Militants Threaten Informers In Hajin, Photojournalists In South Kashmir

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SRINAGAR, MAY 03: A group of militants appeared in north Kashmir’s Hajin village on Tuesday night and made a brief address to local residents, threatening informers with dire consequences if they passes off their information to the government forces.

The militants suspected to be linked with the Lashkar-e-Toiba appeared in the interiors of densely populated Hajin village and fired shots in the air before addressing a gathering briefly. Sources said militants warned informers among the local population against cooperating with the security forces.

A police official posted in the area said the details of the incidents could not be verified but confirmed that few shots were fired in the air by militants in Hajin. “We have heard about the incident but there is no confirmation about what happened,” the official said.

Hajin, a village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, has emerged as a stronghold of militants affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba. In the past several months, militants are suspected to have carried out several killings of civilians in the area on suspicion of their links with the security forces.

Last month, the militants beheaded a young man in Hajin and left his headless body in an orchard on the outskirts of the village.

The village once was the headquarters of a counter-insurgency militia, which killed militants and their sympathisers.

However, in the last two years, the Lashkar-e-Toiba has established a strong base in Hajin. Three commandos of the Air Force’s elite Garud unit were killed in fierce encounters last year in the village.

Separately, a statement that appeared on pro-militant social media channels warned photojournalists against clicking pictures of women during militant funerals. The statement was released on social media channels linked to Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind and asked people to prevent photojournalists from clicking pictures of women.

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