Security agencies in Kashmir are alarmed as six youth had gone missing in the Valley in March. Photos of three of them with weapons in hand surfaced online in the past few days, raising suspicion that they have joined militancy.One of those missing is a student of the University of Kashmir and another is a policeman’s son. Protests broke out on the university campus on Wednesday, demanding the whereabouts of Sameer Ahmad Dar, a Department of Earth Sciences student, be revealed. The students say Dar has been missing since March 19 after leaving home at Kakpora in Pulwama.“The university has written to the Director-General of Police and requested him to ascertain the student’s whereabouts. We request the agitating students to maintain calm and cooperate till the police ascertain the facts,” a university official said.A senior police official told The Hindu that an investigation had failed to establish that Dar had links with the militants, but they could not rule out the possibility.Mother’s anguishAt Kawa Mohallah in Khanyar of Old City here, Mymoona Jan, mother of Fahad Mushtaq Waza, 18, known as Faid, appealed to her son to “quit militancy”. Faid went on a religious programme on March 23 and on Tuesday, his gun-wielding pictures were splashed on social media sites. He allegedly joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba and took the name Abu Usama.“He [Waza] betrayed, and lied to, me. He said he would be back by Monday after finishing a religious programme. I appeal to him to return now,” Ms. Jan said.In Kupwara, the police have declared Junaid Ahmad Wani (25) of Tikkipora “missing”. “The matter is under investigation. We cannot conclude that Wani has joined militancy,” a senior police official said.Bilal Ahmad Shah (25), also from Kupwara, allegedly joined the militant ranks on March 20. He had been missing for three weeks and was seen carrying an AK 47 rifle in a photo posted online recently, showing that he has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.Another youth who announced his alleged association with militants on social media is Abid Maqbool Bhat, son of a head constable at Tral in Pulwama, He is said to have joined the Jasih-e-Muhammad. Junaid Ahmad Khan, son of the newly appointed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, joined the Hizb.
Monsoon of 2019 has been very different. After a two-week delay in arrival, its withdrawal from Mumbai and Maharashtra is also delayed and is likely to stretch into October. Light showers are expected to continue till then even as the days are getting sunny in Mumbai.This year, monsoon arrived in Kerala a week late and in Mumbai two weeks later than the projected onset date. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) declared on June 25 that monsoon had arrived in Mumbai and entire Maharashtra. So far, Mumbai has received 3603.7mm rainfall, or 143.35% of annual average. In the 24 hours leading upto 8.30 a.m. on Sunday, Mumbai received only 0.8mm rainfall. There was some scattered rain in Mumbai on Sunday. However, maximum temperatures remained on the warmer side, with Sunday recording 33.3 degrees Celsius. This is three degrees above normal.Normally, withdrawal of monsoon starts around September 1 from west Rajasthan. However, that has not happened so far this season and the weather conditions are not conducive for it to happen in the next few days. Some of the conditions that meteorologists look at include, absence of rain for five days straight, increase in temperature, and reduction in humidity. IMD has forecast very light to light rains for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad until Thursday and has forecast similar daytime temperatures for Mumbai.When asked about the withdrawal of monsoon from the State, K.S. Hosalikar, deputy director general, IMD, said, “There is depression formed in Arabian Sea, so withdrawal will not happen for next couple of days.”Mahesh Palawat, vice-president (meteorology and climate change) at private forecaster Skymet Weather said, “Withdrawal of monsoon is delayed this season. Right now, the easterlies are still active and humidity has not reduced and therefore, the weather conditions have not built up yet in west Rajasthan for withdrawal. It may happen in first week of October following which it will cover entire India including Maharashtra. In 2011, withdrawal had happened in late September and in 2010, it happened in October.”Akshay Deoras, a meteorologist and Ph.D. researcher at the University of Reading, U.K., who has been tracking the monsoon closely, said, “Withdrawal from western Rajasthan is expected to commence by September 27. However, the official declaration might happen only in early October due to which monsoon’s withdrawal this year will be delayed by a month from its normal date of September 1. Thereafter, we can expect a rapid withdrawal of the monsoon from parts of northwest and central India. In Maharashtra, rainfall activity will start terminating from early October and we can expect the withdrawal to start from the second week.”However, once monsoon withdrawal starts, it is expected to cover large parts of the country in one or two weeks.Meanwhile, an IMD press release issued at 11.15 a.m. on Sunday said a depression in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast could intensify into a deep depression in the next 12 hours, and a cyclonic storm in 24 hours. This could result in lead to light to moderate rainfall at many places with isolated heavy falls over Saurashtra and Kutch.