Friday, February 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

4 killed in firing
Villagers protest ultra’s killing
Tribune News Service and agencies

Srinagar, February 15
At least four persons were killed and over 24 injured, four of them seriously, when the security forces opened fire on a group of demonstrators at Haigam, 40 km north of here, blocking traffic on the Srinagar-Baramula highway this afternoon.

The villagers were protesting against the “custodial” death of Jalil Ahmad Shah, a militant reportedly killed in an encounter with the forces and the SOG last night.

The DIG, Baramula-Kupwara Range, Mr Dilbagh Singh told TNS two persons were killed on the spot while two succumbed to their injuries in the Sopore hospital. Those seriously injured had been shifted to Srinagar hospitals.

He said the trouble began when some miscreants pelted stones on a convoy of the Army. The demonstrators had blocked the highway, demanding that the body of Jalil Ahmad be handed over to them. They had gathered from Haigam, Tarzoo and Gulgam villages near the highway.

The four wounded were identified as Safder Ali Dar, Manzoor Ahmad, Ateeq and her daughter Bilqees.

Family members of Jalil Ahmad Shah and residents of Haigam and adjoining Bulgam, Tarzoo and Panzipora villages took to the streets in a procession with his bullet-riddled body as soon as it was handed over to them this morning, demanding action against the Army and Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel who had arrested him a few days ago.

According to the police, Jalil Ahmad, Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami district commander for the Pattan, Sopore belt, was killed in retaliatory action when he fired at a patrol party of the SOG, Budgam, and the security forces last night. Jalil Ahmad was wanted in a number of cases of causing explosions and killing civilians. A pistol, a magazine, five rounds, two grenades, three remote control devices, five detonators and 500 gm of explosive material were recovered from the encounter site.

Meanwhile, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former Congress legislator, was held here this afternoon while staging a demonstration against what she described the deteriorating law and order situation in the valley.

Ms Mufti, along with four senior party workers and 24 supporters, was arrested at Residency Road this afternoon. She was leading a procession towards the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to submit a memorandum on the law and order situation and other economic problems being faced by the people.

A spokesman of the PDP said while four top leaders were released along with supporters, the whereabouts of PDP state youth president Nazir Ahmad Khan were not known. He had been whisked away in a Gypsy but the authorities did not claim his arrest. At least 12 of his supporters were injured in a mild lathi charge by the police which prevented them from proceeding towards the office of the Divisional Commissioner.

They raised slogans like “release all detainees” and “stop custodial killings”.

Militants shot at and injured SPO Reyaz Ahmad at Pulwama and police driver Parvez Ahmad at Kulgam.

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