Friday, May 11, 2001,
 Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Militants massacre seven
21 scribes hurt as BSF men go berserk in Budgam
Tribune News Service

Jammu, May 10
At least seven civilians, including two women, were killed and three injured when militants struck in Gulabgarg village in the Kishtwar area of Doda district today.

The police said the militants kidnapped 11 civilians from the village and carried them to a forest belt. After preliminary interrogation, the militants opened indiscriminate firing in which seven civilians were killed on the spot. Three civilians were wounded and the rest managed to escape.

People have given a call for a complete bandh in the Kishtwar area tomorrow.

SRINAGAR: At least 21 journalists, most of them photographers of national and international media agencies, were injured, five of them critically, when BSF personnel ran berserk during a funeral procession in Budgam district of Central Kashmir on Thursday morning.

The journalists were on way to Magam in Budgam district to cover the incident of the IED explosion which killed 11 persons, including six civilians and a BSF officer, while 14 others were injured, last evening.

Three wounded persons including a BSF Assistant Commandant, succumbed to injuries today a police spokesman said.

Six civilians were killed on the spot and 14 injured, including four BSF personnel, when militants exploded a powerful improvised explosive device near the camp on Srinagar-Gulmarg road yesterday and opened fire on a BSF patrol party.

A caller introducing himself to be a spokesman of hitherto unknown Al-Hamas Mujahideen claimed that his outfit was behind the attack.

Five of the journalists were admitted to the hospital here. One cameraman of ETV received serious injuries while others escaped with fractured arms and legs. The video and still cameras of most of them were damaged in the action by the BSF personnel. The loss on account of the damage to the cameras was estimated at over Rs 50 lakh.

Those injured included Mr Amin War, photographer of The Tribune, Fayaz Kabli, Reuters, S. Tariq, Naseer Ahmad, Shujaat Bukhari, Correspondent of The Hindu, Sheikh Mushtaq of Reuters.

Eyewitnesses said when the first batch of newspersons reached the spot at about 7.45 a.m. today a large number of people were participating in the funeral procession. They were carrying bodies of four persons killed in the IED explosion last evening. The BSF personnel after parking their vehicle at some distance pounced on the cameramen and asked them to leave the spot. “Their cameras were snatched and broken down, said Amin War. “The BSF officer asked his men to shoot the newsmen”, said another reporter. “At least BSF jawans pounced on me”, said Shujaat Bukhari of The Hindu, who has got, his arm fractured. “I watched helplessly my colleague Fayaz Kabli being beaten up by three men at a time”, said Sheikh Mushtaq of Reuters.

Later, at about 10.30 a.m. when another group of newspersons reached the spot they were also beaten up by the angry BSF jawans at the instruction of one DIG commanding the area.

Things pacified through intervention of another DIG, BSF, Mr R.P.Singh and the local SHO of the police station,” eyewitnesses said. Most of the reporters sought shelter in the local police station.

“Our fault was only that when we came to cover the incident this morning people in the procession started raising anti-Farooq and anti-ceasefire slogans”, said another cameraman. The residents, according to eyewitnesses, alleged the killings which took place last evening were mostly due to extensive and indiscriminate firing by the BSF personnel.

A police spokesman said here today that preliminary investigations into last evening’s incident revealed “two militants posing as ice-cream vendors were planning to enter the campus of the security force at Magam but the device was triggered when some BSF personnel approached for a check.”

The spokesman added that one militant was killed in the blast while the other kept on firing and was killed in retaliatory action by the BSF. “In the cross-firing some civilians were also injured but most of the civilians were killed as a result of the IED blast”, the spokesman said.

NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry and the BSF expressed “deep regrets” over the alleged attack by BSF personnel on mediapersons in Magam in Badgam district of Jammu and Kashmir today even as the BSF ordered a probe into the incident to fix responsibility.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |