April 2002 News

George in J&K to inspect security situation

4 April 2002
The Pioneer
Khursheed Ahmad Wani

Srinagar: Defence Minister George Fernandes on Thursday visited the forward areas across the Line of Control in Baramulla and Kupwara districts in Kashmir Valley and reviewed the security situation of the State during a special meeting of Unified Command in Srinagar. Mr Fernandes arrived here on a one-day visit to inspect the posts in forward areas where Army personnel are concentrated in strength since past three months following the rising hostilities with Pakistan. Mr Farnandes toured various sensitive posts along with the senior Army officials. He later chaired a meeting of the Unified Command that devises anti- insurgency strategies in the State. The command is headed by State Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah who also participated in the meeting. Mr Fermandes reviewed the prevailing law and order situation in the meeting that continued for two-and-a-half hours, an official said. Corps commanders of Jammu based 16 corps and Srinagar''s 15 corps, Director General of Police A K Suri, Chief Secretary, Ashok Jaitley, Inspector-Generals of Police, BSF and CRPF and heads of intelligence agencies participated in the meeting and briefed the Minister about the security scenario of the state. Fernandes'' visit came in the wake of Prime Minister''s proposed visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the date of which has not been announced. Sources said Dr Farooq Abdullah had invited Mr Fernandes to take stock of the situation in the State. Meanwhile, eight persons including four members of a family got killed in continued violence across Kashmir Valley since Wednesday evening, an official spokesman said. Militants killed four members of a family at Bapora village near Arrin in Bandipora pocket of northern Baramulla district late on Wednesday night. Quoting eye-witnesses an official spokesman said that a group of heavily armed militants barged into the house of Muhammad Shafi Gori during the dead of the night and fired indiscriminately on the inmates there. They sprayed bullets for about 15 minutes leaving the inmates in pools of blood that resulted into the on-spot death of Muhammad Shafi Gori, his wife, Maryam Akhtar, 23 and sister Jabeena, 17, besides a guest Manzoor Ahmad, who had stayed in the house for the night. Sources said Gori was a ''District Commander'' with Tahreek- e-Jehad-e-Islami outfit some time back and had surrendered before the authorities along with a large quantity of arms and ammunition. Ever since, he was working with the Army and had been putting up with his family in a house barely 100 yards away from the local Army camp. Sources said militants engaged the Army personnel before they forced their entry into Gori''s house and shot dead the inmates there.


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