Updated: June 22, 2022 7:38:16 am
THE JAMMU and Kashmir (J&K) Police department has attached five residential properties in Srinagar on charges of “wilful harbouring of militants”.
“The investigations proved beyond doubt that these houses were used for purpose of terrorism and shelter/ harbour was voluntarily/ knowingly given by the member(s) of the house… Many attacks on civilians, security forces were conspired and planned by terrorists while using these houses as hideouts,” the J&K Police said in a statement.
Police said the houses were attached after “obtaining legal sanction from the competent authorities”. While two houses are in the Parimpora police station area, the remaining three houses are in Panthachowk, Zakura and Nowhatta. The properties were linked to Case FIR No. 257/2020 at Parimpora police station (two houses), Case FIR No. 132/2021 at Panthachowk police station, Case FIR No. 35/2021 at Nowhatta police station and Case FIR No. 02/2022 at Zakura police station, said the statement.
The J&K Police warned that some more houses have been identified for alleged “wilful harbouring” of militants, and would face action. “Citizens are once again requested not to harbour or give shelter to terrorists, failing which they shall be liable to action under law including attachment proceedings,” said the statement. “In case of any forced/ coercive entry by terrorists into any house, the matter should be brought to the notice of police immediately,” it said.
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In March, the J&K Police had warned that properties of those who provide shelter to militants would be attached. “Process has been started for attachment of some immoveable properties which have been used for purpose of terrorism as per Section 2 (g) and 25 of ULP Act,” police had tweeted. “Don’t give shelter or harbour terrorists/ terror associates. Legal action will be supplemented by property attachment as per law”.
Following criticism, the J&K Police had issued a clarification: “There has been misinformation, rumours floated by certain quarters regarding information provided by Srinagar police with respect to initiation of attachment of properties used for purpose of terrorism.. It is clarified that Srinagar police is well aware of the difference between wilful harbouring of terrorists and one done under duress”.
While seeking to differentiate between “wilful harbouring” and “forced entry” of militants, police had put the onus on the house owners. “The onus always lies on the house owner/ member to prove duress by informing the authorities well in time that there is/ was forceful entry of terrorists into his/ her house,” police had said.
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