M A I N   N E W S

Day 1: Militants strike in UP, Bihar
Failure on part of CRPF, alleges Maya

Rampur/Lucknow/Patna, January 1
Seven CRPF personnel were among eight persons killed and five injured when heavily armed terrorists stormed a camp of the paramilitary force in the wee hours in Rampur in UP today, in a bloody start to the New Year.

After carrying out the audacious attack on the CRPF recruitment centre, all four suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists escaped.

In Bihar, Naxalites killed at least four policemen in Bihar and attacked a police post in Munger. The police said more than 100 Naxalites attacked the Bariapur police post, which was keeping a vigil over a picnic spot in Rishikund, about 30 km away from Munger, where hundreds of people had gathered to celebrate New Year. (See page 2)

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has blamed the CRPF for not heeding to the state government’s warning on the possible attack on its camp in Rampur. She has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the next of kin of all killed in the attack.

Armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades, the militants, in CRPF uniform, swooped on the sentry post located along a railway track within the centre at 2.30 am, killing four paramilitary personnel and a rickshaw-puller, IG (operations) of the CRPF A.P. Maheshwari said.

After the first attack, the militants hurled a grenade at the main gate besides firing indiscriminately, he said, adding that the terrorists possibly wanted to sneak into the armoury of the camp.

The quick reaction team of the recruitment centre hit back at the militants forcing three of them to flee. One, however, managed to enter the administrative block of the centre where he killed three unarmed CRPF men, Maheshwari said.

The CRPF personnel fired at the lone militant who also managed to escape from the recruitment centre, spread over 150 acres, under the cover of darkness, Maheshwari said.

Intermittent firing was heard at around 1 pm from a distance as the state police, assisted by the CRPF, conducted combing operations in the area surrounded by sugarcane crop and jungle.

Five security personnel, three CRPF jawans and one each from the state police and home guards, were injured in the gunbattle.

Two militants were also injured in the exchange of fire, said IGP, Bareilly zone, Gurubachan Singh.

The attack on the CRPF recruitment centre came just over a month after a series of terror blasts ripped through three court premises in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi in the state killing 13 persons.

An alert has been sounded at all CRPF bases across the country.

Maheshwari said, “It seems that now terrorists were striking at bases, which were generally used for administrative purposes”.

After the attack, the Centre and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati were involved in a blame-game.

While Mayawati accused the paramilitary force of being lax despite a warning in advance from the state government about the threat, Central security agencies said they had warned the CRPF as well as the Uttar Pradesh police about the possibility of a suicide attack at CRPF recruitment centres by Pakistan-based terror group Lashker-e-Taiba.

Chief Minister Mayawati said: “Rampur district officials had met CRPF officials recently and asked them to take necessary precautions. The incident indicates laxity on their part.”

Taking a dig at the Central government, the Chief Minister said the terrorist influx was not a recent event as “international borders of the country are unsafe and terrorists have already made inroads into different parts of the country”.

The union home ministry has sought a detailed report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the militant strike at Rampur and asked the authorities concerned to trace the culprits. — PTI




Home Ministry seeks report from UP

New Delhi, January 1
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil condemned the early morning attack on the CRPF Group Centre at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh in which at least eight persons, including seven security personnel were killed, and said a detailed report had been sought from the state.

“The Home Ministry is in touch with the Uttar Pradesh Government and the CRPF authorities following the incident. A detailed report has been sought about the facts and circumstances of the incident and concerned authorities have been asked to take immediate and effective measures to identify and trace the culprits and bring them to book,” he said in a statement here.

“I convey my sympathies to the kin of those killed in the attack and pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.

The attack, which police said was carried out by Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) Fidayeen, also left five others injured. — UNI



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