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Rebels lynch girl

Jammu, Aug. 1: Militants last night barged into the house of an ex-serviceman and beat his nine-year-old daughter to death. Her sister is battling for life.

Nissar Hussain, a resident of Thanna Mandi village in Rajouri district, was not in when the militants swooped on his home, suspecting him to be a police informer. They began questioning Hussain’s daughters — Nazia and Shazia — on his whereabouts, punching and kicking them at the same time. The girls pleaded ignorance but they refused to believe them and continued beating them till Nazia died.

What has happened in Thanna Mandi is a recurring story in the hills of Rajouri and Poonch.

Police claim the steady trickle of reports of women and children being shot, slaughtered and even hanged shows militants are continuing to vent their frustration on people linked to the security forces.

Two days ago, they hanged a young woman to death in Surankote whose brother was a special police officer, while five members of a village defence committee member’s family were murdered.

“This is a menace and we know that they are giving an outlet to their frustration by killing young women and children,” said deputy inspector-general of police, Rajouri-Poonch range, S.M. Sahai.

Reports of violence came in from other parts of the Valley, too. Kishtwar town in Doda district witnessed communal clashes with people indulging in arson. More than a dozen shops were targeted, injuring nearly two dozen people.

Reports said trouble started when police prevented a group of Hindus from marching to the office of the sub divisional magistrate to ask for security pickets in Wullar area, where terrorists have been harassing residents. Their Muslim neighbours, too, allegedly refused to cooperate, angering the Hindu group.

Curfew was imposed after the situation turned out of hand. The army has been deployed as a precautionary measure, while the town has been handed over to the CRPF.

Hindu leaders of the area accused the administration of colluding with Muslims and harassing their community. They also alleged that shops owned by Hindus were looted and set ablaze by Muslims.

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