Curfew lifted in Kishtwar, militants still on the run

The PDP’s Sheikh Nasir and his family were held hostage for 10 hours by the militants, for whom searches were still underway on Saturday, Rana said.
The J&K administration restricted public movement in Kishtwar on Friday after militants fled with the guns of a PDP leader’s PSO.(PTI File)
The J&K administration restricted public movement in Kishtwar on Friday after militants fled with the guns of a PDP leader’s PSO.(PTI File)
Updated on Sep 14, 2019 11:54 PM IST
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Curfew was lifted on Saturday in Kishtwar, a day after three militants who held a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and his family hostage fled with his personal security officer’s INSAS rifle, prompting the administration to restrict public movement in the communally sensitive district.

“Curfew was lifted Saturday morning and normalcy has been restored. Markets and officers are open. We had imposed curfew on Friday as a preventive measure to check militants from managing to escape,” Kishtwar district magistrate Angrez Singh Rana said. School and colleges remain closed for the day in a precautionary measure.

The PDP’s Sheikh Nasir and his family were held hostage for 10 hours by the militants, for whom searches were still underway on Saturday, Rana said. The three armed men had barged into the house of Nasir, a lawyer by profession and the PDP’s district president of Kishtwar ,on Thursday night.

The WagonR car of Nasir’s brother Sheikh Nazeer in which the militants fled, was recovered by the police about eight kilometres from the residence of the PDP leader and one kilometre short of a police barricade, the official said..

The militants were identified as Osama of Marwah, Kishtwar; Haroon Wani alias Zahid, an MBA student-turned militant and a resident of Doda; and Naved, a special police officer of Shopian, who deserted the police and turned militant.

Sheikh Nazeerr told reporters on Friday evening: “Last night, around 11 pm, three militants stormed into the house and held the entire family hostage. One of them had an AK-47 rifle while two others had pistols in their hands. They told my brother Sheikh Nasir that they have got instructions to eliminate him and his PSO {personal security officer}. Through the night they held us hostage. They also beat up a domestic help and gagged his mouth and tied him with ropes. My brother was tied in another room and I was kept in a separate room. The militants had also taken away our mobile phones so that we could not contact anyone.”

He said the women and children were locked in another room for the night.

“On Friday morning they asked my brother to call his PSO from his phone which they had taken away the preceding night and asked him to tell the PSO to come home. As soon as the PSO entered the house, these militants overpowered him and snatched his weapon before locking him up in a room. Before fleeing they asked my brother to give them his car. My brother said that his vehicle was short on fuel and thereafter, they asked me to hand over my car to them. I quietly did what they asked me to do. The car, a WagonR, was parked outside the house from where they fled around 9 am on Friday morning.”

On March 8, masked militants snatched an AK 47 and 90 rounds from another PSO in Kishtwar town.

Although Kishtwar district was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, it was rattled by the killing of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Anil Parihar and his brother, Ajeet Parihar, on November 1, followed by the killing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak leader Chandrakant Sharma and his security guard Rajinder Kumar inside the Kishtwar district hospital on April 9.

On May 31, two special police officers were injured in an encounter with terrorists in Appan area of the Marwah belt in the same district. The militants escaped after the encounter. On July 24, Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Jamal Din surrendered before the security forces in Kishtwar town. He had joined the terror group last year.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021