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Pattern of Civilian killings in terrorist  violence

KS Correspondent

2003

Last  three months have witnessed sharp escalation in terrorism violence. On June 28, the terrorists attacked Sunjawan army camp, located on the outskirts of Jammu city. There were fourteen casualties. Three weeks later the terrorists launched an assault on Tanda Headquarters, which attracted lot of publicity. Among others one Brigadier was killed and a senior General was injured. On September 6, a car bomb blast took place at Parimpora fruit mandi. Apparently, it was intended to hit a passing army convoy. The terrorists also sought to win psychological advantage by assassinating three top counter-insurgents. These people had played a significant role in anti-terrorist campaign.

In the first fortnight of September, 181 incidents of terrorist violence included three ‘’fidayeen attacks and 15 IED blasts. There were 191 attempts at infiltration. During this period 51 civilians were gunned down by teh terrorists. The casualties among the securiy forces and the terrorists were 30 and 90 respectively. The casualties among security forces, terrorists and the civilians in the month of July were 28, 126 and 74 respectively. The figures for August were 41,135 and 76.

In the period 1st July to 15 September the number of security forces personnel killed was 99, whereas the casualties among the terrorists were 351. The civilians touched a high figure of 201. It indicates that on an average 2.5 to 3 civilians are killed daily by the terrorists.

Civilian casualties fall in three categories. Some people, who have been the victims of terrorists, excesses are collaborating with security forces to aid them in putting an end to the terrorist menace. The terrorists have been dealing with this section by inflicting gory brutalities before killing them. In many cases when terrorists have been either killed or arrested, they have targeted those civilians with they last sought shelter or sought some other help. The third category of civilian victims are people who refuse to comply with the terrorist diktat for shelter, food, sending children to joine terrorist ranks or aiding terrorists in other logistics.

Pattern of Violence :

The present paper focusses on the terrorist violence against civilians in the period which witnessed heightened terrorist violence i.e. August and September (9 August to October 2, 2003)

Anantnag :

In the Kashmir valley, Anantnag district was the worst-affected, followed by Kupwara and Pulwama. At Damahal Khushipora terrorist entered the house of head of local Auqaf, Abdul Ahad Wani and shot him dead inside his house. He was an old Congress activist and a retired forester. Abdul Lateef Bimla was shot dead while he was opening his shop and labelled as informer. He belonged to Ahlan Payeen in Kokernag. Bashir Ahmed Magrey, resident of Peth Sheikhpora, Achabal was kidnapped. His dead body was recovered from Gowas forest.

26 year old Abdul Rashid Chouhan of Bon Ahlan, Kolernag was kidnapped from his house and labelled as informer. His dead body was recovered next day from Paji Behak. Another Gujjar Mohd. Sakhi Kataria of Damhal Hanjipora was brutally slaughtered after benig kidnapped at Khou Batapora, Kulgam. His dead body was recovered frmo a deserted spot. At Okay in Kulgam Niyaz Ahmed Mir, resident of Chehlan was kidnapped and killed. Jang Bahaur Singh, a resident of Kreeri was kidnapped. His dead body was recovered from Kokernag. A dead body, which bore marks of slaughtering with a knife was recovered from Sehipora on 16th September. It was identified as Nazir Ahmed Rather, a poor school teacher of Pariwan, Kulgam. A few days earlier three terrorists had taken motorbike of his son far a drive towards Kulgam-BSF naka party had intercepted it. The terrorists jumped down and tried to escape. BSF fired at them and one terrorist was killed. The two terrorists who escaped took Nazir for an informer and killed him after kidnapping. The terrorists do not spare even school boys and young ladies. A 10th standard student Abdul Hameed Malik was kidnapped from his house at Batkot and shot at Mehajbeen, a 20-year-old lady was fired at in her house. Two people were shot at Aishmuqam and Batkoot. During this period there were 48 incidents of terrorist violence in district Anantnag.

