July 2002 News

Ultras carrying out attacks in Jammu to flare communal tension

25 July 2002
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Ultras have adopted a three-pronged strategy to intensify militancy in Jammu, including carrying out killings here ahead of the forthcoming Assembly elections to whip up communal tensions, a senior police official warned today. ''Militants, mostly foreign mercenaries, have adopted a three-pronged strategy to bring the otherwise peaceful Jammu belt in the militancy map of the state under a new gameplan,'' Jammu zone IGP P L Gupta told PTI today. Jammu has a population of over 16 lakhs, 93 per cent of whom are Hindus. It is also the main financial backbone of the state. Militants engineered their first attack on the historic Ragunath Temple in April this year followed by the Kaluchak carnage in May and the recent Rajiv Nagar massacre as part of this strategy, Gupta said. ''The killing of nearly 70 people of a particular community in these massacres was aimed at creating communal violence and disturb tranquility of Jammu,'' said Gupta, who is looking after operations in the six districts - Doda, Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch and Udhampur - of Jammu division. Not only would these massacres help terrorists in bringing Jammu on the terrorist map but also serve to destabilise the election process, he said. Gupta said security forces would have a difficult time to stop these attacks ''since a suicide squad member, who does not care for life, can do anything because his aim is death and destruction.'' The police official said while militants mostly targetted Government establishments in Kashmir division, they were attacking civilians in Jammu division to put pressure on security forces. He said local militants had mostly gone underground in Jammu division but foreign mercenaries were very active. ''These mercenaries constitute 80-90 per cent of cadres in outfits like Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashker-e-Toiba, Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami, Hizbul-Mujahideen-Pir Panchal Regiment and Hizbul Mujahideen operating in these areas,'' he said. ''They are particularly brutal and mutilate their victims’ bodies,'' he added.


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