Saturday, October 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

10 militants killed
Mehbooba Mufti escapes attack
Tribune News Service and agencies

Srinagar, October 4
At least 11 persons, including 10 militants, were killed and four others injured in separate incidents and a large quantity of arms and ammunition seized in Kashmir valley since yesterday.

A jawan of the CRPF was injured seriously in a shootout near the office of an Independent candidate from Lolab in Kupwara town this afternoon.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Mehbooba Mufti escaped unhurt when separatists exploded a bomb near a rally she was addressing, the police said.

She was addressing a rally in Doda district when the bomb exploded some distance away. It was not clear whether it was aimed at her.

Militants made a bid on the life of National Conference worker Sadiq Mir in the Sogam area of the Lolab constituency last evening. Mir and his wife, who were injured in the incident were hospitalised.

According to the police, the incident happened due to a misfire by an Army jawan on patrol in Kupwara town at 3.30 pm today. Suspecting an attack by militants, security force personnel around opened fire in defence. A CRPF jawan, guarding the office of an Independent candidate, Abdul Haq Khan, contesting from Lolab, received a bullet injury on the head. He was shifted to Base Hospital, Srinagar, in a serious condition.

A police spokesman said here that militants fired on a security force vehicle at Kupwara this afternoon. “The fire was returned. One security force jawan was injured”, the spokesman added.

Panic spread in the town and shops and business establishments were closed soon after the incident. Security continued to be tight in the area in view of the polling in Lolab constituency in the periphery of the town on October 8.

Earlier in the day there was a token protest by the United Lolab Front (ULF) supporting Independent candidate Abdul Haq Khan, demanding adequate security for the candidates. Other demands of the ULF included shifting of the district heads of police and civil administration, apprehending “foul play” by them in polling next week. The area witnessed protest on Wednesday, when residents blamed the police and security forces following the mysterious killing of three National Conference workers in Haihama area.

Polling in Lolab was countermanded following the assassination of National Conference candidate and former Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Lone on September 11, before the polling scheduled for the first phase on September 16. The constituency comprises Lolab and Haihama areas in the periphery of the main town. It goes to the polls in the fourth and final phase next Tuesday with six Assembly segments of Doda district in the Jammu region.


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