Tuesday, September 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Security forces to turn heat on J&K ultras
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 24
Security forces stationed in Jammu and Kashmir are preparing ground to launch an all-out offensive against the mercenaries and militants holed up in different parts of the disturbed state.

With reports of Pakistan wanting to wash its hands off the mercenaries and militants in Jammu and Kashmir and also closing down training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), there is likelihood that the Indian security forces, especially the Army, could launch an offensive against them for a final blow.

Senior defence officials here do not rule out this possibility as with the pressure from the USA on one side and the increasing differences between the Pakistani regime and the Taliban on the other, the mercenaries here are finding themselves not only isolated but also without any directions to proceed in Jammu and Kashmir. They see the launching of an offensive in the state as a logical conclusion to the present situation.

The military intelligence intercepts here are pointing to confusion prevailing not only among the militants but also within the Pakistan military regime. Panic is said to be more within the Pakistani regime as it is trying hard to detach itself from any possible terrorist links that might emerge and invite the wrath of the USA, which has sworn to take action against any country supporting terrorists.

Defence officials here see the situation improving for India in Jammu and Kashmir. The extensive US pressure and its open propaganda on terrorism has had an effect which would be of help to India. More so as the encouragement and directions from Pakistan is no longer available to the mercenaries.

Military intelligence (MI) intercepts point to Pakistan not only dismantling terrorist training camps in PoK but also instructing the mercenaries to move out of Jammu and Kashmir and join forces in Afghanistan.

Although it was still not clear whether these instructions were with an idea to bolster the strength of the Taliban forces, yet the intercepts indicated that the Pakistani army was ready to provide an escort to all those willing to move out.

Officials said there were two routes available to the mercenaries and militants wanting to leave, one leading directly to Afghanistan and the other through PoK. Pakistan was willing to provide protection to those militants who take the route through PoK.

However, there were also apprehensions among the Indian security forces about militants trying to sneak into India to seek a hiding place. With Pakistan shutting down training camps overnight the surveillance along the Indo-Pakistan border had been increased to check this possibility.

Officials said this had been done under extreme US pressure and the militants were now moving out of PoK. There were, however, still no indications of any exfilteration from Jammu and Kashmir. Full impact of these developments would, however, be known in the coming weeks, they said.

As of now there is a noticeable decline in the number of incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, which the officials said was indicative of lack of support to terrorists from Pakistan. From over 40 incidents a week the number of incidents have come down to between 10 to 12 now.

There are intelligence inputs of increase in differences between Pakistani regime and the Taliban forces. As a result, Pakistan is expected to pull out its about 1,000 army regulars from Afghanistan.

At present there are about 5,000 Pakistanis fighting alongside the Taliban forces. Of these about 1,000 are Pakistani army regulars, who are expected to be brought back.

Although, Pakistan has said it would continue with its relations with the Taliban, reports here said the latter was depending less on the advisors posted there by Islamabad. There were reports of “rifts and schism” between them after Pakistan buckled under pressure from the USA on providing cooperation in its fight against terrorism.Back


Grenade attack on BSF camp

An Indian Border Security Force trooper
An Indian Border Security Force trooper stands guard besides his wounded colleague in a hospital in Srinagar on Monday. — Reuters photo

Srinagar, September 24
At least two BSF personnel were injured when militants fired about six grenades towards their camp in the high-security Karan Nagar area of the city today while elsewhere in the state, nine militants, including two Pakistani intruders, were among 13 persons killed overnight.

The security forces arrested two militants, including one allegedly involved in the detonation of an IED that left two schoolchildren dead and 30 others injured recently.

A couple of grenades fell near the camp, injuring two BSF personnel while others exploded in the compounds of residential houses without causing any damage.

The pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This was the first broad daylight attack on security forces in the city after the civil secretariat and other offices shifted to the summer capital, Srinagar in April.

Militants also attacked Lalpora police station in the frontier district of Kupwara with automatic weapons in the wee hours today. Police guards returned the fire but there was on causality on either side.

An official spokesman said special operation group of the Jammu and Kashmir police and Army in a joint operation today killed two foreign militants of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba at Pinjora in South Kashmir district of Pulwama. Two AK rifles, four magazines and eight grenades were recovered from them.

The Army killed one militant each at Nowgam in North Kashmir and Kapran in South Kashmir yesterday. Two AK rifles, seven magazines, two grenades and one wireless set were recovered from them.

The spokesman said militants attacked a BSF search party at Guder village in Anantnag district today. However, in the retaliatory firing Farooq Ahmad Bhat was killed and two BSF jawans were injured. The militants managed to escape, the spokesman added.

He said militants gunned down Abdul Rashid Wagay at Nagpoh Sehpora today while Shaheena was injured in a shoot-out between militants and security forces at Zoigam in Central Kashmir last night.

He further said the security forces shot dead two Hizbul militants in an encounter at Bachianwali last evening. Two AK rifles, seven magazines, two grenades and 125 rounds were recovered from the slain militants.

Two Pakistani intruders were gunned down immediately after they sneaked into this side at Kakude-Kothey in the Arnia sector.

An encounter took place between militants and the security forces at Badran Beerwah in Central Kashmir during which one militant Faayz Ahmad Parray was killed.One assault rifle and one magazine were recovered near the site of encounter.

Militants shot dead Abdul Rashid Malik at Tilwan Doori while a bullet-ridden body of a person was recovered at Lalpora Kunzer today. The spokesman said the Anantnag police arrested a militant Mohammad Ashraf Baba a government employee at Mattan along with 6 kg of RDX and one remote control.

He added that forces also captured another militant at Tangmarg in Baramula last night. UNIBack

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