“Imposition of POTA” :

Another form of reprisals the terrorists indulge in against the civilians is “attaching” their properties, Kulgam an area which was sanitised previously came under terrorists’ control after some top counter-insurgents were killed recently on the evening of 30th September, a group of heavily armed terrorists appeared at Gudar, Kulgam. They dislodged members of eight families, two of which members employed in state police. The terrorists levelled allegations that the members of these families had been informing their presence and movement to security forces. They got the houses vacated and put locks on all the eight houses and threatened reprisals in case anybody dared to pen the locks. In August this year the terrorists had lifted the telephone sets from 20 houses at Kaimoh and rendered the local telephone exchange dysfunctional. They had labelled the residents of these houses as informers of th security forces. Durnig assembly elections also the terrorists had attached houses of two NC activists at Devsar and Pahloo. The terrorists publicly describe this attachment of property as “imposition of POTA”.

Pulwama :

In district Pulwama there were 36 incidents of terrorist violence. The civilians were targetted in eight incidents. A person was kidnappede in Shopian area. His dead body was recovered frmo Asthanpora-Wahipora in Wachi. Riyaz Ahmed Wani of Harmain was kidnapped. Same evening his dead body was recovered from Sangram Tularam in same locality. Bashir Ahmed Lone of Drubgam, Pulwama was shot dead at his house. At Kathuhalan forest area Gama Poswal, a Bakerwal was kidnapped. A radio-mechanic Maznoor Ahmed Sheikh was kidnapped at Muran and shot dead at Dreeri. Gh. Nabi alias Dilshat, a school teacher was kidnapped from Sheikh Harh, Pulwama. He was detained at a house. Gh. Nabi jumped from window and managed to escape.

On 20th August at Traal, an eighty-five year old Gujar Alam Din was kidnapped from his house. He was tortured and his throat was slit open. Previous fortnight also the terrorist had attacked his house and torched it. They alleged that he and his sons were acting as informers. One of his sons escapped with gun shot wounds in the attack. At Reka Kapran, Shopian Gaffar Bhat was shot dead on September 27.

North Kashmir :

In the two districts of north Kashmir there were eighty incidents of terrorist violence. Twenty civilians were gunned down by the terrorists. In Kupwara there was selective targetting of women. On August 11, terrorists barged into house of Ghulam Hassan Magrey at Kandi and shot dead his 47 year old wife Zooni. She was labelled as informer of security forces. Shamima, a resident of Badalpora, Rajawar was kidnapped, while she was on way to join duty at Anganwari centre. She was tortured. Next day her body was recovered. Sheeba, wife of Abdul Aziz Mir was shot dead at Sarmarg, Handwara, Rehana, widow of Bashir Ahmed, Rishi was kidnapped frmo her house at Watakul-she was labelled as informer and shot dead.

Terrorists are also indulging in brutalities before killing their victims. Abdul Ahad Naiko was hanged from a tree at Mughalpura, Gushi. At Chittibandi, Bandipore Abdul Rehman Mir was kidnapped from his house. He was dubbed informer and his throat was slit open.

The usual modus operandi of the terrorists is to kidnap people and torture them before killing. There were such incidents at Kandi Khas, Rishigund, Bakhipora Rafiabad, Panar Bandipore, Chinkipora (Sopore). A domestic help Mushtaq Ahmed Deedarh, R/o Bandibala was kidnapped from the house of Lal Shah, his employer at Nambalyar.

In other instances the terrorists barge into houses and shoot dead their targets. At Pazipora, Magam (Handwara), terrorists entered the house of Gh. Mohd. Peer alias Gul Peer. He used to run a small bakery. Terrorists dubbed him as an informer and gunned him down. At Chak Nutrioosa the terrorists, after gatecrashing into the house of Ghulam Ahmed Mir, opened indiscriminate firing on the inmatyes. Gh. Ahmed and his son Bashir died on spot. Shamba, daughter of the house owner received injuries. Khazir Mohd. an employee of Home Guards wing of J&K Police was shot dead at his home in Wudar Bala in Rajwar belt. In Kreeri Bazar, Patan, Manzoor Ahmed Zargar was shot at in his shop.

Srinagar :

There were thirty incidents of terrorists violence in Srinagar district but just four incidents of violence against civilians. The two killings in these incidents occurred in the rural segment - Gutlibag and Sumbal (Kangan). In the city a youth was shot dead at Zainakadal. Ghulam Jeelani Qadri, a PWD contractor was kidnapped from his Buchpora residence. In the afternoon his dead body was recovered frmo Bagh-e-Ali Mardan area.

