Wednesday, November 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Pak troops shell forward posts
Srinagar, November 20
Pakistani troops shelled forward Indian positions and villages along the Line of Control in north Kashmir today, official sources said here.

Akali Dal (Badal) ‘dividing’ J&K Sikhs
Jammu, November 20
The state unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal has urged the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Centre to take effective measures to stop the possible ingress of the Taliban into the state.

Don’t waste money on poll: APHC
Jammu, November 20
The All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has suggested to Delhi not to waste money and time on holding the Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir till the Kashmir issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the people of the state.


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Pak troops shell forward posts
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Srinagar, November 20
Pakistani troops shelled forward Indian positions and villages along the Line of Control in north Kashmir today, official sources said here.

Indiscriminate shelling from across the border began in the Uri sector of Baramula district in the early hours and later spread to neighbouring Gurez sector and nearby Kernah, Keran, Tanghdhar and Teetwal sectors of Kupwara district, they said.

The Indian troops retaliated, the sources said. However, there was no report of any casualty. Meanwhile, at least 11 persons, including seven militants and two Armymen, were killed and two others injured in separate incidents in the valley since yesterday. Protest demonstrations were also held in the Bandipore area of Baramula district against the killing of a youth allegedly at the hands of the security forces.

Five unidentified militants and a JCO were killed in an encounter at Kandi in Kupwara district of north Kashmir yesterday, the police said.

A self-styled district commander of the Al-Badr, Ghulam Mustafa Bhat, was killed by the security forces in a retaliatory action after he had been arrested in the Ganderbal area of Srinagar district yesterday.

He led the search party to a hideout at Narainbagh, Shadipora, and while the party was making recoveries, he picked up a loaded pistol and fired indiscriminately, resulting in injuries to a Head Constable and a CRPF jawan who died later a police spokesperson said, adding that the party reacted and killed the terrorist. One Chinese pistol, two pika magazines, 30 pika rounds and a pika gun barrel, besides some other arms, were recovered.

The militants kidnapped a contractor, Ghulam Hassan, at Tangmarg early this morning.

A report from Baramula said people in Wahibugh Bandipora took to the streets this morning after the police handed over the body of a school student to his relatives.

They alleged that the boy had been shot by the forces when he was playing. Shops and business establishments in Wahbugh and adjoining villages remained closed and traffic was off road.

Later, senior police and civil officials visited the area.

A spokesman for the state Human Rights Front said the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights commission had directed the Inspector-General of Police (Kashmir range) and the SP, Badgam, to investigate into the death of three youths yesterday.

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Akali Dal (Badal) ‘dividing’ J&K Sikhs
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 20
The state unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal has urged the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Centre to take effective measures to stop the possible ingress of the Taliban into the state.

The president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Gurdev Singh, and the general secretary, Mr Dayal Singh, told newsmen here today that the possibility of the “fleeing Taliban” entering into Jammu and Kashmir could not be ruled out because the LoC had remained porous as evident by the level of ingress during the past 12 years.

They said the Centre and the state government should take in hand suitable measures, without any excuse, to check infiltration from across the LoC.

The Akali leaders came down heavily on the role being played by the state unit of the Akali Dal (Badal) accusing it of “dividing” the Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir.

They vehemently refuted the allegations of the Akali Dal (Badal) president, Mr H.S. Raina, that the Sikhs were being divided by the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah.

Mr Gurdev Singh said the Akali Dal (Badal) had opened its headquarters inside the gurdwara premises in Jammu while “my organisation has set up its offices in Digiana Ashram without misusing or occupying any room of the gurdwara.

Praising the services of Mahant Manjit Singh of Digiana Ashram, Mr Rangil Singh, a former minister, and Mr S.S. Wazier, President, Gurdwara Parbandhak Board to the Sikh community by upgrading educational facilities and other amenities in places of worship demanded that all gurdwaras in the Jammu region should be placed under the control of Dera Nangali Sahib and this dera should also control Sikh educational institutions.

He and other leaders blamed the Akali Dal (Badal) for causing a split in the Sikh voters which did not allow even a single Sikh candidate to get elected to the Assembly in 1996.

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Don’t waste money on poll: APHC
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 20
The All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has suggested to Delhi not to waste money and time on holding the Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir till the Kashmir issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the people of the state.

The chairman of the APHC, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, told TNS: “It is my honest and sincere suggestion to Delhi to first opt for tripartite talks and then think of holding the poll.”

Commenting on reports that the next Assembly poll may be held earlier than the schedule, Professor Bhat said, “Let there be 100 elections but they will not lead to the resolution of the Kashmir problem as has happened in the past 50 years.” He said the problem “can only be resolved through talks with Islamabad. It cannot be solved by holding talks with individuals or parties in Jammu and Kashmir only.”

In support of his contention he cited the Delhi Agreement of 1952, the Sheikh-Indira Accord of 1975 and the Rajiv-Farooq Accord of 1986 and said these accords and agreements had failed to settle the Kashmir issue because these had neither the support of a majority of the people in Kashmir nor that of Pakistan.

To a question he said he had mooted a peace proposal and it was for Delhi and Islamabad to respond to it. “Dialogue, sustained dialogue is the only way to settle the issue and if the Government of India thinks that the Assembly poll can solve the problem it is living in a make-believe world,” he said.

Professor Bhat made it clear that no one from the APHC had any desire to participate in the next Assembly poll and said people would continue to boycott it as they had done in the 1989, 1990 and 1996 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Referring to POTO, Professor Bhat said this “draconian measure was to legalise state terrorism.”

He said there was no need for such a measure when the security forces “have been responsible for a series of custodial killings in Kashmir.” He said “POTO or no POTO we have been facing state repression.”

When reminded that it was the result of the Pak-sponsored proxy war, Professor Bhat said the people in Kashmir “have faced state terrorism in one form or the other during the past 50 years”.

To another question he said it was for Delhi to force jehadis to cease fire and this was possible if India took a major initiative in not only resuming the Indo-Pak talks but also held parleys with representatives of people in Kashmir.

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