|Monday, February 7, 2000,
9 militants killed in J&K
"Suicide attacks publicity
Shah's escape: 5 officials sacked
Militants given fake identity
NC for autonomy, not
15 drug shops closed down
9 militants killed in J&K
SRINAGAR, Feb 6 (PTI) Nine militants, including a leader of a Pakistan-based militant outfit, were killed while five members of a family and two Army men were injured in blasts detonated by militants in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening.
The security forces detected a powerful improvised explosive device (IED), seized a big cache of arms and ammunition by smashing a few militant hideouts and arrested a militant allegedly involved in a number of explosions in the state during the period, an official spokesman said here today.
In a joint operation conducted by the state police and the security forces, a self-styled divisional commander-cum-coordinator of the Pakistan-based Harkat-e-Jehad-e-Islami was killed at Paryari village in Doda district last night.
The killing was being considered as a major blow to the outfit in particular and to militancy in the district in general, the spokesman said.
He said an AK assault rifle, its two magazines, a grenade, a wireless set and Rs 5,000 were seized from the slain militant.
Four foreign mercenaries were killed when Rashtriya Rifles troops launched a "seek-and-destroy" operation in a forest in Poonch district yesterday, he said.
In another encounter in the same district, the spokesman said the security forces shot dead a militant and recovered a rifle and some ammunition. His accomplices escaped and a search for them had been launched.
He said an activist of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Rashid Ali of Multan in Pakistan, was killed in a joint operation carried out by the BSF and the CRPF in Brinwar Behak in the Chadoora area of Badgam district late last night.
Two missiles, two grenades, 36 grenades and some utensils were recovered from him. The area of operation had been extended to neutralise the militants reportedly present in the area.
An Afghan militant was killed in an encounter with BSF personnel at Gund-e-Check village near Kralpora on the outskirts of Srinagar last night.
However, his two accomplices slipped out of the security cordon and reached Kralpora where they knocked at a house for shelter. When refused, they hurled a grenade into the house wounding five inmates, the spokesman said.
The injured Abdul Rahim Rather, his wife Jameela, son Abdul Qayoom and grandchildren Owais (6) and Afshana (8) were admitted to hospital.
The spokesman said BSF personnel also killed a suspected foreign militant during a search operation at Trangli-Dharmandi in Udhampur district last evening and seized an AK assault rifle from him.
Two Army personnel were seriously injured when militants set off a landmine at Manasbal on the outskirts of Srinagar last evening, the spokesman said.
He said the militants detonated the landmine when the troops were on a routine patrol in the area.
The spokesman said a major mishap was averted today when a police patrol noticed a powerful IED planted by militants on the main road near Idgah in downtown Srinagar.
The bomb disposal squad was called and the device was neutralised.
This is for the third
consecutive day that militants managed to plant IEDs on
the main road in the Idgah area. Four blasts rocked the
area on Friday and an IED was neutralised on the main
"Suicide attacks publicity stunt"
SRINAGAR, Feb 6 (PTI) A top BSF official has said "suicide attacks" by foreign mercenaries on security camps are nothing but a publicity gimmick to show the presence of militants in the Kashmir valley.
The IG of the Border Security Force, Mr K. Vijay Kumar, told reporters here yesterday that "the militants have realised the news value of such gimmicks and are trying to remain in news for the maximum time. To show their presence and project their so-called heroism, they are carrying out stray suicide attacks".
Accusing the Pakistan military of training "suicide squads", he said: "We have noted that some of the militants are professionally trained and that is why they are carrying out sensational attacks on security camps".
He said the security forces had launched special operations against militants to prevent recurring "suicide attacks" on camps. His force had down up a plan "to neutralise the militants before they attack".
Describing the situation in Kashmir as "well under control", he said the recent attacks by militants were not in any way "extraordinary".
"Suicide attacks are not as alarming as they are being projected to be. We are trying to put the brakes on the attacks. They are not new in the history of insurgency," he added.
Shah's escape: 5 officials
SRINAGAR, Feb 6 The Jammu and Kashmir Government has ordered the dismissal of five officials of the local Central Jail in connection with the escape of Ghulam Rasool Shah, a top militant who gave the slip to the police from SMHS Hospital.
Those dismissed included Javed Masood Fazili, Deputy Superintendent of the jail, M.Y. Dar, Assistant Superintendent, and the dental surgeon, Dr Mohd. Ayub. Two policemen, Head Constable Ghulam Nabi and constable Tariq Ahmad, who escorted the escaped militant and five others to SMHS Hospital, have also been dismissed.
A former "chief commander" of the Jamait-ul-Mujahideen, Shah, alias "General" Abdullah, who had been lodged in the jail since June, 1997, gave the slip to the escort party at SMHS Hospital here on Wednesday afternoon. Shah, along with five others, was taken to the hospital for treatment after being referred to it by the Medical Superintendent of the jail. Another detainee, also a militant who tried to escape, was nabbed by the police and the security forces from Government Medical College, adjacent to SMHS Hospital.
