Monday, August 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ultras plan to sabotage JK poll
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Pakistan-based militant groups have directed their cadres to target politicians in a big way to sabotage the coming Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources said a recent intercept by intelligence agencies directed militants to target one politician everyday in Jammu and Kashmir.

After lying low for several months, militant outfits like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) have stepped up their activities, mainly in occupied Kashmir (PoK), with the objective of disrupting the Assembly poll. These organisations have directed their cadres to carry out blasts at offices of various political parties.

The two outfits, which were banned by Pakistan following the December 13 attack on Parliament here, are engaged in training their cadres and their periodicals have again surfaced in markets of Pakistan after more than four months, sources said. Some of the outfits have even formed special outfits to attack politicians.

The Delhi Police and other security agencies have been alerted to the possibility of attempts by terrorists to sneak in from neighbouring areas as Independence Day draws near. Intelligence agencies have come across reports that militants have lately changed strategy under which they are setting up bases in areas close to Delhi to strike in the Capital and go back. The places identified as the “bases” include Meerut, Moradabad, Saharanpur and Aligarh.

The Uttar Pradesh police had recently arrested four Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Moradabad and Rampur districts of the state who planned to strike in and around New Delhi near Independence Day.

The intelligence agencies have also found that militants are fanning out to various parts of the country.


Centre complicating JK situation: Jethmalani
TNS and Agencies

New Delhi, August 4
Accusing the Centre of complicating the situation in Jammu and Kashmir by announcing elections, the newly appointed Kashmir Committee headed by former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani today said the government should still initiate talks to ensure widest possible participation in the poll.

After a 90-minute meeting, Mr Jethmalani told reporters that the committee was of the view that the announcement of the dates of the election in the state had complicated the efforts to ensure the broadest possible political participation in the election process.

“It has come even before the government could initiate a dialogue to elicit such a broad participation. Those political elements who would have agreed to take part in the elections after a lapse of many years simply do not have enough time to arrange their logistics,” Mr Jethmalani said.

Besides Mr Jethmalani, the meeting was attended by former Law Minister Shanti Bushan, Times of India Executive Managing Editor Dileep Padgaonkar, senior advocate Ashok Bhan, freelance journalist Jawid Laiq and retired IFS officer V.K. Grover.

Hurriyat Conference Chairman Abdul Gani Bhat had deputed its Delhi-based spokesman Abdul Majid Bandey to attend the meeting and present the case of the 23-party conglomerate.

Mr Jethmalani said the Hurriyat expressed doubts about arranging their logistics in the short span of time.

He said two members of the Kashmir Committee eminent lawyer Fali Nariman and Asian Age editor M.J. Akbar, could not attend today’s meeting. At the meeting, Mr Jethmalani was appointed Chairman of the committee and Mr Bhan its convener.

Mr Jethmalani said the committee believed that “it was still not late for the government to persuade as many political elements as possible to take part in the elections and to convince them that the polls will be free, fair and transparent.”

He said the government should also give the assurance that it would enter into a serious dialogue with the elected representatives of the state to discuss all issues pertaining to the future of the state.

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