Valley fears more fidayeen attacks
15 December 2001
Jammu: A red alert has been sounded in Kashmir Valley following reports that militants had stolen four vehicles for use in possible suicide attacks in the Valley. Mr Rajinder Singh Bullar, who heads the intelligence wing of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the Valley, told The Statesman that militants belonging to Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Lashker-e-Taiyaba (LeT) had stolen four vehicles from different parts of the city. The security forces fear that these vehicles could be used for fidayeen attacks. Mr Bullar said one of the vehicles was a load carrier, or a tipper, used for transporting contruction material. The Hizbul Mujahideen had already used a tipper for carrying out a fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp in September. Pre- empting such deadly moves, a series of search operations has been launched, and Srinagar city has been cordoned off. In addition, frisking and patrolling has been intensified. Mr Bhullar also said that they expect a rise in militant activity in the Valley. “While, in the past, we witnessed one fidayeen attack a month, now, about two attacks a week is common,” said the BSF DIG. In Kashmir Valley, there have been at least 47 fidayeen attacks to date. Of these, 40 have been executed by the ‘highly motivated’ cadres of the Lashker-e- Toiba, five by Jaish-e-Mohammad and only one by the Hizbul Mujahideen. The BSF intelligence chief also said in absence of proper directions from across the LoC (in view of the developments in Afghanistan), the militant cadres in Kashmir are under pressure “to act” and draw public attention. The security forces repulsed a fidayeen attack on a police station and an adjoining Army camp in Kishtwar tehsil of Jammu province. Police sources told The Statesman that three suicide bombers opened fire with AK rifles and lobbed grenades at a police station in Chatru, near the mountainous Kishtwar township, 250 km south of Srinagar. Forces returned fire and foiled their attempt to storm the police station.