2018: Hajin churned brutality and a political turn-around

The seven killings, including of a woman were carried out within three months in different localities of Hajin, terrorising the whole town.
2018: Hajin churned brutality and a political turn-around
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Once a hotbed of dreaded counterinsurgency militia, Ikhwan, Hajin witnessed brutal killing of seven civilians by unknown gunmen during summer 2018 and churned a near-total turn around in favour of resistance politics and activism, including armed militancy.

Residents of the turbulent area took out a rally protesting the despicable killings police blamed on Lashkar-e-Toiba, but the militant group denied its hand in the brutal murders of civilians.

The seven killings, including of a woman were carried out within three months in different localities of Hajin, terrorising the whole town.

Decapitated bodies of the residents were found in the area after unknown gunmen abducted them.

On April 2, some time before midnight, unknown gunmen barged into the house of Farooq Ahmad Parrey in Ghat Mohalla locality and abducted his son-in-law, Naseer Ahmad Sheikh, 32.

The family tried to resist but the masked gunmen opened fire and attacked them with knives, causing injuries to Naseer's wife Neelofar, mother-in-law Rafeeqa, and brother-in-law Hilal Ahmad Parrey.

The next day, just 12 hours after the abduction, Naseer's body was found on the outskirts of Hajin.

In August, the Parrey family endured a similar incident again when their son Muzaffar Ahmad Parrey alias Muzze Natta was abducted and later killed. His decapitated body was retrieved from Jhelum days later.

Two days after the April 2 incident, unknown gunmen struck again and abducted another civilian after barging into the home of Abdul Gaffar Bhat in Bonikhan Mohalla.

Bhat's son Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, 24, was taken away, but the father himself managed to escape despite being fired upon by the gunmen.

Next day, on April 6, Manzoor's decapitated body was recovered from an orchard near a Masjid in Bon Mohalla locality, just a kilometer away from his home.

Unrelenting, unknown gunmen struck yet again on the intervening night of May 4 and 5. They abducted two persons from Gulshan Mohalla locality of Shahgund.

The next day their bullet-ridden bodies were found, again near a Masjid.

The gunmen had barged into Ghulam Hassan Dar's home and abducted him along with his nephew Bashir Ahmad Dar, 26.

On May 16, another youth was abducted from his home in Parrey Mohalla locality of Hajin.

28-year-old old painter, Hilal Ahmad Parrey was taken away, again by unknown gunmen, from his home when they barged in late night.

The next day his body was found in an orchard, his hands tied with a rope.

A few days later on May 24, another youth was abducted and later killed by mysterious gunmen in Hajin town that was already reeling under a terrorising spate of killings that baffled residents of Hajin and angered people across Kashmir valley.

The abducted man, a 36-years old butcher, Mohammad Yaqoob Wagey was also snatched from his home by unknown gunmen.

The next day, his body, throat slit, was found just outside his home in Gund Prang locality of the Hajin town. He was put to death in front of his eight-year-old son and wife.

Shattered and horrified, the town observed a complete shutdown on May 27 to protest the brutal killings of its residents by unknown gunmen over the preceding two months.

On the same day, an unverified audio clip purportedly circulated by LeT went viral, in which the militant group denied any role in the spate of civilian killings police had blamed on them.

Finally, on May 31 militants appeared in Hajin town and addressed a gathering after night prayers, denying their hand in the civilian killings.

Around a week later on July 8 masked men stabbed a 38-year-old woman to death inside her house in Shahgund locality of the town as she tried to snatch her husband Abdul Majeed from their clutches.

The incident was perceived as an attempted robbery.

Despite the LeT denying their hand in any of the killings in Hajn, police say militants of the group responsible were killed.

Superintendent of Police Bandipora, Sheikh Zulfikar Azad claimed the militants involved in murder of seven civilians in Hajin town have already been killed.

"Three militants who were involved in the theses civilian killings were killed on August 30 this year during an encounter in Hajin," Azad said.

"Only one local militant, Saleem Parrey is wanted in these cases."

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