NEW DELHI: India Thursday charged Pakistan with “motivating and engineering” kidnappings in the volatile northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

An official spokesman said here India’s suspicion in this regard had been reinforced by the three alleged militant Muslim Janbaz force kidnappers of two Swedish engineers holding out new threats to the lives of the Swedes in interviews to Pakistan papers across the border The Swedes had been kidnapped from the Kashmir valley on March 31.

The Pakistani English daily “The News” camed two interviews with the alleged kidnappers Rustam Jehangir and Ashraf (all aliases) on April 27 and 30 in which the kidnappers warned of dire consequences to the two engineers if India did not allow UN teams to visit Kashmir

“The News” which is the sister publication of the daily Jung said the interview was held on the line of actual control and in Muzaffarabad.

The spokesman said the interviews by the alleged kidnappers of The Muslim Janbaz Force (MJF) meant that they had visited Pakistan occupied Kashmir and spoken to journalists there “This has reinforced suspicions expressed here that kidnappings are being organized motivated and engineered from across the border” the spokesman said

He reiterated the government’s hope that the Swedish engineers would be released early and unharmed. Some militant outfits in the state have said the kidnappings had given a bad name to the militants.

In a recent dispatch The London Times had called the kidnapping of the two Swedes a criminal act. The paper said “the Kashmir militants are losing much of their attraction and popularity because of intimidation of the local population”

Fresh reports have come in of increasing differences between rival militant factions in the trouble torn state. The spokesman said the reports indicated that rival factions were indulging in kidnappings and counter kidnappings of each other’s activists.

The reports said supporters of the Hizbul Mujahideen set on fire several houses in downtown Srinagar the summer capital of the state near the residence of the “Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front” KLF)chief Javed Ahmed Mir alias Nalka and had also threatened the family members of the i re ad commander in chief of the organization Hameed Sheikh.

The spokesman quoting reports received from police headquarters in Srinagar said the entire shopian town Thursday observed a strike against the atrocities committed by the Hezbul Mujahideen militants He said threats had been held out to residents of Srinagar who had participated Wednesday in a demonstration against Pakistan and Hezbul Mujahideen.

The spokesman added that the reports spoke of fighting between Hezbul Mujahideen cadres and the Muslim JanBaz force in the border district of Kupwara in which one militant was killed.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1991