July 2001 News

Hizb warns of attack on yatris

3 July 2001
The Pioneer

New Delhi: The jehadi groups, unreconciled to Indo-Pak peace attempts, may attempt to derail the forthcoming Vajpayee-Musharraf summit. A warning to this affect has come from none other than the predominantly Kashmiri militant outfit, the Hizbul Mujahideen. Even though the Hizbul Mujahideen has not named any specific groups, it has warned an attack on the Amarnath Yatris with the objective of derailing the peace talks. This warning assumes importance in the context of the killing of at least 100 people during last year's Amarnath Yatra. The terrorist attacks came after the Hizbul Mujahideen had offered a ceasefire in Kashmir. On that occasion, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had led an all-party delegation to Kashmir to assuage the feelings of the yatris. The Hizbul Mujahideen said on Tuesday in Srinagar that it feared an attack on the Amarnath Yatris by some elements to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the Indo-Pak summit and shift the blame on the Hizbul cadres. "The anti-movement elements may go for an unwanted act to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the Vajpayee-Musharraf summit and to defame the Hizbul at the international level," a Hizb spokesman, who identified himself as Commander Masood, said in a statement, according to agency reports from Srinagar. Sources here said that Pakistan-based Jehadi groups like the Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Al Badr had not reconciled to President Pervez Musharraf's visit to India. In fact, they have declared that the only solution to the Kashmir issue is an all-out jehad against the Indian security forces in Kashmir. These groups may engineer an attack in any part of India to fan communal passions before the July 14-16 summit, sources said. Reports from across the border also indicate that the Pak military regime now has little control over the highly indoctrinated fundamentalist organisations. After waging a long war in Afghanistan, these Talibanised outfits are in no mood to relent, the sources explained. Waging a relentless war against the Indian security forces in Kashmir, these organisations have become a law unto themselves. With unhindered access to funds and weapons and a never-ending list of young volunteers, LeT and Al Badr recently claimed that General Musharraf was about to strike a secret deal with India on Kashmir. The Jammu & Kashmir Government, on its part, is taking no chances. An elaborate security team comprising more than 20,000 securitymen drawn from the from the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Army is guarding the entire Amarnath yatra route from Jammu to the holy cave. The yatra, which started on Monday, is scheduled to end on August 4. More than 75,000 pilgrims are expected to undertake the arduous trek for a darshan of the 'shivling" at the shrine. The security forces are guarding the national highway between Jammu & Kashmir for 3 km on both the sides. Crack teams have also been positioned on all the high peaks overlooking the yatra route. Specially trained securitymen are also carrying out anti-sabotage drills round the clock to prevent any bomb blasts, sources said.


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