|J A M M U C
& CK A S H M I R
Sunday, December 5, 1999
11 killed in J&K
gadgets to detect infiltration
march for talks with militants
staff plan stir from Dec 6
11 killed in J&K violence
SRINAGAR, Dec 4 (PTI) Eleven persons, including eight ultras, have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir while security forces busted several militant hideouts and arrested three militants in separate incidents, besides capturing a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, official sources said here today.
Three unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with security forces at Hidar Kishtwar in Doda district last night, while two ultras were gunned down in a separate incident at Saruti-Harni in Poonch district, they said.
Two militants were killed and an equal number injured in a seek and destroy operation by a Rashtriya Rifles party led by Major R. Gurung at Chharot-Gundana area of Doda last night, the sources said.
The slain militants have been identified as Shaukat Ali alias Gulshan, sector commander and Abdul Quayoom alias AQ, both from Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit they said.
One soldier was killed and another injured in the operation, the sources said.
In an operation conducted by BSF troops at Dagani village, Chingus near Rajouri yesterday, one militant identified as Mohammad Sadiq of Pakistan occupied Kashmir was killed and two others injured, they said, adding a large quantity of arms and ammunition including an AK rifle, rocket launcher, 12 grenades, besides a wireless set and Indian currency were recovered from them.
Another ultra was killed in Bhalla area of Rajouri after a Lashkar-e-Toiba hideout was smashed and arms and ammunition recovered from the site, the sources said.
Meanwhile security forces arrested three suspected militants during searches at Batmaloo area of the city today.
The body of one Abdul Khalid, who had been kidnapped from his village in Kupwara on November 11 was recovered from Kakroosa in the district today, they said.
Militants beat to death another civilian, Ali Asgar, in Kupwara yesterday after they were denied food, the spokesman said, adding another person was injured in the incident.
Five persons including three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were injured in a grenade blast here today, police said.
Militants hurled the grenade at a stationary security vehicle in Lal Chowk area in the heart of the city at around 11.45 a.m. injuring the three CRPF personnel and two pedestrians, the police said.
The injured were rushed to hospital, they added.
Residents of Wokhbal Gushi in the frontier district of Kupwara took to streets in protest against the death of village headman Ali Asgar, allegedly in custody.
They alleged that the security forces arrested Ali Asgar and Fazal-ud-Din early yesterday and later tortured them in custody. However, Asgar later died while Fazal ud Din was admitted to hospital in a critical condition.
However, the police had said they were beaten up by militants.
Modern gadgets to detect
JAMMU, Dec 4 The BSF plans to install sophisticated gadgets for monitoring infiltration from across the border. "We are going in for modern surveillance equipment to promptly detect any attempt on the part of the anti-national elements to cross into the Jammu sector", the Inspector-General, BSF, Mr U.C. Chabra, told mediapersons here.
Mr Chabra said this was besides strengthening border outposts, gathering intelligence and maintaining a vigil on the border. He said a strict vigilance had been ordered in the light of reports that groups of militants, especially foreign mercenaries, had been moved close to the border in Sialkot across Samba for being pushed into Jammu.
The IG said after Pakistan's misadventure in Kargil, the ISI had stepped up subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir. For sustaining insurgency, the border in the Jammu sector was being probed for infiltration after the border in Punjab and Rajasthan had been fenced.
He said it was the result of a round-the-clock vigil that the BSF and the Army had foiled a series of attempts by militants to sneak into Jammu from across the IB and the LoC.
Mr Chabra said as a result of the calm on the border, farmers had begun farming in villages close to the border.
The militants were using women and children to gather information regarding the movement of forces so that their "do and die" squads could carry out armed attacks. He said these squads and border action groups had resorted to low-key sneak attacks and used high-grade explosives to hit security convoys, VIPs and political activists.
Mr Chabra said during the past 11 months, the BSF had eliminated 88 militants, killed 29 intruders and apprehended 142 suspects. During this period 175 Bangladeshis had been apprehended.