Budgam :

Budgam district remained relatively tranquil during this period. There were just six incidents of terrorist violence. Two civilians were killed by terrorists at Ranipora and Malapora (Chrar). Besides these former constable was shot dead at Aripanthan, Beerwah and an ex-militant was gunned down at Dasan in Beerwah.

Jammu Province :

In the Jammu province the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri were worse-affected by the terrorist violence. These two districts top in terms of terrorist violence, the entire state. It has been seen that the number of civilians killed also increase proportionately as the graph of terrorist violence goes up. In terms of brutalities also the non-combant population has suffered terribly in these two districts. Rahni Begum of Surankote was kidnapped and cyanide was infected into her on June 21. There have been sord killings also. One Feroz Din Gujar was killed by forcing him to drink poison..

In Thannamandi, Rajouri terrorists beheaded Mohammad Sabar residence of Bathian in the house of Bee Jan at More Gugli Bagh near Kakote. On August 25, three terrorists entered the house of Mohammad Akbar at village Katarmal, Manjakote and subjected him to interrogation. They started firing indiscriminately on the inmates of the house. Mohd. Akbar, his wife Hakim Bi and Zeenat Begum, their daughter-in-law died on spot. The killers were local terrorists, owning allegiance to Lashkar-e-Toiba.

A group of terrorists dragged out Haji Bagh Hussain from his house in village Sam Samad, Rajouri. They asked him to accompany them. He was gunned down as he refused to comply. The deceased was posted as a teacher at Govt. School at Sam. He had been serving as a teacher in BSF for eight years. In 1985 he left BSF to join State government service. Same group of terrorists kidnapped Mohammad Shabir, a government teacher at Sam Samad. They took him to a nearby field and beheaded him. There was lot of local resentment against the killing of two teachers.

On September 21, terrorist entered house of Wazir Mohammad at village Laa in Thannamandi and dragged him and his wife Razia Begu. The two were hanged to death. Wazir was hanged with a rope, whereas Razia was hanged with her own dupatta. The terrorists dubbed them as informers. In Thannamandi at village Saj two terrorists entered house of Mohammad Naseeb. He was not at home. The terrorists beat his wife and set the house on fire.

Terrorists also killed civilians at Kandi (Rajouri) and Morha Handa, near Gambhir Muglan (Majakote). At village Kala Khas the terrorists beheaded Nazir Hussain. The terrorists were local militants of Hizbul Mujahideen.

The terrorists kidnapped two civilians frmo village Morian, Manjakote, who was kidnapped at Palanger, Thannamandi. Riyaz Ahmed of Thanna Manga, Darha was rescued during an encounter in Dhoke forest.

Ponch District :

Surankote has borne the brunt of civilians killings in Poonch district. On September 4 two local terrorists entered the house of Gh. Ahmed alias Gamma at Sanglani. They first chopped off his legs and arms and then beheaded him. He was dubbed as an informer. At village Dandian near Bafliaz, three terrorist beheaded two young women-Mumtaz Begum (42), wife of Iqbal Khan and Farzana Kousar (25) wife of Sarwar Khan. There was lot of resentment among locals on these killings. On September 17, the terrorists entered the house of Mohammad Kareem at Dara Sangla and shot him dead. Another civilian was beheaded at upper Kalai. After beheading him, the terrorists ran away carrying his head with them. In a similar sequence Shabir Hussain was beheaded in his house at Seri Chowana in Mandi. The terrorists took away his head along with them.

At village Taran Wali in Bafliaz, terrorists fired a volley of shots at Manzoor Hussain. While one terrorist subjected the victim to questioning, another terrorist opened firing. The victim died on spot. Three terrorists entered the house of Mohammad Azam at Morha Bachai. He was taken to a surrounding field and shot dead.

On August 16, 4-5 terrorists entered the house of Rashid Hussain Shah at Maddana in Lassana. Sixty year old Rashid refused to accompany the terrorists. He was shot dead at point blank range. Same day terrorists set ablaze two houses in the village. House of Mohammad Shafi in village Soliyan, Marhot area was also set on fire. All the household goods and eight cattle perished in the fire. The incident took place on September 25. The terrorists struck again in the area and set on fire four houses of surrendered militants. The militants were still in custody.

