Tuesday, September 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

17 rockets fired in Rajouri
Joint operation to nab ultras
From M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Sept 25 — The Army, the BSF and the police have launched a joint operation to track down militants who had fired 17 rockets on police and Army posts on the outskirts of Rajouri town last night.

Militants, taking advantage of tall maize crop plants, had sufficient time to hide themselves in the fields during the day and when it was dark they launched rocket attacks from different directions. All 17 rockets exploded, but there was no damage because they did not hit the target.

The police authorities said all rockets fired by the militants fell short of the target by 300 to 400 metres. They admitted that the Darhal police post, Army’s EME ordnance battalion and other vital government and defence installations were their target.

Tension and panic gripped the people not only in the areas where the rockets exploded but in Rajouri town also. In many areas, people came out of their houses and assembled in groups to face the situation. The rockets exploded with deafening sounds and people mistook it for a Pakistani attack on the town. The police and Army authorities patrolled the areas and infused confidence among the people, informing them that no damage was caused to government or private property.

Soon after the explosions, BJP leaders in Rajouri demanded that the town and its adjoining areas be handed over to the Army for dealing firmly with the militants who had caused a scare among the people.

Defence Ministry sources said that several columns of the security forces moved to the nearby maize fields and mountain heights to nab or eliminate militants. The sources said that tall maize plants were providing a cover to the militants who usually hide during the day and carry out their subversive attacks in the night.

The sources said that maize fields affected the mobility of the security forces and all possible caution was to be taken while carrying out operations against the militants to avoid getting trapped in ambushes usually laid by them. They said that within the next 10 days the maize crop would be harvested and that would help the security forces to mount an offensive against the militants.


Hizb renews warning on census

SRINAGAR, Sept 25 (PTI) — The pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen today renewed its warning to the Jammu and Kashmir Government not to go ahead with census operation which it said was a “futile exercise”.

The renewed warning comes barely three days after the government announced that it has worked out a strategy to complete census operations in the state despite threats by militant outfits.

Terming the census operation as a “futile exercise”, a Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman, in a statement to the vernacular Press, said, “Hizb asks the selected bureaucrats, who have made census a point of prestige, what mechanism they have formulated to register those persons living across the border as migrants and others who have gone underground.” 

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