February 2003 News

Two Of 5 Kidnapped Civilians Beheaded In Bandipore

13 February 2003
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: Even as the whole Valley of Kashmir was busy in the holy sacrifice of rams and goats-a day after Idd-ul-Azha, militants kidnapped five civilians from Bonkoot village of Bandipore and slaughtered two of them. Owner of a fitness centre has been kidnapped from Qamarwari outskirts in the capital city. Meanwhile, Police captured a person who was under treatment at SMHS Hospital after getting critically injured in a mine blast in Tral area. Informed sources in north Kashmir told EXCELSIOR that heavily armed gunmen, widely believed to be pro-Pakistan militants, appeared at Bonkoot village, 12 Km from Bandipore town, and kidnapped five civilians from their respective homes late last night. They were identified as Bashir Ahmed Tantray, Mohammad Shafi Lone S-o Mehda Lone, Abdul Majeed Lone S-o Mohammad Ramzan Lone, Farooq Ahmed Lone S-o Ghulam Rasool Lone and Mohammad Abdullah Bhat S-o Mohammad Ramzan Bhat. This morning, Farooq Ahmed Lone and Mohammad Abdullah Bhat were found killed at a deserted place. Their throats seemed to have been slit ruthlessly. While as Farooq Ahmed Lone was a forest guard, Mohammad Abdullah Bhat, was reportedly a farmer. Residents insisted that all the five were apparently innocent with no political or counter-insurgent connections. Still, a large number of people believed that the forest guard and the farmer had been slaughtered with the allegation that they worked for security forces. Relatives and families of the other three civilians were optimistic that they would be let off. However, they were untraced till late tonight. Militants have slit the throats of the two Bandipore civilians on a day when Muslims in Kashmir were offering the sacrifice of rams and goats, a day after the holy festival of Idd-ul-Azha. On this occasion, Muslims perform the holy pilgrimage of Hajj at Mecca in Saudi Arabia and all over the world they slaughter livestock to commemorate the Great Sacrifice of prophet Abraham. Here in the capital city, unidentified gunmen appeared at Qamarwari outskirts and kidnapped one Rauf Ahmed Bhat S-o Ghulam Mohammad Bhat this evening. Motive behind the kidnapping was not immediately clear. Sources said that Rauf Ahmed Bhat is the owner of a gymnasium. He was untraced till late tonight. Dead body of a former militant, Mohammad Amin Pir, had been recovered in Sopore area yesterday. He too had been reportedly kidnapped by militants. In a dramatic operation late this evening, a Police party swooped on SMHS Hospital and captured one Javed Ahmed Lone S-o Mohammad Sadiq Lone R-o Dar Ganai Gund, Tral, in critically injured condition. As he was under treatment after a surgery, Police deployed guard on the post- operative room. Official sources said that he had sustained injuries in a mine blast in Tral area today. According to officials, militants had been planting the IED at a spot near Satoora, Tral, when it went off accidentally. A militant, identified as Bashir, has also sustained critical injuries in the blast but he was untraced. Officials said that Javed Ahmed Lone's father is a senior Jamaat-e- Islami activist and brother, Showkat Ahmed Lone, managing a guerrilla training camp of Hizbul Mujahideen in Pakistan since 1997. Sources said that a Government employee, namely Ghulam Hassan Pir of Chanpora Iddgah, was battling for life at SMHS Hospital after severe physical torture by paramilitary forces. On source information, he had been reportedly picked up by troops of BSF 115 Bn from his home. Hospital sources described Pir as unstable. Yesterday on occasion of Idd-ul- Azha, militants targeted the bulletproof Gypsy of SHO Pampore on Konibal-Pampore road. SHO N S Parihar had visited the house of the ruling PDP's contesting candidate Zahoor Ahmed Mir. Zahoor's father and PDP's MLA from Pampore, Abdul Aziz Mir, had been gunned down by militants near his Konibal residence in December last. By-election for Pampore is scheduled to take place on February 26th. Official sources said that on return to Pampore, Parihar traveled alongwith Dy SP DAR Awantipore, Bashir Ahmed Sofi, in the latter's vehicle. Militants targeted the SHO's Gypsy and caused a powerful IED blast. The vehicle was torn into pieces. SPO Aijaz Ahmed Mir of Frasbal, Pampore, died on spot while as selection grade constable-driver Ashwani Kumar of IRP 3rd Bn, Constable Satish Kumar of IRP 8th Bn, Constable Subhash Chander of IRP 8th Bn and Constable Ghulam Nabi of Police Station Awantipore, sustained critical injuries. They were all rushed to hospital. The Dy SP and the SHO, who were travelling in another vehicle, escaped unharmed.


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