Majid Jahangir, Tribune News Service
Srinagar, May 15. Panic spread among residents of Pattan after posters from two militant outfits, threatening 13 persons, including a woman, were seen pasted on tree trunks and walls of the township in Baramulla district of north Kashmir yesterday.
Two militant outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen have warned residents against “working as informers” and participating in the local bodies elections. This is almost a month after posters, reportedly pasted by LeT militants, had surfaced in south Kashmir, asking elected panches and sarpanches to resign or “face the consequences”. The handwritten Urdu posters in Pattan, jointly issued by the LeT and Hizb, have identified 13 local residents, including political workers and truck drivers, for allegedly working with various security agencies.
Sources said the posters stated that those mentioned in the list would be “killed” any time for their “association” with security agencies. After the posters appeared, panic gripped the township located on the Srinagar-Baramulla national highway.
The police has started the investigation to ascertain the authenticity of the posters.
“We have started investigation into the matter and a case under the Unlawful Activities Act has been registered,” said the Station House Officer, Pattan, Mohammad Abdullah. “We have questioned a few persons but so far no one has been arrested,” he added.
Police sources, however, said the handwritten posters issued by Abu Talha, District Commander, and Javid Khan, Tehsil Commander for Pattan, did not look genuine. It was also not mentioned whether these commanders belonged to the LeT or Hizb. “It can be the result of an internal rivalry. But we are still looking into the matter,” said a senior police officer in Baramulla.
While the police in north Kashmir is suspecting that these posters have not been “really issued” by the outfits, the police in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district — where the LeT posters had threatened panches and sarpanches in April — has concluded that the posters were not genuine.
“We had picked up three boys, but they were later released. Also the logo of the LeT that was on the posters pasted in Pulwama was not the actual logo of the outfit,” said Superintendent of Police, Pulwama, Amit Kumar.