with rejection and disappointment, none more than in their quest to marry. Of more than 1,000 injured in the mass blindings that followed the unrest of 2016, only a handful have found partners

Intertwined lives

08 Apr 2021  |  TRT World
The article discusses the impact of gunfights in the Kashmir valley on local families, particularly focusing on the loss of livestock which is a critical source of income. It highlights the story of the Hajam clan and others who have lost cattle during clashes between militants and government forces, including the Indian Army, Central Reserved Police Force, and Jammu and Kashmir Police. The narrative covers the incident of a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on January 4, 2018, which resulted in the death of militants, civilians, and livestock. The article emphasizes the economic hardship faced by rural Kashmiri families due to inflation and the additional burden of recovering from the loss of animals, which are both a source of income and akin to family members for these villagers.

How internet bans have choked Kashmir’s online entrepreneurs

30 Mar 2021  |  siasat.com
Kashmiri online entrepreneurs have faced significant challenges due to frequent internet bans in the region, particularly following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. Entrepreneurs like Sheikh Usman, Saba Shafi, Misbah Shafiq Khan, and Safa Ali have experienced substantial losses and disruptions in their businesses, which rely heavily on the internet for orders and customer engagement. The government's internet blocks, justified as measures against extremism and false news, are seen by locals as a means to silence dissent and control the flow of information. The restoration of internet services has been beneficial for some, but the overall economic impact on online businesses has been severe.

Meet the men behind Asia’s largest Tulip Garden in Kashmir

18 Mar 2021  |  archive.siasat.com
Asia's largest Tulip Garden in Srinagar, Kashmir, is set to welcome visitors with 1.5 million blossoming flowers. Despite challenges such as heavy snowfall, the dedicated efforts of 110 employees, including gardeners and casual laborers, have prepared the garden for the bloom expected in the last week of March. Casual laborers like Javaid Ahmad Ganie, however, face job insecurity and low wages, with some traveling long distances and calling for job regularization. The garden, which was inaugurated in 2007, continues to evolve with new additions like Ornamental Cherry Trees.

‘I’m Burning Inside’: Father Of Kashmiri Soldier Killed By Militants Says Army, Police Did Little To Save Him

06 Nov 2020  |  HuffPost
Manzoor Ahmad Waghay, father of Rifleman Shakir Manzoor Waghay, a Kashmiri soldier abducted and killed by militants, expresses deep grief and frustration over the perceived inaction of the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police in finding his son. Despite providing leads, Waghay feels the authorities did not make sufficient efforts. The article highlights the ongoing conflict in Kashmir, the impact on local families, and the broader political implications involving India, Pakistan, and local militant groups. The Indian Army claims to have conducted search operations and remains in contact with the family, while the police have not responded to inquiries. The article also touches on the broader issue of bodies not being returned to families due to COVID-19 concerns.

Caught Between Virus and Violence in Indian Kashmir

30 Jun 2020  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the surge in violence in Indian-administered Kashmir amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights the tragic incident of a young boy, Basim, who was fatally injured in an explosion following a gunfight between militants and security forces. The Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society reports an increase in conflict-related deaths this year. The lockdown has reduced public resistance to anti-militancy operations, but there are concerns about the spread of COVID-19, especially as security forces are among those infected. The article also touches on the controversial domicile law and the ongoing cross-border shelling between India and Pakistan, which has resulted in civilian casualties and displacement, compounded by the fear of the pandemic.

Art as Resistance in Kashmir

27 Apr 2017  |  The Express Tribune
The article discusses how young Kashmiris are using art as a form of resistance against Indian rule. Khytul Abyad, a young artist, uses her paintings to depict the abnormal 'normal life' in Kashmir amidst violence. The article recounts the history of the Kashmir conflict, particularly the recent protests following the killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a commander of the Hizbul Mujahedeen, which led to civilian deaths and injuries from pellet guns. It highlights the work of other artists like Gowhar Nabi Gora, a pebble artist who creates works to show solidarity with pellet victims, and Aamir Ame, a singer who turned to political music after witnessing the violence. The article suggests that this creative resistance is part of a larger non-violent protest movement and has the potential to bring international attention to the Kashmir issue.
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