February 2000 News

Girl among 3 Pandits killed in Anantnag

5 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

Even as life remained paralysed today in Kashmir valley on occasion of Pakistan’s "Solidarity Day", security forces eliminated two more militants in another fierce encounter near Chadoura in Budgam district. Militants launched an attack on the members of minority community in Anantnag and killed three Kashmiri Pandits, including an 8-year-old girl.In other militancy-related incidents, militants shot dead two soldiers while as two civilians were also killed in Baramulla district.

Within a day of the Rop-pora encounter, in which two militants, one jawan and a civilian had got killed, security forces today eliminated two unidentified militants at Chokpora village, near Kralpora, in Chadoura locality. Official sources told EXCELSIOR that troops of Army’s 5-Kumaon and BSF 173 Bn conducted the cordon-and-search operation in Srinagar outskirts on the basis of a specific information provided by the local people. While as officials at Budgam claimed that troops of 5-Kumaon killed two unidentified militants, yet another report said that, in fact, troops of BSF 73 Bn killed one-odd foreigner in the Chokpora encounter. Two civilians, according to that report, sustained minor injuries and were rushed to Bone & Joint Hospital Barzullah.

Sources said that the residential house of Abdus Salam Bhat of Chokpora, wherefrom militants attacked the troops, suffered extensive damage in exchange of fierce automatic fire.

Sources said that at 7.00 pm last evening, a group of ten armed militants attacked a cluster of six Pandit families at Telwani village, about 6 Km from Achabal township of Anantnag. Members of one family had travelled to Jammu yesterday itself. As the militants opened gunfire from several directions, the 5-member Police guard retaliated. Still, militants managed to escape while killing three members of the minority community. While as the 8-year-old Anshu daughter of Ashok Kumar died on spot, the selection grade constable of District Police Anantnag Ashok Kumar—who had gone to his home on Friday afternoon— succumbed to critical injuries at SMHS Hospital. Veerji Kumar, who was an employee with a petrol pump at Khanabal, also died on spot.

A government school teacher, Jaideep Raina, as also the Police guard commander, head constable Bashir Ahmed, sustained gunshot wounds. Both of them were rushed to Bone & Joint Hospital, Barzullah, where doctors declared them out-of-danger.

SSP Anantnag Farooq Khan told EXCELSIOR that when he was returning to Anantnag after visiting Telwani late last night, militants ambushed him twice, first at Brakpora and later at Gopalpora crossing. At both places, the SSP’s escort personnel retaliated the fire and failed to cause any damage. He said that adequate security arrangements had been made for the protection of the minority community at Telwani and other villages after the militant strike and there was no panic among the community.

Meanwhile, reports available from Ganderbal said that militants today caused an IED blast near the guarded Sainik School Manasbal. One soldier of Rashtriya Rifles Sector-5 got killed while as one civilian got injured. Militants also fired pistol shots on a BSF jawan, Lance Naik Dewan Singh of 26 Bn, near Shiraz Chowk at Khanyar in Srinagar city and he died on spot.

Reports available from Baramulla said that unidentified militants today appeared at Devbug village near Kunzar and shot dead the village headman, Abdur Rahim Malik S/O Khizar Mohammad Malik. Militants also shot dead a lumberjack, namely Wali Mohammad Bhat S/O Ghulam Mohammad Bhat resident of Ladoora in Sopore area.

In the capital city, militants today struck, once again, in Iddgah locality and targeted yet another BSF vehicle. Two paramilitaries sustained minor injuries as the targeted vehicle suffered damage. In the same locality, militants had caused two IED blasts on Friday in which a civilian had died and several others had got injured.

Meanwhile, on occasion of Pakistan "Kashmir Solidarity Day" shops and business establishments remained closed today in several localities in Kashmir valley. A major chunk of vehicular traffic was also off the road.


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