July 2001 News

Killings In Valley Show Alarming Trend

6 July 2001
The Nation
Ghulam Nabi Khayal

Srinagar: It is now only a week left to the India-Pakistan summit to be held in the Taj city of Agra, that killing of freedom-fighters, innocent civilians and the Indian forces has shown an alarming trend with not less than 15 to 20 people being butchered every day across Jammu and Kashmir. In an unprecedented record of the bloodshed monitored for the first time during this year, as many as 32 people were killed during last 24 hours in parts of Jammu division and the Valley of Kashmir. Among those who fell to the bullets included 23 freedom-fighters belonging to Lashkar-i-Taibah, Jaish Muhammad and Harkat Jehad-e- Islami. One senior commander of Harkat was also gunned down in far off northern district of Kupwara late Thursday night. Though his identity was not ascertained but the Indian army sources said that he belonged to Multan. According to a spokesman of the Border Security Force (BSF), nine freedom-fighters were killed in Nowshehra in Rajouri district, twelve in Kupwara district and two more in Poonch district of Jammu division. The BSF said that four soldiers lost their lives in encounters, taking place in all the three sectors, one of which lasted for seventeen hours in Bandipur where a large contingent of infiltrating freedom-fighters was trying to sneak into this side of the Line of Control through Gurez sector. When their communication system was intercepted by the BSF soldiers the freedom-fighters suspecting a possible cordon opened fire at the forces killing an unknown number of the BSF personnel. The BSF has however said that only two soldiers were killed in the encounter. In the ensuing battle some cowsheds and granaries also caught fire near the jungles of Gurez. These belonged to the Gujjar community. In the northerner town of Sopore the bullet ridden body of one Mohammad Amin Sheikh was recovered and a similar dead body that of Habibullah was found in a forest in Dara near Harwan in northern suburbs of the Srinagar city. According to the residents of Kupwara town, the Indian troops killed in custody one youth, Ashraf Lone. They said that three surrendered freedom-fighters identified as Akbar, Nazir and Riyaz accompanied the troops to the house of Ashraf , dragged him out and then he was shot dead from point blank by the forces and the renegades. His body was handed over to local police station which sparked off large scale demonstrations. The killer renegades have taken refuge in the army camp where from they usually operate in connivance with the army officers. In Kangaroos village in Sopore, a gang of three pro-army killers was nabbed by the villagers on Friday for killing at least five local youth. The General Secretary of the Congress party, Abdul Gani Vakeel, said that all the three murderers were immediately taken away by the Indian forces and reportedly have been set free without being charged for murders. Vakeel said that he would write to the Indian Home Minister that all these killers, who have been indulging in anti-human crimes for over three years now, should be “hanged in public.”


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