Saturday, August 11, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

12 devotees hurt in blasts

Srinagar, August 10
One person was killed and 24 others, including 12 devotees of annual urs of Nanga Bazi, injured as militants triggered four grenade explosions in north and central Kashmir since last night, official sources said today.

The devotees were injured at Malangam in north Kashmir last night when militants threw a grenade at them, they said adding the injured were rushed to hospital where the condition of some of them was stated to be serious.

In another incident, one person was killed and nine others injured in two separate grenade explosions triggered by militants at Narbal and Chandiloora on the Srinagar-Gulmarg road today, the sources said, adding the grenades were aimed at the security forces patrolling the areas.

A cobbler lost his life and five others including a woman and a minor girl were injured in the explosion at Narbal, while four civilians were hurt in the Chandiloora blast, they said.

Meanwhile, three persons were injured when a grenade hurled by militants at a police picket at Pakherpora in central Kashmir fell short of the target and exploded on the road last night.

Meanwhile, the notification declaring districts of Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Poonch, Rajouri and Doda as disturbed areas was issued this evening.

These districts have been declared as disturbed areas in exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.

Districts of Srinagar, Anantnag, Pulwama, Budgam, Baramula and Kupwara stand already declared as disturbed areas.

The notification said the districts had been declared as disturbed areas as the Governor is of the opinion that the state is in such a disturbed condition that the use of armed forces in the aid of civil power is necessary to prevent the activities involving terrorists acts directed towards striking terror in the people. The Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet had last night decided to declare all six districts of the Jammu region disturbed in view of the recent militants attacks in Doda district and at Jammu railway station.

JAMMU: Curfew was lifted in Bhaderwah town on Friday while it continued in the adjoining town of Kishtwar of Doda district in Jammu division, an official spokesman said here.

The district administration decided to lift the curfew in Bhaderwah with the improvement in situation, he said adding there was no relaxation given in Kishtwar as tension prevailed in some parts of the town.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements had been made for the annual week-long Machail Yatra. PTI


Kashmir Talibanisation begins
M. L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 10
The Pakistani army experts are engaged in surveying the areas on this side of the border for finding safe routes for heli-dropping militants along with weapons and explosives.

According to official sources, several helipads have been built close to the border across Uri, Kupwara, Poonch, Rajouri and Akhnoor for carrying militants in helicopters to be dropped in the Indian border villages in Jammu and Kashmir.

The sources said following strengthening of the border management scores of infiltrators were killed in Kupwara, Poonch and Rajouri in recent weeks. This had forced the Pakistani agencies to change the pattern of pushing into the state militants trained in handling of sophisticated weapons. The Pakistani agencies would make an attempt at dropping infiltrators from the helicopters and it may take a few minutes for each sortie to complete the exercise provided the helicopters are not hit by the Indian gunners.

In addition to this, the Pakistani agencies have provided latest communication gadgets to the field commanders of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jash-e-Mohammad. In order to increase the range of wireless sets the agencies have helped the rebels in installing communication centres in different parts of the state, especially in the forest belts. Official sources confirmed reports that the communication sets in the hands of militants have a range up to 150 km.

And in at least nine out of 14 districts in the Jammu region and the Kashmir valley communication control stations have been set up to facilitate insurgents to communicate with their patrons across the border and send audio and video cassettes on the pro-Pak activities in the state.

While the militants plan for bigger strikes against the soft targets, they have also taken strict measures for Islamisation of the Kashmir valley. Panic gripped the summer capital when two female teenagers were hurt in acid throwing incidents. The rebels had thrown acid on them as they had not obeyed the orders of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and other outfits regarding purdah.

According to two tailors and a cloth merchant, they have received orders for stitching 10,000 burqas during the past five days. The dress code had been issued several times during the past 10 years but women, especially those studying in educational institutions, had defied the code. Now things seem to be witnessing a marked change after a sizeable section of the people have come to believe that militants have started enjoying the upper hand.

In a couple of places in South Kashmir several youths were thrashed by the Lashkar activists as they had not grown beard. It has carried the message and people have fears that the Lashkar men would be able to carry out Talibanisation of Kashmir.

Aware of these inherent dangers, activists of the Hizbul Mujahideen have started opposing the Lashkar and the Jash-e-Mohammad for issuing strict code of ethics. The Hizb is not for forcible acceptance of the dress code.

The government agencies have decided to turn the tide against the militants by carrying out operations on a massive scale. After more than 15,000 security personnel were free from duty on the Amarnath cave route the government agencies have started deploying them in areas from where they were withdrawn.

The Army authorities have carried out a fresh review of the security situation. Additional troops were being sent to far-flung areas in South Kashmir, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, and the upper reaches of Udhampur, Batote and Banihal. The plan is to seal the mountain routes over the Pir Panjal range which links Kishtwar with South Kashmir belts in order to check the movement of militants. 

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