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Four militants involved in Baramulla civilian killings arrested: Police

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Srinagar, May 9: Police on Wednesday claimed to have been successful in arresting the militants involved in this gruesome murder that shook the conscience of all across the state.
According to police, “On 30th April at about 8:35 pm, few unknown armed personnel made their appearance at Iqbal Market old town Baramulla and brutally assassinated three civilians on the roadside who were later identified as Haseeb Nabi Khan, son of Gh. Nabi Khan, resident of Kakar Hamam Baramulla, Irfan Ahmad Sheikh alias Asif Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ali Mohd Sheikh resident of Syed Kareem Baramulla and Mohd Asgar Sheikh alias Afsar Khan, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh, resident of Kakar Hamam Baramulla.”
Onlookers who witnessed the crime revealed that three to four militants appeared at the scene and fired several rounds on a group of youngsters and later disappeared towards Drangbal-Hajibal forest area after committing the brutal murder.
Baramulla police swiftly acted on the initial tips provided by the locals and several teams were tasked to carry out the searches in the forest area of Drangbal-Hajibal for nabbing the culprits.
The entire area from Forests of Hajibal to Drangbal stone quarries including Kirmani Colony Drangbal were put under constant watch.
One of the teams deputed on a watch-out observed some suspicious movement inside the forest area and soon search parties were sent in to clear the air.
When the search party started closing in around the suspicious area, militants hiding inside fired upon the search party. However the search party in their measured response tactfully overpowered one militant who received minor injuries in this incident.
The injured militant was immediately given medical treatment and the hideout in which four militants had been hiding was busted and some arms and ammunition were also recovered.
Another militant Bilal Ahmad Najar alias Sameer, son of Gh. Ahmad Najar, resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla was nabbed after joint team of Police, Army and CRPF overpowered him near cremation ground earmarked for Sikh Community in the vicinity of Banglow Bagh.
After questioning the arrested militants, the involvement of outlawed militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba was established in this heinous crime involving murder of three innocent civilians on the evening of April 30th.
During investigation, it has surfaced that militants involved in the killings include Suhaib Farooq Akhoon alias Abu Huraira son of Farooq Ahmad Akhoon resident of Khanpora, Mohsin Mushtaq Bhat alias Shera son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat resident of Qazi Hamam Baramulla, Ajaz Ahmad Gojri alias Abu Umair son of Ab. Rehman resident of Jami Mohalla Baramulla (apprehended) and Bilal Ahmad Najar alias Abu Sameer son of Ghulam Ahmad Najar resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla (apprehended).
Moreover investigations in this case also reveal that one spotter Bilal Ahmad Najar son of Gh. Ahmad Najar resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla has actually tracked and spotted the movement of these three deceased young boys. He had been assigned the task of identifying and spotting the victims.
Three militants Suhaib Akhoon, Mohsin Mushtaq and Ajaz Gojiri opened fire using AK series rifles while as Bilal Najar used a Chinese pistol to commit the murder of three civilians.
Since all the militants involved in this crime are locals of Baramulla, they were easily spotted by eyewitnesses, who immediately reported to Police.
Earlier a Pakistani who was suspected to be involved in these murders as per the initial eyewitness accounts turned out to be Aijaz Gojri who had changed his appearance to create the impression of being a Pakistani.
Of the 4 weapons used in the offence, 3 have been recovered and the empty cartridges seized from the scene of crime appear to have same markings as discovered on the live cartridges recovered from the apprehended militants and their hideout.
After committing the crime, all the 4 militants had fled from the spot in a sliver Alto Car bearing registration number JK01J-0010 provided to them by one Uzair Amin Bhat son of Mohd Amin Bhat resident of Chesti Colony Baramulla who has been also arrested along with the vehicle in the instant case.
Of the three civilians killed, names of two had surfaced in threatening video issued by LeT from old town Baramulla during the 2016 unrest.
Sustained questioning of these arrested militants helped Police to unearth a LeT module operating in Sopore-Baramulla belt.
With this, 4 active militants of the LeT militant organisation have been apprehended alongwith 06 other Over Ground Workers (OGWs).
Pertinently multiple raids by Police, Army and CRPF in Sopore and Baramulla areas were launched to bust the militant modules. One kingpin of the module namely Nadeem Ahmad Dar alias Abu Osama resident of Nowpora Kalan Sopore alongwith Suhaib Akhoon had been the main motivators and commanders of this group.
Nadeem alias Abu Osama had provided all assistance to these terrorists in committing this crime including supply of arms to the militants.
He had also transported them to Baramulla from Sopore in white Santro Car on April 25th. The said vehicle has also been seized. He is said to be in direct contact with a Pakistani militant of LeT Hanzulla Adnan based in Pakistan.
With such arrests, Police and Security forces were also able to solve the cases of 2 grenade attacks on Police Station Baramulla by apprehending one Naseer Ahmad Mochi resident of Amargrah Sopore, who was provided with grenades on two occasions by apprehended militant Ajaz Ahmad Gojri and he had subsequently lobed them on Police Station Baramulla on 2.12.2017 and 22.01.2018 in which two policemen had sustained injuries.
The recoveries made from the apprehended militants and OGWs include, two AK Rifles, two Pistil Chinese, four hand grenades, 50 rounds of AK ammunition, four AK Magazine and two Pistol Magzines.


