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HVK Archives: Politicians instigating people against army in Jammu areas

Politicians instigating people against army in Jammu areas - The Times of India

Dwarika Prasad Sharma ()
October 11, 1998

Title: Politicians instigating people against army in Jammu areas
Author: Dwarika Prasad Sharma
Publication: The Times of India
Date: October 11, 1998

Instigating demonstrations against the security forces to
politically exploit the situation created by the incursion of
foreign mercenaries into Rajouri and Poonch districts is
reminiscent of the trend in the Kashmir Valley at the height of
militancy there, according to political analysts.

They said a "disturbing" difference was that, while most
National Conference functionaries had at that time fled the
Valley and were largely "hiding" in Jammu, the situation in
Rajouri and Poonch now was that not only the recently
Established Hurriyat units in the two districts "but even ruling
party legislators, including ministers" deliberately played up
passions against the security forces.

This week, a search operation by a Rashtriya Rifles detachment
at Darhal village, after getting information that some
terrorists were hiding there, was made on occasion for a gang-
rape charge against the jawans by some political elements,
allegedly including a ruling party MLC.

During the operation, the house of the imam of the local mosque
was also searched. The political elements later organised a
demonstration at the village accusing the jawans of gang-raping
the imam's 15-year-old niece. An FIR was also lodged with the
police.

The medical examination report from Rajouri hospital, which
claimed there had been no rape, was rejected by the crowd.

Another report from a Jammu hospital also disproved the rape
charge. Following this, on Thursday, Jammu range IGP Kuldeep
Khoda told reporters: "The role of some persons, otherwise
occupying responsible positions, has been negative in the
episode, but the law won't spare them (for filing a false FIR)."

He said a "campaign of defamation" had been launched by
sympathiser's and harbourers of terrorists in order to
demoralise the security forces which had achieved "spectacular"
successes against the terrorists during the last fortnight.

Earlier, according to Rajouri-Poonch range DIG K. Rajendra
Kumar, a 70-year-old woman and her daughter aged above 50 had
complained to him that they had been "raped" by some members of
the security forces.

Mr Kumar said the residents of Aichi village, from where
terrorists had fired 182 mm mortar shells at the army divisional
headquarters in Rajouri, had been similarly "provoked" by
political elements to leave the village after an army search
operation and take part in demonstrations against the security
forces.

When the district administration took the protesters back to the
village in buses, they returned again to resume the
demonstration at Pul Darhal. After the massacre of 19 persons at
Sailiyan village in Poonch district by terrorists in inter-group
rivalry, the villagers fled to Surankot town where Hurriyat and
other leaders accused the security forces of being involved in
the massacre.

Bowing to the "popular" frenzy, chief minister Farooq Abdullah
made the controversial decision to refer the massacre to the
state human rights commission. An army officer, posted at
Surankot, commented : "This amounts to a pre-judgment against
the army as the reference comes not from the mob but from the
government."

He added: "The army knows that the massacre was committed by
terrorists. If the chief minister Wanted to condemn the
terrorists, he could very well have done it himself, and if he
wanted to punish them after the probe, they would have to be
caught first."


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