|J A M M U C
& CK A S H M I R
Sunday, November 14, 1999
unhappy over troop withdrawal
J&K to wipe out terrorism:
Centre exhorted to be bold on
12 ultras among 18 killed
No threat to tourists: government
Farooq for cancer detection
unhappy over troop withdrawal
JAMMU, Nov 13 In spite of the recent stepup in militancy-related violence and strong opposition by the Army authorities and the state government more than 20 battalions of paramilitary forces are being withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the battalions are on the move in spite of protests from the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah.
During the last three months the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir has deteriorated warranting deployment of additional security forces for dealing with the militants, especially the well-equipped foreign mercenaries. In the light of these developments the state government. the police and the Army authorities had made repeated requests to the Centre to send at least 20 additional battalions of the paramilitary forces to the state.
Instead of sending additional battalions the Union Home Ministry has ordered the withdrawal of 20 battalions of the paramilitary forces. When the state government lodged a protest it was informed that 29 battalions of paramilitary forces had been sent to Jammu and Kashmir between May and June to cover the areas from where troops had been withdrawn and deployed on the LoC in the wake of the Kargil conflict. At that stage also the state government had demanded the deployment of 40 additional battalions because 58 battalions of troops had been withdrawn from within the state for deployment on the border. The demand was, however, turned down on the plea that the Centre had commitments in other states in view of the Lok Sabha elections.
The Union Home Ministry conveyed to the state government that since the troops had been redeployed for counters insurgency operations and the Lok Sabha poll process had been completed 20 of the 29 battalions of the paramilitary forces were to be withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir.
Senior state government functionaries are of the opinion that the Union Home Ministry has not been in a position to study the ground realities when the militants escalated their subversive activities by targeting vital government installations and security personnel.
The police authorities admit the there are vast "grey" areas in the state where the militants have resurfaced. As a result of the paucity of security forces and on account of political leaders' convenience, who are said to have allegedly buckled under the pressure of militants a large number of security pickets have been removed from around Srinagar city allowing an opportunity for the militants to sneak into the summer capital and other towns. The state additional forces to re-establish these pickets not only in Srinagar but in other towns also to prevent Pak infiltrators from sneaking into the inhabited areas from where it will be difficult to flush them out.
Senior BSF officers however, maintain that their men are under stress as they have to maintain a round the clock vigil. They said had there had been adequate manpower things would have not been quite difficult for the jawans.
Senior government functionaries referred to a recent meeting of "field commanders" of several militant outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and HUJ, where a decision was taken that militants camping in hilly belts should descend to villages and merge with the local people in small groups. This has caused panic among the security forces as any operations for flushing out the militants from the village can result in civilian casualties also.
In view of this development the state government and the BSF, CRPF and the ITBP want additional forces to for the state. The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, has convened a meeting in Delhi for a major review of the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government has decided to renew its demand for the deployment of additional forces.
The demand assumes importance in the light of reports regarding Pak agencies' concentration on the 187 km long International Border for pushing a large number of militants into the state. At least three to five militants are said to have sneaked sneak in the Jammu sector from across the IB per day.
NEW DELHI, Nov 13 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today said that despite post-Kargil escalation of militancy in the state, his government was determined to wipe out terrorism from the state. "Pakistan can never win in an open battle with India and that is why it is resorting to proxy war," Dr Abdullah told reporters here after inaugurating the seventh Indian Golf and Resort Expo.
He said Pakistan was trying to whip up militancy in the state by sending in mercenaries. "One can see that during the encounters now a days, only Pakistani or Afghan nationals are killed," he added.
"Security forces are tightening grip around the neck of militants, who have now started hitting soft targets," Dr Abdullah said while referring to Thursday nights train blast.
He said the world had now become increasingly critical of terrorism at all fronts. "Even during the recent United Nations General Assembly more time is devoted to discussion on the growing menace of terrorism around the globe."
About the fundamentalist approach adopted by Pakistans new military ruler Gen Parvez Musharraf by allowing Lashker-e-Toiba to hold a convention, Abdullah said "he is doing it for his own survival at least in his own country as Musharraf has been rejected by almost all the foreign countries".
Asserting that Gen Musharraf would ultimately cut a sorry figure, Dr Abdullah said the money invested by Pakistan in promoting terrorism could have been used to wipe out poverty and meeting basic needs of the Pakistani people.
"The policy of escalating tension in the sub-continent adopted by Pakistan will lead them to bankruptcy and sooner than later it will go the way Afghanistan has gone," Dr Abdullah said.
Centre exhorted to be bold on
SRINAGAR, Nov 13 Stating that Jammu and Kashmir fell victim to the 50-year-long Indo-Pak confrontation, the CPM here today appealed to the Centre to take "bold initiatives to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue" for solution of the problem.
