At least 500 detained and questioned in J&K over killing of civilians
Police in Kashmir have detained and questioned at least five hundred people and many in the past few days to investigate the series of civilian killings in valley since October 3.
Suspected members of banned terrorist groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami have been interrogated to trace their roles in the murders.
“It is true that we have called some people and we are verifying the involvement of locals,” said Udaybhaskar Billa, deputy inspector general of police, north Kashmir.
Local residents said police have detained many people in Hajin, a town in Kashmir, after family members of deceased Mohammad Shafi Lone, president of a local taxi union, identified some people who had attacked him. “Right now it is not appropriate to talk about the case,” Billa said. Dilbag Singh, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, and Vijay Kumar, inspector general of police, Kashmir, did not take calls from Hindustan Times.
Kashmir has been restive since October 3 after the murder of seven persons, including three belonging to minority communities in the Union Territory.
Suspected terrorists on Thursday killed two teachers – Satinder Kour and Deepak Chand – of a government school in Srinagar’s old city. They were killed two days after Makhan Lal Bindroo, a 68-year-old chemist, street vendor Virender Paswan from Bihar’s Bhagalpur, and Lone were shot dead in Srinagar and Bandipora districts on Tuesday. On Saturday evening, gunmen opened fire at Majid Ahmad Gojri, a resident of Chattabal Srinagar, and Mohammad Shafi Dar, a resident of SD Colony Batamaloo, killing them both. The central government has sent the Intelligence Bureau’s counter-terror chief Tapan Deka to the valley to oversee the fight against terrorism after the recent killings. Counter-terror teams of other national security agencies have also been sent to Kashmir.
As many as 28 civilians have been killed by terrorists this year, Kumar said on Thursday. “Out of the 28, five persons belong to local Hindu and Sikh communities and two non-local Hindu labourers,” he said, without mentioning that the remaining 21 slain people were Muslims.
“These acts are committed by newly recruited terrorists, or those who are about to join the terrorists’ ranks. In some cases, OGWs (over the ground workers of terrorist organisations) have been found directly involved,” Kumar said.