Large quantities of arms and ammunition, including 83 assault rifles, 66 IEDs, 371 grenades and 52 wireless sets, had been recovered from the militants. Militants were trying to establish their hideouts on the mountains of Pir Panjal.
4 infiltrators killed
JAMMU, Dec 4 (UNI) Border Security Force (BSF) jawans killed four Pakistani infiltrators in the Samba sector of Jammu region today.
The Inspector General of BSF-Jammu frontier told mediapersons here today that the four were trying to sneak into Indian territory from across the border in Samba sector early today.
PDP march for talks with militants
SRINAGAR, Dec 4 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (JKPDP) of former Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today initiated a peaceful movement for unconditional dialogue between the Centre and militants in the valley to resolve the Kashmir problem.
The Mufti led a PDP workers march to Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Khursheed Ahmad Ganais office and presented a memorandum protesting human rights violations in the state.
The memorandum said "unfortunately, both state and central governments have adopted a pro-active policy of fighting militancy. This policy has resulted in atrocities on masses and human rights violations".
"Of late, there has
been a spurt in militant activities coupled with a steep
rise in atrocities, including custodial killings, rape,
torture and abductions by the state and the central
forces," the memorandum alleged and asked
authorities to ensure protection of innocent civilians.
Cold winters are welcome here
SRINAGAR, Dec 4 Kashmiri farmers are longing for a cold winter this year after the weather gods proved niggardly this summer. Lack of rains damaged over 50 per cent of the paddy crop this year. There was some respite last month when rains lashed the whole valley and the surrounding mountains witnessed the season's first snowfall.
Farmers here believe that the lack of rain in summer may leave its mark even after winter.
Last winter the paucity of snow in the mountains meant farmers had little water for irrigating their crop in summer. The shortage of irrigation water forced the government to advise farmers to grow maize in some areas of Kupwara and Baramulla districts which faced the maximum problems. But due to the lack of rain even the maize crop withered.
Thus the farmers only hope, is "proper snowfall" this winter.
Experts blame low snowfall and rain on environmental degradation in the valley. A large number of trees and nurseries in the valley have been felled during the decade-long militancy coincidentally. The last heavy snows in the valley were witnessed in December, 1990.
Valley elders claim the climate is changing, and there are now no winters as severe as the ones they remember witnessing as boys. In Maharaja Gulab Singh's time the snow was up to a man's shoulders, in Maharaj Ranbir Singh's time up to his knees, but now winters pass without any fall of snow", writes Walter Lawrence, a writer on Kashmir.
But winter is still hard time for people in Kashmir. For if there is no snow in winter, farmers suffer the following summer. And if there is heavy snow the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway is blocked, leading to scarcity of essential commodities including LPG, kerosene, poultry products and fresh vegetables.
The highway was blocked for about two weeks in 1990-91 due to heavy snowfall in the entire region. It was again blocked for a couple of weeks in January 1995 due to heavy snow in Banihal followed by avalanches in the Jawahar Tunnel area. At least 60 passengers died in the avalanches.
With only over a
fortnight left for "Chillai Kalan", the
40-day-long cold spell of winter to start the farmers can
only pray that the snows are bountiful this summer while
urbanites hope that they are not so deep as to block the
J&K staff plan stir from Dec 6
JAMMU, Dec 4 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Government employees have called for a three-day strike from December 6 to press their demands that include more dearness allowance, fifth Pay Commission arrears and regularisation of daily wagers.
State government employees of all three regions of the state would go on a "kamchhor hartal" (strike) following a call by Jammu and Kashmir employees joint action committee (JKEJAC), and organisation spokesman said here yesterday.
The decision was taken following a joint meeting of various associations and unions of the state government employees here on Thursday evening.
The committee has formed a 16-point charter of demands for all three regions of the state, the spokesman said.
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