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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Engineer’s wife hired Ikhwanis as contract killers

Investigation reveals how young wife planned to eliminate old husband

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb 19: As exclusively reported in Early Times in its February 17th issue, counter-insurgent Ikhwanis, linked to different military formation in Baramulla district, have surfaced as contract killers engaged by a young woman to eliminate her engineer husband double her age. This mother of four children, now in Police custody, happens to be a close relative of once Hizbul Mujahideen’s “Chief Commander of Operations” Abdul Majeed Dar who was killed on March 23, 2003, by suspected militants at his Sopore residence subsequent to his ceasefire initiative with the security forces and high profile dialogue process with Government of India in July 2000.

SSP Baramulla, Dr Haseeb Mughal, today disclosed to media that the February 15th shootout at Durhama, Kreeri, was the result of a plot hatched up by Haseena Badroo, younger sister of Dr Shameema Badroo (wife of Hizbul Mujahideen’s founder-member and top commander Abdul Majeed Dar), with a number of counter-insurgent Ikhwanis. He said that Police had solved the mystery of the firing, in which two girls sustained injuries, within record time of 72 hours. He said that the weapon of assault had been seized and all but one characters of the failed murder plot arrested.

Late in the evening on February 15th, unidentified gunmen had fired two pistol shots from a window pane when Haseena’s husband, Ghulam Mohiuddin Akhoon, an assistant engineer in R&B Division Kupwara, was present at his Durhama house alongwith his sister and some other relatives. Akhoon’s 19-year-old sister, Shaista, and 8-year-old niece, Monisa D/o Manzoor Ahmed Khan of Achhabal Sopore, had sustained minor injuries in the shootout. Kreeri Police Station registered a matter of attempted murder and launched investigation.

During investigation it surfaced that in 1995, 20-year-old Haseena had been married to Akhoon, who was double her age. She was the youngest among eight sisters. Three of them happened to be doctors as one settled in Saudi Arabia with her husband and another opted to become Majeed Dar’s second wife. Because of being unemployed and married to a middle aged conservative husband, Haseena developed inferiority complex. Parallel to becoming mother of four children, including twin daughters, over the years, she made several secretive attempts to stabilize economically.

In 2001, she set up a boutique, named Zircon Design Den, at Iqbal Market Sopore. As her engineer husband Akhoon learned about it, he forced Haseena to shut it for good. Ambitious Haseena set up another boutique in hometown Sopore in February 2010. Under her husband’s pressure, she again sold off the business unit. This time bankrupt, Haseena secretly disposed off two Kanals of her land at Khanday Colony, Nowgam Bypass, Srinagar, to one Mohammad Ashraf Lone of Baramulla through broker Ghulam Ahmed Hajam of Delina, Baramulla, who paid her Rs 5 Lakh as advance. When Akhoon learned about it, she tried to buy some time from the buyers. Broker Hajam objected to delay in giving possession of the land and demanded either the money back in double or immediate transfer of the title.

Failing to meet the broker’s demands, Haseena conspired with him to eliminate her husband following which, she assured, that the land would be transferred to the buyer. Hajam introduced her to released militants and Ikhwanis who could help her to execute the task. Hajam and Haseena unsuccessfully sought help from several camps of security forces. Hajam, finally introduced Haseena to Nazir Ahmed Beigh @Jana of  Fatehpora, Baramulla. Once the deal settled, Jana received Supari of Rs 50,000 and the target’s photograph from Haseena at her house in Model Town, Sopore.

On taking the money, Nazir conspired with four of his associates, namely Mohmad Shafi Rather of Fatehpora, Showkat Ahmed Khan of Khanpora Baramulla, Bashir Ahmed of Fatehpora and Mohmad Iqbal Dar of Kralhar, Baramulla.

On 27th of January 2011, this group in connivance with the lady made an unsuccessful attempt on Akhoon’s life at Model Town, Sopore. Later when Haseena demanded her money back, the aforesaid persons asked for some more time. After the attempt the group remained constantly in touch with the lady and the broker telephonically and planned for another attack.

February 15th, at 8.30 p.m, Shafi, Showkat, Bashir, Nazir @Jana and Iqbal went to Durhama to execute the task. They parked their Sumo at Wagoora bus-stand and Nazir, Bashir and Showkat went to the house where Akhoon had been living since last three weeks. Showkat fired two shots from his pistol from the window. Even as Akhoon escaped unhurt, two young girls sustained minor injuries.

