|Wednesday, June 28, 2000,
2 militants killed while planting
Parties denounce J & K
2 militants killed while planting IED
JAMMU, June 27 (PTI) Two ultras were killed and the same number injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off during planting on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Banihal area of Doda district early today, defence sources said here.
A group of nine militants were busy in planting some IEDs to blow up an Army convoy which was to pass through the highway this morning in Banihal, when one IED went off, blowing up four militants around 0200 hours today, sources said.
Two militants were killed on the spot, while two others, who were injured, managed to escape towards the Pirpanjal ranges, the sources said, adding that two AK rifles and some ammunition were seized from the spot.
Troops have launched an operation to track down the injured militants who managed to escape, the sources said, adding that no one had been apprehended so far.
Meanwhile, a major tragedy was averted by Army troops on the Jammu-Rajouri highway, when they detected and defused an IED planted by militants on the road in the Narian area today, the sources said, adding that this led to disruption of traffic for two hours.
SRINAGAR (UNI): Life remained paralysed for the second day on Tuesday in the valley on a three-day general strike call given by some local organisations to protest against alleged custodial deaths and other human rights violations.
Shops and business establishments here and some other major towns of the valley remained closed and traffic was off the road. However, some vehicles were seen plying on different routes in the Civil Lines and uptown.
Work in government offices, banks, post offices and government ration depots was badly affected while educational institutions also remained closed. Work in courts was affected as lawyers and petition writers also stayed away.
Parties denounce J & K
JAMMU, June 27 While the BJP displayed its anger against the adoption of the motion seeking restoration of greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir by setting ablaze the effigies of the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, here today, the Gujjar leaders described it as part of a "sinister move" on the part of the National Conference to deprive the ethnic community of the Scheduled Tribe status.
Several BJP workers took to the streets and shouted anti-autonomy slogans and burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister. They threatened to launch agitation if the Centre turned down the demand for granting greater autonomy to the state.
The BJP leaders said, "we are for greater integration" with India and greater autonomy would widen the distance between Jammu and Delhi constitutionally.
The Gujjar United Front held an emergency meeting here today. At the meeting the president and general secretary of the front, Mr Anwar Chowdhary and Mr Shah Mohd. Chowdhary, denounced the Assembly motion.
In a resolution adopted by the front at the meeting urged the Centre to turn down the demand for autonomy right now. The resolution said the autonomy Committee Report had been silent on Article 338 and 342 of the Constitution of India under which the Gujjars in Jammu and Kashmir had been granted the Scheduled Tribe status.
The front resolution said the demand for greater autonomy, if accepted by the Centre, would ruin the interests of 20 lakh persons belonging to Gujjar and Bakerwal ethnic groups.
The Congress has been highly vocal about what they termed "ill intentions" of the Central and the state governments. Congress leaders, including Mr Mangat Ram Sharma, said the adoption of the autonomy resolution by the National Conference was in violation of the Sheikh-Indira accord of 1975. Mr Mangat Ram Sharma urged the Prime Minister to sack the Union Minister of State for Commerce, Mr Omar Adbullah, and dismiss Farooq led government as an acceptance of autonomy demand would strengthen separatists in the state.
Another Congress leader, Mr Raman Bhalla, has been organising protest rallies in Poonch. He has launched a campaign against the demand for autonomy and has started mustering support to it from people belonging to all communities.
HOSHIARPUR: Reacting sharply to Jammu and Kashmir Government decision to pass a resolution which approved the state autonomy Committee report Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, MP, stated in a press note issued here on Tuesday that Mr Farooq Abdullah had raised the autonomy issue at a wrong time and out of frustration. The raising of autonomy issue at this stage was like adding salt to the wounds of those who had lost their kith and kin during recent violence. He further added that more powers should be given to the states but not at the cost of sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
Mr Channi criticised
Vajpayee-led NDA government for adopting a soft attitude
towards J & K. He said if effective necessary steps
were not taken immediately then other states would also
start following the J & K. He alleged that Mr
Vajpayee was proving to be a weak Prime Minister.
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