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Sister asked to show I-card

Arshad Me’raj


Wagad, (Tral), Mar 11: “Show me your identity card and I will allow you to move forward,” an Army officer asked Parveena Akhter, sister of Majid Jehangir who was killed by troops at Aripal.

Parveena, wailing and weeping, was stopped by the troops at a barricade outside Aripal village. She had come from her husband’s home in Pampore to see the face of her brother for the last time. For an hour the troops did not allow her to enter the village.

Don’t you know that it is obligatory to carry an I-Card with yourself in Kashmir (courtesy and copyright of greaterkashmir)Beseeching the Army officer with clasped hands, she said, “I want to see my brother.”

The officer however asked her to show that if she was carrying any identity card. “Don’t you know that it is obligatory to carry an I-Card with yourself in Kashmir,” he told Parveena.

“They have killed my brother and are now denying me to move,” Parveena told the reporters who were waiting near the barricade for army’s permission to enter the village.

On the persistent insistence of the media persons, the officer allowed Parveena and two of her family members to go ahead by foot.The Cost Of Being A Kashmiri (courtesy and copyright of greaterkashmir)

The barricade was crowded with people who couldn’t make it to their homes last night due to the cordon maintained by the troops. “I went to relatives place and spent the night there,” a government employee wishing anonymity told Greater Kashmir adding the troops didn’t allowed to go yesterday.

Many women were seen waiting near the erected barricade and repeatedly urging the troops to allow them to go to their respective homes. “Our children are alone there, please allow us to go,” the women said.

The people waiting for the go ahead expressed apprehensions saying that army might harm their family. “The troops have been harassing us for long and this time they might harm our families,” they said.

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Army’s killing spree continues–Murder two more youth at Tral


SRINAGAR, MARCH 10 (KONS) |50 RR personnel posted at Aripal village in Tral shot dead two cililians after they failed to trace out a youth they were looking for on Saturday evening. The deceased have been identified as Jehangir Ahmad Khan and Ghulam Mohammad Mir, both government employees.

Eyewitnesses said that people urged the army men to release them but instead they pumped bullets into their bodies killing them instantly. After killing them in cold blood, the fleeing jawans fired several rounds into the air to disperese the angry mob. The bodies lied at the spot for several hours. People assembled again carrying the bodies while chanting of slogans against the army. The army blocked all points leading to the main road. It is learnt that army has made it mandatory for the people particularly the youth of Aripal village to attend the camp daily for forced labour. “They (Army Personnel) come to our houses if we fail to turn up for the labour,” said a youth who looked terrified.

The defence spokesperson however said that the civilians were killed in militant firing.The Tral town and its adjoining areas are shut under a protest strike over the civilian killings.

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Govt terminates 18 employees with ‘militant links’


JAMMU, MARCH 10 (KONS) |The state Cabinet has decided to terminate the services of 18 employees for alleged links with militants.The Cabinet yesterday agreed to the action recommended against the 18 employees by a committee headed by the chief secretary. A senior officer said the action was taken under Section 126 of the J&K Constitution. During the recent Assembly session, Azad had indicated that he may take stern action against such elements.

“The Cabinet, in its meeting, took the decision. Official orders for termination of services will be issued soon,” Health Minister Mangat Ram Sharma told The Indian Express adding that the government would not tolerate any involvement of employees with militants, at any cost.

The government has not yet disclosed the names of the 18 employees, but sources said they include engineers, a doctor and a banker. The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting which was boycotted by PDP. A committee headed by the chief secretary had submitted its report to the government a few days back. The committee was constituted by the chief minister after inputs from intelligence agencies and state police regarding alleged involvement of some state employees in subversive activities and their alleged links with militants. A PDP minister described the action as “taken in haste”. “It is unfortunate that the decision came at a Cabinet meeting which was not attended by our party. I am not aware of the whole picture. But I think any action taken in haste against employees can bring down the morale of those working under difficult conditions,”he added.

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Valley’s youngest missing in custody still untraceable

Govt says he was killed; family demands body

Arif Shafi Wani


Srinagar, Mar 7: Muhammad Iqbal Shah holds an unenviable distinction in the Valley of woes: he was 14 when BSF soldiers arrested him, never to return. Thus, he’s the youngest among thousands of Kashmiris who disappeared in custody.

Iqbal, a student of Wagoora Varmul, was working hard to pass his matriculation examination when troops of 163 battalion of paramilitary Border Security Force arrested him on March 13, 1995. “He was brutally tortured and all our attempts to rescue him proved futile,” his father Muhammad Yousuf said.

Though troops released his two classmates who were arrested a day before him, but there was no trace of Iqbal. The family approached the BSF camp but they denied his arrest.

“The assurances of the then Senior Superintendent of Police Muneer Khan, Deputy Commissioner and Lt. Gen M A Zaki, advisor to Governor, too proved futile,” Yousuf said.

Shattered, the family filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the High Court for locating the Iqbal’s whereabouts. On July 16, 1996, it directed the District and Sessions Judge Varmul to hold an inquiry.