This appeal was made at a convention of the party held at Tagore Hall here this afternoon which was attended by more than 500 workers from different areas of the valley. The general secretary of the party's state unit, Mr Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, MLA, also said the growing confrontationist attitude of the two neighbouring countries would not yield any results. He said there was immediate need for a united front by all political parties for an "end to the problems".
Mr Tarigami expressed concern about the "misdeeds" of the National Conference government over the past three years. He blamed both the state and central governments for the "present problems" in Kashmir, adding that these governments adopted "wrong policies". He warned that in case the Centre and the state government continued to stick to such policies there would be a "disastrous end" and the people in general would be the sufferers.
Lashing out at the "wrong policies" of the state government, Mr Tarigami alleged the National Conference government did not enjoy the mandate of the people. He said the government was relying on the surrendered militants and the task force or special operations group of the police, who harassed the common man in the valley. Expressing concern over the "failures" of the state government, Mr Tarigami said there was need for a "joint platform of all political parties to explore the misdeeds of the present government."
Mr Tarigami also urged the government to release the Hurriyat Conference leaders and senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah who have been taken into custody recently. Some of these leaders are facing detention under the Public Safety Act. The CPM leader said dialogue with all political leaders, including the separatists and the mainstream parties, would lead to a solution of the problems of the people.
The CPM leader questioned as to why these leaders were held soon after the recently held parliamentary elections. He claimed that the boycott call of the APHC "suited the NC government" which had lost popular support. He added that even the Election Commissioner of India had declared in Srinagar before the elections that boycotting of elections was a democratic right. Mr Tarigami held that the arrest of APHC leaders after the elections was well-planned.
The convention also
expressed concern over the economic hardships faced by
the common man. The convention passed resolutions on
autonomy, peasants' problems, employees' discontent,
unemployment, price rise, democratic and human rights and
among 18 killed
SRINAGAR, Nov 13 Twelve militants and four securitymen were among 18 persons killed, while two armymen were wounded in separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening, a Defence spokesman said today.
Five militants and an Army jawan were killed, while two jawans were injured in an encounter at Gail Bal Gali in Baramula district, the spokesman said. The gunbattle which started last evening was still on.
He said the encounter took place after troops of 13 Rashtriya Rifles launched an operation last evening on information about the presence of militants in the area.
Four militants were killed in another encounter at Rinji near Bandipora today, he said, adding a security personnel was also killed in the action. A big quantity of arms and ammunition was seized from the site.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police and security forces shot dead a foreign mercenary Mohammad Arif of Rawalpindi (Pakistan) during a fire fight at the Watsar forest area in Kupwara district of North Kashmir yesterday, the spokesman said.
He said two ultras were killed in two separate encounters with the security forces in Poonch in the Jammu region last evening.
Two Border Security Force personnel died fighting ultras in Udhampur district of the Jammu region last evening, he said, adding the battle was continuing.
Meanwhile, the police here also seized a high calibre rocket missile weighing about 35 kg from a hideout. With this seizure, the police claims to have prevented heavy damage and loss of life here as the rocket type missile has the capacity of causing heavy damage and razing the ground buildings. A police officer told TNS here the rocket type missile was aimed at targeting the building like camps of the security forces, police and the Civil Secretariat. The militants have here recently fired grenades on the Civil Secretariat on two occasions killing at least four employees and injuring several others.
A police spokesman said here that the Special Operations Group (SOG) on a specific information raided a hide-out of militants in Barthana Parimpora near fruit mandi on the outskirts of the city yesterday. The seizures included the rocket missile, two remote control devices, three metres of fuse wire and an LPG cylinder fitted with led.
In another major success, the SOG recovered a cash of Rs 7 lakh from two militants of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen from a hide-out here the other day. The two are being questioned, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, life was affected today due to a one-day strike call given by Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) in protest against alleged security force excesses in the valley.
Shops and business establishments in Srinagar and some other major towns of the valley remained closed.
Traffic was also off the road as Kashmir Passenger Transport Welfare Association (KPTWA) supported the strike call.
Work in government and semi-government offices, banks and post offices was affected. Educational institutions, government ration depots and petrol pumps also remained closed.
A spokesman of the KPTWA said vehicles were off the road in protest against restriction on traffic movement from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. between Sonawar to Pantha Chowk following the recent militant attack on cantonment, killing seven Army personnel including a major.
JAMMU, Nov 13 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir Government today clarified that tourists visiting Gulmarg and its surroundings had no threat from Pakistani shelling from across the line of control.
"There was no danger to the tourists visiting Gulmarg and its immediate surroundings," an official statement here said.
The shelling which was on in Lienmarg was over seven hour trek from Gulmarg and there has been no shelling near the area frequented by tourists in Gulmarg, the statement said.
JAMMU, Nov 13 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said there is need for setting up cancer detection centres in every district of the state.
Dr Abdullah told the 8th annual conference of the Association of Gynaecological Oncologists of India here yesterday that due to lack of facilities in the rural areas, cancer was detected at the advanced stage in most of the cases.
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