Haseena and her hired gunmen have been arrested and the pistol used in the crime seized. SSP said that during interrogation, they revealed details of the whole story which were duly corroborated with evidences. He said that Showkat alone was absconding but efforts were underway to arrest him too. He claimed that Showkat was a released militant an overground worker of militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba. He revealed that call detail record of the key plotter, Haseena, and her hired gunmen helped Police investigate and solve the mystery within three days of occurrence despite some disturbance caused by stone pelters at Baramulla as well as Kreeri.


Gunmen spill blood in Kukka Parray’s hometown

Third killing of NC workers in Speaker’s segment since 2009

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb 18: Unidentified gunmen tonight killed an activist of the ruling National Conference (NC) at Hajjan---hometown of once the dreaded Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon supremo Kukka Parray---in the Legislative Assembly Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone’s constituency in North Kashmir. This is the third assassination of an NC worker at Hajjan since Omar Abdullah took over as head of the coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir in January 2009.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sumbal, Tahir Geelani, told Early Times that 50-year-old Ghulam Hassan Dar S/o Ghulam Mohammad Dar R/o Dangar Mohalla, Hajjan, was targeted by an unidentified gunman at the main market in Hajjan at 8.00 p.m when he was returning to his home. Three pistol shots were pumped into Dar’s body that fell in a pool of blood. He was quickly evacuated to the local Public Health Centre but he failed to recover. According to doctors, he was dead when delivered at the PHC for treatment.

Dy SP Geelani said that Police had registered a murder case and the assassins were being searched with the help of eyewitnesses and circumstantial evidences. He said that number of the gunmen, who struck in the darkness, could not be ascertained immediately.

After NC’s Block President, Mohammad Maqbool Parra of Vijpara, in 2009 and another activist, namely Sonaullah War in 2010, Dar is the third member of the ruling party who fell to bullets of unidentified killers since January 2009. Residents said that he was a lower middle class farmer who would occasionally buy and sell cattle. They said that he had been regularly participating in the NC rallies and functions. His wife had unsuccessfully contested municipal election of February 2005 on NC’s ticket but she was among a number of candidates defeated by stronger rivals from the party of Imtiyaz Ahmed Parray. Parray swept the polls and was elected Chairman of Municipal Committee Hajjan.

NC’s MLA of Sumbal Sonawari and Speaker in Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone, condemned the political assassination. “How long would we continue blood-letting under one or the other label in Kashmir?” Lone asked the assassins. He said that Dar’s killing, that according to him was a loss to his party but would not terrorise the mainstream workers, deserved unqualified condemnation from one and all in the state. He expressed him condolences and sympathies to the bereaved family and asserted that the killers would be tracked and brought to justice.

Residents, as well as officials, seemed to be confused with regard to identification of the killers and their motive, for strong reasons. Over the last 21 years, Hajjan township, in Bandipore district, has been a bloody battle-ground between the Pakistan-sponsored militants and the Army-sponsored counter-insurgents. Over 150 civilians, militants, counter-insurgents and security forces personnel have died in scores of incidents of violence in Hajjan.

Once a stronghold of pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen, Hajjan became the capital of counter-insurgency in Kashmirwhen folk dancer-turned-militant, Mohammad Yousuf Parray alias Jamsheed Sheerazi alias Kukka Parray, shifted his loyalty to India and floated the dreaded Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon in 1995. In answer to hundreds of killings by Hizbul Mujahideen, Parray and his Army-supported guerrillas decimated all pro-Pakistan sections with the killing of hundreds of cadres of both Hizbul Mujahideen as well as its political arm, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Parray claimed the credit of “restoration of normality” and making the first Parliamentary and Assembly elections possible in the Valley in 1996, after seven long years of armed secessionism. In the dubiously declared results, Parray was installed as an elected Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and he represented Sonawari segment for full term of six years.

Parray lost to NC’s Mohammad Akbar Lone in 2002. He was finally eliminated by pro-Pakistan militants in a dare-devil attack on his Gypsy in close vicinity of his fortified house in September 2003. Thereafter, gunmen of all hues have shown their presence in Hajjan and, notwithstanding conflicting ideologies, most of them have been united against the NC.

After killing of two young women in Sopore, allegedly by separatist militants, followed by killing of a youth by troops in Handwara, unsuccessful attempt of alleged counter-insurgents on a family in Kreeri and killing of three members of a family in a blast at Maloora (Shalteng), this is the 5th consecutive incident that has rocked otherwise calm Valley of Kashmir in the last four weeks.

Meanwhile, reports from Baramulla said that five civilians and two Policemen sustained injuries in ding dong clashes as small groups of youth resorted to stone pelting on Police and CRPF after the Friday prayers at the district headquarters. One of the injured with serious injuries was rushed to a Srinagar hospital.


IAS Dr gets pied-piper to banish stray dogs
Veterinarian bureaucrat getting US support to make a canine-free Valley
 Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb 18: Jammu & Kashmir may one day make the best of use of the veterinarians in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Some of them are successfully passing off as Ph D scholars and MBBS degree holders, obviously for their inferiority complex. Skills of the fresh recruits like Dr Shahid Iqbal may take years to bloom but those of his seniors’, particularly Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, seem to be ripe enough for harvesting.

Samoon remained in news for his audacious outburst during Farooq Abdullah’s government a decade ago. In Radio Kashmir’s then popular current affairs programme ‘Sheherbeen’, this young IAS officer from an LoC village in Gurez, made it public that money was changing hands in most of the transfers and appoints for key positions in the administration. “I have been appointed as Director Food”, Samoon said on air, “as there were no contenders for this department that has been reduced to zeo”.

Under the orders of CM, who was in London, Samoon was immediately placed under suspension, though Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitley did his best to resist. Samoon’s ‘Mr Clean’ image one day forced CM’s heart melt. He was reinstated. He was taught another lesson when, as DC Anantnag, he scolded a cameraman of the State Information Department why he had gone to cover “a petty Minister’s function”. Sakeena Itoo taught him what she failed to drive home last year to DC Pulwama, Mohammad Afzal. That emboldened her to storm the office chambers of then Commissioner-Secretary Madhav Lal (now Chief Secretary) and break his lockers to pull out the “heap of pending files”.

Everybody in the government---Samoon, Sakeena and Madhav Lal included---is wiser by a decade today. Dr Samoon looks just inches short of Mohammad Tughlaq. Many of his colleagues in KAS and IAS have wasted their energies in churning the grapevine that backdoor entrant Tufail Matoo had been fired as Commissioner of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for not allotting Rs 3 Crore contract of dog sterilization to a powerful woman’s kin outside J&K.

Dr Samoon, however, believes in doing more and talking less. Immediately after one Khursheed Ahmed Mir of downtown Srinagar claimed that he could scare away “all dogs from entire Kashmir” without killing them by poisoning and other popular means like stone pelting, Dr Samoon directed the SMC officials to allow him “to try his skills”. Samoon was kind enough on the ‘pied-piper’ who, of course, was not specific about domicile of the poor dogs to be driven away---Kashmiri, Indian or Pakistani. Samoon’s IAS colleague, counterpart Dr and Divisional Commissioner of Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, need not worry as all men and animals have been shown just one direction by politicians of all hues in the last six years---Road to Muzaffarabad.

 The meeting was also attended by Khurshid Ahmed Mir, who claims that he can make all stray dogs to leave Kashmir Valley without killing them. Div Com issued instructions to SMC to allow Mr Khurshid Ahmed Mir, whom he nick-named Pied-Piper to try his skills in one or two Municipal Wards, on an experimental basis, subject to the condition that he does not do anything illegal and does not kill the stray dogs. Based on the success of the programme more areas can be allotted to him on experimental basis”, read an official Press release issued from Divisional Commissioner’s office.

It further revealed: “The meeting was attended by Commissioner, SMC Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmed, Additional Commisisoner Kashmir Abdul Majeed Wani, Health Officer, SMC, Dr Reyaz Ahmed, OSD with Div Com Kashmir, Aamir Ali, President, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Dr Gulzar Ahmed Nehvi, I/c President SPCA, Dr Gowhar Nabi Gora, Mr Sakib Qadri, Director Sapphiore Corporation (an NGO)”.

“In the meantime, Div Com directed SMC to make the Animal Treatment Centre of Animal Husbandry & SMC at Tengpora functional, so that male stray dogs can be sterilised there.

“SMC has arranged to train their staff in the art of catching stray dogs fro which a team of experts is arriving from USA from 28th Feb to 4th March 2011. These experts will train employees of SMC in the scientific procedure of catching stray dogs”.


Kreeri shootout handiwork of ‘hired Ikhwanis’

2 arrested; Family likely to be interrogated

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

BARAMULLA, Feb 16: Unlike the killing of two young woman of a family at Sopore last fortnight, armed counter-insurgents hired by a civilian, are suspected to have opened fire in which two young girls sustained minor injuries at Durhama village in Kreeri area of Baramulla district last night. Police have arrested two key suspects and wife of the house-owner is likely to be questioned as call detail records of several persons are also under scanner.

Informed sources, associated with the Police investigation, revealed to Early Times today that last evening’s firing at the residence of one Ghulam Mohiuddin Akhoon prima facie did not appear to be the handiwork of militants. They said that two key suspected had been taken into custody and they were under sustained interrogation while as call details of their cellphones were also under scanner. Sources said that few more suspects, including a civilian, who is suspected to have engaged the gunmen for eliminating or terrorisng the house-owner, are likely to be arrested and questioned.

The assassin duo is said to have fired one each bullet from his pistol on Akhoon’s family members. They said that Akhoon was posted as an assistant engineer in R&B Division Kupwara. He also happens to be the husband of one-time Hizbul Mujahideen top commander Abdul Majeed Dar’s sister-in-law, namely Haseena. Dar had been allegedly eliminated by militants of Hizbul Mujahideen at his Sopore residence when his attempts to overthrow the outfit supreme Syed Salahuddin became public in March 23rd, 2003.

Later, suspected militants made an attempt to kill Dar’s second wife, Dr Shameema Badroo, at her temporary residence in Srinagar and left her critically wounded.

Shameema’s sister Haseena, according to sources, was likely to be questioned in the matter of yesterday’s shootout at her home. Engineer Akhoon’s 19-year-old sister, Shaista Akbar D/0 Mohammad Akbar Akhoon and 8-year-old niece, Sameena alias Momina D/o Manzoor Ahmed Khan R/o Achhabal, Sopore, had sustained mild injuries in the shootout. Sources said that one round each was found to have been fired on the two girls. Officials said that harassment, rather than assassination, appeared to be the motive prima facie.


Skiing at Gulmarg, Namaaz at Hazratbal
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Feb 16: Skiing at Gulmarg and Namaaz at Hazratbal. That definitely is not Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s latest post on Twitter. That is exactly what the head of the government did on a holiday, on occasion of Eid-e-Meelaad-un-Nabi (Prophet Mohammad’s birth anniversary).
Two days after the season’s third successive snowfall in Kashmir, Omar landed at the famous winter sports hub of Gulmarg and enjoyed some twists and turns on the slippery slopes. He also interacted with the young skiing enthusiasts and their trainers engaged in different advanced and basic courses of the game. His confidante and Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani, was seen rubbing the shoulders with Chief Minister.
Keeping his challenging schedule of participating in the mass prayers at Hazratbal, Omar in the evening appeared at the religious congregation and performed his Magrib prayers. Minister incharge Hajj and Auqaf, Aijaz Khan, Divisional Commissioner, Asgar Samoon, and Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Meraj Ahmed Kakroo, besides Nasir Aslam Wani, also joined the ranks.
It was after a year-long absence that Chief Minister, who also happens to be the head of Muslim Auqaf, participated in the congregational prayers at Hazratbal. None of the prominent mainstream politicians, particularly those from National Conference, had mustered courage to participate in such an assembly on major auspicious days of the Islamic calendar since last year. However, MLA Hazratbal, Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal, and Minister of Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, had visited the shrine amid tight security and strategic timing twice.
Omar had been spotted on almost all such occasions at Hazratbal in the year 2009. However, year 2010 remained turbulent and none of the pro-India politicians was in a position to even venture out of home for four months of the summer. Over a hundred civilians got killed and thousands others, including 4000 Police and CRPF personnel, sustained injuries in the peoples’ clashes with armed forces and arson of public properties in the Valley.
Meanwhile, Eid-e-Meelad-un-Nabi was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety all over the Valley today. Thousands of devotees attended congregational prayers at different mosques, monasteries and shrines on five intervals of the day today after performing Shabkhwani for the whole night.
Devotees also took out religious processions while paying tributes to Prophet Mohammad and stressing on strict adherence to his teachings and philosophy of life. Reports said that the largest procession, in which over 12,000 Muslims participated, came out from the revered shrine of Hazrat Janbaz Wali at Baramulla and concluded in the afternoon at Ziarat Nabi Kareem. Reports said that all the rallies went on and concluded smoothly as the participants chanted only the religious slogans.
 Officials said that some separatist political activists attempted to take out a procession of nearly 50 people from Abi Guzar locality near Lalchowk. According to them, participants began shouting political slogans like ‘We Want Freedom’. Police intercepted the rally and forced the participants disperse with the use of mild force.

Omar Abdullah: From skiing on slopes to tweeting on tragedies

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb 15: These days in 2009, Omar Abdullah was being tutored on the need and timing of making ‘political corrections’. This inspite of the fact that, nearly a decade ago, he had learned how his own guts were far more correct than many of his senior National Conference colleagues’---his predominantly experienced father included. On both the occasions---contemptuous treatment to NC’s demand of greater autonomy by the Vajpayee Government and massacre of Muslims in Gujarat during Narendar Modi rule---Omar was forced to remain hooked to the NDA.

Nonchalance, that was dangerously reminiscent of Farooq Abdullah’s ‘Disco Dancer’ escapades in 1983, marked the beginning of Omar’s first spring. He remained absent from key deliberations in the first session of Legislature and, while being present, fiddled with his BlackBerry. Even on the crucial day of his first reply on the Governor’s address in the Budget session, he enjoyed skiing on the alpine slopes and joyrides on the snow-scooter at Gulmarg. His speech in the evening impressed many but did not make for the damage done to preeminence of the House by the Leader of the House.

The youngest Chief Minister spent next 12 months in apologizing, even on things that had not happened. Taking him a lame duck, one of the most respected opposition leaders fired on him pointblank on the floor of Assembly. Omar didn’t lose a minute to step down. The UPA leadership in New Delhi not only salvaged his persona but also put him firmly back to the saddle.

Months later, a band of elected separatists denigrated him as “bacha khour” on the same floor of the House when stone throwers caused the death of first infant in Baramulla. In the efforts of making ‘political corrections’, Omar bowed to the extent of reducing himself to Hurriyat’s postman. That alone, he seemed to think, was the way to be ahead of the PDP. The flames did not subside even after a senior Minister in the Cabinet abused the “unbridled” CRPF publicly. It took the greenhorn in the hot seat months to realize that cheap appeasement to separatists and pseudo-separatists in the Valley was, in fact, a great political incorrection.

As Omar learned that the judiciary was not crippling with the detention of the separatist icons in the Bar and every arrest of the ‘stone pelter’ was marginalizing men, and women, from Hurriyat to Dukhtaraan to PDP, he began listening to his own guts. Things have come to full circle in the past four months. While ‘heroes of the revolution 2008 and 2010’ are now either in jail or camping between New Delhi and New York, their villain is shuttling between villages and towns in Kashmir, with vengeance.

Omar’s BlackBerry has not gone under Harsh Dev Singh’s fear. It is continuing as an integral organ of the techno-savvy Chief Minister’s persona. With a difference, indeed. On Twitter, he was the first J&K politician to condemn not only the carnage of two young women last fortnight in Sopore but also the “silence” all Kashmiri leaders had adopted on every killing perceived to be done by militants. Next week, he again took the lead to visit the family of a youth gunned down by troops in Handwara. On his return to Srinagar through Sopore, he tweeted in profusion on the tragedy.

Omar is now on Twitter over the death of three young members of an extremely impoverished family at Maloora, in Srinagar outskirts. He seems conscious that tweeting alone would not be the healing touch. In all the three cases, he has reportedly sanctioned extraordinary measures of relief. If he succeeded in coming out of the political trap of “killings of my period” and “killings of your period”, he may be doing the real correction. It will take Omar Abdullah only minutes to reconsider relief to hundreds of families, like those of the four young children shot dead by Army at Bangargund (Kupwara) when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the Chief Minister.

Documents are evidently clear that the head of the “healing touch” regime had categorically denied ex gratia relief (under SRO 43) to siblings of all four of the Bangargund children with the bureaucratic argument that they were not “bread earners” of their respective families. This paradoxically in a land where money has been disbursed and government jobs granted to families of hundreds of armed militants in days of their “martyrdom” at the hands of “Indian security forces”!


Grenade wipes out 3 of family at Maloora

Govt providing Rs 15 Lakh, job, plot and medical relief to survivors

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

MALOORA (Shalteng), Feb 14: Three young members of an impoverished family got killed and two more sustained critical injuries when an unexploded shell of a Mobile Grenade Launcher (MGL) went off at their single-room residence here last night. Senior officials and leaders of the ruling National Conference called on the ill-fated family head and told him that an amount of Rs 15 Lakh, one regular job and one plot of land, besides reimbursement of entire expenditure on treatment of two injured members of the family, was being sanctioned by the state government as relief.

Size of 45-year-old Mohammad Maqbool Bhat’s one-room tenement will be increasing soon to accommodate all but it is happening not before the family’s strength has reduced from seven to four. Devastation did befall the Bhats when an MGL shell exploded last night, killing three and leaving two more critically injured. Residents as well as officials maintained that Bhat’s children were trying to break the explosive object with an axe. It went off and extinguished three young lives.

Bhat’s 14-year-old son, Noor Mohammad, died on the spot and 9-year-old daughter, Bisma, at hospital. His 42-year-old wife Yasmeena, 16-year-old son, Mumtaz, and 4-year-old daughter, Muskan, kept battling for life at hospital. Muskan breathed her last in the morning today. Officials said that Yasmeena and her son Mumtaz were responding to the treatment. They said that Bhat was out of the home, alongwith his last issue, when the catastrophe occurred.

Officials were apprehensive of violent demonstrations as the shell was believed to have been dropped by Police and soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles 02 Bn who had killed three heavily armed militants here in a fierce gunbattle on October 21, 2010. Apprehensions became all the more serious as Malroo, a hamlet in Srinagar outskirts on the road to Sumbal and Bandipore, had a history of turning such incidents against Army. RR 02 Bn has its headquarters at Poultry Farm, Zainakote, in close vicity of Maloora as well as Divisional Headquarters of Kilo Force (Shariefabad).

In recent times, when unruly stone pelting crowds hit 55-year-old Ghulam Mohammad Guroo, who was returning to his home from Pampore in a Tata Sumo alongwith two of his brothers, at Bemina, and he later died at SKIMS, Soura, on September 9, 2010, demonstrations in this village of milk-sellers and farmers came out against Police and Army. Within the walls of all dwelling units, condemnation was clearly writ against the stone pelters and their mobilisers in separatist as well as some mainstream political parties. On the highway, same people performed against the “Indian troops” and “occupying state”.

By the time, three militants got killed in the gunbattle on October 21, Valley had transformed. Those provoking the residents over “custodial killing of three innocent persons” lost spirits when Sajjad Afghani, spokesperson of Jaish-e-Mohammad, almost confirmed the official version and admitted that three members of his organization had died. He made a sensational disclosure to local news agency, CNS, that a six-member group of Jaish, comprising Yousaf Badni, Qari Mumtaz, Assadullah Afghani, Saiful Islam, Babar and Usama, were on way to Srinagar to launch suicide strikes at two major Army formations.

“Three of our cadres got killed and others managed to escape before striking on the Army headquarters at Haft Chinaar”, a Valley-based commander was intercepted while radioing the message to his headquarters in Pakistan.

Toll of the October 21 gunbattle, in fact, reached six when three young civilians perished in the blast of a shell that had been dropped here, most probably by mistake or carelessness.

Before the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and host of separatist organizations could exploit the situation, government functionaries and NC leaders filled the vacuum with their dominating presence. Divisional Commissioner, Asgar Samoon, and Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Meraj Ahmed Kakroo, visited remains of Bhat’s family. They conveyed to him not only the condolences and sympathies of the government but also the decisions immediately taken by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to rehabilitate the family: Rs 15 Lakh (500,000 for each of the decaeased) plus a piece of land for construction of a fresh house and reimbursement of entire expenditure incurred on medical treatment of the injured.