After receiving the report, which confirmed the arrest of Iqbal, the Court finally disposed off the case on April 6 1999, with the direction to conduct an investigation and conclude the same in accordance with the law.

On Court directions a case under FIR no 88/99 under sections 346 RPC was registered at Police Station Varmul. Acting on court directions, District Magistrate Varmul formed a four-member committee comprising Additional District Magistrate Varmul as its Chairman, Deputy Superintendent of Police Varmul, Tehsildar and SHO Police Station Varmul as members.

“During the course of investigation all the legal formalities were completed, statements of witnesses were recorded and it was established that M C Heldar Deputy Commandant and J N Singh Assistant Commandant of 163 Battalion BSF are involved in the case and offence Sec 346 (abduction) has been proved against them,” the committee in its report said.

The Committee quoting a report of Director General of Police addressed to Principal Secretary on September 8, 2000 said, “On March 1995 personnel of BSF’s 163 battalion raided the house of Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Ibrahim and Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir of Wagoora. All of them were ruthlessly beaten in BSF vehicles towards Anantnag (Islamabad). Two of them namely Muhammad Ibrahim and Ghulam Muhammad were left in serious condition at unknown places whereas whereabouts of Muhammad Iqbal were not known.”

“After taking into consideration all aspects and reports received from different headquarters, we reached at the conclusion that Muhammad Iqbal Shah son of Muhammad Yousuf Shah of Wagoora, who was a student of 10th class is presumed to be killed and his dead body has been disposed off somewhere,” the report said.

“Despite the declaration that my son was killed by the BSF men, neither has his body been handed over to me nor the accused punished,” his father said.

“We have suffered enough for the past seven years, now we want justice,” he said.

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March 1, 1990: When 47 civilians were massacred for Azadi

Mir Faheem Aslam


Srinagar, Feb 28: In the newly constructed market at Zakoora Crossing, 14 km northeast of Srinagar, it’s hard to find any trace of a carnage the Army soldiers carried out 17 years ago, killing about 30 unarmed civilians after firing indiscriminately on them. But the mayhem still haunts eyewitnesses and survivors of the incident.

It was the afternoon of March 1, 1990—those days entire Valley was up in arms demanding freedom from India and protesting against atrocities by the Jagmohan regime—when a group of about 2,000 people decided to rush to Srinagar office of the United Nation’s Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to submit a memorandum.

Comprising young and old, the protesters, many of them clad in shrouds, were immersed in the din of Azadi slogans, recalled a shopkeeper at the Zakoora Crossing. In the meantime, he said, a convoy of five Army vehicles led by three Junior Commissioned Officers was returning from Sonamarg to Srinagar but found the road blocked near the crossing.

Initially, the locals said, three policemen who were guarding the crossing told the soldiers to wait for sometime till the protesters pass. “This led to a heated argument between the policemen and the soldiers,” the locals said.

Unprovoked firing

“We still remember an Army official telling the cops ‘give way or we’ll shoot you’,” many eyewitnesses of the incident said. They said three Army vehicles were fitted with light machine guns (LMGs) and as the convoy turned towards the demonstration, the soldiers opened fire. “Soon bodies piled up. I myself counted 11, they had died on the spot,” the shopkeeper, who requested not to be named, told Greater Kashmir. “Later many more succumbed to their injuries. And when I removed some people to the SKIMS, Soura, the doctors said they were no more,” he said. “Army wanted to kill them all because very few people had bullets in legs.”

In all, 26 civilians fell to the soldiers bullets while 50 more were injured in the incident that later came to be known as the Zakoora massacre.
The mayhem continued for more than two hours, with the injured, helpless and hopeless, watching the bloodbath from a distance. None from the civil administration came to their rescue.

Only the locals rushed there ferrying the injured to hospitals, said Ali Muhammad, one of the eyewitnesses, insisting that the protesters had no clash or argument with the Army. “The firing was simply unprovoked,” he recounted.

‘Can I meet my son’

A shopkeeper at the Zakoora Crossing said a 50-year-old survivor of the carnage, a deaf, often visits the spot where his son, who also was among the protesters, died. “He only says, ‘can I meet my son’,” the shopkeeper said.

Another massacre

On the ill-fated day, 21 more Kashmiris were killed at about 5 pm by the Army soldiers who fired at a bus near Tengpora, Bye-Pass. They too were unarmed. The dead included five women.

Next day, global watchdog, Amnesty International issued a second appeal for urgent Action on Kashmir pertaining to Tengpora and Zakoora. A detailed account appeared in the March 31, 1990 issue of the Economic and Political Weekly of Bombay, which reproduced the text of “India’s Kashmir War” by a team of four members of the Committee for Initiative on Kashmir.

S. Mulgaokar quoted excerpts from the same report in the “Diary of a Recluse” in April 7, 1991 edition of The Indian Express.

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The inhabitants of the
most beautiful prison.

700,000 in Kashmir!



May 2018
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