August 2000 News

Forces on high alert for Vajpayee''s U.S. visit

31 August 2000
The Hindu

Srinagar: Apprehending a major strike by militants during the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee''s visit to the U.S., security forces have been put on high alert across Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile two militants of the Lashkar-e-Taiba responsible for the Chattisinghpora massacre were arrested, police claimed today. The Director General of Police, Mr. Gurbachan Jagat, referring to the Chattisinghpora massacre on March 20 when unidentified militants gunned down 35 Sikhs , said, ''Even before something of that kind happens they have already laid blame on security forces'' and added that the Lashkar-e-Taiba in a recent statement had said ''security forces might carry out massacres during Mr. Vajpayee''s visit to the U.S.'' Mr. Jagat believed that both incidents - the Pahalgam and the Residency Road blasts were the handiwork of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and not the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. He said that the possibility of militants attacking soft targets during the PM''s visit cannot be discounted. The soft targets, he said are the transmission towers, bridges and the areas having significant minority population. Mr. Jagat said that orders had been issued to take all possible measures to foil attempts of militants and protect minorities. Kashmiris on the other hand are looking at Mr. Vajpayee''s visit as a good beginning for resolving the Kashmir issue. Meanwhile the IGP (Operations), Mr. P.S. Gill, today said that on specific information the Special Operations Group arrested two Pakistanis masquerading as Indian students. Both militants, Waseem alias Zahid and Amir alias Assad had entered the State through Rajouri. While Waseem was responsible for strikes against security forces, Amir was one of the group which carried out the gruesome massacre in Chattisinghpora. On questioning they revealed that they wore army uniforms and raised pro-Hindu slogans to lay the blame on the Indian Army.


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