|Saturday, April 8, 2000,
2 SPOs shot; curfew continues
CMs no to higher relief
2 SPOs shot; curfew continues
SRINAGAR, April 7 (PTI, UNI) Militants targeted security personnel in the valley attacking their vehicle and killing two Special Police Officers (SPOs), who were among five persons shot dead in Jammu and Kashmir since last night.
A Special Police Officer (SPO), Mohammad Ashraf Sheikh, was killed by militants in Shumnag in Badgam district, while another SPO, Pamposh Ahmad Mian, was shot dead by militants when he was standing at a taxi stand in Pattan in north Kashmir, an official spokesman said.
Militants ambushed a security vehicle in Sail-Beerwah in Badgam district, detonating an improvised explosive device. However, no one was injured in the blast as it took place after the vehicle had passed, he said.
Meanwhile, after a night-long encounter between security personnel and militants in Manjkote sector of Rajouri district in Jammu, two militants were shot dead.
The exchange of firing began when the security personnel spotted the militants during a routine search, and lasted till this morning when the two were shot dead. A number of arms and ammunition were seized from the encounter site.
The police arrested two militants, one of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and a self-styled tehsil commander of Lashker-e-Toiba in Srinagar, during the period. The second arrested militant helped the police recover two kg of RDX and some arms and ammunition.
Militants also shot dead an alleged informer, Ghulam Mohammad Ganai, at Shablipora in Badgam this afternoon.
Security forces killed two militants at Niyali village early this morning during a search operation.
Meanwhile, curfew remained enforced without any relaxation today in main Anantnag town, Achabal, Doru and Mattan, while relaxation was given in some areas on the outskirts in a phased manner for two to four hours this morning.
The police burst tear gas shells and resorted to a lathi charge to disperse stone pelting mobs at Nowhatta, Jamia Masjid and other down town areas this afternoon.
Official sources said curfew was not relaxed in main Anantnag, Mattan, Achabal and Doru today as the situation remained tense following identification of bodies exhumed by the authorities yesterday.
Relatives of Juma Khan, Bashir Ahmad Bhat and Zahoor Ahmad Dalal confirmed that the bodies exhumed were those of their relatives.
However, the authorities said identification of bodies would be done through DNA and other tests also.
Official sources said curfew was relaxed in phases in different localities on the outskirts to enable people to buy essentials, which passed off peacefully.
Curfew was imposed in the town after police firing on a procession left eight persons dead and nine others injured on April 3. The processionists were demanding exhuming of bodies of five persons killed by the army and Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police at Patherbal on March 25.
Meanwhile, life in the valley remained crippled for the fourth day today due to a strike in protest against the police firing.
Shops and business establishments in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley remained closed and traffic was off the road.
Government offices, banks, courts, petrol pumps and educational institutions too remained closed.
The All-Party Kashmir Hurriyat Conference and Kashmir traders had given strike calls separately in protest against the police firing.
JAMMU: Three intruders were killed and a large quantity of arms and explosives was recovered when troops attempt to stop them from entering the Indian territory led to an exchange of fire with Pakistani Rangers along the border in the Jammu region on Friday, an official spokesman said here.
The spokesman said a joint team of border police and army troops spotted intruders bringing arms consignment into the Indian territory of Kathua from across the border.
CMs no to higher relief
JAMMU, April 7 The Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has said that Pakistan sponsored war in Jammu and Kashmir was "not yet over".
Replying to a valley of questions in the state Assembly here today regarding ex gratia to the kin of those killed in militancy-related violence, the Chief Minister said there could be no two opinion about the need for honouring the "martyrs" with awards like Tamra Patra and for setting up a memorial.
He said this could be done only after the "war" was over. He said he would set up one memorial in Srinagar and the other in Jammu.
Dr Farooq told agitated members, who complained that ex gratia had not been paid to the kin of those kidnapped and later killed by militants, that under rules relief could be sanctioned when there was evidence of having been killed.
He said there were many who had been abducted by the militants but there was no evidence that they had been killed. Others were missing and had crossed over to Pakistan. In such cases ex gratia could not be sanctioned.
He, however, assured the members that within two months all such cases would be processed and relief sanctioned in case of those who had fallen to the bullets of the militants.
The Chief Minister turned down a suggestion that relief in case of death of a civilian in militancy-related violence be raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh as in the case of the state police. He said financial position did not allow to increase the ex-gratia amount. Still he would discuss the matter with the Centre and in case the Government of India enhanced the financial support, "I will have no hesitation in enhancing the ex gratia amount."
Dr Farooq informed the House that 9561 structures had been damaged by the militants in the Kashmir valley with Budgam district was on the top with destruction of 2906 buildings. He said the government had paid over Rs 110 crore as compensation to those whose houses had been damaged during the past 10 years.
In reply to another question, the Chief Minister said 9045 civilians, including political workers, were killed by militants in the valley since 1996, 300 of them political workers. Out of them 206 belonged to the National Conference.
So far relief had been paid in 7328 cases.
The House was informed that over 3.113 militants had surrendered before the security forces since 1991. Out of them 1727 had been absorbed in various departments. Fourteen militants who had surrendered had rejoined their outfits.
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