February 2000 News

‘Khalistan’ ultras sneak into J&K

11 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: Government sleuths have unearthed what has been termed as highly dangerous plan, designed to destabilise the situation in Jammu and Kashmir by organising large-scale violence and attacks on police and other security forces.

The dramatic arrest of three Sikh ultras from a hideout in Amritsar district of Punjab and subsequent investigation by a team of Government sleuths brought to the fore a few sensational aspects of the plan, hatched across the Indo-Pakistan border.

The captured ultras, said to be from the dreaded Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), had planned to visit Jammu to assess the progress made by their colleagues, who had, in two and threes, managed to enter the area(Jammu region) since the beginning of December last.

The number of Sikh ultras, who had infiltrated into Jammu region, could be more than 100. The three captured KCF ultras, according to sources, had also revealed that while some transporters in Punjab and Jammu division proved helpful while financing and making possible inland journey of several militants, fresh consignments of deadly arms and ammunition had been delivered in certain pockets of Jammu town, Samba, Ranbir Singh Pora, Bishna, Udhampur and Poonch last month.

Intelligence sleuths, sources said, had also come across equally sensational aspect of the Pak plan, namely, the unity of purpose and of action having been brought about between the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and two extremist Sikh organisations, one of them being the Khalistan Commando Force.

According to these sources, the interception of two wireless messages recently yielded information about the areas and installations identified by the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the KCF in Jammu and Kashmir to be targeted before and during US President, Mr Bill Clinton’s visit to India. One message was loaded with anti-Hindu accent.

The second message was quite specific about the targets to be accomplished: "Nayey mehmaan aap key han puhanch chukey hain. Aaj ka kaam kal key kaam sey bilkul mukhtalif hona chahey. Aaj rail gaadi mein dhamaka hoga. Kal ek mussafir gaadi ko nishana banana hoga. Aur parsoon Indian Army key camp pur humlaa hoga" (New guests have arrived in your area. Today’s task has to be totally different from the one to be performed tomorrow. Today an explosion will take place in a railway compartment. Tomorrow a passenger bus will have to be targeted. And the day after an attack has to be launched on an Indian Army camp).

Some Pakistan-watchers have speculated about possible Pakistani movement along the Line of Control (LoC) on the eve of the US President’s visit to the Indian subcontinent. It has been reported that Pakistan-sponsored foreign militant commanders were planning to set up "liberated zones" within the Kashmir valley and attempts to disrupt the Indian Army’s communication links.

A section of Pakistan’s print media has pointed out that jehadis belonging to Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Al-Badr have been moved to the frontlines facing Poonch and Rajouri sectors in Jammu province. Their movement, significantly, coincided with the movement of Pakistani men and material in the same area in the past several days.

At a time when the Government of India has chosen to avoid pursuing efforts to bring about the return of the Hindu migrants to the Kashmir valley in view of certain ominous signals from across the border, the United States Commission for Refugees has held political violence responsible for the exodus of over 3 lakh Kashmiri Pandits from Srinagar and other parts of the Valley in 1990. The Commission’s report says that 3.5 lakh Kashmiris, consisting mainly of Pandits, have been displaced because of two factors-political violence and the conflict between the Indian armed forces and Muslim separatists in Jammu and Kashmir.

The US body’s report has recorded that while 2.5 lakh of these displaced people are living near Jammu in camps and their homes, about 1 lakh live in other parts of India, mainly in New Delhi. According to the report, about 59,000 Pandits in Jammu receive food and cash assistance from the Government.

The US Commission for Refugees addresses issues relating to refugees around the world. Its report has claimed that "most of the Kashmiri Pandits want to return home(in the Valley), but only if changes are significant".


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