The IG Kashmir Range, Dr Ashok Bhan, had earlier ordered an enquiry into the incident of escape. The probe officer, Mr K. Rajendra, is yet to submit his final report. He told The Tribune that it would be submitted "shortly".
Militants given fake identity
JAMMU, Feb 6 Pakistan-trained militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir are being provided fake identity cards to ensure easy movement of militants. They are being given fake indentity cards of different security agencies, especially that of the Indian Army and the BSF.
Official sources said during some encounters militants manage to kill some security personnel and they took away their identity cards. These were sent across the border and their replicas were prepared.
This strategy, has been formulated to allow militants a free passage from one district to another.
Already, the circulation of fake Indian currency notes in Jammu and Kashmir had created a new problem. Militants are being funded with these fake Indian currency notes which they utilise for buying essential commodities and other goods. These fake currency notes were being used to lure surrendered militants and other youths to join militant outfits. In several cases "hefty sums of money" have been paid in advance to woo local youths. During the last six months more than 1,000 local youths in various parts of the state have been won over. Some of them have been sent across for arms training and others were being trained in the handling of arms and explosives in camps situated in higher reaches of Rajouri, Kupwara and Baramula.
Official source said several groups of local youths had been sent to Afghanistan for arms training and for learning operations of Afghan guerrillas. Pakistani agencies had instructed their local agents to increase financial assistance to several hundred madrasas, existing in different parts of the state, so that the policy of "catching them young" could bear quick results.
Government reports said several ISI agents operating in Jammu and Kashmir attended a meeting held recently in Haji Pir belt overlooking Uri and Poonch to discuss the future strategy. The meeting was reportedly addressed by two senior Pakistani army officials. It was decided at the meeting that the militants should step up attacks on security pickets and posts and bank on rifle grenades and rocket launchers.
ISI agents were also told to traget political leaders those surrendered militants who refused to rejoin militant outfits and others who created hurdles in the ongoing "jehad."
Another decision taken at the meeting related to funding individuals and other seaparatist groups for purchasing land and houses in various parts of Hindu dominated Jammu region so that over the years rebels could find safe shelters while operating in the winter capital.
These activities of militants have resulted in deterioration in the security environment in the Kashmir valley and in parts of the Jammu region. One senior BSF officer said his forces were overstretched.
In this connection be explained that till the middle of 1998 there were 18 BSF battalions in Srinagar. By the middle of last year the strength was reduced to 16 battalions and at present there were only 11 battalions out of which nearly two battalions were deployed on the outskirts of the Srinagar city.
The officer said shortage of security forces had allowed a chance to militants to resurface in areas which had been sanitised by 1997. He said those battalions of troops which were withdrawan from the valley during the Kargil conflict had not been sent back because manning of scores of forward posts in Kargil and Dras had warranted posting of additional battalions of soldiers to that area.
During the last six
months various security agancies, including the local
police, have been pressing for the deployment of
additional forces to Jammu and Kashmir but the Union Home
Ministry has expressed its inability to send more forces
because of law and order problem in other states,
especially in the north east region.
NC for autonomy, not azadi: Farooq
JAMMU, Feb 6 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah says his party National Conference stands for autonomy and not "azadi" (liberation) for the State.
"We are demanding autonomy within the framework of the countrys Constitution. This will further strengthen the bond between the State and the Centre," Dr Abdullah told reporters here last evening.
"Azadi" and other such slogans were meant for separatist leaders like Shabir Shah and not for Farooq Abdullah, he said, adding that his partys demand was confined only to autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.
On the recent statement of Works Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar on autonomy, the Chief Minister said "I have not read the statement and if there is any such statement, we have nothing to do with it."
Sagar had said the Centre had two options either give automony or "azadi" to the State.
Dr Abdullah rejected demands to split the State saying he was very much aware as to who were behind the moves.
Panthers Party President Bhim Singh favoured trifurcation of the state conferring separate statehoods on Kashmir and Jammu and union territory status on Ladakh.
Grievances of the people of these regions could be addressed only by trifurcating the State, he told a meeting of prominent citizens here last evening.
15 drug shops closed down
SRINAGAR, Feb 6 (PTI) As many as 15 drug shops were closed down in Kashmir yesterday following raids by a team of Drug and Food Control Organisation (DFCO), an official statement said here today.
Headed by the Deputy Controller, DFCO and accompanied by the Executive Magistrate, the team ordered the closure of 10 retail and wholesale shops in Srinagar. The shops were being run without drug licences, the statement said.
Another DFCO team raided various drug shops in Magam in Budgam district of central Kashmir and found five shops being run without licences which were ordered to be closed down under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, the statement said.
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