Monday, August 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Militants kill 4 in Udhampur
Tribune News Service
and Agencies

JAMMU, Aug 20 Four civilians were killed when a group of militants swooped down on Indeh village in the Gool area of Udhampur district last night and opened indiscriminate fire. Meanwhile in the valley three persons were killed in militancy-related violence.

Police said that except for Madan Lal, who was 15 years old, the three other civilians gunned down in Indeh were in the age group of 63 and 70. One woman, Rani, was wounded critically and has been admitted to the hospital.

Those killed have been identified as Mir Chand, Naseeboo, Mania and Madan Lal.

Additional security forces were rushed to the area and one militant was killed in an encounter in the area, while two of his companion who were hurt managed to escape. Eyewitnesses said large number of villagers including women were seen wailing by the side of the bodies. They demanded security cover or assistance for migrating to safer areas.

This was the second major incident during the current week. On Thursday six Hindus were killed in village Kot Dhara in Rajouri which resulted in violence and arson by the protesters in which several government vehicles were torched and a number of officers including the Deputy Commissioner were injured, warranting imposition of curfew.

BJP leaders described the current month as the most bloody as more than 105 Hindus, including 32 pilgrims in Pahalgam, were killed at various places in the state.

The BJP President, Mr D.K. Kotwal, has urged the Centre to carry out an honest review of the security situation. He said the Centre should take measures for streamlining anti-insurgency operations.

Mr Kotwal demanded that the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, either quit or weed out anti-national elements in the state administration who were sabotaging security operations against the militants. He also urged the Centre to send additional companies of paramilitary forces so that vast grey areas were provided with better security cover to prevent militants from carrying out one massacre after the other.

A fierce encounter took place between militants and village defence committee members at Bhai village in Udhampur district late last night.

The encounter continued for several hours, but there was no loss of life or damage to property.

Two militants, including a Pakistani infiltrator were killed during two militancy related incidents, while troops belonging to the Romeo force averted a major tragedy with timely recovery of a powerful IED in Poonch district last evening.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said that based on a specific information, troops of the JWG brigade raided a Dhok at Nakka Majiari near Surrankote last evening. As soon as a group of four Jawans entered the Dhok, the militants inside opened fire with a pistol, the troops also retaliated, killing a top militant and guide, Sarfaraz Khan on the spot. One pistol, one magazine, four hand grenades and 16 rounds of ammunition were found in the possession of the slain militant.

In another incident, Border Security Force (BSF) troops killed a Pakistani infiltrator after he crossed the Line of Control from Kamour Forwar, in the Samba sector last evening. One revolver and six rounds were found from his possession.

The spokesman said troops belonging to the Romeo Force averted a major tragedy when they recovered a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) containing 15 kg of RDX and planted by suspected militants on the Surrankote-Kalai road. The IED was remote controlled Immediately after the recovery of the IED a bomb disposal squad team was rushed to the site, which contained approximately 15 kg of deadly RDX and small electronic device was attached to it.

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