|Wednesday, September 20, 2000,
21 militants killed in J&K
Demographic changes in Jammu
Bumper charas crop in Kashmir
21 militants killed in J&K
SRINAGAR, Sept 19 (PTI) Security forces gunned down 21 militants in separate gun fights with militants while militants struck back killing two Army personnel, wounding two others and damaging a vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening.
Two civilians were also killed when they were caught in an encounter between militants and security forces in the state during the period, an official spokesman said here today.
In a major encounter, the spokesman said 12 militants affiliated with the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a gun fight with security forces at Angan-Pathri in the Sawjian area of Poonch district in Jammu region yesterday.
Three more militants were killed and a hideout was smashed by security forces during search operations at Bagga-Katar near Buffliaz, Harni Nallah and Hill Kaka in Surankote areas of Poonch yesterday, he said, adding some arms and ammunition were recovered from the deceased militants and their hideout.
Two militants, one of them identified as Ghulam Mohiuddin, alias Ishfaq of Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), were killed in an encounter with troops at Mandji village in Sopore today, the spokesman said.
He said security forces shot dead a Lashker-e-Toiba militant at Ringpeth-Qaziabad in Kupwara district and busted a militant hideout at nearby Rangat forest last night.
An AK assault rifle, four wireless sets, 15 kgs of RDX, 14 anti-tank grenades, 24 grenades and a large quantity of ammunition were recovered during the operation, he said.
Two militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in separate encounters at upper Bhalla near Bhadeerwah in Doda and Malaan-Mahore in Udhampur yesterday. Two security personnel were also wounded in the encounter, he said.
One militant was killed in a gun fight with security forces at Chingus in Rajouri district of Jammu yesterday.
Two army personnel were killed and another was wounded in an ambush by a group of heavily-armed militants at Radbugh in the Handwara area of Kupwara district today, he said.
A civilian was also killed in the incident.
The body of a surrendered militant was recovered from Daliri-Handwara in Kupwara today.
Militants fired a rocket at an Army camp at Shallakot-Panzla in Baramula district last night. The rocket missed its target and struck a building in the vicinity partially damaging it, he said.
Demographic changes in Jammu flayed
JAMMU, Sept 19 The state unit of the BJP has expressed its concern over the attempts being made by vested interests to alter the demographic character of the Hindu-dominated Jammu district.
Two senior BJP MLAs, Mr Piara Singh and Mr Ashok Khajuri, told mediapersons here yesterday that with the covert support from the state government agencies a large number of Muslims from the Kashmir valley, Poonch, Doda and Rajouri districts had built residential houses during the past seven to eight years.
They said more than 35,000 houses had been built in Jammu and its outskirts during the past five to six years. They feared that if the rate at which separate Muslim residential colonies were being built the population ratio in the district would be changed.
Mr Piara Singh alleged that vast tracts of government land and areas under forests had been encroached upon in the Jammu region by the ruling National Conference leaders and senior bureaucrats. He said the Forest Minister had assured that action would be taken against those having illegally occupied forest land but since the land record had been tampered with in certain cases and destroyed in other cases, the encroachments on government land continued. The BJP MLAs demanded a White Paper from the government on the demographic changes in the state.
Expressing concern over maladministration, the BJP leaders said several ruling party legislators and leaders had started minting money by securing permission from the government for setting up colleges of education in the Jammu region. They named some MLAs and ministers belonging to the National Conference who had set up BEd college in the Jammu region, which lacked the basic infrastructure.
They wanted the
government to end what they called discrimination against
the people of the Jammu region and said the induction of
officers in the Kashmir Administrative Services recently
was highly weighed in favour of the officers belonging to
the Kashmir valley.
Bumper charas crop in Kashmir
JAMMU, Sept 19 As a result of liberal use of fertilisers and good irrigation facilities vast areas in South Kashmir have had bumper charas crop this season.
State agencies have destroyed charas on 1100 kanals in Anantnag and parts of Pulwama districts. According to police sources, charas in fields destroyed so far accounts for one tenth of the total area under hemp cultivation. This indicates that more than 10,000 kanals in South Kashmir are under charas cultivation.
Since sowing and rearing practices are not as cumbersome as compared to other crops the cultivation of hemp has proved a major money minting activities in the Kashmir valley. Charas smugglers and growers call it black gold.
In the Kashmir valley the cultivation of hemp was banned by militants between 1990 and 1992.
Police sources said militants didnt go ahead with implementing ban on hemp cultivation because they realised the smuggling of charas could sustain insurgency in Kashmir. Cultivators, who have indirect links with the separatists, have been paying huge sums to militant outfits.
The price of one kg of charas registers increase in geometric proportion when the contraband consignments moves from the valley to Delhi and finally to Bombay from where it is smuggled to Europe. One kg of charas may fetch anything between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh in Bombay.
Over the past three decades the valleys economy has registered a marked improvement because of the illegal sale of the black gold. Before the rise of militancy charas worth over Rs 60 crore used to be smuggled out of the valley.
Once the growers realised that charas cultivation was not only an easy affair but highly remunerative they started using fertilisers and irrigation facilities for achieving optimum production. A large number of farmers cultivate charas instead of raising conventional crops of maize and wheat.
Those engaged in anti-India jehad were told that people in Afghanistan were able to force the Soviet troops to withdraw when the opium production and its sale facilitated the Afghan Mujahideen to procure and purchase highly sophisticated weapons worth several hundred crores. And the same narco trade has been the only source of survival for several lakhs of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It is the result of rapid increase in production of opium that Pakistan has registered the highest drug addicts in the world. Rough figures say that more than 1.5 million people in Pakistan are drug addicts.
Over the years charas
smugglers have developed novel methods for smuggling hemp
out of the valley. Trucks are fitted with spare gadgets
which are stuffed with charas. Export of fruit is also
used for smuggling charas out of the valley.
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