Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Fidayeen attack baffles experts
Srinagar, October 2
The well-planned fidayeen attack on the Legislative Council complex has baffled security experts, even as fear has gripped people of the Kashmir valley because three militants were able to break into the fortified complex.

Police personnel check a damaged rifle Police personnel check a damaged rifle belonging to a dead soldier after a car bomb explosion outside the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in Srinagar on Monday. At least 42 persons died from the bomb explosion and gunfire in the biggest attack by suspected Islamic militants since the last month's attack on two US cities. — Reuters photo

Farooq blames Pak for rights violations
Srinagar, October 2
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah yesterday blamed Pakistan for human rights violation in the state and said his government was forced to bring in stringent laws to combat cross-border terrorism.

Assembly session to continue: Farooq
Srinagar, October 2
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today announced that the state Assembly and the council would meet tomorrow as usual.


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  30 pc suffering from trauma in J&K
Jammu, October 2
Official reports have revealed that more than 30 per cent of the state's population is affected with trauma. The state and Central governments have initiated measures to tackle this problem along with a plan to rehabilitate victims of militancy.Top








 

Fidayeen attack baffles experts
M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 2
The well-planned fidayeen attack on the Legislative Council complex has baffled security experts, even as fear has gripped people of the Kashmir valley because three militants were able to break into the fortified complex.

Experts do not agree with those who treat yesterday’s incident as a security lapse. They argue that there is no mechanism available anywhere in the world to kill a human bomb or suicide bomber. If an individual or a group of fanatics decide to commit suicide, it is difficult to prevent them from causing death and destruction,” they say.

Those who have monitored the minute-to-minute progress of the fidayeen from Jahangir Chowk up to the Legislative Council complex explain that the group of fidayeen, in police uniform, hijacked a Tata Sumo at Barbershah. One fidayeen, a Pakistani, drove the vehicle up to Jehangir Chowk, hardly 10 metres away from the main entrance of the Assembly complex.

As the vehicle neared the Assembly entrance, two fidayeen came down and the driver rammed the vehicle into a security bunker and the gate, resulting in a major explosion. The vehicle was wrecked and the attacker was blown to pieces. Simultaneously, two fidayeen hurled two grenades inside the gate. The explosion and the grenade blasts left many dead and scores, including 12 security personnel, wounded. Those security officials who survived the attack ducked to take positions and started firing.

In the confusion and chaos, two fidayeen sneaked into the lawns of the Assembly complex. They stormed the Legislative Council complex and held more than 20 officials and other employees hostage.

Since the strike was swift and deadly, there was no room for an equally swift retaliation. If there was any lapse, it was after the explosions damaged the entrance gate and the security bunkers. There are several security pickets right from the main entrance to entrance of the main complex. Security personnel deployed at these pickets could have eliminated the two fidayeen who had sneaked inside. It was not done because the personnel manning these pickets had rushed to the outer gate to carry out rescue operations. The two fidayeen took advantage of it.

Also, had the police checked the Tata Sumo carrying the fidayeen at Jehangir Chowk, the tragedy could have been averted. But those deployed at the chowk and on the road leading to the main entrance had no reason to suspect the bona fides of those travelling in the Tata Sumo. First, all of them were wearing police uniforms. Second, the vehicle had been taken on hire by the Telecom Department and the departmental plate in front of the vehicle was sufficient to mislead the police.

Another question being posed by curious visitors to the scene of the incident relates to the decision of the fidayeen to storm the Legislative Council and not the Assembly Hall, which is closer to the main entrance than the former. A senior police officer said either the fidayeen were not fully conversant with the geography of the location or they thought it better to attack a bigger building than the single-storeyed Assembly Hall.

The police officer also stated that the fidayeen had been fully briefed about the location as far as the offices of the state legislature are concerned.
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Farooq blames Pak for rights violations

Srinagar, October 2
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah yesterday blamed Pakistan for human rights violation in the state and said his government was forced to bring in stringent laws to combat cross-border terrorism.

“We are fighting a war thrust upon us by Pakistan and that country was maligning the government for violation of human rights”, Dr Abdullah told the Assembly during Question Hour.

