July 2000 News

RDX haul points to Pak designs: Analysts

18 July 2000
Times of India
Dwarika Prasad Sharma

Jammu: The seizure of RDX from Jammu and Kashmir in the last two days has raised fears that more of it may be lying undetected in the state. Security analysts, while expressing satisfaction that 450 kg of the high-grade explosive had been defused, warned that a large quantity might be lying hidden in the state which the militants could use to ''sensationalise'' their activities. The 315 kg of RDX seized by the Army on Monday from a private trucking company''s godown was loaded at Najibabad in Uttar Pradesh. The truck had reached Srinagar by road without being intercepted. It had crossed the Lakhanpur barrier, near Jammu, and several other civilian and military checkpoints in the state. The Lakhanpur barrier has earned the dubious distinction of being a ''wide-open gateway to the state'', being manned by ''men with greasy palms''. So, while the Samba police in Jammu district were congratulating themselves over the seizure of 20 kg of RDX at Sapowal village on Sunday, the truck with the bigger load of the explosive had either already crossed Samba or was to pass it later. The analysts said the fact that a huge consignment of RDX came all the way from UP spoke volumes about the ISI designs on the state. Apart from the 315 kg of RDX the Army seized from the godown of the Kashmir Cargo Carrier, another 70 kg of RDX was seized in Srinagar from a handcart, also on Monday, by a special operations team of the police and the CRPF. The high number of casualties in explosions this year compared to last year also pointed to the fact that the militants were resorting increasingly toindirect warfare, despite some stray inside-the-line attacks on camps of the security forces. The analysts said they would not rule out attempts to set off attention-drawing explosions by militants, like the car bomb attack by a 17-year-old youth at the Badami Bagh cantonment in Srinagar. A senior Army officer said the Pakistani army, which is now controlling all militancy operations directly, in tandem with the ISI, was still smarting under the military and diplomatic defeat of their country in the Kargil war. On the political plane, the National Conference government''s autonomy move and New Delhi''s attempt to hold talks with the Hurriyat leaders were against Pakistan''s scheme of things. And as such, the Pakistan-backed militants would try to queer the pitch, the observers warned. By engineering sensational events in the state, especially the Valley, they wanted to call the attention of the world community to Kashmir which they wanted to project as a nuclear flashpoint, an official said.


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