Tuesday, July 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bodies of 4 VDC members found
Tension in Kishtwar; 2 dead, 21 hurt in blasts

BSF personnel inspecting the vehicle damaged in a powerful blast triggered by militants at Baba Demb near Khanyar in downtown Srinagar on Monday.
BSF personnel inspecting the vehicle damaged in a powerful blast triggered by militants at Baba Demb near Khanyar in downtown Srinagar on Monday.— PTI photo

Jammu, July 23
Tension continued to prevail in Kishtwar area today with the recovery of four bodies of the seven villagers kidnapped on Saturday night.

Denying reports of curfew in the area, police sources said the situation in Kishtwar was tense but under control with the authorities monitoring the situation.

Militants had kidnapped seven villagers, including four village defence committee (VDC) members, from Balda Lachana Dar area under Chhatroo police station of Kishtwar tehsil, a senior police officer said. Three of the kidnapped had returned home, he added.

The sources confirmed that 19 persons were killed in the two incidents yesterday.

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in an exchange of fire with Indian troops at a forward post in Pallanwala Sector of Jammu Division last night, defence sources said.

The Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing. The soldiers were killed when the Indian troops retaliated. However, there was no loss of life or damage to the property on the Indian side.

Meanwhile, the BSF and Pakistani Rangers have traded fire along the International Border (IB) in R.S. Pora, Samba, Akhnoor and Hiranagar areas of Jammu since last evening.

Two persons were killed and 21 including five BSF personnel and three counter insurgents, were injured in three explosions triggered by militants in the Kashmir valley since last night, official sources said today.

Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at Babademb road in downtown Srinagar and hurled a grenade towards a group of counter-insurgents at Bandipora town of Baramula district today, killing a civilian and injuring 20.

The first explosion took place at Babademb where militants had fitted an ied on a bicycle. The grenade attack was carried out around 2 p.m. The injured included five BSF personnel and three counter-insurgents.

A police spokesman said a civilian was killed and another was injured in a mine blast triggered by suspected militants near Jalala-Behak in Karnah sector of Kupwara.

No militant outfit has owned responsibility for the three explosions so far. UNI, PTI


Bandh against killings complete
Effigies of Musharraf burnt
M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 23
A bandh was observed in various parts of Jammu, Doda, Kishtwar and Bhaderwah towns, which was complete, in protest against the incidents of carnage at two places in Kishtwar yesterday.

Anti-Pakistan demonstrations were held in Jammu, Kishtwar Bhaderwah and Udhampur. Effigies of the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, were set ablaze.

The police said 12 bodies were brought to Kishtwar for cremation under tight security measures. The cremation was delayed as Union Minister of State for Home I.D. Swami and Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Chaman Lal Gupta could not reach Kishtwar by 3.30 p.m. as the chopper in which they were to fly from Jammu was not given clearance on account of inclement weather.

However, the state’s Home Minister, Mr Mushtaq Ahmed Lone, and the Director-General of Police, Mr A.K. Suri, landed in Kishtwar from Srinagar.

In Jammu the bandh was complete. The call for the same was given by the All-India Shiv Sena, the BJP, the VHP and the BYJM. Shops remained closed and passenger transport off the road.

Activists of the Shiv Sena and the BJP held separate demonstrations. They raised anti-Farooq and anti-Pakistan slogans. The Vice-President of the state unit of the BJP, Mr Chander Mohan Sharma, demanded immediate resignation of the Farooq government for its failure to protect the lives and property of the people. He said the government had no moral right to remain in office.

The protesters raised road blocks and set ablaze motor tyres. The only survivor of the carnage at Kishtwar, Deepu, who was brought to the Jammu Medical College late last night said that two militants, one in Army uniform and the other in salwar kameez, knocked at the door of his house in Cherji village at 3.45 a.m.

He said the “militants asked us as to who would be ready to go to the police to inform about their presence in the village. We said we would not give any information to the police. We were then tied with a rope. One of the militants opened fire, killing my father Madal Lal. This was followed by elimination of my brother Kaushal Kumar and mother. “When I received a bullet, I quickly fell down and the rebels left me for dead”

“I regained consciousness and walked down the slopes with my shoulder bleeding to inform the police,” he said.

He stated that he had no information on the killing of other civilians.

The police said in Cherji eight persons had been killed. So far eight bodies had been recovered. In case of Chattroo, four civilian had been killed and three more, who too had been kidnapped, had given the slip to the ultras.

Those who have been critical of the handling of the situation in Doda district, the largest in the state, says last year over 4,000 men of the Army and the paramilitary forces were withdrawn, depriving large areas of the troubled district of any security.

Even after the May last massacre at Chhajaroo in Paddar area of Kishtwar, local political leaders had demanded setting up of security pickets in various areas of Paddar, Marmath and Wardwan but no step was taken in this direction, except that a couple of village defence committees were formed.

People were critical of the Central Government. They said despite repeated announcements, members of the village defence committees were not equipped with sophisticated weapons.Back


Amarnath killings: Swami’s report today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Minister of State for Home I.D. Swami, who went to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the situation arising out of the killing of Amarnath yatris by militants on Saturday, will submit a detailed report to Union Home Minister L.K. Advani tomorrow.

However, Mr Swami, who returned here this evening briefed Mr Advani verbally. Mr Swami’s report will be based on inter-action and feedback he had from senior police and Army officials at Jammu.

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