Monday, October 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

NEWS ANALYSIS
Jaish ban fails to impress security experts
Jammu, October 14
“It will be old wine in new bottles,” said a senior police officer while commenting on the US ban on  Jash-e-Mohmmad and freezing of its assets.This view is shared by separatists and other main stream political groups in Jammu and Kashmir on the plea that no underground militant outfit operating in Jammu and Kashmir has known assets and bank accounts.

Six Pak intruders shot 
Srinagar, October 14
Nine militants, including six Pakistani intruders, and a Special Police Officer (SPO) were among 14 persons killed as the security forces frustrated an infiltration bid and smashed two militant hide-outs seizing 15 kg of RDX and weapons in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, an official spokesman said today.

Policeman keeps guard as Kashmiri Muslims offer prayers near the shrine of a Sufi saint, Sheikh Noor-ud- Din Wali, on the 665th anniversary of his birth at Chrar-e-Sharief, 29 km west of Srinagar, on Sunday. Many Kashmiri people thronged the shrine and offered prayers after it was recently rebuilt by the authorities. — Reuters


YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar



EARLIER STORIES
 

Population graph worries J&K Govt
Jammu, October 14
Alarmed at the high decadal growth in the population in Jammu and Kashmir, as indicated by the latest census, the state government has decided to take necessary measures to tackle the problem.

Security beefed up for ‘navratras’
Jammu, October 14
High-level security arrangements have been made for the safe pilgrimage during “Durgotsav” beginning October 17 in Katra town, the base camp for Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, a top official of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board today said.

 


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NEWS ANALYSIS
Jaish ban fails to impress security experts
M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 14
“It will be old wine in new bottles,” said a senior police officer while commenting on the US ban on Jash-e-Mohmmad and freezing of its assets.

This view is shared by separatists and other main stream political groups in Jammu and Kashmir on the plea that no underground militant outfit operating in Jammu and Kashmir has known assets and bank accounts.

Soon after the American ban, Jaish-e-Mohammad will now operate as Tehrikul Farkan. When the US Government banned Harkatul Ansar it was replaced by Harkatul Mujahideen and Harkatul Jehadi Islami. And those who led Harkatul Ansar began leading and guiding activists belonging to Harkatul Mujahideen and Harkatul Jehadi Islami. Those connected with anti-militancy operations are of the firm opinion that the US ban on militant outfits will have no impact on the operations carried out by the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and other states of India.

What has amused security experts and mainstream political leaders is that not a single militant outfit in Jammu and Kashmir has been banned. The state government has not taken any initiative in this direction and the Central Government has not responded to the state government’s plea to ban these outfits. It is only the JKLF which has been banned when over eight years ago its activists bid farewell to guns by declaring a ceasefire. A senior police officer from Poonch said: “It is not the name but the number of militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir which is important. Militants keep on infiltrating into the state from across the border and at the time of infiltration they do not carry any nameplate on their chest indicating the organisation they belong to.”

At one stage there were 150 militant outfits in the state. Gradually, their number declined to 50. And at present there are not more that 10 outfits, out of them eight, including the Hizbul Mujahidden, the Lashkar-i-Toiba the Jash-e-Mohammad, and the Harkatul Mujahideen, have registered their presence in the state with their cadres fanned out in various areas. Another state government functionary said by banning an outfit “you cannot curb their unlawful activities.” He said, “It is not a fight between law and gun, but a fight between militants and the security forces.” He said even after the Disturbed Area Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act were extended to the entire state, there was no marked improvement in the security scenario in the state.

Other experts said the US ban on any terrorist outfit would simply allow India a diplomatic and political victory over Pakistan. India could demand handing over Jash-e-Mohammad supremo Maulana Azhar Masood to New Delhi, Azhar had been in a Jammu jail for several years and was released in exchange of 150 passengers in the hijacked Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar in 1999.

Those monitoring developments on the Indo-Pakistan border said that even after the US strikes against terrorist bases in Afghanistan, the rate of infiltration from across the LoC and the IB had not declined. Mr Raman Bahlla of the Congress said there was no reason for the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, or the Defence Minister to feel elated over the US ban on Jash-e-Mohammad.
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Six Pak intruders shot 

Srinagar, October 14
Nine militants, including six Pakistani intruders, and a Special Police Officer (SPO) were among 14 persons killed as the security forces frustrated an infiltration bid and smashed two militant hide-outs seizing 15 kg of RDX and weapons in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, an official spokesman said today.

