Soldier kills officer, havildar
Jehad Council chief changes tack on truce
Police resorts to lathi charge
Tribune News Service and UNI
Srinagar, April 25
It said a soldier Ravinder Singh, resorted to firing at a security force camp in Sanigam, Kulgam after a heated argument with his officer Maya Dass.
Mr Dass and havildar Balihar Singh were critically injured and shifted to hospital, where Mr Singh was declared brought dead. Mr Dass succumbed to injuries later, sources said.
The sources said after the firing by Ravinder Singh, a heavy exchange of firing took place at the camp as other security force personnel mistook it for a suicide attack.
Later, Ravinder was taken into custody.
More than 50 security personnel, including some officers, have been killed by their colleagues in the Kashmir valley during the past five years.
Meanwhile, three persons, including a worker of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), were killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday, while the security forces recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition during searches in Rajouri district.
Unidentified militants shot dead a PDP worker, Syed Ahmad Masoodi, in his village, Salyan Lalpora, in Kupwara district last evening, the police here said.
A militant of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Fayaz Ahmad, was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Solan, Kokernag, in Anantnag district this morning. One AK rifle, two magazines, 112 rounds and a wireless set were recovered from the site of the encounter. Unidentified militants killed Abdula Ahad at Bharminder, Mahore, in Udhampur district yesterday.
The security forces recovered one AK rifle, 750 rounds, five magazines, 61 Chinese grenades, 97 Pika rounds, 120 UMG rounds, five IEDs, 18 IED switches, one RPG booster, one UBGL grenade, 11 rounds of 5.56 rifle, four gelatin sticks and four packets of RDX at Patrari Nowshehra in Rajouri district yesterday.
Showkat Ahmad was apprehended by the security forces at Asham, Sumbal, in Baramula district yesterday. Three UBGLs, three UBGL grenades, two AK magazines and 75 rounds were recovered from his possession.
Unidentified militants shot at and injured Merajuddin Najar at Qazi Hamam in Baramula yesterday.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party has expressed grief and shock over the killing of Masoodi. Recalling the selfless services of Masoodi, the youth president, Syed Basharat Bukhari, paid tributes to him.
Jammu, April 25
Syed Salahuddin had earlier announced that he would favour ceasefire in case the Government of India opened the channel of dialogue with the Hizbul Mujahideen. His stand was supported by Hizb Chief Commander (Operations) Musbah Din who said that “we will order a ceasefire if the Government of India directs the security forces to stop operations against Jehadi groups.”
However, within a week, Syed Salahuddin amended his statement and in the latest one he has said that he did not favour any unilateral ceasefire. He said a ceasefire could be considered if the Government of India initiated talks with members of the Muzaffarabad-based United Jehad Council.
Sources said Syed Salahuddin had come under pressure not only from members of the Jehad Council but from agencies in Pakistan and occupied Kashmir opposed to the progress being made in the ongoing Indo-Pakistan dialogue.
They said hardliners among the separatists had fears that they could be sidelined and made irrelevant if the talks between the Government of India and Pakistan reached some logical conclusion.
Such apprehensions have caused confusion among the hardliners. The Chief of Dukhtarai Milat, Aaisa Andrabi, while participating in a seminar in Srinagar, criticised the stand taken by the Pakistan President during his recent visit to Delhi. She has blamed Gen Pervez Musharraf for “bartering” the interests of Kashmiris. She went to the extent of suggesting to her associates to “continue the ongoing jehad on our own.”
However, another hardliner, Mr Nayeem Khan, who heads the National Front and is a constituent of the Tehrik Hurriyat Kashmir, headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, did not support Ms Andrabi and supported the initiative taken by General Musharraf and Dr Manmohan Singh for promoting peace.
He also opposed Ms Andrabi’s allegations that Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s conglomerate had some “Indian agents as its members.”
Though Mr Geelani’s faction of the Hurriyat Conference has been plagued by dissensions, which came to the fore when some of the constituent leaders attended a function organised by the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi in connection with Pakistan Day despite his instructions to stay away from the meet, he has received support from Syed Salahuddin, who has, in his amended statement, said that if the Government of India wanted durable ceasefire it could initiate a dialogue with Mr Geelani. This indicates that those who matter in the ongoing jehad continue to lend support to Mr Geelani.
Police resorts to lathi charge
Srinagar, April 25
The police also fired teargas shells at the Tral main market to disperse shopkeepers who were protesting against the alleged beating up of a shopkeeper by the police.
As the shopkeepers opened their shops this morning at Maisuma, near here, people, mostly youths, took to the streets, raising slogans against security personnel and the state government.
The demonstrators alleged that one Feroz Ahamd Bhat, a resident of Basant Bagh, was picked up by the security forces and later killed in a fake encounter at Uri recently.
About 12 persons were injured in the police action.
The police fired teargas shells after the demonstrators stopped traffic and pelted stones on passing vehicles, forcing the closure of shops in Masuma, Basant Bagh, Gaw Kadal, Madina Chowk and Red Cross Road.
They demanded action against the security men involved in the killing of the youth.
The police also fired teargas shells and resorted to a lathicharge to disperse shopkeepers at the main market in Tral in south Kashmir district of Pulwama.
They were protesting against the beating up of a shopkeeper. The trouble began when the police asked the shopkeepers to clear the footpaths occupied by them. Several people were injured in the police action. — UNI