Sunday, April 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

JCO among 5 killed

Srinagar, April 13
Five persons including a JCO, and three militants have been killed and two Army men injured in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since yesterday.

Two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces during search operations at Dudipora village in the Handwara area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir yesterday, a defence spokesman said here today.

He said the encounter took place when the troops of the Rashtriya Rifles cordoned off the area to flush out the militants.

Arjun Bhadur, JCO, and Sartaj Ahmad, civilian, were killed and two Army men injured in the shootout, official sources said.

The spokesman said a local militant of the Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami, Ghulam Mohammad Lone, was killed in another encounter which took place at Gazipora village near Tangmarg in Baramula district of north Kashmir today.

An AK assault rifle, three magazines, a pistol, two grenades and some ammunition were recovered from the slain militant, he added.

Meanwhile, the police today recovered the body of an unidentified person from the Pathribal area of Achabal in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

JAMMU: As many as 30 members of four families exfiltrated to the PoK from Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, official sources said here.


Torture victim goes into hiding
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Nirmal Singh, alias Dhiddi, was allegedly tortured by the Dehlon police and later hounded by cops. The youth has once again been forced to live a life in hiding. He allegedly took this step after he was being regularly summoned at one police station or the other on some pretext or the other.

Ever since the Punjab Human Rights Commission had taken up the youth’s torture case and served notices to the Principal Secretary, Home Affairs, and the IG (Litigation), Punjab Police, apart from the accused policepersons, the victim Nirmal Singh is facing another round of harassment allegedly by the police which is pressurising him to withdraw the complaint.

The victim is facing all kinds of harassment. Besides, some of his relatives advise him not to pursue the case as they fear some backlash on them also. Nirmal Singh is continuously hounded by policemen wherever he goes with an objective to harass him to such an extent that he takes back his complaint. For the past one week, after the publication of reports regarding him, the harassment has increased further.

Unable to take it any longer, Nirmal Singh has once again vanished from his house. Talking to The Tribune from one of his relative’s house, he said he had learnt the hard way how difficult it was for a commoner to fight for justice. “The policemen come to my house, meet me on the streets, confront me at my places of work and intimidate my parents and relatives. Because of the policemen’s fear, I and my family members have almost been ostracised. People in the village are also apprehensive about talking to us”.

Recalling the latest visit of the policemen, Nirmal Singh said last night two cops in civilian clothes came to his house with Rs 50,000 as the price to withdraw the case or face consequences. “We will implicate you in such cases that you will remain caught up in legal battles all your life” the policemen threatened him. Nirmal Singh said they allured him with a job offer but he told them to go away as he was determined to fight.

“I showed them my fingers and legs which still bear the signs of the acute torture I went at the hands of the police,” the youth said. He also disclosed that he and his family members were being regularly called to one police station or the other for the past over two weeks and made to sit for hours altogether. Most of the times he was told to come again the next day and sometimes, he was told no one had called him. The youth said he was awaiting the next hearing of the PHRC to complain about the harassment.

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