Srinagar, Mar 19: The mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday condemned the custodial killing of a youth from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, who was arrested in connection with a ‘militancy case’ on Sunday.
Soon after the news about the death of youth in custody spread, the political parties and leaders took to the micro-blogging social networking site and condemned the custodial killing.
Former chief minister and National Conference Vice President, Omar Abdullah said the custodial death was unacceptable and must be investigated in transparent and time bound manner.
“I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man,” Omar tweeted.
The former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief, Mehbooba Mufti said GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms, saying ‘we have suffered enough’.
“Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Peoples Conference (PC) chairman and former minister Sajad Gani Lone in a tweet condemned the custodial death of a youth, saying ‘this is what the sanctity of human life has been reduced to in Kashmir.’
“Condemn in strongest terms the death in police custody in Pulwama. This is what the sanctity of human life has been reduced to in Kashmir. My thoughts r with the family of the deceased,” Sajad tweeted.
Peoples Conference (PC) General Secretary and former minister, Imran Raza Ansari condemned the custodial death of a youth from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
Ansari demanded time bound inquiry into the custodial death of a youth. He expressed solidarity with the bereaved family and also for their courage to bear this loss.
Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also demanded a time bound probe into the ‘extra judicial killing’ of the youth.
Expressing serious concern over the incident, Bukhari expressed his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
“It is highly unfortunate that a young man, teacher by profession, has lost his life in police custody and it needs to be thoroughly investigated to know what went wrong and who are responsible for his death in custody,” Bukhari demanded.
Demanding judicial enquiry into the alleged custodial killing of a 28-year-old Awantipora school teacher, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said no civilized society can tolerate such acts.
“The custodial death of Rizwan Pandith must be investigated in a transparent and time bound manner and government must order a judicial enquiry into the incident immediately. Custodial killing isn’t acceptable to any human being and whosoever is involved Pandith’s killing must be given exemplary punishment. Custodial killing is a brutality and brutalities are unacceptable in whatever form they are,” Tarigami said.
Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) chairman and former MLA Khansahib, Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen also condemned the death of a youth in custody, demanding time bound inquiry into the incident.
In a statement issued, Hakeem said, “Such killings are unfortunate and are highly condemnable. We have been raising voice that repressive measures will yield no results. We demand a time bound judicial inquiry to be ordered and the persons involved in it be punished so that such incidents are not repeated,” he said.
Hizb commander among 3 militants killed in Tral
Militant recruitments have dropped considerably, says DGP
Srinagar, Feb 19: Security forces Wednesday killed three top militants including a Hizbul Mujahedeen commander in a fierce encounter at Sherabad area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The slain militants have been identified as Jahangir Rafiq Wani and Raja Maqbool residents of Tral, and Saddat Ahmad Thokar, a resident of Bijbhera.
Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said the slain militants were involved in civilian killings and damaging public property in south Kashmir.
“We have been continuing our anti-militancy operations. Today we killed three Hizbul Mujahedeen militants in Sherabad. The slain militants included Jahangir Rafiq Wani who replaced the erstwhile HM commander Hammad Khan. Huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.
Singh said Jahangir along with Raja Maqbool were involved in the killing of two civilians, Mehraj ud din Zargar and Ghulam Nabi Mir, at Tral. After abrogation of Article 370, he set chemist’s shop and a truck on fire. “He was a dreaded militant who terrorized people and even set a mosque at Ameerabad on fire,” Singh added.
With the killing of these two militants, DGP said 23 militants have been killed so far in 10 “successful” anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In two encounters at Jammu, four militants were killed. In Kashmir, 19 militants have been killed so far. During these operations, no collateral damage took place,” he said.
The DGP said several militant modules were busted in 2020 and 40 Over Ground Workers (OGW) of militants were arrested.
“Youth joining militant ranks have dropped considerably, which is actually a good trend. Eight youth, who ran away from home to join militancy, have been reunited with their families. Right now, shops and traffic are functioning normally” he said.
On Umar Fayaz, who was injured during militant attack at Lawaypora, police chief said he has not been given a clean chit as yet.
“His condition is bad and he has been sent home for treatment. When he gets well, he will be taken into custody and interrogated,” he said.
Singh backed government’s decision to defer elections for vacant Panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir. “Right now operations are happening. The government’s decision must be based on solid grounds,” he said.
DGP said the launching pads of militants in Pakistan Administered Kashmir “remained full” with militants during winter season, who he said were looking for opportunity to sneak in towards India’s territory.
He these launching pads were active now and “desperately” waiting for opportunity.
“We don’t know the exact number of militants in these launching pads. These launching pads would getting empty earlier during snowfall but this winter the militants have not been withdrawn. Their activities are going on and waiting for opportunity to cross LoC,” he said.
Singh said the ceasefire violations this year so far have increased by Pakistan to push militants across the border.
He said some of their attempts of infiltration by militants have been successful.
“However, the forces there are giving befitting reply to the ceasefire violation and are also making their attempts unsuccessful. The militants who were killed in Jammu region had also infiltrated recently, which is being investigated. Pakistan wants to keep water warm on LoC,” he said.
DGP further informed that a drone from Pakistan crossed border in Kathua and returned after the BSF opened fire.”
Tough measures against misuse of social media:DGP
Srinagar, Feb 19: The Jammu and Kashmir Police said Wednesday that they will act against the misuse of social media networks, which were allegedly being used to stoke violence in the valley.
“We have evidence whereby social media was used through VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to tell militants to carry out attacks at certain places. On priority, we are targetting such misuse of social media,” DGP Dilbagh Singh told reporters here.
Singh said the Jammu and Kashmir administration had issued an order January 14 banning the use of social media but the police was only going after those who were misusing it.
“We are sharing information (through WhatsApp) with you which means we know that you are using it. We are keeping a vigil on the use of social media and will act against those who misuse it,” Singh said.
The DGP was responding to a question about the police spokesperson using WhatsApp to share press releases and send invitations for events including his press conference Wednesday in spite of the ban on the use of social media.
“There have been several instances of misuse. For example, the driver of the truck which was carrying militants at Nagrota sent a photograph to his handlers in Pakistan the moment his vehicle was intercepted at the naka,” Singh pointed out.
“We have to differentiate between use and misuse… when someone misuses the social media, there will be no room for leniency. You should be thankful that you are able to use it,” added the senior police official.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar dismissed reports in some sections of media that 200 persons have been booked for using VPN.
“We have registered a general FIR. The report that 200 persons have been booked is absolutely wrong,” Kumar said.
LG calls for increasing surveillance along IB
Jammu, Feb 19: Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Wednesday asked the BSF to intensify vigil along the International Border (IB) to ensure safety and security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
This was conveyed by Murmu to L Mohanti, Inspector General of Border Security Force (headquarters Delhi), who called on the Lt Governor here at the Raj Bhavan, a statement issued said.
Murmu and Mohanti discussed wide-ranging issues related to the BSF’s operations and the current security situation in the union territory, it said. The Lt Governor lauded the role being played by the BSF in safeguarding the frontiers and advised heightened surveillance for ensuring safety and security of people.
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