He said a patrol party of the security forces intercepted a group of militants attempting to sneak into the state from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Lonawali area of the Sawjian sector in the border district of Poonch last evening.

The intruders were asked to surrender, but they opened fire and in the ensuing gunbattle six of them were killed. A security jawan was also injured in the shootout, he said.

A Pakistani mercenary was killed by the security forces at Ghagoli-Kandi in Rajouri district and two more militants were killed at Kastigarh in Doda district last night, he said.

Militants shot dead SPO Manohar Lal and a village defence committee member Bansi Lal at Chatriyal-Salana in Kishtwar tehsil of Doda today, he said.

A civilian was killed and another injured when they were caught in a crossfire between militants and the security forces at Hapatnar in Anantnag district of South Kashmir last night, he added.

Gunmen shot dead a person at Wailoo in Kokernag area of Anantnag, while the body of another was recovered from an orchard in Branwar village of Badgam district in Central Kashmir, he said.

The security forces apprehended a militant and seized some fake Indian currency notes from him in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar during the period, the spokesman said.

He said the security forces busted a militant hide-out at Daggapora in Anchar area on the outskirts of Srinagar yesterday and recovered 15 kg of RDX, one detonator, three police uniforms.

Another militant hide-out was busted in Mahumangat area of Doda, which led to the recovery of an AK-56 rifle with five magazines and 110 rounds, two time-pencils, six rockets, one grenade, three batteries, four metres of cordex and a letter pad of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, the spokesman said.

He said the security forces also recovered a pistol, a wireless set and some ammunition from Ziarat Mohalla in Tral town of Pulwama district yesterday. PTI

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Population graph worries J&K Govt
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 14
Alarmed at the high decadal growth in the population in Jammu and Kashmir, as indicated by the latest census, the state government has decided to take necessary measures to tackle the problem.

In this connection, the Chief Secretary, Mr Ashok Jaitly, convened a meeting of senior officers recently wherein the blueprint for the new action plan was formulated. The Chief Secretary informed the officers that against the national growth average of 21.04, Jammu and Kashmir had registered 29.04 growth in its population.

The state government’s worry over the sharp increase in the population emanates from the fact that it could place pressure on environment, land and natural resources, including forests, and negate the impact of development.

The government has decided to examine all legal issues related to the conduct of tests for determining the sex of the foetus and abortions. A committee will be set up to identify factors leading to the high growth in population and recommend means and ways for strengthening family welfare programmes.

Women NGOs will be involved in motivating the fair sex to come under the umbrella of family welfare programmes. Experts are baffled at the growth in population in militancy infested areas in the Kashmir valley.

Districts, including Kupwara and Baramula, which have witnessed a high level of militancy related violence, have registered a higher rate of population during the past 10 years as compared areas relatively free from subversive violence. This has irked the BJP which has demanded a fresh census on the plea that the census operations have been “manipulated” to record a larger population in the Kashmir valley than in Jammu region. 

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Security beefed up for ‘navratras’

Jammu, October 14
High-level security arrangements have been made for the safe pilgrimage during “Durgotsav” beginning October 17 in Katra town, the base camp for Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, a top official of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board today said.

“We have made highest ever security arrangements, including doubling of manpower deployment and also kept security set up on alert during the nine-day “Durgotsav” from October 17 to 25.” Additional Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of shrine board, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi told reporters here.

This is being done in view of increased militancy in Jammu division during the past two months and also build confidence of the pilgrims here during the festival period, he added.

Due to increased militancy in Jammu, there was a decrease of 77,000 pilgrims as compared to the last year, he said, adding that nearly 16,000 to 17,000 pilgrims visited daily last year during the season.

“However, this year there is a fall with only 10,000 to 12,000 pilgrims visiting each day due to security reasons,” he added.

“I appeal to all pilgrims across country that there was no problem on the security front and the festival will raise their morale”, the CEO said.

The very idea of organising festivities, of ‘navratras’ coming in October, was first conceived in 1996, but now, the festival has almost become a ritual, he added. PTI 

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