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No Friday prayers at Jamia, Mirwaiz put under house arrest

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Srinagar, Mar 22: The authorities put under house arrest the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday and barred the congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in here.
Reports said that the authorities placed restrictions at several parts of Old City including Nowhatta where authorities did not allow people to offer the Friday prayers.
An official said restrictions were imposed in view of call for protests issued by the Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.
Joint Hurriyat had called for peaceful protests after the prayers against the “custodial death” of Awantipora school teacher Rizwan Assad Pandith.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who addresses the faithful at the mosque every Friday was put under house arrest. He termed the disallowing of Friday prayers as “religious assault”.
“While repression, killings and arbitrary arrests continue unabated, for the 3rd time this month #JamaMasjid put under lockdown and Friday prayers disallowed. Condemn the authorities for this religious assault,” Mirwaiz wrote on Twitter. This was on the third time in this month that authorities barred the Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid.

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IUST, KU faculty groups condemn teacher’s custodial killing

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Srinagar, Mar 22: Islamic University Faculty Association (IUFA) Friday condemned the alleged custodial killing of a teacher Rizwan Assad Pandith and has termed it outrageous and a tremendous loss to education while demanding immediate justice for him.
In a statement, the IUFA said Pandith worked as a guest faculty in the Polytechnic College, Islamic University of Science and Technology in 2018.
“He was not just a competent academician, but a thorough gentleman as well. His untimely death is a huge loss to education in South Kashmir where he was heading a school and a coaching center as well,” the statement of the Association said.
The association has demanded that the perpetrators of such crimes be brought to justice at an earliest as there is no place for such horrific crimes in civilized and responsible societies.
The Association has once again expressed dismay and concern over the delay in the dispensation of justice in the custodial killing of another teacher Shabir Ahmad Mango, a college lecturer by Army personnel on August 17, 2016. “Such gory cases of the custodial killings of teachers have caused an immense damage to the intellectual capital of the education sector in the state and we again call for justice to Mango also,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) too has strongly condemned the killing and demanded immediate dispensation of justice. “Such treatment to the ‘nation builders’ on sustained basis does not augur well for the peace and stability in the state,” reiterated the KUTA spokesperson.
The two associations have also called for an immediate end to the continued human rights violations in Kashmir.

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MPs of 2014 have been mute spectators in Parl: Altaf Bukhari

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Srinagar, Mar 22: Terming the upcoming parliament and assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir as one of the crucial elections, former Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Friday said these elections would likely pose a serious challenge for the special status of the State and to its inclusive political culture.
Addressing a workers’ convention at his private office here, Bukhari emphasized on the state’s electorate to compare and elect their candidates on promises made versus performance basis.
The former minister observed that people of the state particularly that of the Kashmir valley, have not forgotten that they were asked for votes in lieu of a ‘mandate for a mission’.
“People have not even forgotten being promised to ‘make the parliament a forum for representing the Kashmir issue at the national level’. But what they did in the Parliament later?” Bukhari asked, adding, “Analyze their attendance and performance on internet and you will witness their dismal track record of attending and intervening in the House. They have simply been mute spectators in the Parliament and wasted the mandate of people.”
The former finance minister remarked that people need to elect their representatives after proper application of mind and wisdom. “While we need to show a united face and defeat the nefarious designs of some divisive political forces, at the same time we need to strengthen the hands of the leadership that has the courage to call a spade a spade.”
Bukhari opined that the electorate of Jammu and Kashmir especially in the valley must decide whether they want to go with the forces who berated and bartered their mandate for their petty political gains or the forces who can safeguard their interests and the special identity of the State.
He said a drastic electoral division or fragmented vote will not be in the interests of people as the same can give a hegemonic control over all state institutions, as well as the public discourse in the hands of forces who are inimical to the identity of this state.
The former minister also stressed on a need for creating a conducive and peaceful atmosphere for holding elections saying that political activities cannot fetch a desired change in an atmosphere of mass arrests, raids, civilian harassment and custodial killings.
“Although almost all the mainstream political parties have condemned the recent custodial killing of the school teacher but mere words cannot heal the wounds of that family. The probe in this incident needs to be conducted in a transparent and time bound manner so that the culprits are booked as per law,” Bukhari reiterated his demand.

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