Local terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen gunned down a youth Javed Ahmed at Marhot. His brother was injured in the firing. The two brothers were under threat and had migrated frmo Dodi to Marhot.

There was a single incident of civilian killing in Mandi, at village Hattian in Seri Khwaja. At Chak Banola in Poonch, terrorists dragged out Mohammad Hussain from his house alongwith his son Nazir Ahmed and shot them dead.

Mendhar :

There were four civilian killings in Mendhar. Mohammad Riaz was shot at Thamlot in his house. On August 9, terrorists entered house of Mohammad Khursheed at Kasblari and opened indiscriminate firing at the inmates. Mohammad Khursheed 60 and his son Shamim Ahmed 31 died on spot. Shamim was an army jawan and had come home on leave.

At Naka Majari, a group of terrorists entered house of Farooq Ahmed. They enquired about his brother Maroof Hussain, a police recruit. Unable to find him they shot at Maroof’s mother Zamrood Begum and beat up his sister Shamshad Aktoo with rifle butts.

Mahore-Gool :

During the period under review, there were thirty incidents of terrorists violence in Udhampur district. All the civilian killings, however, were confined to Mahore Gool belt. On September 1, three to four local terrorists belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit barged into the house of Roshan Din at village Alla Kalla in Shikari (Mahore). He and his two sons, Nazir and Sher Mohammad were thrashed with rifle butts. The terrorists then opened indiscriminate fire on them, killing all he three on spot. Locals protested the over the killings and described victims as innocent. Terrorists shot dead Noor Jamal son of Sain Gujar in remote Milky Dhar. He was kidnapped and then killed in a forest area. Abdul Rashid, a VDC member was fired at Thuru, where he had taken brief halt. He later bled to death. Mohammad Qasim Lohar was killed in his house at village Hasot in Chasana, Mahore.

On September 28 the terrorist struck in a big way at Sain’s family in Mahore. As, per official version, a lone terrorist wearing a police uniform ‘dhangri’ struck in the house of Sani and opened indiscriminate firing with an AK-47 rifle killing four members of the family and leaving another injured. Victim were identified as Munir Hussain, 25, a SPO Khadim Hussain, 24 and Mohammad Hussain, 32, all brothers and sons of Saina and two year old Saddam Hussain, son of Mohammad Hussain. Sarwar Hussain, 7, son of Sain was seriously injured. The terrorists, believed to be a local remained untraced. Sain’s family had been under terrorists’ threat for quite some time. Due to these threats all four sons of Sain had shifted from their native village of Ganjakote  to Mahore town, while Sain and other female members of the family continued to stay put at Ganjakote. The sons of Sain had taken a room on rent near Bust Stand Mahore. The house was identified by a local terrorist in police uniform.

In May last, Sain’s son had tipped of security forces about two foreign mercenaries of Lashkar-e-Toiba. After this, they shad been put on terrorists’ threat list.

In September at Gool, two terrorists entered the house of Mohammad Assadullah in school uniform and gunned him down. He was under threat of terrorists for sometime and had shifted to Gool frmo Deedha. Assadullah was known in the area for his social works and was quite friendly with the security forces. The killers were local terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen. Assadullah was known in the area for his social works and was quite friendly with the security forces. The killers were local terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen. As Assadullah was quite popular among locals, there was strong resentment over his killing.

The terrorists also targetted VDCs members Pritam Chand and Lochan Snigh at Dalwah and Gool respectively. VDC members retaliated back and foiled the attempt. Numberdar Chattar Singh’s house was attacked at a village Chakali Salta in Reasi.

