December 2002 News

Another J&K woman beheaded

21 December 2002
The Asian Age

Srinagar: In less than 24 hours of the gruesome killing of three girls, Islamic militants beheaded another woman in Jammu and Kashmir’s frontier district of Rajouri on Friday night. Senior district officials contacted over the phone from here, however, denied earlier reports suggesting that the women were targeted by militants to enforce a diktat on wearing a burqa. They were accused of being Army informers and killed in cold blood, the officials said. In fact, a note left beside the body of the latest victim, Jan Begum, said, ''Those who develop relations with kafirs (infidels) will face the same fate.'' However, a militant outfit, the Lashkar-e-Jabbar, had recently warned women against attending schools or colleges without wearing a burqa or hijab and to strictly follow the purdah system. It was apparently on the basis of this campaign that many people believed that the four women were killed for violating the militants’ diktat. According to the police, gunmen barged into the house of Jan Begum, 43, in Darhal area and beheaded her. She was reportedly a frequent visitor to an Army camp in the area over the past few months, the villagers told the police. Earlier on Thursday night, three Muslim girls had been killed by militants in cold blood in a remote village of Rajouri’s Thanamandi area. One of them, 22-year old Tahira Parveen, was taken out of her house at gunpoint and subsequently beheaded at some distance, again on charges of being an Army informer. Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen killed four members of a family, including a four- year-old boy, and injured three women in a gruesome shooting incident in the northern Kashmir town of Sopore late on Friday, sparking tension and fear in the region. The police blamed the killings on militants. No group has, however, owned the same so far. Reports reaching here said gunmen armed with rifles, pistols and grenades forced their way into a home in the village of Rabin, near Sopore, 50 km from Srinagar. They opened fire, killing two brothers immediately and injuring five people, including three women. Two of the injured, identified as Ghulam Qadri Dar, who owned the house, and his four- year-old grandson Zubair Ahmed, died later in a Srinagar hospital. Qadir’s two sons — Mohammed Yusuf and Mustaq Ahmed — were killed on the spot. ''Three women members of the family are being treated in hospital,'' a police spokesman said, adding that their condition is critical. The motive for the attack was not immediately known. However, police sources said security forces had last week shot dead two Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants in the same house.


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