August 2004 News

If Not Roses, Guns For Valley Girls

8 August 2004
The Statesman

Jammu: The terrorists waging a jihad in Jammu and Kashmir for the past one and a half decade have started targeting young girls in far-off areas of the troubled state for their refusal to marry them. Initially, in the early nineties, the girls would volunteer to marry a 'guest mujahideen' as these foreign terrorists had come to be known as they were fascinated by the gun-totting men. However, as the initial euphoria died down, the young girls and their parents refused to marry-off their girls to the terrorists. This however, has given rise to frustration among the terrorists and they have started torturing and killing the young girls brutally. Two days ago, 18-year-old Rukhsana and her uncle Mr Qamar Din were kidnapped by a group of four militants led by the area commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Nazir Ahmed, from their house in village Dachan in Gool area of Ramban police district. The militants tortured Rukhsana and his uncle the entire Friday night for her refusal to marry Nazir. Rukhshana's father, Mr Jamaal Din and uncle Mr Qamar Din had also turned down the militant's proposal earlier. The militants released the girl and her uncle last afternoon in a bad condition. They were shifted to a local hospital by the police. Security forces have launched a search operation to trace the militants. Such incidents are on the rise. Mrs Zeena Begum (30), wife of Mr Ghulam Hassan was also shot dead by militants in her house at village Gundana in Ramban tehsil last night. The militants dubbed the woman an 'informer'. Top militant shot An area commander of Harkat-ul- Mujahideen was among three persons killed in militancy-related incidents in Poonch, Udhampur and Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. The militant, identified as Gulab Din alias Abu Haris, was killed in an encounter with security forces in Bhadli forest belt of Doda district last night, according to official sources. In another incident, militants shot dead one civilian, Bashir Ahmed in Mastan Dhara area of Poonch district last night. Terrorists beat up and critically wounded a woman, Zina Begum and Shafi in Bhudan Wala area in Udhampur district, officials said. The woman succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. Three militants, on a recce mission to plant IED during Independence Day celebrations in the Jammu region, were arrested, a defence spokesman said today. IAS officer wants US as 'facilitator': In remarks in conflict with India's stand, Mr Wajahat Habibullah, a senior Central bureaucrat, has said the USA could play a 'crucial role' as a facilitator in solving the J&K issue keeping in view the 'deep mistrust that Kashmiris have of India and their growing mistrust of Pakistan.'


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