September 2000 News

Army Sees Police Militant Nexus In Kashmir

21 September 2000
The Times of India

Srinagar: In yet another instance of the widening gap among peacekeepers in the Kashmir Valley, the Army has raided the Beerawah police station and the CRPF battalion headquarters on suspicion that some policemen were involved in the militant attack on the Rashtriya Rifles camp at Quasibabiru, 20 km from here, on September 12. Thirteen Armymen were killed in the attack. The militants had picked the Army camp for attack but left the adjoining police station untouched. This strengthened the suspicion that some policemen were harbouring militants. The Army conducted an identification parade of policemen and CRPF jawans and also raided the residential quarters inside the police station premises. The police station was thoroughly searched and each person questioned. Identification parade is a recourse taken by the security forces during crackdowns on civilian areas to identify and isolate militants. But rarely, if ever, are the police subjected to the same treatment. The deputy commissioner of Budgam visited Beerawah on Wednesday and spoke to the agitated policemen. According to sources in the state government, the Army had been given specific intelligence about the planned attack by militants. But the Army did not take the tip-off seriously, say the sources who also claim that when the attack took place, the guard on duty at the camp was sleeping. The sources say the Army is becoming unpopular in villages in the area as civilians are facing harassment from some security personnel. On Thursday, another Rashtriya Rifles camp - at Sangrama - came under militant attack. One militant, Abu Majida of Lahore, was killed in the ensuing shootout.


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