“We are fighting a war in which some mistakes do take place at the hands of security personnel and policemen but action was being taken against those found responsible for violating human rights.

“There were some rogues in the task force of the local police who indulged in harassment of innocents. But they have not been allowed to go unpunished. Action has been taken against them and several of them have been removed”, he said.

The Chief Minister claimed some activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference, had mingled with security forces and the police. They passed on wrong information and as a result some of them were killed, he said.

Dr Abdullah said his government had plans to set up offices of state human rights commission to facilitate investigation into complaints of human rights violations in Doda, Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu division.

Earlier, state Education Minister Mohammad Shafi, speaking on behalf of the Minister of State for Home, told the House that a number of surrendered militants had volunteered to work with the security forces and the Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police.

Replying to the main question of Sheikh Abdul Rehman (BSP), the minister said reports about missing youth were being received now and then from all districts of Kashmir valley and some parts of Jammu division.

Mr Shafi said an estimated 2,250 persons were reported missing from January 1995 to August 31, 2001. The frontier district of Kupwara topped the list with 584 persons killed or missing followed by Baramula at 445, he said. PTI
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Assembly session to continue: Farooq

Srinagar, October 2
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today announced that the state Assembly and the council would meet tomorrow as usual.

“Such terror attacks strengthen our commitment to fight against the Pakistan-backed militants,’’ Dr Abdullah told reporters during his visit to the Legislaitve Council and the Assembly complex here this morning.

Speaker Abdul Ahad Vakil, Legislative Council Chairman Abdul Rashid and Dr A.K. Suri also accompanied him.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Pakistan has trained the militants and send them here with the task to kill people. We cannot be cowed down by such attacks,’’ he said.

The Assembly session, which was extended by two days - October 3 and 4, would continue as per schedule, he said.

Dr Abdullah said it was not a jehad but terrorism which would be strongly crushed.

“Islam is a great religion and never allows hatred,” he said and added those involved in the terror attacks could not be Muslims but those who endangered lives of the whole Muslim community.

He said the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which had associated the name with Prophet Mohammad had insulted Islam and the entire Muslim community by its acts.

Lauding the role of the security forces, particularly the state police, he said: “We are going to constitute a Sher-e-Kashmir gallantry award — a citation and Rs 1 lakh which would be given to brave soldiers every year.”

He said the first award would go to the DIG Mr K. Rajinder, who risked his life and rescued people from the Assembly complex during the fidayeen attack yesterday. UNI

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30 pc suffering from trauma in J&K
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 2
Official reports have revealed that more than 30 per cent of the state's population is affected with trauma. The state and Central governments have initiated measures to tackle this problem along with a plan to rehabilitate victims of militancy.

The Rehabilitation Council has been set up to provide assistance to the victims of militancy, and five acres is being given on lease to the Union Ministry of Social Justice for setting up a centre from where aid will be distributed.

The Rehabilitation Council, set up in 1996, has so far released over Rs 2.48 crore to the Deputy Commissioners for providing financial assistance to the disabled, widows, orphans and the aged. Under the scheme, scholarships were given to 1,728 orphans. Marriage assistance to 43 widows and old-age pension to 1,863.

The Central Government has said it will assist the state in setting up a composite rehabilitation centre for the disabled, especially militancy-hit victims. Already 2,150 persons have been for rehabilitation.

Under a government order, medical boards have been constituted at the district level to issue disability certificates which will enable them to secure medical and financial assistance from the state government. The government has also requested the Railways and the airlines authorities to provide ramps and special toilets for the disabled.

Government agencies carried out a survey in Kashmiri migrant camps in Udhampur, Jammu and Kathua where 246 disabled cases were identified. The survey also revealed that the level of psychological disorders was very high among the migrants.

According to leading physicians in Jammu, the incidence of stress-related diabetes among the Kashmiri migrants stands at the top with hardly 10 per cent of over two lakh persons safe from the disease. They said poverty-stricken migrants usually were not in a position to buy the required medical kit for containing diabetes as a result more than 1 per cent of people belonging to the displaced families either died because of kidney failure or lost their eyesight and mental balance.
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