The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Taliban terror strikes in J&K

Jammu, Jan. 6: A Taliban-like shadow crept up from two flanks on Jammu and Kashmir today as militants gunned down a wine dealer in Srinagar for defying an order to close shop and posters appeared in Jammu asking girls to stop studies after class VIII and policewomen to resign by January 15.

Police said the militants shot wine dealer Abdul Hamid Shiekh near a petrol pump in the Aloochi Bagh locality in Srinagar. The murder came two days after wine dealers had been ordered to shut business.

The police rushed to the spot and took Shiekh to SMHS hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Security forces combed the area but no one was arrested. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Police had earlier removed posters put up by the Lashkar-e-Toiba in Kulgam in south Kashmir that described wine business as “un-Islamic”.

In Jammu, handbills attributed to Al-Badr warned women not to join the police force. Posters were seen in Thanna Mandi and Darhal — the two hilly areas of Rajouri — where a strong “wear veil” campaign is already on.

The warnings have instilled fear among the people after Al-Badr claimed responsibility for the murder of three girls, two family members of a policeman and other killings. It is suspected that the girls were killed for not wearing burqa.

The posters begin with a call to the women to quit jobs in the police and ask others not to join the force. Such an act would be viewed as treachery and violation of the tenets of Islam, the placards read.

Fourteen-year-old girls have been asked not to study beyond class VIII. They should wear burqa and should be accompanied by a brother, father or husband when venturing out of their homes. “Any violation would be dealt with serious consequences,” the posters warn.

These posters have become a recurring phenomenon in the region. Girls have already started wearing burqas and the men are sporting beards.

Senior police officers hoped the warning would have no affect on the women in the force. They said policewomen should dismiss the threat with the contempt it deserves.

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