Friday, October 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Nine militants shot
Captain, DSP die in encounters
M. L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Relatives of DSP (Kathua) Jagtar Singh, who was killed in the encounter with militants at Hiranagar-Kathua., mourn over his body. photo Sarbjeet 

Security personnel take up position near a bridge during the operation against the militants in the Hiranagar area on Thursday. PTI photo

Security personnel near the body of one of the two terrorists who attacked a passenger bus on Tuesday, after an encounter in the Hiranagar area on Thursday. PTI photo 

Army personnel show arms and ammunition recovered from infiltrators near the Line of Control in the Mendhar area of Poonch sector on Thursday.
PTI photo

Army personnel look at the bodies of militants killed during an encounter in the Mendhar area.

Jammu, October 3
Two militants involved in Hiranagar Morh bus killings on October 1 were shot today after a 60-hour operation.

Meanwhile, seven militants and an Army Captain were killed in a fierce gunbattle in Balakot area of Mendhar, Poonch district, in the wee hours of today.

According to Defence Ministry sources, two soldiers were wounded in the encounter at Balakot.

The sources said a group of infiltrators had been spotted by the troops and when challenged they opened fire on the forces. The troops retaliated leading to a three-hour gunbattle.

The troops intensified firing after a Captain was killed and two soldiers were wounded. As a result of heavy firing seven rebels were killed on the spot.

Large quantities of arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

The two militants, Abu Talla and Abu Usman, both from Pakistan and who were involved in the bus attack had been spotted last night hiding in a nullah, 0.5 km opposite Hiranagar sub-jail. The security forces laid a cordon and the two sides exchanged firing.

According to the DIG, Mr Dilbagh Singh and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Amjad Parvez Mirza, who supervised the operation, the security forces effectively retaliated after a DSP, Jagtar Singh, was killed and two constables were wounded. One militant was killed in the early hours of today morning and another fell to the bullets of the security forces around 9 a.m.

The police authorities said the two were trying to cross the border but failed to break the cordon that had been laid by the security forces. They were carrying a compass.

Mr Dilbagh Singh said the search for the third militant would continue.

Eyewitness accounts said the two militants had sufficient ammunition and explosives. They also fired a couple of grenades on the security forces which was supplemented with gun fire in which the DSP was killed and two constables wounded.

After the operation was called off a police bomb disposal squad and experts from the Army were pressed into service to defuse explosive material which the militants may have planted before they were killed.

The Union Minister of State for Defence, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, complimented the security forces on eliminating the two terrorists.

The Director-General of Police, Mr A.K. Suri, appreciated the role played by the state police.

A BSF head constable was killed and a civilian injured as Pakistani troops fired artillery shells, mortar and small arms in various sectors along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening, Defence sources said today.

Head constable H C Nath was killed when Pakistani troops targeted the border outpost at Bobiyan in the R.S.Pora sector in Jammu division from across the International Border last night, they said.

SRINAGAR: Five CRPF personnel were injured on Thursday when militants triggered off an improvised explosive device in Shopian area of Pulwama district, the police said.

Militants exploded the IED at around 9 a.m. when a CRPF vehicle passed the Terkewangan-Zainapora road in Shopian, injuring five jawans of the force, they said.


Ministers shy away from workplace
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 3
Even after the polling is over in the entire Kashmir valley, Ladakh and five out of six districts in the Jammu region, civil secretariat in Srinagar wears a deserted look.

No long queues of people, seeking entry into the secretariat. The 30-strong cabinet of Dr Farooq Abdullah rarely visit the secretariat and those who come here sit in their office chambers for a couple of hours and retreat to their cosy homes.

Since the polling is yet to be completed in Doda district these ministers are bound by the poll code and cannot issue orders which may be termed as part of their strategy to influence the voters.

Moreover uncertainty is also keeping these ministers away from the secretariat. They are not sure whether the National Conference will again form the government.

Several ministerial colleagues of Dr Abdullah have another fear. They are not sure if they will be taken in the Cabinet if the NC forms the government. Soon after Mr Omar Abdullah was installed president of the National Conference and projected as the next Chief Minister he publicly announced that he would carry out major changes in the Council of Ministers, in the state administration and in the organisation.

But as the NC announced its nominees for 87 seats Mr Omar Abdullah could not check dissidence in the shape of NC rebels entering the poll fray. He could not also ensure ticket to all those partymen who he considered better than the old lot.

When some ministerial colleagues of Dr Abdullah were contacted to know the reason of their absence from the secretariat they said they felt exhausted from the hectic electioneering and wanted rest.

However, inside reports indicated that most of them being unsure of their success and their re-induction in the Council of Ministers were not in favour of attending their offices in the secretariat.

Some of them said since they had nothing to give to people, at this juncture, they would not like to face any embarrassing situation with visitors to the secretariat demanding one or the other concession. Others said they would be busy in electioneering in six constituencies in Doda district and hence they might not be available in the secretariat.

He seems to be determined to make changes as per his wishes and not go by the dictation of his father for a long time. Dr Abdullah has reposed trust in his son and after returning Srinagar a day or two after counting of votes.

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