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Showkat Ahmad from Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir had first contracted the virus in July this year. After remaining asymptomatic, he had tested negative after only a week. Later in the month of September, Showkat developed cough and fever. Suspecting it to be a seasonal flu, he started the treatment accordingly. However, the condition continued to get worse every day. When a CT scan revealed bilateral pneumonia, his family shifted him to SKIMS, Soura,…

As the administration in Jammu and Kashmir starts its eviction drives to push the Gujjar and Bakwerwals out of their traditional homes, local and international law binds the government against it. But what is the way forward for these communities?  The Forest Rights Act of 2006 recognises the rights of Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST), and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD), to forest lands and produce except timber. The law is informed by the understanding…

By announcing a plan to retrieve the lands instead of acting against influential bureaucrats who transferred the lands illegally, the J&K administration is making clear the essential purpose of the exercise. The Jammu and Kashmir administration, now run directly from Delhi, has declared it will retrieve all the lands given away under the Roshni Act in six months. It claims to be doing this to “comply” with the high court’s recent ruling declaring the Roshni…