In Kashmir, hosting terrorists to cost house owners dearly

at 12:32 am

Srinagar: House owners found willfully providing shelter to terrorists in Kashmir now stand to lose immovable properties, according to new rules being implemented which are necessary to penalise those supporting Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police, a few days back, started the process of attaching immovable properties “used for purpose of terrorism”.

In capital Srinagar district, the police identified more than 12 houses for attachment, saying these were used for the purpose of terrorism in 2020 and 2021.

At the same time, the Police has issued a clarification, saying innocent people, whose premises may be used by terrorists by force, won’t be affected by this move.

“Honest and innocent citizens don’t have to worry a bit about the implementation of #law regarding action against house owners in whose house #terrorists come to hide at gun point,” the Kashmir Zone Police tweeted. 

“Law already provides protection to such persons and police will go by law,” it said.

“Police is also aware that agents of #terrorists and separatist leaders from time to time cleverly push terrorists in to innocent citizens house to damage them. @JmuKmrPolice  has the skill and knowledge to segregate the chaff from grains. But law will not spare the rest,” the police said in another tweet. 

The new tough law has been warranted because of shelter provided willingly by several people in Kashmir to terrorists, making it easier for the anti-national elements to continue to carry out their nefarious activities, like terrorism.

“The decision regarding enforcement of these sections of law is due to the fact that many supporters of terrorism are wilfully providing harbour and safe havens to terrorists who conduct attacks on civilians and security forces in Srinagar City,” the police said in a statement.

The police said it is “well aware of the difference between wilful harbouring of terrorists and one done under duress.”

It explained that, “The attachments being done are for properties where it has been proved beyond doubt that the house owner/member had wilfully provided shelter/ harboured terrorists, in most cases for days together and that it was not done under any duress whatsoever.”

It added that the attachment proceedings always come after investigation procedures in any case are at advanced stage.

“Out of ignorance, Some persons are trying to portray it as some kind of forced enforcement but it is a fact that Sections 2(g) and 25 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 have been in vogue since decades and these are not some recent additions as claimed by some rumour mongers,” the police said.

In case of ‘forceful entry’ of militants into any house, the house owner or any other member claiming duress should timely inform the authorities about the same, as many provisions for hiding identity of such informant are available under law, it said.

“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,” it said