Terrorism a lucrative industry in J&K: European think tank | india | Hindustan Times
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Terrorism a lucrative industry in J&K: European think tank

india Updated: Oct 30, 2011 15:06 IST

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"Bandits and criminals" have been taking advantage of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and are raping, murdering, extorting money and using mafia practices and later blaming security forces for the crimes, says a Europe-based think tank.

In its recent report, Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir said while bandits and criminals are there in every society, in J&K, however, they are taking advantage of the troubled situation.

"They are abducting people for money, raping, murdering, extorting money, using mafia practices, etc. under the cover of 'the movement'. For them this is a lucrative industry and under the present circumstances, it is easy to blame the security forces of all crimes that are committed," said the report prepared by the Belgium-based organisation after visiting the state in summer this year.

During the visit, the team of the think-tank led by Paul Beersmans met a cross-section of the people including pro-Pakistan Syed Ali Shah Geelani and moderate leaders including Bilal Lone and Abdul Gani Bhat besides politicians from the mainstream political parties.

In its 17-page report, it condemned the separatist leadership for turning a blind eye to human rights violations being committed by terrorists.

"There is no doubt that human rights violations are being committed by the security forces and by the militants. There is also no doubt that not all cases of human rights violations committed by the security forces are disclosed or prosecuted.

"It is also a fact that the security forces always are blamed if something happens. Separatist leaders are not critical on human rights violations committed by militants. A few months back two teenage sisters were abducted by militants and shot dead in cold blood 'to teach them a lesson'. Nobody dared to criticise this heinous crime," the report said.

The report was referring to the killing of Arifa and Akhter who were allegedly done to death by Lashker-e-Taiba terrorists on January 31, this year in Sopore area.

Lauding state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, it said that he is "young, has a vision, is hard working, honest, listening to the demands of the people and paying attention to their basic needs."

The report said that the Chief Minister had multiple challenges which include eradication of corruption and improve the functioning of the administration, the educational system, health-care besides tackling terrorism.