Inspite of continuous snowing, Chief Minister’s advisor and MLA Iddgah, Mubarak Gul, and MLA Batmaloo, Irfan Shah, rushed from Jammu and called on the family. They too communicated not only Omar Abdullah’s sympathies and condelonces but also decisions being taken about substantial relief. Gul and Shah also visited a hospital in Srinagar, inquired about the condition of the injured and instructions to the administrations that best possible treatment be provided to the ill-fated patients---something never done during five turbulent months of the year 2010.

Notwithstanding his heavy schedule in Jammu, Omar was simultaneously proactive on the Maloora bloodshed on his Twitter.  “God please please put an end to all this death & destruction. How many more graveyards do we have to fill before someone says ENOUGH (sic)", Omar said in a post on the social networking website.

Replying to the Tweets he received from his followers on the website, Omar said, "It doesn't matter who the hell the grenade belonged to, all that matters is that 2 young lives have been snuffed out much before their time (sic)" The chief minister also tweeted: "doesn't it bother you how in every tragedy you are conditioned to blame the security forces. What about LeT that created encounter".
He further said "I'm conditioned to call a spade a spade. Try it some time, it's liberating". In reply to another Tweet, Omar said, "I'm well aware of that but unless your CM is God himself/herself there are somethings that are beyond any human's control".

“This is, indeed, a timely action. After Sopore and Handwara, Omar Abdullah has denied the third successive opportunity (of raising passions) to the Hurriyat and PDP”, Bhat’s visibly relieved relative Abdul Aziz told Early Times.


Stone pelters resurface in B’mulla

Early Times Report

BARAMULLA, Feb 12: A day after clashing with Police and CRPF for about two hours here yesterday, on occasion of JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat’s death anniversary, groups of youth today formed a protest demonstration and engaged in clashes with the law enforcement agencies.

Immediately after the street confrontation subsided on Friday, SSP Baramulla, Dr Haseeb Mughal and his associate officers began the exercise of identification of the youth who were in the forefront of yesterday’s clashes. Informed sources said that 15 youth were identified with the help of photographs and video footage obtained by Police. Thereafter, Police launched a series of raids to apprehend the ‘stone pelters’.

While as one of these ‘stone pelters’ was arrested in a midnight raid on his home, three more were taken into custody, one after another, in the Civil Lines area today. Within minutes, some 50 youth gathered and they formed a protest demonstration while marching towards Main Chowk and shouting anti-Police and pro-Azadi slogans. As Police intercepted the group, many in the crowd began pelting stones. Ding dong clashes continued for over 40 minutes and subsided only when Police used baton charge and tearsmoke.

SSP Baramulla, Dr Haseeb, told Early Times that Police were actually “nipping the evil in the bud”. He said that nobody, at any cost, would be allowed this year to enact a repetition of the last three years while disrupting peace and holding the population hostage for days, weeks and months.

“With the help of video and photo footage, we managed to identify 15 stone pelters last evening. We immediately launched an operation to get them all arrested. We have arrested four of them and are continuing a series of raids to get rest of the 11 arrested. Our raids will continue in a no-nonsense manner”, he said. He, nevertheless, made an appeal to parents of the youth that they should take full care to ensure that their children did not go astray like hundreds in the last three years. He made it clear that Police would provide every possible support to peace-loving people of Baramulla but none of the people indulging in arson, stone pelting and related criminal activities would be spared.

Though SSP did not identify the stone pelters arrested and still wanted, informed sources revealed that their head had been arrested today. He was identified as Obaidullah Kantroo S/o Ghulam Kakroo R/o Kakkar Hamam, Baramulla. Residents, however, insisted that Kantroo was under training of an engineering course at a college in Srinagar and he landed into Police custody when he had visited his family after several days yesterday. Police sources insisted that Kantroo had mobilized a number of violent demonstrations in the last two years and he, according to these sources, was prominently in the forefront of yesterday’s clashes with Police.

Sources said that those still wanted included the son of a former Councillor of Baramulla Municipal Committee.

After weeks of calm, stone pelting had taken place here on last Friday and it continued on this Friday and Saturday. Officials said that few from either side sustained minor injuries in these clashes.