News Notes

Remembering TUFAIL    
The trauma returned this week when Kashmir observed a shutdown to remember all the youth killed during 2010 civilian unrest. The tragedy of victims of the unrest seems unending as the latest victim Sajjad Ahmad, son of Ali Mohammad of Pattan passed away only recently.

A year ago, a class 12 student, Tufail Matoo was killed in a cricket stadium after a teargas shell fired by police hit his head in Rajouri Kadal area of old city on June 11, 2010. The death triggered mass protests across Kashmir prompting the police and CRPF, then unknown to non-lethal methods of crowd control, to use bullets against stone pelting boys.

After two years, Tufail’s father Ashraf Matoo is expressing his hopelessness over the police probe in his slain son’s killing. Autopsy of Tufail had confirmed that he was killed by a teargas shell which damaged his brain and skull.

Over 120 youth, most of them school going boys, were killed as stone pelting protestors found themselves pitted against gun wielding police and CRPF.

As against the year 2011 when separatist were reticent, this year they called people to remember those killed.

Syed Ali Geelani, chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) had given a shut down call to commemorate victims of 2010 summer unrest. The call received a considerable response, with most business establishments and government-run schools observing a shutdown.

The government had not put any restriction which was responded by people with a peaceful shutdown across the valley especially in the Srinagar city.

While public transport was off the roads in Srinagar but many small passenger cars mostly ferrying tourists to Dal Lake and health resorts like Gulmarg and Sonamarg were plying normally.

Farooq Ahmad Wani, father of Wamiq Farooq, one of the victims of 2010 bloodbath of Kashmir, cried tears of frustration and fear saying he was losing hope on Supreme Court of India especially in the wake of its recent decision on Pathribal killings.

Relatives of the slain youth of 2010 protested at Lal Chowk demanding justice. A seminar was also organised at Matoo’s residence at Saida Kadal where Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik, Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief Asiya Andrabi and High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom were present.

The Returning TRAIL
The ‘rush’ homecoming of militants from Pakistan and PoK to Jammu and Kashmir has picked up in past few days. Forty-one PoK settlers including nine militants of Kashmir, their Pakistani wives and children returned via Nepal route last month.

Majority of the militants from Jammu and Kashmir, in Pakistan and PoK, whose number has officially been put at 3000, want to return home but were not getting an opportunity due to surveillance maintained on them by Pakistan Army and ISI, sources say. “It was due to Pakistan that Rehabilitation Policy of Jammu and Kashmir Government, approved by the Union Home Ministry, didn’t succeed as Pakistan was not allowing the militants to return,’’ the sources said, adding the militants have been returning clandestinely with some of them taking Nepal or Bangladesh route to reach Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal while some were crossing LoC to enter Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the Rehabilitation Policy, the Government has identified four routes to return including Poonch-Rawlakote in Jammu region, Uri-Salamabad in Kashmir, Wagah border in Amritsar and Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi.

In the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, a couple of militants have returned from PoK. Police captured a Pakistan trained militant, hailing from Thanna Mandi area of district Rajouri, who reached home Thursday night. A 27-year-old youth who joined militancy in 2003, along with two other Kashmiri militants managed to reach the state via Nepal.

Army arrested a former Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant along with his Pakistani wife and three children as soon as they entered the Indian side from the Line of Control (LoC) in forward village Deri Dabsi of Mendhar sector in Poonch district.

Army handed over the militant, his wife and three children to police this evening for registration of a case, questioning and further investigations.


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