Wednesday, April 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BDR bid to occupy BOP in Assam
Minister to visit Indo-Bangla border

Agartala, April 24
Close on the heels of the killing of 16 BSF men, the Bangladesh Rifles made an abortive bid to occupy a border outpost in Karimganj district of Assam, but were repulsed after the Indian border guards opened fire, a top BSF official said today.

The BDR along with people in “plain clothes, who could be villagers”, advanced to the Lathitilla border outpost in the district yesterday, BSF DIG (G) S. Basumatary told reporters here.

As the BSF challenged them and opened fire, the BDR and others with them beat a hasty retreat, the DIG said.

He said maximum alert was sounded along all border outposts on the 1286-km Indo-Bangla border in the Tripura-Cachar-Mizoram area after the BDR’s abortive bid.

The BSF also went on high alert at Muhurichar in Belonia subdivision of South Tripura district, where the force and the BDR had exchanged fire on a number of occasions earlier over the possession of some grazing ground, he added.

Meanwhile, taking note of reports of the deployment of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) along the Indo-Bangladesh border, India has reminded Dhaka of the existing institutional mechanisms, saying that they “must not be allowed to fail again’’.

Amid reports of troop buildup by Bangladesh along the borders with India in Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, Minister of State for Home I. D. Swami will visit the Assam-Meghalaya-Bangladesh border tomorrow for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the wake of the brutal killing of 16 BSF jawans by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) last week.

Mr Swami who leaves here tomorrow morning will return on Thursday after reviewing the overall situation and interacting with officials and jawans of the BSF.

He will also have a meeting with Meghalaya Chief Minister E. K. Mawlong to decide on erection of a memorial to the 16 BSF jawans who were seized, tortured and killed in cold blood by the BDR.

He will submit a report to Home Minister L. K. Advani after his return.

Although officials here did not confirm the troop buildup by Bangladesh, reports said Bangladesh had begun the buildup along its borders with Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. TNS, UNI


Two ITBP men die in blast
Unified command reviews situation
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 24
Three security personnel and a child were among six persons killed and 24 injured in separate incidents of violence in Kashmir since last evening. A militant of the Lashkar-e-Toiba was apprehended and 35 kg of explosives were recovered from him.

An SI and a driver of the ITBP were killed and five of their colleagues injured when suspected militants triggered an IED in their vehicle at Bidder in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. A child, who was among 15 civilians injured in the incident, later succumbed to his injuries.

Giving details of the incident, the police said as a police party and ITBP men were picking up the bodies, militants opened fire which was returned. In the blast and the subsequent firing, 15 civilians were injured. Ten were discharged after first-aid. Two police personnel were injured in the exchange of fire.

Khursheed Ahmad Ganai was killed when an IED blew off his vehicle at Soibugh Budgam yesterday. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition where he succumbed to his injuries, the police said.

Unidentified militants kidnapped and later killed Azad Ahmad Lone in Chuntimulla village of Bandipore in Baramula district. He was kidnapped from his house last evening. His body was recovered this morning.

Unidentified militants shot dead Bashir Ahmad Bhat and injured his wife Shamima when they intruded into their house at Tumpora in Handwara area of Kupwara district last night.

Alarmed at the sudden rise in militancy in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre’s offer for talks to various organisations, the unified command held a meeting here today.

Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah presided over the meeting which was attended, among others, by Home Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitly, Chief of the Staff, Northern Command, Lt-Gen Gurpreet Singh, GOC 15 Corps, Lt-Gen J. R. Mukherjee, Director-General of Police Ashok Kumar Suri, IG of Police Dr Ashok Bhan, the IG, BSF, Mr B. N. Chatervedi, the IG, CRPF, Mr P.C. Joshi and senior ITBP and state and central intelligence officers.

A BSF jawan was killed and three injured when two bombs, planted by militants, exploded in Udhampur district today, official sources said.

An improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a road went off when a BSF patrol party was moving from Gool area to Kalimatha post, the sources said.

One BSF jawan identified as head constable Khamanand was killed, they said, adding that three others were injured.

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