Monday, May 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Protesting mob teargassed

Srinagar, May 27
The police lobbed teargas shells and used batons here today to disperse stone-pelting demonstrators protesting against an alleged “secret mission of the police” to kill a Sikh family in the area.

The police used force to recover a police vehicle captured by the residents last night when a police party went there to recover a kidnapped girl from a house in the Aloochibagh area, Senior Superintendent of Police B. Srinavasan said. He said the police party proceeded towards the spot today to recover the vehicle after negotiations with prominent residents of the area, but the mob hurled stones forcing the police to charge with batons.

Two BSF personnel and some policemen were injured. The SSP denied allegations of the locals that the police had gone there to kill a Sikh family. The policemen were in uniform and carried only an AK rifle for the safety of the entire police party, he said, adding that legal action into the matter had been initiated. PTI

Kashmiri Sikh youths raise slogans against the police during a demonstration in central Srinagar on Sunday.
Kashmiri Sikh youths raise slogans against the police during a demonstration in central Srinagar on Sunday.



7 Lashkar ultras shot dead
Tribune News Service And Agencies

Srinagar, May 27
At least 18 persons, including 15 militants and a woman, have been killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday.

An official spokesman today said militants wearing uniform forced their entry into the house of a National Conference activist at Hanjipora-Trehgam village in Kupwara district and ran away after snatching seven rifles and some ammunition from the guard.

Seven foreign mercenaries belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed in three encounters with security forces at Jamshed Roopwala, Pari Bahal and Masot in the border district of Poonch, he said.

The encounters between the militants and the security forces follow a major operation launched by the security forces to flush out militants in the border districts, the spokesman said.

Two foreign mercenaries were killed in Banihal area of Doda district of Jammu region in another gunfight which was initiated by militants who attacked a security patrol at Mangoos village in the area last evening, he said.

A woman, Misra Begum, was killed in the exchange of fire and a militant was apprehended along with a rifle, the spokesman said.

Two foreign mercenaries were killed in a gunbattle that broke out at Batnov village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir between militants and security forces today.

JAMMU: Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers, supported by the Pakistani troops, have stepped up firing and mortar shelling in several areas.

According to Defence Ministry sources more than 20,000 rounds have been fired since yesterday evening. Till midday, the range of firing was around 1,000 rounds.

The sources added that in some pockets of Akhnoor sector, firing and mortar shelling was resorted to. They said heavy firing was resorted to by the Pakistani forces to stall the border fencing process. The BSF authorities said the situation was somewhat disturbing. “We have directed out forces to carry on with the fencing and in case there was trouble, they should retaliate,” they said.Back


Pant's tour of J&K from today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 27
The Centre’s interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, Mr K.C. Pant, will begin his six-day tour of the Himalayan state tomorrow to assess the ground situation and hold talks with Kashmiri leaders.

“For six days, beginning with May 28, he will visit Srinagar, Jammu, Leh and Kargil and hold discussions aimed at restoring normalcy and establishing durable peace,” an official press note said here today.

The visit by Mr Pant to the valley after the government had extended an invitation to the Pakistan military ruler was part of New Delhi’s strategy to send a strong message to the people in the state that their views were not being kept out of picture, analysts said.

They said the visit by Mr Pant was to open up a dialogue process with various groups and comprehend the nature of the aspirations of the people in the state.

Last week Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee extended an invitation to the Pakistan military ruler, Gen Pervez Musharraf, to come to New Delhi for talks.

Islamabad, which has begun consultations with hardline religious and jehadi groups, has indicated that it will respond in a “positive spirit” to the letter from Mr Vajpayee.

Mr Pant will also hold discussions to assess the pace of development and impediments in the way to accelerate economic growth. He will meet the representatives of trade and industry, state government officials and others interested in speeding up socio-economic development.

The interlocutor will also visit Leh and Kargil districts of the Ladakh region. The people of the area have demanded a separate Union Territory status for Ladakh.

In Jammu, Mr Pant will meet the migrants and discuss the problems faced by them. About two lakh migrants from the valley are in Jammu, who left their homes with the onset of militancy in the 1990s.

Mr Pant will also garner information of the prevailing security scenario in the state especially in the wake of calling off of the six-month long unilateral ceasefire.Back

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