April 2001 News

Security situation relatively better, says Abdullah

15 April 2001
The Pioneer

Srinagar: In spite of two successive fidayeen (suicide) attacks on security forces in Kashmir valley during last 48 hours, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Sunday claimed that the security situation was relatively better in the State compared to previous years. Talking to mediapersons at inaugural function of a Water Supply Scheme at Kralpora, Budgam, he said that the efforts were on to limit the activities of fidayeens. "There is always a strategy to tackle the fidayeens, who are in the State for quite some time", he said. Dr Abdullah said that the international pressure was mounting on Pakistan and the Government has shown willingness to work for establishment of peace in the region. He expressed satisfaction over the situation on the Indo-Pak borders. On New Delhi's recent peace initiative, Dr Abdullah said that the Centre's interlocutor KC Pant is going to start negotiations to find peaceful resolution of the problem. Asked whether the Hurriyat's refusal to enter into the dialogue will cast shadows on the entire process, he said, "They will be alienated if they do not agree to negotiate". "The Centre has invited every one to participate in the peace process", he added. He further refused to disclose the agenda on which he was going to negotiate with Mr Pant. However, he expressed displeasure on "the Centre's attitude towards the J&K State". "I am unhappy with the Centre. They promised me to release Rs 1,750 crore on Plan Budget during the last financial year. But, the only Rs 1,050 crore were given later", he said. He said that he was unable to meet the peoples" aspirations to build up the infra-structure in the State. Moreover, three cadres of the Pakistan-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami (HUJI) outfit and one Border Security Force personnel were killed in a four-hour long gun-battle at Soura in the southern outskirts of the Capital on Sunday. One of the HUJI militants was stated to be as the district commanders of the outfit for Srinagar. A BSF spokesman said that following a specific information, the security forces laid siege to a house at Zonimar Pazalpora village near Soura in the dead of previous night. The militants, who hide inside, opened fire on the security jawans, killing one personnel on the spot. The retaliation by the security forces led to a fierce encounter. The security forces targeted the house with mortars, causing severe damage to it. Later, the bodies of three militants were recovered from the debris. They were identified as Farooq Bhai, Moosa Bhai and Ijaz Kitab alias Janbaz. Ijaz, a local militant, was acting as district commander for the outfit in Srinagar. Meanwhile, the police averted a major tragedy when a stolen vehicle of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was detected abandoned at Koker Bazar area in the civil lines of the Capital. The abandoned vehicle was carrying a powerful 25 kilogram IED. The IED was later defused by Bomb Disposal Squad. Sources said, "The vehicle was parked by Lashkar-e-Toiba fidayeen, who carried out an attack on Srinagar's Lal Chowk area on Saturday evening. Two BSF personnel, one policeman, a civilian and a Lashkar fidayeen were killed in the incident". "The militants hijacked the vehicle and filled it with RDX to carry out the attack. However, they could not trigger off the IED as one militant was killed during the assault and another escaped", sources said.


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