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l October 2003 l

The Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

l Vol 2, No 6 l

E D I T O R ' S   C H O I C E

Jammu lawyer turns 'judge,' orders killing

Sanjeev Pargal


Advocate Mehmood Qureshi did more than take the law into his own hands when he joined a militant outfit in the Valley. The 43-year-old lawyer crowned himself a judge and since he quit the bar, has declared ‘judgement’ on numerous civilians, who are then killed by militants.

 

More than a dozen civilians including three women have allegedly been killed by militants on Qureshi’s directions.

 

Security forces have now launched a special operation in Pir Panjal range in Poonch district to find Qureshi, who was prominent advocate in Surankote before he switched to militancy in 1994.

 

Official sources said Qureshi, who had disappeared into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, had returned to Surankote a few months ago. He is allegedly linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

 

Security forces recently learnt that Qureshi was acting as the militants’ judge and directing the slaying of civilians, who he branded informers because they were voluntarily co-operating with security forces and the police.

 

Last week, security forces recovered a note written in Urdu from the house of Mohammed Hafeez in Draba, Surankote. Hafeez was shot dead in his home. The note was titled ‘fatwa’ and signed by Mehmood Qureshi (Mehmood Hamza, code name) which said he had condemned Hafeez for acting as an “informer”.

 

According to sources, Qureshi has set up a hideout in the Pir Panjal range in Surankote from where he was signing the “death warrants”.

 

Qureshi was reportedly instrumental in the recruitment of over 200 local youth to militancy from different areas of Poonch and Rajouri districts.

 

In late 1994, he crossed over to PoK as security forces learnt of his militant links and launched a manhunt for him.

 

Sources said the local residents of Surankote, who once held Qureshi in high esteem for his legal skills, have turned against him as they believed that the civilians killed by the Lashkar cadre at his behest were innocent.

 

By an EXCLUSIVE arrangement with Mid Day, Mumbai

 

 

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