Friday, July 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

LeT, Hizb may target yatra
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4
Suicide squads from Pakistan-backed terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen, along with the fast advancing Al-Qaida operatives, are likely to target the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra.

Intelligence inputs collated here reflect a pattern where not only the Pakistan-backed infiltration has increased just ahead of the Amarnath Yatra, but the LeT and the Hizbul cadres have concentrated at various spots along the route of the yatra, including the national highway leading to Amarnath.

Besides, sources said the Al-Qaida operatives had also concentrated in the northern region of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and could make their way through the tough terrain to the yatra route, may be Amarnath itself.

Reports also suggest that the terrorist groups in fact had long-term plans to disrupt the forthcoming Legislative Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and were accordingly regrouping. However, the first motive was to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra, which begins later this month.

Intelligence reports suggest that LeT and Hizbul terrorists, who also include foreign mercenaries, have re-grouped in the region of Gul, which is very near to the national highway leading to Anantnag and Pahalgam and also in the region of Budil in Rajouri sector. The groups include the fidayeen squads which could specifically target yatris on way to Amarnath.

The reports also suggest that as part of the plan to create disturbances in Jammu and Kashmir, the terrorists may also attempt to target minorities in the Gul and the Budil regions.

Citing the latest infiltration bid last night in the Swajian area of Poonch, the sources said there was also a change in the pattern of such bids over the last month. While there had been five infiltration bids over the past one week in the region, the number of men wanting to push through had reduced from the past.

While earlier infiltration was carried out by men in groups of five to six, now the number had come down to two to three. These infiltrators are now carrying with them not only food items but also ammunition and communication equipment.

The reports said these patterns were reflective of the fact that the terrorists were no longer getting any support from the local population and that they were short of ammunition and communication systems. The terrorists killed in the last infiltration bid were heavily loaded with food items, ammunition and communication systems.

It also reflected that after the initial break in communication network between terrorist groups and their ISI operatives, the process had started all over again. In fact, wireless intercepts suggest that one of the groups, the Al-Badr had given specific orders to its cadres to resume communication with their operatives across the border.

As part of the renewed plan, the ISI has also re-directed the terrorist groups to concentrate on particular areas. While a group of the Al-Mansuran has been asked to concentrate in the Jammu region, another emerging group, the Al-Madina (previously Al-Umar) has been asked to take up the job of hurling grenades at security camps and public meetings.

The Al-Mansuran had claimed responsibility for the Kaluchak massacre and the Al-Umar for the grenade attack during the crowning of Omar Abdullah in Srinagar last month.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |