Thursday, September 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Attack is reaction to J-K poll: PM

Gandhinagar, September 25
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said today that the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple was a “well-thought-out conspiracy” as the people of Jammu and Kashmir had foiled attempts by terrorists and Pakistan to disrupt the elections there.

“First Pakistan opposed elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Then terrorists killed candidates and innocent people but voters still turned out in large numbers, risking their lives. People of Jammu and Kashmir have given terrorists and Pakistan a fitting reply and a hard slap on their face,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking to reporters after going round the temple shortly after he arrived here curtailing his visit to the Maldives.

“The attack seems a well-thought-out conspiracy. The government will get to the bottom of it with a thorough probe,” he said

In an emotional but hard-hitting reaction to the bloodshed he saw on television yesterday and in person this evening at the temple, the Prime Minister remarked: “Afghanistan has proved that a change could not be forcibly brought about by using terror and violence but some terrorists are yet to learn this lesson. UNI, PTI

Sonia visits Akshardham

Sonia GandhiGandhinagar, September 25
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today visited Akshardham Temple here and condemned the terrorist attack but expressed relief that the worst is over. “Since yesterday, when we heard of the attack, our hearts were filled with sorrow,” she said.

Ms Gandhi was accompanied by Congress leaders Manmohan Singh and Kamal Nath. PTI



Attack on temple condemned
Tribune Reporters

Jammu, September 25
Several organisations, including the VHP, Bajrang Dal, Sanatan Dharam Sabha and the Central Brahman Samaj, today gave a call for Jammu bandh tomorrow in protest against the terrorist strike on a famous Hindu temple at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Condemning the attack and the killing of about 50 devotees the organisations demanded immediate steps to check such gruesome attacks.

The activists of the organisations later held a demonstration here today to register their protest against the sacrilege of the Hindu shrine and the killing of innocent people.

The protesters shouting anti-Pakistan slogans burnt Pakistani flags and the effigies of Pakistan military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf.

They appealed to the people of the Jammu region to support the call for bandh and keep their business establishments closed and passenger transport services off the road.

AMRITSAR: Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, condemned the attack on the Akshardham temple in Gujarat. In a statement on Wednesday the Akal Takht Jathedar said the act was both inhuman and cowardly and should be condemned by one and all.

JALANDHAR: Extending support to the country-wide bandh call by the VHP in protest against the attack on the Akshardham temple, the Punjab unit of the RSS on Wednesday asked people of the state to observe a total shutdown on Thursday.

KANGRA: The state unit of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Mr L. K. Advani on moral grounds for his failure as the Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in protecting Hindu shrines in the country and condemned the militant attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in which about 44 innocent devotees were killed and 100 injured.

Mr Nalinder Ghautam, state president of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha in a press note issued here on Wednesday said the Central Government had become “impotent” to the extent that the religious shrines of Hindus were desecrated by the ISI-sponsored militants.

The mahasabha has given a call for Himachal bandh on Thursday in protest against the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple and killing of innocent devotees.

PAONTA SAHIB: On the call by the local Beopar Mandal, the VHP along with Shiv Sena observed complete bandh here today in protest against the terrorist attack on temple in Gandhinagar. The shops remained closed. Ms Mohsina Kidwai, and PCC president, Vidya Stokes condemned the attack.

SHIMLA: The VHP here has condemned the massacre of devotees at the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar. It has given a call for Shimla bandh on Thursday. The bandh call has also been supported by the Bhartiya Balmiki Dharam Samaj.

The Lok Janshakti Party president, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, on Wednesday condemned the attack by militants on the Swami Narain Temple in Gandhinagar and said terrorism had to be dealt with an iron hand.

Reacting sharply to the attack Mr Paswan called upon the people of Gujarat to maintain peace at all costs and ensure that the attack did not vitiate the atmosphere in Gujarat.

The Himachal Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, condemned the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple and said this barbarian and brutal act deserved to be condemned by all peace-loving people.

The Sanatan Dharam Sabha here has condemned the terrorist strike at Swami Narain Mandir in Gandhinagar. It asked the government to take strict action against the terrorists.

SRINAGAR: Condemning the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar in Gujarat the Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday described the act as senseless and against humanity.

“We strongly condemn the attack on worshippers as a matter of principle,” Hurriyat Chairman Prof Abdul Gani Bhat said.

The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) also condemned the attack in strongest terms and said the act was aimed at fomenting Hindu-Muslim riots in the country.

Describing the act as inhuman and gruesome, DFP chief Shabir Shah said no religious believer would indulge in such acts.

Terming “irreligious’ the killing of worshippers in the Akshardham temple by terrorists, the state Jamat-e-Islami condemned the gruesome act.

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