The Hindu Important Articles 02 April 2018
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13 militants killed in multiple operations in south Kashmir
3 soldiers, 4 civilians also die; schools closed, Internet suspended as protests erupt
Twenty persons, including 13 militants and three Army personnel, were killed as security forces launched “coordinated,” multiple operations in Shopian and Anantnag in south Kashmir on Sunday.
Four civilians were also killed and over 100 protesters injured in the clashes that followed the operations in Kachidoora and Draghad, raising tensions in the Valley again. Internet services were snapped shortly after the clashes broke out at many places in south Kashmir and some parts of Srinagar, an official said.
Train services were also suspended in the Valley. Examinations scheduled for April 2 have been cancelled after students held demonstrations in Kashmir University. All schools will remain closed too, said the official.
Under house arrest
Following a two-day strike call issued by separatists, Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik were placed under house arrest.
At a press conference at the Victor Force headquarters at Awantipura, General Officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps, Lt. Gen. A.K Bhatt, said, “Among the slain terrorists, two were involved in the killing of Lt. Umar Fayyaz in May (of 2017). We have avenged his death.”
Slain militants, Rayees Thokar and Ishfaq Malik of the Hizbul Mujahideen, were responsible for the abduction and killing of Lt. Fayyaz last year. Another slain militant Zubair Turay was involved in the killing of an SHO and a BJP leader, the police said.
At a joint press conference of the Army, police and CRPF, Director-General of Police S.P. Vaid said the multiple operations were “initiated after the credible leads about militants’ presence.”
Four civilians, including Mushtaq Ahmad Thoker from Draghad, who was sent by the Army inside the house where militants were hiding was found dead. Locals alleged the Army “did not spare Thoker during the encounter although he helped them.”
Three civilians were killed during the clashes that erupted in Kachidoora and one was killed in Draghad, according to the hospital sources. Locals alleged that the security forces had used “indiscriminate force” against protesters.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the death of four civilians and also sympathised with those injured,” an official spokesperson said.
The killings fuelled violent protests in large parts of the Valley, especially Shopian, Kulgam, Sopore and Srinagar. Hundreds of local people joined the funerals of the slain militants, which sparked fresh clashes in Shopian.
(With PTI inputs)
Asansol Imam’s call for peace comes in for praise
His son was lynched in the violence
The Imam of Asansol, who lost his son about a week back, has put the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata party on the back foot by delivering a three-line message of peace. The message was so strong, following the lynching of his son, State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said on Sunday that Imam Mohammed Imdadullah’s “actions are praiseworthy.”
“He has set an example by calming down the crowd and controlling emotions. Even after the death of his son he ensured that the situation did not go out of control,” Mr. Ghosh told The Hindu.
Even an official of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Asansol spoke on similar lines, albeit with a caveat.
“If he has said such things to the crowd then it is a commendable act. We support anyone who takes a positive stand on the basis of principles and not religious division,” a senior RSS official of Asansol said on condition of anonymity. However, there were attacks on the Hindus too, he added.
Eminent Bengali writer Joya Mitra, a resident of Asansol, too said the situation would have been “worse if the Imam had not reacted fast” standing in front of his dead son’s body.
The video circulating on a messaging application shows a crowd of men in white caps, carrying a coffin, covered with a red cloth. Imam’s 16-year-old son, Md. Sibghatullah, whose school leaving examination just got over, was lying inside the coffin. He was lynched last Wednesday when he and his elder brother had gone to the nearby OK Road mosque, about 500 metres south of the Noorani Mosque.
There was tension in the area over an “offensive song” being played from a Ram Navami rally and within hours clashes erupted. In the song, which The Hindu has a recording of, it was clearly said “Topiwale bhi sar jhukake Jai Sri Ram bolega…” [Men in caps will soon lower head to say Jai Sri Ram]. Repeated playing of the song in an area with mixed population annoyed the Muslims, leading to an altercation and clashes.
“Sibgatullah along with his brother went near the mosque to see what the commotion was about and was caught by the mob. His body was found late on Wednesday night,” said Mr. Imdadullah, the Imam of Noorani mosque on the northern edge of the city.
Following the incident, on Thursday afternoon, as the Janaza Namaz, or the funeral prayer began the crowd, which was estimated at 10,000 by the police, was seemingly turning restive. Realising that the situation was fast slipping out of control Imdadullah, father of Sibgatullah, asked for a microphone, which he usually never uses to deliver a sermon. He said: “If you love me then don’t indulge in any violence and let peace prevail. I don’t want any more lives to be lost. If you resort to any violence then I will leave the mosque and the city.”
Source:- The Hindu