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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Hizb claims responsibility for killing soldiers on August 6

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, August 24, 2013
First Published: 17:00 IST(24/8/2013) | Last Updated: 17:49 IST(24/8/2013)

More than a fortnight after five soldiers were killed on the LoC in Jammu region, Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the act, which had triggered tension between the two neighbours.

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Speaking to a local media agency from across the border, Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin on Friday claimed that Hizbul Mujahideen and not the Pakistani army was involved in killing of the soldiers.

Five soldiers had been killed in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on August 6.

The incident had sparked a political tension in the country. India had called it the biggest incident on the LoC since the beheading of one Indian soldier and the mutilation of the body of another by Pakistani troops in the Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir in January this year.

Among the five killed were a junior commissioned officer and four jawans. Another jawan was critically injured.

"Let me make it clear that the Hizubul Mujahideen's 'sarhadi (border)' squad killed the Indian soldiers under a specific strategy,"a local news agency KNS quoted Salahuddin as saying. The agency claimed that Salahuddin had a telephonic conversation with their reporter based in Srinagar.

The Hizb chief also said they have shifted the attacks from populated areas in Kashmir to the borders. "After the launch of a peaceful protest movement by the Kashmirs in 2008, militants have shifted their activities to the border areas and have intensified their attacks along the LoC. Neither Pakistan nor India can stop our activities along the LoC,"he said.

Commenting on the ceasefire violations on the LoC, he said that violations will persist until the 'Kashmir issue' is solved. "Despite signing ceasefire agreement in 2003, India and Pakistan continue to violate it. These violations took place several times over the past few years. In 2011, ceasefire was violated 62 times, in 2012 it was violated 117 times and this year till date 82 times. Until and unless Kashmir issue is not sorted out, ceasefire violations and infiltrations will continue to happen."he said.

He alleged that New Delhi was never sincere about a dialogue on Kashmir. "History of last six decades is witness to it. India is neither sincere not serious. It has been gaining time and strengthening its military infrastructure in the territory under the cover of talks. Whenever Kashmir is on the boil, they start beating the drums of talks but as soon as situation gets apparently normal they again start behaving in the same way."

"If Indian and Pakistan do not take Kashmir issue seriously, the present generation of Kashmir who has already taken the freedom struggle in their own hands will obviously feel that Jihad is the only way. After the recent gunfight in Tral, police declared that the militants involved were well-educated youths. This should be known that these youth had not come from this side but were trained in Kashmir."

'Armed VDC members genesis of communal clashes'

On communal clashes in Kishtwar, Hizb chief said, "Right from 1947, India has tried to create communal violence with the help of their extremists and saffron brigade. And this time they did it through the so-called VDC members. Instead of punishing the culprits, the state government crushed the Muslim community to remain in good books of Indian extremists. Until and unless VDC members are not disarmed there will always remain the threat of communal violence."

"New Delhi and its intelligence agencies are trying to divide the people by inciting communal clashes on the basis of sects and beliefs. United Jihad Council condemns their designs."

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