October 1999 News

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JKLF men stopped second time, Pak arrests Amanullah

5 October 1999
The Indian Express

ISLAMABAD: Police arrested JKLF leader Amanullah Khan in Hajira today 10 km from the Indian border, bringing to an end the JKLF's attempts to cross the Line of Control.

Eyewitness said that Khan was arrested by policemen who hit him several times with steel-tipped sticks, leading to further demonstrations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

After his arrest, his supporters demonstrated outside Hajira attacking police with stones and bricks. There were reports that the demonstrators fired bullets at police and that at least two policemen suffered minor gunshot wounds.

Khan was making his second attempt in two days to cross the border when he was arrested, said Police Inspector Ghulam Akbar. His group, which organised the march, is demanding an independent Kashmir.

Yesterday, Khan and about 700 supporters were turned back by the Pakistan police and Army. There were conflicting reports about whether anyone was injured in a bitter clash that occurred between demonstrators and police.

Ambulance workers said eight people were hurt in Monday's confrontation but Pakistani authorities said no one was injured. Both Pakistan and India stepped up patrols on the disputed border, vowing to stop the march.

Reuters adds: Earlier, JKLF activists, carrying shrouds - symbolising their readiness to die - came within 100 m of the LoC. Witnesses said they walked through forests and swam across the Poonch river in the Madarpur sector to get to Dharam Sial village from where they could see Indian Army positions.

JKLF sources told a news agency that hundreds of supporters were still at Hajira and would try to break the police cordon on their way to Dharam Sial.

Village residents said the Indian Army had been issuing warnings through loudspeakers that intruders would be shot but JKLF supporters marched and raised banners in front of Indian troops demanding Kashmir's independence.


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