Doda District :

In sixty incidents of terrorist violence in Doda district, Gandoh and Banihal remained the prime targets for civilian killings. At village Chamalwas, 8 kms from Banihal in a brazen act of violence, a group of terrorists struck on September Ist at the residence of a well-educated family. At 10 PM a Kashmiri speaking terrorist entered in the house of Mohammad Rafiq Sohail. He went to the kitchen where the family had  had gathered for pre-marriage celebrations. Both daughter and sister of Khadim Hussain were scheduled to get married on September 3. Khadim was the lone elected Sarpanch of Chamalwas and former State Secretary, Minorities Cell of BJP. The terrorists took Khadim out and engaged him in conversation. In the process few more terrorists, which included a foreign terrorist reached the spot and opened firing. Rafiq Sohail, alineman in PDD sensed troubled. With the help of his son he overpowered the militant and snatched his rifle. Rafiq, however, could not operate the weapon. Meanwhile on hearing cries of the militant, other terrorists entered inside and opened indiscriminate firing. Rafiq’s other son Irfan, 14, also grappled with another terrorist and snatched his rifle. A terrorist fired at his abdomen and left him injured. He later bled to death.

Farid, brother of Khadim made another attempt to pounce upon the militants. He got killed in the shoot-out. Khadim died because of fright. Fastima Begum, wife of Munir Ahmed, Numbedar of Chamalwas and slapped a terrorist. She too was gunned down. In this massacre four bereaved families were left with 14 orphaned children. In an unprecedented departure frmo the past, the entire clergy of Banihal and Ramban declared these brutal killings were purely an act of terror and not Jehad. One of the terrorists involved in the carnage was identified as a resident of Sarbagawni and a relative of the bereaved family. Another terrorist was identified as Hamid. A total of five terrorists were reportedly involved in the killings..

At Budhan, Ramban, Mohd. Arshad and Mohd. Ismail were kidnapped Arshad’s body was recovered from Badakund. Ismail was taken to adjoining forest area and shot dead. Body of Abdul Hamid, resident of Dallian Bajar, Gandoh was recovered after 3 days of kidnapping from a forest area terrorists shot dead Ghulam Hassan Mir, resident of Barthi at village Sui Baggar in Gandoh. In Sanie, Gandoh Ishfaq Ahmed was shot at and seriously injured. In the same area at Mhabryas terrorists fired at Abdul Rashid, a Horticulture employee and left him seriously injured. A fifty-five year old Fateh Mohd. was killed by two local militants of Hizbul Mujahideen at his house in village Fakwas Pushal, Gandoh. A VDC member Yog Raj was beheaded at village Huja in Gandoh. His other colleague Ghulam Mohd. was also kidnapped.

Kishtwar:

Two terrorists entered house of Bahoru Gujar at village Jugnu in Kishtwar and opened fire. His wife Aishia Begum died in the firing. In Keshwan village house of Usman was set ablaze.

Bhaderwah :

Hanraj, father of police constable Surjeet Singh was kidnapped from his house at Bumlakhi and tortured for two days. On 3rd morning his dead body was recovered. Bitu Kumar, son of Krishanlal, residence of Mathola was kidnapped from forest area Shafola on September 27. Centuries old Nag temple at Subhar Dhar was set on fire by the terrorists on August 12.

Doda :

Liaqat Ali of Sarsi, Doda was kidnapped. After remaining in captivity for 12 days, he escaped during night and trekked several kms to reach home.

Kathua :

Panch Devnider Khajuria was kidnapped frmo village Dhana. However, he managed to escape. In Malhar Hans Raj of Ramkot was kidnapped from village Rodla.

The Prospect :

Recently, the Army arrested one Mehooda, a resident of Bundgam in Budgam district. Besides recruiting women in terrorist ranks she, as per reports, had shot dead a number of terrorist targets in Beerwah-Baramulla belt.

The rising graph of selective killings of those civilians who refuse to need the terrorist diktat or aid the security forces, during the past four months, have hampered the flow of actionable intelligence for counter-insurgency operations. There are complaints that the sources are drying up. Indian state has a moral responsibility also to take full care of this civilian segment of population, which is pivotal in turning the tide against the terrorists. There is a need to draw a policy to protect the informers and their families through innovative strategies. Bureaucratic red-tape often delays  ex-gratia compensa tion and compassionate recruitment to the victims’ families. This leads to alienation of a strongly-motivated section. A national fund should be created to take care of these victims’ families. Instead of pampering politicians, who indulge in doublespeak and rake bogey of security forces excesses, these patriotic people deserve a better deal.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

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