April 2004 News

Ranks Of Surrendered Militants Swell

4 April 2004
The Hindu

Jammu: Some weeks ago, Abdul Ghani, along with his colleagues in the Hizb- ul-Mujahideen outfit, planned to sabotage the electoral process in the State. Now, he has vowed to fight those wanting to wreck the process. A 6-member group of former militants, which surrendered before the State police recently, will assist him. It will help ensure that the pressure on the militants is maintained. Munir Hussein, a resident of Prankote village and a former Hizb member, had urged the locals not to participate in the electoral process in the past. Now, he is ready to help police locate militant hideouts. About 800 tribals have joined the counter-militant operations in the Pir Panjal range of mountains. A total of 4,500 arms have been distributed to the locals as a self-defence mechanism. Aijaz Khan, a tribal leader who has lost a few of his close relatives in militant strikes, says, 'the people are trying to fight the militants in the difficult terrain but they require backup.'


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