Tuesday, April 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Seven killed in police firing
Curfew in Anantnag; 2 killed in blast
Tribune News Service and UNI

SRINAGAR, April 3 — An indefinite curfew was imposed in Anantnag and some adjoining villages this afternoon after police firing on demonstrators left seven persons dead and five others wounded.

The demonstrators were demanding action against the security forces who allegedly killed five villagers on March 25. The demonstrators said the five persons killed five days after the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chatti-Singhpora in Anantnag were not foreign militants as claimed by the police.

Official sources said that police in Bragpora in South Kashmir district of Anantnag resorted to direct firing after repeated teargassing and lathicharge had no effect on the demonstrators.

Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah was arrested at Anantnag while acting chairman of the All Party Kashmir Hurriat Conference Maulvi Omar Farooq was put under house arrest today.

Official sources said curfew has been imposed in the entire town and adjoining villages as a precaution after tension.

Anantnag and its adjoining villages observing hartal for the past one week in protest against these killings.

Senior police officers here told The Tribune that the demonstrators pelted stones on the police at Bragpora. The stone pelting continued for some time which was followed by instant firing by police personnel. The residents held that the firing was unprovoked which led to the killing of seven persons on the spot.

The authorities immediately imposed curfew in the town ordering people to remain indoors. Senior police officers including the SSP, Farooq Khan, DIG Range, Anantnag-Pulwama Raja Ajaz Ali rushed to the spot immediately. The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Mr Khursheed Ahmed Ganai, also left for Anantnag from here soon after the incident. The situation was being supervised by the senior police and civil administration officers.

The Director General of Police, Mr Gurbachan Jagat, also arrived in the town from Jammu.

Meanwhile, two women died in a grenade blast at Bandipora in the wee hours today while elsewhere in the valley a militant and a fire service employee were among seven persons killed overnight.

Official sources told UNI that unidentified militants lobbed a hand grenade towards the house of one Mohammad Maqbool at Bandipora in North Kashmir district of Baramulla in the wee hours today.

Sources said the grenade exploded inside the house causing serious injuries to two women — Saba wife of Mohammad Bhat and Rafiqa wife of Nazir Ahmad Bhat. Both the injured later died in the hospital.

An official spokesman said BSF jawans killed a militant during a search operation at Lal Bazar on the city outskirts last night. However, residents alleged that he was arrested and later killed by the forces. The police has reportedly registered a case against forces in this connection, sources said.

Panic gripped the high security Batwara area last night when security forces opened fire at a person who fled after being asked to halt. Later, the injured was admitted to a nearby army hospital. Security forces deployed in the area also resorted to indiscriminate firing in the air suspecting that militants had attacked the army headquarters.

Spokesman said the injured person later died in the hospital. Locals alleged that he was insane.

In November last year, seven army personnel, including defence Pro Major P. Purshottum, were killed after a group of two fidayeen attacked the Badami Bagh army headquarters. Both the militants were killed. However, the road from Gupkar to Panthachowk is closed to traffic in the evening since November last year to thwart any such attack on the headquarters.

At least two persons were injured when a blast took place in a shop at Chanapora last night while in another incident a militant shot at and injured one Jalal Ahmad at Pattan, who was allegedly a security force informer.

The spokesman said security forces killed a militant at Naker-Pati in the frontier district of Kupwara during a search operation last night. One AK rifle, three magazines, four grenades and one wireless set were recovered during the operation.

He said militants shot dead one Jalal-ud-Din at village Gundi Qasim in Baramulla last night.One girl Shahzada was also injured in the shoot-out.

Militants shot dead a fire service employee Habib Ullah Wagay near his Sodnara Sumbal house in Baramulla district last night while body of one Raj Wali was recovered from Bimna village last evening.Back


Exchange of fire on border

BARAMULA, April 3 (PTI) — Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire in Keran, Karnah and Tithwal sectors in Kupwara district of North Kashmir damaging two residential houses last night, official sources said today.

Pakistani troops started the firing and shelling, using light arms and mortar shells in these areas prompting Indian troops to retaliate appropriately, the sources said here, adding that the gun-fight continued throughout the night.Back


3 Hurriyat leaders released

NEW DELHI, April 3 (UNI) — Three Top Hurriyat leaders released from the Jodhpur jail this morning could not be taken to Kashmir due to the tense situation in some parts of the valley and were flown back to the Capital.

The leaders — Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Gilani, Prof Abdul Gani Lone and Maulana Abbas Ansari — were released after remaining in detention for over six months.

They were taken in a special aircraft from Jodhpur to Srinagar, but the plane was diverted back to the Capital before it could land at the Srinagar airport. The three of them were lodged in Kashmir House here.

However, another senior leader, Mohammad Yasin Malik, of the banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front was not released today.

All these leaders were arrested for campaigning against parliamentary elections last year.

They were brought here as the situation in Anantnag district became tense following demonstration by people against alleged atrocities by the security forces. The police had to resort to firing which killed seven persons and injured several others. Back

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