Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 45

The home of Nazran police chief Dzhabrail Kastoev came under on November 29. Ingushetian Interior Minister Beslan Khamkhoev told Interfax that rebels fired from assault rifles and grenade launchers at Kastoev’s house in Ingushetia’s Nazranovsky district. “The house was fired at from the local cemetery,” Khamkhoev said. “There have been no casualties. The house was slightly damaged.” Commando units were taking part in an operation to find the militants involved in the attack, Khamkhoev added. “Police units, including riot police, and interior troops’ special-purpose units were put on alert and joined the operation,” he said. Khamkhoev linked the attack on the Nazran police chief’s house to recent police operations carried to locate members of illegal armed groups. “Clearly, it was a failed retaliation attempt,” he said, adding that there had already been several attempts to kill the Nazran police chief.

Kavkazky Uzel reported on November 26 that Ingushetia’s People’s Assembly had held a closed a session in the republic’s capital, Magas, on the issue of introducing law and order and observing human rights. Those who attended, including representatives of the republic’s law enforcement agencies, condemned armed attacks on law enforcement personnel and civilians, but members of parliament also expressed concern about the human rights situation in the republic. An unnamed participant in the meeting said that the legislators complained that so-called “special operations” are often accompanied by human rights violations and that citizens are often detained for no reason. “The participants in the meeting noted that about 30 people have been detained and taken away in Ingushetia in 2005 alone,” the participant told Kavkazy Uzel. “Two of them were found dead later, the fate and whereabouts of ten people have not been established yet. Only 11 of the detainees have been charged. The members of parliament put forward several suggestions and recommendations that they said will help improve the current situation. Based on the results of the meeting, a corresponding draft resolution will be prepared in the near future.”

Meanwhile, reported on November 30 that ethnic Ingush inhabitants of the village of Dachnoe in the disputed Prigorodny district of North Ossetia held a demonstration protesting the disappearance and kidnapping of people and demanding that local authorities take all possible measures to ensure security for residents. According to the website, the demonstrators demanded that the North Ossetian police conduct patrols in Prigorodny district villages jointly with police from neighboring Ingushetia. “Practically every week people disappear and are kidnapped, various provocations are organized, but the local authorities close their eyes to this,” a Dachnoe resident identified only as “S” told Kavkazy Uzel correspondent Timur Khamkhoev. “We immediately report all such incidents to the law enforcement organs, however real steps to identify and apprehend the criminals are not taken. As of today, not a single crime against an Ingush has been solved nor have those guilty been punished. We feel unprotected by the authorities; how much longer will this continue?”

Ingush living in the Prigorodny district are particularly alarmed by the appearance of automobiles without license plates, which have been driving unhindered along the streets of the district’s villages recently. According to “S,” local police have paid no attention to this. “Not long ago in the village of Dachnoe they attempted to abduct a nine-year-old boy in one of these cars,” he said. “It is the only case in which the victim managed to break loose from the grip of the kidnappers. But where is the guarantee that something similar won’t happen tomorrow to our children?” According to the Nazran branch of the Memorial human rights center, four residents of North Ossetia’s Prigorodny district, including two Dachnoe inhabitants, have been abducted during the last two months.