March 2000 News

Pak resorts to use of suicide squads in J&K: Advani

17 March 2000
Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: Government has received inputs about the attempts of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist organisations resorting to the use of suicide squads for inflicting casualties on Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr LK Advani. The security and intelligence agencies in J&K, Mr Advani has informed the Lok Sabha, are ''fully vigilant'' and continue to be on maximum alert to frustrate the designs of the Pak-sponsored terrorist organisations. Mr GS Basavaraj and Mr MV Chandrashekhara Murthy who wanted to know if 40 to 50 squads trained by Pakistanís ISI had already arrived in Jammu and Kashmir, were told by Mr Advani that there had been inputs about the attempts of Pak-sponsored terrorist organisations resorting to the use of suicide squads for indulging in ''spectacular actions'' with a view to inflicting casualties on security forces in the State. The Home Minister said that steps were being taken to flush out militants and curb militant activities in J&K. The steps, he pointed out, included close vigil on border, establishment of more naka parties in depth areas to check infiltration and ex-filtration, more pickets, intensive patrolling and extensive cordon and search operations. The Home Ministry has sent out fresh instructions, urging Jammu and Kashmir adminitration as well as other State Governments and adminitrations in Union Territories to launch ''special drives'' to identify, detect and deport illegal, unauthorised foreigners. According to Mr Advani, over 11,5700 foreigners(excluding Bangladesh nationals) were staying in India without valid documents. Of these, Pakistani nationals numbered 11, 327. Mr Advani said in reply to a question by Mr K Rahman Khan in Rajya Sabha that powers of Central Government under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 and the Foreigners Act, 1946 had been entrusted to State Governments and Union Territories with their prior consultation under Article 258 and 239 of the Constitution. The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Vidyasagar Rao, reiterated, while answering a question by Mr Rahasbihari Barik, that a multi-modal approach for sealing 195 km of Jammu International Border at an estimated cost of Rs 23 crores had been planned. Mr Rao, this time again, chose not to give further details in this regard. His silence obviously is attributed to the continuing opposition from Pakistan to Indiaís scheme envisaging sealing of the International Border in Jammu. Mr Rao, on the other hand, dished out information about border management in Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. According to him, a total of 452 km and 1035 km of border with Pakistan has been fenced and flood lit in Punjab and Rajasthan sectors at a cost of Rs 141. 90 crores and Rs 396. 79 crores respectively. Certain unfeasible riverine and shifting sand dune areas in Punjab and Rajasthan respectively have been left unfenced. The Government , he said, had also approved a comprehensive proposal for construction of fencing and flood lighting on raised embankments, border roads, link road and border outposts in 310 km of Rann of Kutch area in Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs 380 crores. Work in 10 km stretch, he added, had already started. Stating that International Border between India and Nepal is open border and no passport and visa are required by the citizens of the two countries to travel across the border, Mr Rao pointed out that measures had been taken to enhance cooperation with Nepal particularly on the crucial issue of ensuring effective border management. Both sides, he said, had agreed to take well-coordinated measures, including stepping up vigil along the contiguous border districts of India and Nepal, to prevent misuse of the open Indo-Nepal border. Policing on Indo-Nepal border, he added, had also been intensified and strengthened. Mr Rao stated in reply to a question by Mr K Kalavenkata Rao that with a view to boosting their sagging morale and to avenging the humiliation suffered during the Kargil conflict, the terrorists in J&K were directed by their masters in Pakistan to carry out spectacular acts against the security forces to gain wide publicity. Initially, such suicidal attacks came as a surprise but soon the security forces changed their tactics and were successful in reducing the impact of such attacks to ''negligible'', he said and added: ''Also, the number of security personnel killed in the last four months would show that such attacks are on the decline''.


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