Handwara

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Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir
हंदवारा
ہندوارہ
Town
Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir
Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir
Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir is located in India
Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir
Handwara, Jammu & Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir,
Coordinates: 34°24′N 74°17′E / 34.40°N 74.28°E / 34.40; 74.28Coordinates: 34°24′N 74°17′E / 34.40°N 74.28°E / 34.40; 74.28
Country  India
State Jammu and Kashmir
District Kupwara
Government
 • Type Democratic
Elevation 1,582 m (5,190 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 269,311
Languages
 • Official Kashmiri
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 193221
Vehicle registration JK09
Website kupwara.nic.in

Handwara (Kashmiri language: हंदवारा (Devanagari), ہندوارہ (Nastaleeq)) is a town under the Municipal Committee in the Kupwara District of Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan since 1947.

Geography[edit]

Handwara is located at 34°24′N 74°17′E / 34.40°N 74.28°E / 34.40; 74.28, at an average elevation of 1,582 metres (5,190 feet) above sea level.

Location[edit]

Handwara is a Municipal Committee Town as well as a Tehsil in the district of Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. The town of Handwara is divided into 13 wards, for which elections are held every 5 years.

Handwara Tehsil spreads into the Wadder Bala and Behni-pora on the one side and across Malikpora on the other side. It ranges between Monabal in Mawar Constituency and Kralgund areas. Sagipora, Unisoo, Kandi and Jaggerpora areas also fall into its domain.

Population[edit]

According to the 2011 Census in India, the Handwara Municipal Committee has a total population of 13,600, consisting of 7,379 males and 6,221 females. The majority of Handwarans speak Kashmiri.

Constituency[edit]

Handwara is an electoral constituency of District Kupwara located in the extreme north of Jammu and Kashmir. It comprises the main town, which consists of 13 Municipal Wards as well as various other blocks. The main blocks are the Rajwar and Ramhal blocks. More blocks were added to Handwara due to a major cabinet decision by the most recent National Conference Government. The thirteen Wards of Handwara Municipal Committee include Durashpora, Herpora, Banday Mohalla, Zargar Mohalla, Khanbal A, Khanbal B, Bagatpora, Kachiwara, Gonipora, Braripora A, Brariporra B and Bagatpora.

Some of the well-known political parties active in Handwara are Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party. The J & K and Awami Ittihaad parties are making inroads into Handwara and adjacent areas.

Handwara is a politically volatile area of District Kupwara. It has been the home constituency of the late Abdul Gani Lone and Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan, besides some other prominent personalities. The current MLA of Handwara is Sajjad Lone of Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference, who won against Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference by a margin of more than 5000 votes in the 2014 assembly elections. [1]

There is also an Awqaf Committee, chaired by Ghulam Rasool Banday, which looks after the mosques of Handwara Town, resolves civil disputes, helps in match finding, and involves itself in various social projects.

Infrastructure[edit]

Handwara is connected to the rest of the state by roads. A bypass has been constructed overseeing Handwara town to relieve the main roads of increasing traffic. It is connected to Baramulla district via the Baramulla-Handwara Highway passing through Watergam town.

Handwara has many different facilities, such as its own Tehsil office, ADC office, District Hospital, Government Degree College, Boys' and Girls' Higher Secondary Schools, a Sessions Court and a Police Station. Some of the prominent banks serving Handwara include J & K Bank Handwara, J & K Ban, Handwara (South), HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, Gramen Bank, SCARD Bank, Cooperative Bank and Sate Bank of India. Recently, a number of shopping malls have been constructed near the new bus stand at Handwara and Rajwar Road, Handwara. Those facilities have contributed to Handwara's development into a semi-urban town.

Education[edit]

Handwara has remained educationally below average until recently, when it emerged as a state leader in education. In 2013, it reached the top positions in the Matriculation examination.

Handwara accommodates more than 15 private schools and many Government-operated schools. Some of the top private schools are Keh-Ka-Shan Public School, owned by Bashir Ahmad Khan; New Millennium Public school, owned by Shahbaz Ahmed Mir; and Monarch Public school, owned by Zahoor Ahmed Ahanger. Handwara also accommodates a boys and a girls Secondary School, located next to a Government Degree College on Handwara Kulangam Road. Thousands of students study in these schools, and many continue their education locally, regionally and abroad. Notably, the heightening educational standards of the state have enabled the participation of many students in studies abroad in places such as London, the United States of America, Canada, and Dubai, establishing significant advances over previous, practical limitations on such studies abroad.

The Census of 2011 showed the literacy rate of Handwara City at 77.26%, higher than the national average of 67.16%.[2] There is a gender difference within literacy, with male literacy at 87.40%, while the female literacy rate is a much lower 64.91%.

Sports[edit]

As in other parts of the subcontinent, cricket is the most followed sport in the town. Presently, there are three cricket clubs operating: Jamia Sports Club, Handwara Sports Cricket Club, and Star Eleven Cricket Club. Additionally, football is also popular, boosted by leading clubs including Handwara Mavericks Football Club.

Conflicts[edit]

Handwara Incident[edit]

Main article: Handwara incident

On 12 April 2016, in the Handwara town of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, a girl student was allegedly molested by army personnel from 21 Rashtriya Rifles. Protesting at the incident, protesters pelted stone. The mob also ransacked the army bunker in Handwara Chowk and tried to put it on fire. The army retaliated by firing in which two civilians named Iqbal Ahmad and Nayeem Bhatt were killed. At least six civilians were also injured.[3][4]

One of the victims Nayeem Bhatt had participated in the India U19 cricket camp, and was the first player to be selected from the Kupwara region. Bhatt reportedly stopped at the protest incident to take a photograph with his mobile phone.[5] The second victim Iqbal was declared dead when he was admitted to a hospital.[6]

On 27 April 2017, three terrorists of Pakistan-based outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked Indian Army’s Artillery Camp located in the Panzgam area of Kupwara District of Jammu and Kashmir. In the early morning at 04:30 pm, the three terrorists sneaked in the army camp. Captain Ayush Yadav, JCO Bhoop Singh and Naik B Venkata Ramanna of the artillery were killed while fighting the terrorists. Two of the terrorists were shot dead in a four-hour gun battle while one terrorist escaped. As the gunfight ended and news spread that two militants have been killed, the residents of the villages living close to the Army Camp came out on roads and staged protests. The protesters pelted stones on the police and army men deployed there. Chanting pro-freedom slogans, the protesting people assembled near the army camp and demanded bodies of the militants for their proper burial.[7][8]

References[edit]