Ceasefire violation was initiated by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on January 16. Regular shelling has been a major problem for the locals. People living in the Balakot sector urged government to not concentrate on elections instead on the people living here. One of the locals said, "The Central government has given the full emphasis on elections, but elections will not resolve people's problems. People want roads, bunkers, they are disturbed due to the regular shelling activities. The emphasis should not be on elections instead authorities should think about the people living here."
For the second day in a row, a thick layer of smog enveloped the Nepal capital Kathmandu. Visibility in the valley went down dramatically in the last two days with the Air Quality Index shown by the US Embassy in the capital remaining over 300 which means "Hazardous". As a sudden drop in mercury settled down atmospheric pollutants, the Department of Environment requested people not to come out without genuine reasons. The department also stated that the air quality in other major cities like Nepalgunj and Biratnagar will be deteriorating and people should be cautious. The PM 2.5 levels of more than 150mg/m3 are considered extremely dangerous for human health, and people are recommended to stay indoors. According to IQ Air, a Swiss air quality technology company, overall air quality index of the Valley today stood at 437mg/m3 - the worst in the world. In order to address the problem, the government earlier had introduced a provision that allows authorities concerned to declare an air pollution emergency whenever the air quality index goes over 300 (mg/m3). However, none of the concerned authorities has sent out a signal in this regard as the nation is reeling through the COVID-19 pandemic where pollution might worsen complexities among infected ones. AQI is a composite measurement of the concentration of particulate matter below 10 and 2.5 microns, carbon monoxide, sulphur and nitrogen dioxide and ground ozone. Reeling above the mark of 300, Kathmandu is expected to get rid of smog only after heavy rainfall.
The Kashmiri youth are now competing with the new age and entering into field of their choice. A Kashmiri youth started his own dance and singing academy. Nasir Wani's aim is to provide stage to those who have talent but have no platform to sharpen it. He said, "I got the passion for dancing after seeing Michael Jackson. I have seen his cassettes after seeing him I thought even I can dance like him. But I couldn't do exactly like him and then I opted my own style for dance. I started this academy so that whoever we train here, can show their talent to the world." His friends supported him a lot to start the academy. Several youth from the Valley have started practising and get training here. A trainee, Mehdi Hassan said, "As you know that Kashmiri Valley does not provide much exposure of dance and music. But we are thankful to Nasir sir, who started dance academy here." The motive of this academy is to engage youngsters in music and dance so that they can make a career out of it.
Kashmiri meat delicacy 'Harissa' is on demand during winters to keep locals warm during heavy snowfall. The dish is made with mixture of Kashmiri saffron, aromatic spices, rice, meat and salts. Dish is prepared delicately and needs lot of preparation, timing and hard work. Isaaq Ahmad who cooks 'Harissa' said, "It's been 80 years and we are into this business. It takes 17-18 hours to cook this dish. First we put rice and then 'masalas' to cook it. We start preparing it at 4 in the morning. By god's grace, it sells like hot cakes." 'Harissa' has been the favourite delicacy of Kashmir, especially in winters for centuries. A customer Imran Ahmad said, "This is a very delicious meat and we eat it during winters because here we get really harsh winters and it keeps us warm. It is also important for those who have pain, etc."
On eve of Christmas, Jammu and Kashmir Government organised special event in Srinagar. To bring cheer among people, Department of Tourism along with Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) organised the event. Director of Kashmir Tourism, Nissar Ahmad Wani said, "Today, we are celebrating Christmas Eve because on the day of Christmas, the fathers of church are not able to come out. We wanted to celebrate it on a good level so we have organised cultural programs, carols etc. Our aim was to celebrate Christmas and to pray god to bless us with a great year." A number of people irrespective of the religion attended the event. A cake-making competition was also organised there. A cake-maker named Arwah Siraj said, "This is a very good thing that Dept of Tourism and SKICC organised this event where people from different religion are celebrating Christmas together. This is a very big thing that such big event is organised post COVID-induced lockdown. This is the speciality of Kashmiris that we celebrate the festivals together no matter it is Eid, Diwali or Christmas." Cake was distributed among the attendees to celebrate Christmas. The cultural program was also held to mark the celebration. The special event also gave the message of brotherhood and communal harmony.
Five suspected terrorists, two of whom were allegedly involved in the murder of Shaurya Chakra winner Balwinder Singh in Punjab, were arrested on Monday in east Delhi's Shakarpur area after an encounter and have revealed Pakistan spy agency ISI's attempt to link up terror outfits in Kashmir with Khalistan operatives, officials said. According to police, three of the five arrested are from Kashmir, while the rest are from Punjab. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said, "On Monday morning, our team received specific information that two Punjab based criminals were supposed to receive some money from three Kashmiris. On this specific information, five people were arrested after a brief exchange of fire from the Laxmi Nagar area in Delhi."Three pistols, two kilograms of heroin, and Rs one lakh cash were recovered from them along with the two cars in which they were traveling, he said. Watch the full video for more details.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 02:12Published
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