Monday, August 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

IED en route Amarnath defused
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Jammu, August 4
Security forces today averted a tragedy with the timely detection and neutralisation of an improvised explosive device (IED) near Samroli from where a group of pilgrims were to proceed to the Amarnath cave shrine.

A Road Opening Party (ROP) had detected an IED near Samroli, about 78 km from here, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway early this morning, official sources said here.

Experts were summoned to the site who defused the IED, the sources said, adding that the vehicular traffic on both sides of the highway was stopped at Tikri and Kud till 9.05 am.

A fleet of 122 Amarnath-bound vehicles which had left here between 5.30 am and 6 am was also stopped for over an hour at Tikri.

A fresh batch of pilgrims comprising 1833 men, 398 women and 22 children left here for the cave shrine. As many as 378 sadhus also accompanied them.

Meanwhile, Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchanged a barrage of gunfire at 14 border outposts along the International Boundary in Jammu district overnight.

Official sources said the two sides exchanged medium fire in the Akhnoor, Khour and Kanachack sectors.

Srinagar: At least five militants and a security jawan were killed while a jawan was injured in separate incidents even as security forces apprehended three suspects in the Kashmir valley since yesterday.

Four unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Badra Bala in the Handwara area of Kupwara district yesterday. A residential house was damaged in the exchange of fire between militants and the security forces, the police here said.

A foreign militant and a jawan were killed in an exchange of fire at Dalari forests in Baramula district yesterday. The militant was identified as Abu Mohammad, alias Hyder Ali of Sargoda, Pakistan. An AK rifle, two magazines and 52 rounds were seized from the slain militant, the police said.

A security force jawan was injured when suspected militants hurled a grenade towards a patrol party of the CRPF at Sarkari in the Awantipora area of Pulwama district.


Fernandes visits Amarnath shrine

Srinagar, August 4
Hundreds of pilgrims trekking up the holy cave shrine of Amarnath were pleasantly surprised today when Defence Minister George Fernandes joined them on foot on the toughest last 4-km stretch of the pilgrimage.

Ice lingam having melted in less than a week, all that remains is a platform for Amarnath yatris to worship.
Ice lingam having melted in less than a week, all that remains is a platform for Amarnath yatris to worship. — PTI

The Minister, accompanied by the Srinagar based Corp Commander Lieut-Gen V.G. Patankar, and the GoC of the Victor Force, Maj-Gen R.S. Jamwal flew to the cave shrine to make an-on-the spot inspection of security and other arrangements of the pilgrims.

Mr Fernandes’ helicopter landed midway between Panjtarni and the holy cave - the most difficult stretch of the pilgrimage - and as the Minister set out for the cave, hundreds of pilgrims, including women and children, joined him.

On the way, Mr Fernandes, a brisk walker, shunned suggestions of state officials to have a whiff of oxygen from mobile cylinders. Instead, he paused to inquire from the pilgrims, about their security and other arrangements.

The Minister spent almost over 45 minutes at the holy cave praying. He then discussed with Army and state police officials plans about the security arrangements for the pilgrimage which would officially come to an end in another 15 days.

Meanwhile, four persons, including three pilgrims on way to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath have died of natural causes. PTI

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 |