Govt foots expenses of CM, Farooq’s houses
explosions, 14 hurt
In stepped up grenade attacks, ultras today triggered two explosions in different places in the city within two hours, injuring 14 persons, including three women, official sources said.
Policemen stand beside seized rifles in a camp in Kupwara, North of Srinagar, on Monday. — Reuters photo
Curfew was relaxed today during day in Bandipora, which witnessed violent protests after the death of a youth in police firing, following improvement in the situation, official sources said here.
There was uproar in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly as opposition National Conference (NC) members raised slogans against the government and walked out of the House accusing it of suppressing the number of the civilians killed in terrorism-related incidents in the state last year.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government today removed a top officer of the J K Handloom Development Corporation (JKHDC) and put under suspension another employee after the recovery of export oriented cloth worth several lakhs of rupees in a raid on a handloom development society here.
Govt foots expenses of CM, Farooq’s houses
Jammu, March 1
In a written reply in the Assembly, the Chief Minister informed Mr Jugal Kishore from the BJP that those being provided government vehicles included Mr Mufti Mohammad Amin, brother of the Chief Minister, and his nephew, Mr Sajad Mufti.
Mr Asim Khan, son-in-law of Dr Abdullah, his daughter Safiya and sister, Suriya Matoo also had government vehicles. Mr Ghulam Hassan Beig, brother of Finance Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig, also had a government vehicle. The name of Mr S.D. Rohmetra, editor of a local daily, also figures in the list.
The Chief Minister informed Mr Kishore that the expenditure on these vehicles was for the past last two years. A sum of Rs 5,35,164 was spent on fuel and maintenance of the vehicle provided to Mr Asim Khan and Rs 3,00,041 to the one provided to Mr Rohmetra.
Mr Mufti vehicle consumed fuel worth Rs 93,139 and that of Mr Amin Rs 55,293. Besides thus, a sum of Rs 6,587 and Rs 31,233 was spent on maintenance of the vehicles.
The fuel and maintenance of the vehicle of Ms Matoo, cost Rs 10,143 to the exchequer. A separate vehicle provided to the daughter of Dr Abdullah and wife of Mr Asim Khan cost Rs 1,25,746.
The member was informed that generally the government does not incur any expenditure on renovation of private buildings of ministers. However, some renovation was done in the private houses of the Chief Minister and Dr Abdullah at a cost of Rs 35.84 lakh. This includes Rs 4.50 lakh spent on the house of the Chief Minister during 2002-03.
A sum of Rs 29.34 lakh has been spent on the renovation of the two houses of Dr Abdullah at Srinagar and Tangmarg in the past three years. This includes Rs 26.14 lakh spent during the current financial year, when Dr Abdullah was out of power.
A sum of Rs 2.75 lakh was spent on the Srinagar house of Mr Taj Mohiuddin, Minister for Consumer Affairs, during the current year and Rs 66,402 on his house at Jammu, last year.
A sum of Rs 3.30 lakh has been spent for furnishing the Srinagar house and Rs 99,884 for the Jammu residence of Mr Sofi Abdul Gaffar, Minister of State for Health, during the current year, while Rs 86,029 was spent on furnishing his residence here, last year.
Rs 1.50 lakh was spent on furnishing the Srinagar house of Mr Ajaz Ahmad this year Rs 1,37,704 was spent at the residence of Mr Madan Lal, Minister for PWD, at Jammu last year and Rs 27,769, this year.
The house of Mr Mula Ram, Social Welfare Minister, was furnished here at a cost of Rs 27,964 past year and Rs 35,665, this year.
The Chief Minister informed the member that fuel worth Rs 1.90 crore was consumed by 180 vehicles of the security wing of the police, attached with ministers.
Besides this 44 vehicles of the state motor garages are attached with ministers and their staff. A sum of Rs 20,000 per annum was being spent on the maintenance of an ordinary car and about Rs 30,000 on a bullet proof car.
The Director General of Police and the Director-General of Prison
spent a sum of about Rs 54 crore-during the past two years for purchase
Militants trigger explosions, 14 hurt
Srinagar, March 1
Militants hurled a grenade at a security vehicle in the Wazirbagh area, near Lalded hospital in uptown city, around 2.45 pm, injuring 14 persons.
No security personnel was injured as the grenade missed the target and exploded on the road, the sources said. The injured have been shifted to a hospital, where the condition of three was stated to be serious.
The entire area was immediately cordoned off by the security forces but no one was arrested as the ultras fled the scene taking advantage of panic triggered by the blast, they said.
In the second attack, militants tossed a grenade towards a BSF camp at Rambir Bhavan in Barbarshah locality of downtown city around 4.25 pm, but no one was hurt.
The grenade exploded in the compound of the camp and later two persons, running a tea stall nearby, were picked up, for questioning, the sources said.
Al-Mansoorain militant outfit claimed responsibility for both the attacks.
With today’s blasts, the number of such attacks has risen to five in the past three days in the valley.
Suspected militants shot dead a father-son duo in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, official sources said.
Bullet-ridden bodies of Mohammad Akbar and his son Manzoo Ahmad were recovered by the police from Kellar forest in Pulwama this morning, the sources said, adding that both of them had been abducted by militants from their house earlier.
In another incident, militants intercepted a bus at Chandrigam on the Awantipora-Tral road this morning and shot at Zargar, a resident of Tral, after forcing him out of the bus.
Zargar, a shopkeeper, was later shifted to a hospital.
Meanwhile, a self-styled commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed by the Border Security Force (BSF) at Brenwar in Badgam while the Army arrested another militant at Ganderbal in Kashmir today.
A BSF spokesman said troops of the 76 batallion, acting on specific information, conducted a search operation at Brenwar near Chadoora in Badgam district today to nab militants.
However, when the troops were about to storm the house they came under heavy fire. The security forces retaliated and in the ensuing encounter Abdul Rashid Raina was killed.
Raina, a Pakistan trained militant, was active in the area for the past eight years.
A pistol, two magazines, 11 rounds and a wireless set were seized from his possession.
Meanwhile, Army troops of 5 RR arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Ganderbal today.
JAMMU: Three militants, belonging to Pakistan, and a woman were killed in separate encounters in Udhampur and Doda districts today, official sources said.
A major combing operation was launched by the security forces in the Arnas area of Udhampur district to track down a group of militants, the sources said.
As troops were heading towards the hideout, ultras fired rifle grenades and opened indiscriminate firing on the security forces, they said.
The security forces retaliated and in the exchange of fire, two Pakistani ultras were killed, the sources said adding that the operation was still going on.
Two AK rifles, four magazines, seven grenades, a rocket, 231 rounds and some documents were seized from the area, they said.
In another incident, acting on an intelligence tip off, troops zeroed on a hideout close to the Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Duligam in Doda district, they said.
Militants, who were hiding inside a house, fired on the troops and in the ensuing gunfight, a Pakistani ultra and a woman were killed, the sources said adding that another ultra was hiding in the area.
An AK rifle, three grenades, two magazines were seized from the slain ultra, they said. The operation was still on.
Five AK magazines, 102 rounds, 45 pika rounds, three mortar bombs, two grenades, two IEDs, two detonators were seized by the troops from the hideout in Poonch district, the sources said.
Militants triggered a blast in the heart of the Rajouri town this evening, official sources here said.
According to initial reports received here, the ultras had planted an IED in the market area in the middle of the town.
The ultras triggered the blast at 7.25 p.m. when the market is usually crowded. However, the police is yet to confirm the nature of the blast.
Srinagar, March 1
Initially, the curfew was relaxed for two hours from 9 am in the township in north Kashmir Baramula district, they said. The relaxation later was extended till evening.
The curfew was virtually lifted today and if the situation permitted there would be no restrictions in the township tomorrow, the sources said.
However, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were being enforced in the township, they said.
The township was brought under curfew on Friday morning following violent protests after a youth was killed in police firing on Thursday.
Baramula shops and business establishments were open and traffic was normal.
Two villagers — Ghulam Mohammad Bhat and Abdul Ahad — after they refused to accompany security forces to a forest area for a search operation.
The police resorted to firing in which Mushtaq Ahmed Wani was killed and four others wounded, were allegedly tortured by the security forces. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said he had convened a meeting of Unified Headquarters to discus the issue and decide measures to stop these abuses.
“I will make sincere endeavour that no human rights violation takes place at the hands of the security forces and the police while dealing with militancy,’’ Mr Sayeed said at a function last evening.
The Chief Minister said human rights violation would not be acceptable to the government.
Ugly incidents had still taken place like those at
Bandipora and Tral, he added. Anyone found guilty of such abuses would
face action, the Chief Minister said he would never compromise with the
dignity of the state’s people. — PTI, UNI
NC members walk out over deaths in custody
Jammu, March 1
The NC members alleged that the government was suppressing the facts relating to the killing of civilians and also custodial deaths.
After walkout by NC members Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, said that the NC members were trying to create an impression that the government was hold back the information.
The government had replied to all queries of Mr Saifullah (NC) in his question tabled this morning. He did not ask about killing of civilians in his original question.
There was exchange between the NC members and the Treasury Benches on the issue and nothing was audible in the din.
The NC members were not satisfied with the reply of Mr Abdul Rehman Veeri, Minister of State for Home, to a question on human rights violations tabled by Mr Saifullah.
Mr Ali Mohammad Sagar (NC) accused the Minister of trying to mislead the House on killings in custody. While the Chief Minister had a couple of days before put the number of such killings at 11, but the minister today confirmed 10 deaths, he alleged.
In his reply to the main question, Mr Veeri said that the government was committed to stop violation of human rights.
The security forces and the police are under directions to avoid collateral damage at all costs while taking action against militants and their support structure.
Steps have been initiated to ensure that the security forces or the police did not harass innocents.
He said that the allegations of human rights violations by security forces and the police had not increased.
Last year, 12 complaints were received from the NHRC and the state Human Rights Commission against 137 and 65 during 2001 and 2002, respectively.
Of these 12 complaints, inquiries reveal that only two prima-facie were found based on facts.
The minister said that an SSP and two sub-inspectors police had been suspended and an inspector dismissed for violation of human rights.
As many as 1494 militants
were killed and 384 security force personnel (including 56 officers and
jawans of the J&K police) died in operation against terrorists.
Jammu, March 1
On receipt of complaints, a JKHDC team, headed by Managing Director, raided the handloom development society in Barnia area on the outskirts of Jammu city and searched the premises last night, official sources said.
The team recovered cloth worth several lakhs of rupees, they said adding that the recoveries were pilfered stock of the store of Export Oriented Handloom Development Project (EOHDP), Samba.
After recoveries, Project Director, EOHDP, Samba, Vijay Koul was removed from his post and Madan Lal, storekeeper, put under suspension by the government today, the said.