Militants hold PDP leader, family hostage in J&Ks Kishtwar

 thehindu.com  09/13/2019 20:54:16 

Three armed militants held hostage Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) district president Sheikh Nasir and his family in Jammus Kishtwar on Thursday, before snatching the service rifle of the leaders personal security officer and driving away in the familys car. Authorities have imposed a curfew in the town.

The family, which reported the incident around 11 a.m. on Friday, said at least three militants took them hostage late on Thursday evening ... A search operation has been launched to nab the militants and recover the vehicle, deputy commissioner, Kishtwar, Angrez Singh, told The Hindu.

The PSO whose INSAS rifle was snatched was identified as Mubasir Ahmed. The authorities imposed curfew in entire Kishtwar town after the incident.

According to the family, the three militants were carrying AK-47 and pistols when they barged into the house around 12 in the night. Mr. Nasir, along with eight members of the family, including his brother, brothers wife, three children, his aged parents, and a servant, were present in the house when the militants made their entry.

"Are you Sheikh Nasir? You are an Indian. We have clear orders to kill you and your PSO. We have come here after travelling 9 km on foot, the PDP leader's brother Dr. Sheikh Nazir told the reporters.

The family members were locked up in one room. "We were then separated one-by-one. They used rope and cloth to tie us and warned against raising any alarm," Dr. Sheikh added.

The family claimed the militants forced them to call the PSO during morning hours. "As soon as the guard came to the front gate, the militants overpowered him. There was a scuffle in which the militants managed to snatch his rifle at the gun point," the family told the local police.

The militants used their private vehicle Wagon-R bearing registration number JK02AB-6517 to escape from the spot. Unconfirmed reports suggest the vehicle has been traced. "We are ascertaining the identity of the militants and the group," DC Rana said.

This year, this is third weapon snatching incident in Kishtwar, declared a militancy free zone three years ago. One RSS leader and a BJP leader were also killed by militants in the area in the past one year.

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