Thursday, July 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Ultras may target J&K leaders, Parliament, SC
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 17
The government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to tackle ISI activities in the country even as ISI-backed terrorist organisations operating in Jammu and Kashmir are moving in a systematic manner with a purpose of disrupting the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state and in the process could target the political leadership and activists of various political parties, besides picking on soft targets and minorities.

Security agencies, including the Army, fear that the Saturday’s massacre in Qasim Nagar on the outskirts of Jammu was not an isolated incident and more such strikes could take place. Intelligence reports suggest that the terrorists would be looking to target either the minorities or members of a particular community who are in a majority in Jammu.

Highly-placed official sources said there was apprehension in the government circles that terrorists would also be looking to specifically target the political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir and those wanting to take part in the political process in the state. As a result, activists of various political parties could face a threat from the terrorists organisations which are not in favour of holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

At a meeting of the United Jehad Council convened earlier in the month in Pakistan, it was decided that the elections would be boycotted. A threat was also issued to members of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that if they adopted a positive attitude, then they could lose the leadership of the masses.

A warning was also issued that those taking part in the election process could face punishment.

Intelligence reports said while infiltration had not stopped, terrorists had specific instructions from across the border to ensure the disruption of the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. There were clear instructions to create a fear psychosis among people by carrying out more attacks like the one in Qasim Nagar.

Reports here said Pakistan was continuing with its new practice of pushing in terrorists in small numbers rather than in large groups.

Meanwhile, the government has received intelligence inputs suggesting possible terrorist attacks on Parliament, the Supreme Court, Delhi Police Headquarters and Indira Gandhi International Airport in the Capital, Parliament was told today.

Giving a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Vidyasagar Rao said the government had alerted various security and intelligence agencies in the country to verify the correctness of the reports and act accordingly.

He said the government had adopted a well-coordinated and multi-pronged approach for tackling the ISI activities in the country.

The strategy included strengthening of border management, galvanising the intelligence machinery, neutralising plans of the ISI by well-coordinated intelligence-based operations and setting up of out-posts of security forces in vulnerable areas.



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