Five Hindu truck operators killed near Anantnag
29 February 2000
Srinagar: For the first time in the decade-long militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, militants targeted private supply trucks and shot dead five Hindu operators after separating them from others in Anantnag last night, an official spokesman said here today. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the act so far. Armed with sophisticated weapons, the militants, believed to be foreigners, struck around 8.30 pm at Mirbazar Road, between Khananbal and Qazigund, 55 km from Srinagar. They first held an identification parade of the truck drivers and helpers on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, just 5 km from Anantnag. After separating three drivers and two helpers, they sprayed them with bullets, killing them on the spot before fleeing from the scene, the spokesman said. A driver was beaten up and released while one escaped death by hiding under a truck. The deceased were identified as Kewal Krishan of Bara Samba, Surrinder Lal of Rajouri, Karnail Singh of Dubla RS Pura, Raju of Sudna, Chennai, and Shena of Punjab. Soon after the killings, the security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. This was the second attack on members of the minority community in as many days. Four people, including three women, were gunned down by heavily armed foreign mercenaries in Harni village of Poonch district on Sunday night. Hundreds of trucks carrying essential supplies enter Kashmir daily from other parts of the country. Senior police officers, including Deputy Inspector General Raja Aijaz Ali, have rushed to the spot to assess the situation. Meanwhile, official sources said the body of one Farooq Ahmad was found at the Jehlum valley market in Batmaloo this morning. He had been abducted by militants yesterday for his alleged links with the security forces. Sources said militants fired upon one Bashir Ahmad at Pattan in Baramulla district last evening, killing him on the spot. A three-year-old girl, Rukhsana, was also injured in the shootout. She died at the S K Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura this morning. People in Handwara today took to the streets in protest against the death of one Mohammad Shamim Bhat. The demonstrators alleged that security forces had arrested Bhat, an agriculture employee, on the night of February 20. However, he was released after seven days of torture, they alleged, adding that he was admitted to hospital where he died late last night. A Lashkar militant was killed at Nowpora in Baramulla when the SOG of police and BSF raided a militant hideout today. During the encounter, Naveed Kamar, alias Abu Walid, a Pakistani, was killed. AK-3 magazines and some ammunition were found at the site. A resident of Babadam, Farooq Ahmed, was today shot dead by gunmen. A school teacher, Salam-ud-din, a resident of Sandi Laiko, Uri, was shot dead by gunmen last night. Meanwhile, the J&K police today apprehended a militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Parvaiz Ahmed, at Navidyar here. Five kilograms of explosives was recovered from him.