Tuesday, May 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

5 massacred in Doda village
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 7
At least 14 persons, including five militants, were killed and six others injured in separate incidents of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday.

Unidentified militants kidnapped and subsequently killed five persons in Dara Sangla village in Doda district of Jammu region yesterday. A police spokesman said here the police, Army and paramilitary troops had launched a search operation in the area to apprehend the culprits. The five persons were kidnapped on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday last. They were identified as Mohammad Yusuf, his brother Misri, Abdul Razak, Mohammad Ayoub and Mohammad Rashid.

The police shot dead an infiltrator in Ramgarh sector of Jammu district the other day, a police spokesman stated here today.

Surinder Singh of Chassana area in Udhampur district was kidnapped and subsequently killed by unidentified militants yesterday. He is reported to have been a Constable in the Police Department.

Unidentified militants intruded into the house of Wali Mohammad and killed him at Chakru Mandi village in Poonch district.

Militants killed Ghulam Mohammad of Shakhori Muthi Marmat in Doda district last night, the police said.

The police recovered the body of Shafi Mohammad in the Kishtwar area of Doda district today. He had been kidnapped by unidentified militants on Tuesday last.

One militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces in the Khooja hills or Rajouri district the other day, the police here said. The seizures made from the site of the encounter included one 7.62 mm Chinese pistol.

In the Kashmir valley, three militants, including a surrendered militant, were killed in separate incidents of violence since yesterday. The surrendered militant, Rais Ahmad, was killed by militants at the Baraband forests in Kupwara district of North Kashmir yesterday.

A foreign militant, Abu Zahoor, was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Sogam in Kupwara district. One AK rifle, three magazines with 90 rounds and three hand grenades were seized from the site of the encounter.

One militant, Abdul Majid Jheikh, of Vilgam area in Kupwara district was killed in an encounter with the security forces last night. One AK rifle, three magazines, one wireless set and one pouch were seized from the site of the encounter. One residential house where the militant was hiding got completely damaged in the exchange of fire.

Three activists of Ikhwan were injured when they were ambushed by militants in Bugam village of Kulgam area in Anantnag district yesterday. One private bus was also damaged in the incident, the police here said.

Two security force jawans were injured when militants fired on a patrol party at Panzla in Baramula district yesterday. The militants managed to escape.

A security force jawan was injured when militants fired on a patrol party at Krumhoora forests in Kupwara district yesterday.


Muslim migrants keen to return
M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, May 7
A majority of 20,000 Muslims, including women and children, who had migrated to occupied Kashmir during the past over seven years, are keen to return to their villages on this side of the LoC.

These people had crossed over to occupied Kashmir from Kupwara, Keran, Karnah, Uri (in Kashmir), Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu. Their relatives have attributed two major factors for this exodus. First, these border villagers had been sandwiched between guns of infiltrators from across the LoC and the Indian security forces.

Invariably, the infiltators would take shelter in the houses of border villagers and the next day they would get a thrashing from security personnel. The civilians were not prepared to risk their lives by acting as police informers because that would mean death for the entire family at the hands of the militants.

Second, Pakistani agencies and some militant groups had lured them across the border. They were assured of suitable monthly wages as well as work as porters and guides. Pakistan wanted to prove that as a result of “excesses” by the Indian troops, Muslims had been forced to flee from the Kashmir valley. Islamabad wanted to use these migrants to provoke the youths to join the anti-India ‘jehad’ and counter India’s propaganda on the forcible migration of Pandits.

Last year the entire population of Tarkunde village on the LoC in Poonch crossed over to occupied Kashmir. From the Poonch and Rajouri side, more than 5,000 people have crossed over to occupied Kashmir.

In addition, at least more than 2,000 Kashmiri youths had crossed over to Pakistan for the purpose of receiving arms training. Gradually they have disassociated themselves from the ongoing armed campaign in Kashmir and have been working as labourers in and around Muzaffarabad, capital of occupied Kashmir. These youths have been living in sheds and tents in and around Muzaffarabad. Those who had crossed over from Poonch and Rajouri have been camping in and around Bagh.

Reports reaching here from across the border said most of these migrants have not been paid sustenance allowance or relief. Those who had been promised Rs 600 per month per head had not received a penny during the past three to four years.

The tented colonies lacked basic facilities and the children of the migrants had no school facilities. These difficulties had forced a majority of them to find ways and means for returning to their villages on this side of the LoC.

When in November last a senior APHC leader, Mr Abdul Gani Lone, visited the camps of these migrants near Muzaffarabad he was moved by their plight. He had a dig at the occupied-Kashmir government and other agencies when he compared the lot of these migrants with Kashmiri Pandits.

Mr Lone, according to reports, had said that the Government of India had provided all facilities to Kashmiri Pandit migrants for their rehabilitation but had not been able to look after the welfare of 20,000 migrants from the valley.

These Muslim migrants have been in touch with some of the political leaders in Poonch, Rajouri, Kupwara and Uri, most of them belonging to the National Conference. These leaders are being persuaded to use their influence so that Delhi and Islamabad can arrange for their return to their villages. Since the next Assembly poll is scheduled to be held in October next year, political leaders have started attempts at getting these 20,000 people back which will give them a readymade votebank.Back

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