Tuesday, October 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Bandh against Powell’s visit
Srinagar, October 15
Life was paralysed in Kashmir today due to a bandh in protest against the visit of the US Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell, to Pakistan, as demonstrations against US attacks on Afghanistan rocked the city for the eighth consecutive day today. 

Kashmir Police personnel fire tear gas shells in the old city area of Srinagar on a mob protesting against the US attacks on Afghanistan. — Photo Amin War

1 lakh J & K women victims of militancy
Jammu, October 15
The Dukhtaran-i-Hind, women’s organisation floated to counter the pro-Pak Dukhtaran-i-Milat and expose the activities of Pakistan-backed militants, today disclosed that one lakh women in Jammu and Kashmir had become victims of militancy-related violence in one form or the other.

Ghulam Hassan Banday, a Muslim priest of the Hazratbal shrine displays the holy relic believed to be a hair from the beard of the Prophet Mohammed, on the occasion of Meraj-ul Alam at Hazratbal on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday. Thousands of Kashmiri Muslims thronged the shrine that houses the relic to offer prayers during a religious anniversary.— Reuters

 

Kashmiri Muslims raise their arms while praying at the Hazratbal shrine on Monday. — Reuters


                       
                      

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Bandh against Powell’s visit
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 15
Life was paralysed in Kashmir today due to a bandh in protest against the visit of the US Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell, to Pakistan, as demonstrations against US attacks on Afghanistan rocked the city for the eighth consecutive day today. 
The strike call was given by Jaish-e-Mohammad in protest against the visit of Mr Powell to Pakistan which has supported the US action in Afghanistan. 
All shops and business establishments here remained closed and traffic off the road. State government offices and educational institutions, however, were closed today on the occasion of Shab-i-Miraj. Attendance at Central Government offices was thin.

The strike call was given by Jaish-e-Mohammad in protest against the visit of Mr Powell to Pakistan which has supported the US action in Afghanistan. 

All shops and business establishments here remained closed and traffic off the road. State government offices and educational institutions, however, were closed today on the occasion of Shab-i-Miraj. Attendance at Central Government offices was thin.

Protest demonstrations continued for the eighth day in a row in many parts of the city in protest against the US military action in Afghanistan. The police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to a cane charge to chase away the demonstrators at several places in Srinagar city. Five persons were injured and 20 arrested. Transport in these areas remained off the road. The demonstrators pelted stones on the police and government vehicles.

Groups of demonstrators raised anti-America and pro-Taliban slogans, burnt tyres and clashed with the police at various places in the city.

Clashes between the police and demonstrators were continuing in some downtown localities. The protesters also pelted stones at the Nowhatta police station.

Additional police and paramilitary forces have been rushed to the sensitive areas of the city and patrolling intensified.

At least three persons, including a militant, were killed and two injured in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since yesterday. A police spokesman said here that an unidentified militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Sadhna Top in Kupwara district of north Kashmir. A rifle, two magazines, six rounds of ammunition and a wireless set were recovered from the site of the encounter.

Unidentified militants shot dead Mohammad Iqbal Shah in Tangmarg area of Baramula district last night. His wife was injured in the shootout while trying to rescue her husband.

The police found the bullet-riddled body of Shahnawaz Khan in Lawaypora area of Bandipore in Baramula. He had been kidnapped by unidentified militants two days back.

Mohammad Sidiq Lone was critically injured when unidentified gunmen fired at him at Chunti Mulla in Bandipore area of Baramula district last night. A joint party of the Army and the SOG apprehended a Pak-trained militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Nayeem Ahmad Shah, from Ashtingoo, Bandipore during a search operation. A rifle, two magazines, 60 rounds of ammunition and four hand grenades were recovered from his possession.

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1 lakh J & K women victims of militancy
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 15
The Dukhtaran-i-Hind, women’s organisation floated to counter the pro-Pak Dukhtaran-i-Milat and expose the activities of Pakistan-backed militants, today disclosed that one lakh women in Jammu and Kashmir had become victims of militancy-related violence in one form or the other.

This disclosure was based on a survey conducted by its activists and other experts and was made public at a conference organised by it here today.

The president of the Dukhtaran-i-Hind, Ms Kaunsar Naseem, who has been a victim of the atrocities of the militants which forced her to migrate from Kashmir 10 years ago, said that between 18,000 and 21,000 women had become widows in Kashmir after their husbands were killed by militants. She said that 60,000 children had become orphans.

Ms Naseem posed several questions to militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir. “Does Islam teach one to indulge in rape, extortion and killing of innocent people?” She herself answered this question, saying that these militants were committing excesses and atrocities which was against the basic principle of Islam.

Many women were in tears when the Dukhtaran-i-Hind chief divulged names of scores of women, including teenaged girls, who had been victim of the lust of militants. At this stage many women from Poonch, Rajouri and Doda disclosed series of incidents while conveying to the media the style of functioning of militants. Shakuntala from Poonch said that 15 members of her family had been “slaughtered” by militants at intervals for no fault of “my kin”.

Accusing militants and their Pakistan patrons, Ms Kaunsar said that it was heart rending to watch the miserable plight of Kashmiri Pandits living in shanties in Jammu and elsewhere. She said it was painful to see the living condition of migrants from the Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Akhnoor areas.

She said that Pakistan had released criminals and other convicts from various jails and all of them were pushed into Jammu and Kashmir to stage the dance of death and destruction.

The Dukhtaran-i-Hind, while condemning the dress code issued by Al Jabbar militant outfit on women in Kashmir, asked these militants to first impose this ban on the wife of Gen Pervez Musharraf who had come to Agra along with her husband without any burqa.

It announced its commitment to free women in Jammu and Kashmir from such atrocities and repression. Ms Naseem reminded those supporting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir to watch the fate of Afghanistan which had been targeted by US bombers. She said it was intriguing that the American Government and European countries turned a deaf ear towards the cries of India while denouncing militancy in the state.

She said for 12 years, superpower remained inactive and so was the case with the United Nations. But when the terrorists targeted key stations, western nations rose like a python. She urged the Pakistan Government to stop encouraging crossborder terrorism, failing which the land of Jinnah would cease to be on the map of the world.

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