Tuesday, May 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

6 of family massacred
13 hurt in blasts    * Rs 50 lakh looted
Tribune News Service and agencies

Some of the blast victims being treated at a city hospital
Some of the blast victims being treated at a city hospital in Srinagar on Monday. — PTI photo

Jammu, May 19
In a gruesome incident, militants massacred six members of a family, including two children and four women, at Mehra-Chokian village in the border district of Rajouri late last night.

In other incidents in the state, militants injured 13-persons in two blasts and looted Rs 50 lakh while five militants were killed.

The throats of the victims were slit by the militants who forced their entry into their house. The male members were away at a marriage function.

Khatton Begum (60), wife of Mehboob Bakarwal, Hanifa Begum (30), Zakra Begum (29), Taj Begum (20), Irshad Ahmed (4) and Mehroof Ahmed (2) were butchered by a group of eight terrorists, reportedly in retaliation against the killing of two of their men by security personnel.

The terrorists suspected that the family members had provided information to the Army about their presence in the village.

According to UNI, they were members of a policeman’s family.

The two massacred children were son of Wazir Hussain, whose wife, Hanifa Begum, was also killed.

The police came to know of the incident this morning although the village is situated only about 10 km away from the district headquarters of Rajouri.

Residents of the village said the militants had taken revenge for the killing of their two top colleagues, Saifullah Shirazi and Bilal, by the Army in the village on May 5.

Personnel of the CRPF and the local police have cordoned off the area and launched a hunt for the terrorists.

This is not the first incident of its kind. Three young girls were beheaded and the noses of two persons chopped by terrorists some time ago to create a scare among the people.

Many families have been wiped out in Rajouri and Poonch districts, bordering Pakistan, on suspicion of being informers.

The Chief Minister Mufti Muhammed Sayeed has expressed shock over the killing of six members of a family by militants in Rajouri district.

The Chief Minister described the killings as inhuman and gruesome and said such things would take the killers nowhere.

The Chief Minister conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family and said the government would hunt down the killers.

Srinagar: Thirteen persons were injured when militants set off two blasts aimed at a BSF picket at the crowded Batmaloo bus stand here today, official sources said.

Militants triggered the first explosion by tossing a grenade towards the picket in the busy area of the central city around 2.45 pm. But the grenade missed the target and exploded on the roadside, causing no damage.

Fifteen minutes later, the militants caused another blast at the same site, this time injuring 13 pedestrains including four women.

In another, incident, militants attacked a taxi transporting cash to a bank and looted Rs 50 lakh and some arms in Pulwama district of south Kashmir today, official sources said.

The ultras hijacked the vehicle at Baskushan crossing in Shopian and escaped with the booty and the service weapons of two police guards accompanying the bank employees.

However, all five persons including the police guards, driver and the bank employees, were left unharmed by the militants.

Meanwhile, three ultras belonging to the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen and a policeman were killed in separate incidents across the Kashmir valley since last evening, official sources said today.

The militants were killed in an encounter with the police and paramilitary forces at Kokernag in Anantnag district last night.

The encounter broke out as hiding militants opened fire on the police and paramilitary forces who launched a combing operation in the area.

They said ultras shot dead Constable Basharat Ahmad at his hometown Guspora in Budgam district of central Kashmir this morning. Basharat who was posted at Kulgam, had come to his hometown on Sunday.

Militants also set off an improvised explosive device on the Shermal Shopian road in Pulwama district of South Kashmir at today but no loss of life was reported. Two militants were today shot dead in Udhampur.Back

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