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NIA summons: Mirwaiz himself victim of violence: Hurriyat (M)

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Mar 13: Hurriyat Conference (M) Wednesday said that its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been a “victim of violence”.
The Hurriyat Conference (M) Wednesday convened a meeting in the wake of summoning of Mirwaiz by the National Investigating Agency (NIA). The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Professor Abdul Gani Bhat.
Talking to the media after the meeting, Bhat said, Mirwaiz has been a “victim of violence”.
“There shall be no mistake about it that APHC as a forum is democratic in essence and does not believe in violence in any form or manifestation let alone terror funding. Mirwaiz has been himself a victim of violence and no victim can in any case accept money for such heinous act,” Bhat said.
He said that Mirwaiz’s uncle was killed in June 2004 and his house was bombed, and Islamia School burnt.
“Yet he did not give up and continued talking to Manmohan Singh. This speaks volume of his commitment to peaceful resolution. To accuse him of involvement in terror funding is ridiculous, nothing but a political vendetta,” he said.
He said that Hurriyat (M) has been supporting efforts aimed at building peaceful relations between India and Pakistan.
“Our position to resolve the dispute through talks needs to be appreciated. We were the ones who led the dialogue in 2004 and 2005 despite tremendous backlash and sacrifice,” he said.
“Umar Farooq had honor to be its first chairman in recognition of his politico-religious background. He represents an office, which is so scarred that interference in any form or at any level with his position is extremely likely to inflict a wound deep into the collective political consciousness of Kashmir,” he said.
The NIA had summoned Mirwaiz, and Naseem Geelani, younger son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for questioning in a 2017 funding case on last Monday.
Mirwaiz however did not appear and instead submitted a written reply that it was not possible to travel to New Delhi citing security reasons. The NIA had on February 26 carried out searches at the premises of Hurriyat leaders, including the Mirwaiz. The Hurriyat, traders, religious groups, and mainstream political parties have denounced summoning of Mirwaiz.
Bhat said that Hurriyat (M) appreciates that Unites States of America, the Peoples Republic of China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Great Britain put in the efforts ensuring that the Indo-Pakistan situation does not go out of hand.
“We have to live together and live peacefully to ensure prosperity and development. What constitutes an obstacle will have to be addressed,” he said.
He added that Mirwaiz heads various social and educational institutions and people give donations to these institutions.
He said during floods of 2014 in just 15 days, more than 1 crore was raised through Darul Khair.
Another senior Hurriyat leader Bilal Gani Lone said that they stand with Mirwaiz. “We won’t allow witch-hunt against him,” Lone said.
Mirwaiz on Wednesday while thanking Mutahida Ulema council requested them to take back the shutdown call for March 16.
Mirwaiz while taking to his Twitter handle expressed deep gratitude to MMU, traders fraternity and civil society members for their support and concern, “Express my deep gratitude to Mutahida Ulema council J&K the Traders fraternity and the civil society members for their concern and support, I however request Mutahida Ulema council to take back the hartal call for 16th March in this regard.”
Earlier, Muttahid-e-Majlis Ulema on Tuesday appealed people to stage protest against the summoning of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and ban on Jamaat post Friday prayers


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Militant, Army officer killed in Anantnag gunfight

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Srinagar, Jun 17: An Army officer and a militant were killed and three other soldiers including a Major injured in a gunfight in south Kashmir Anantnag district on Monday, police said.

Police sources said the officer was shot at during the firing exchange between the holed-up militants and security forces in Bidoora village in Achabal area of the district.

The slain militant was believed to be a foreigner.

 

SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan said that the operation was launched following specific inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team intensified the searches, the militants, hiding in the area, opened fire which was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight.

Initially, sources said, the joint team of forces and militants exchanged gunfire for some time during which the house, in which the militants were hiding, was damaged. Later there was a lull for about an hour even as Army rushed more reinforcements and the joint team started searches to find out the militants.

Soon the militants rose from the debris and opened indiscriminate fire on the forces, resulting in the on-spot death of Major Keetan Sharma and injuries to three others including another Army Major Rahul Verma, sources said.

They added the joint team of forces retailed the fire, leading to the fresh gunfight in an open field. While one militant was killed and the search operation is underway to find if there is any more militant hiding in the area.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is being ascertained, sources said.

Meanwhile, youth took to streets and pelted stones at the security forces. The police and paramilitary CRPF deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.

In wake of the operation, the authorities snapped internet service in the southern district.

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IED blast in Pulwama, 6 soldiers, 2 civilians injured

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Srinagar, Jun 17: Militants on Monday attempted to blow off an Army vehicle in a village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

A police official said that an armoured vehicle of Army came under an IED attack in Hargam Arihal village of Pulwama. He added that after the blast militants also fired some gunshots towards the vehicle.

Local residents informed that they heard huge blast followed by gunshots.

 

Reports said that six soldiers and two civilians were injured in the blast. The soldiers were shifted to Army’s 92 base hospital at Badamibagh, Srinagar for treatment.

The area was soon cordoned off, officials said.

Earlier, reports said that militants exploded an IED under a Casper vehicle, extensively damaging it, as an army convoy passed through Arihal. However, the army clarified that the damaged vehicle was not a Casper, but an Ashok Leyland Stallion truck.

Three of them who were travelling in the cabin of the vehicle are stated to be serious, the news agency reported.

The blast was triggered by militants using a car laden with explosives, GNS reported attributing the same to “initial investigations by police.”

“A police officer that the explosives were fitted inside a car and investigators are probing the owner of the vehicle. Asked, which type of vehicle was used, the officer said that it is a matter of investigation,” the news agency reported.

“Samples have been collected and further probe is underway,” the officer was quoted saying.

In a statement, the Army called the attack a “failed attempt” by militants. The troops are safe, barring a few minor injuries, it said, adding, “The area has been cordoned and search operations are in progress”.

The blast comes days after Pakistan had reportedly shared information with India and America regarding the possibility of major militant attack in the south Kashmir district. (With inputs from GNS)

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Emotional scenes at slain SHO’s wreath-laying ceremony

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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SSP Srinagar, Dr Haseeb Mughal holding in his lap the son of slain SHO Arshid Khan during the wreath laying ceremony at DPL, Srinagar on Monday – Photo: Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Jun 17: Emotional scenes were Monday witnessed at District Police Lines (DPL) Srinagar as top cops and bureaucrats attended the wreath-laying ceremony of the slain police officer Arshad Khan, who had sustained critical injuries in a militant attack in Anantnag last week and later succumbed to his injuries at AIIMS, Delhi on Sunday.

J&K Police chief Dilbagh Singh, Advisors to Governor K Vijay Kumar and KK Sharma, Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmed Khan, ADGP Muneer Khan, and SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal, among other civil and police officers were present on the occasion.

J&K Police shared two heart wrenching photos of Dr Mughal carrying the deceased’s son in his arms during the wreath-laying ceremony.

 

In the photos, a teary-eyed Haseeb is seen carrying slain Arshad Khan’s son while paying tributes to his colleague.

On the occasion, Advisor Kumar said that more than 1600 J&K Police personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty.

On June 12, around 4:50 pm, five paramilitary troopers and a militant were killed and four other security forces personnel including Arshad sustained injuries after militants attacked a joint party of CRPF and police at bus stand Anantnag.

Arshad was immediately evacuated to a nearby hospital and then to Srinagar’ SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura. After being treated there for a few days, he was flown to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

According to police, Arshad was inducted into police services in the year 2002 and was presently posted as SHO Anantnag. Khan is survived by father and mother, wife Neelofar, 5-year-old son Abuhan Khan, Danim 2, and a brother.

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