September 2002 News

17 injured in terrorist attacks in Jammu & Kashmir

26 September 2002
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: Suspected terrorists fired at the convoy of an election candidate and triggered several explosions on Thursday, leaving at least 17 people wounded ahead of the third round of voting in Jammu & Kashmir, police said. The attacks were reported in Anantnag and Pulwama districts, where voting in elections to the state legislature is scheduled for next Tuesday, a police officer said. No one was injured in the attack on the convoy of National Conference candidate Asiya Nisha. She is contesting Wachi constituency in Pulwama, about 60 kilometers south of Srinagar. In Pulwama town, suspected terrorists fired a grenade at a paramilitary police patrol, wounding nine civilians and five policemen. Another civilian was wounded when terrorists lobbed grenade at a bus stand in the town of Anantnag. Separately, terrorists detonated an explosive by remote control as a paramilitary police truck passed over it in Anantnag. Two policemen were critically wounded in the explosion. The terrorists have tried to disrupt the polls with attacks on candidates, voters and police in the state. The terroriots say the four-phase elections in the state are rigged in favour of the National Conference party. Meanwhile, an opinion poll published on Thursday by an independent consulting group found two-thirds of voters felt the elections were being held in a transparent manner. The survey, by the Indian arm of US-based marketing and research company ACNielson, found that 62 per cent of voters surveyed across the state ''said they had faith in the (Indian) Prime Minister''s assurance that the elections would be free and fair.'' About 574 people in the districts of Srinagar, Jammu, Anantnag and Udhampur were interviewed. No margin of error was given. The survey, commissioned by an English daily The Asian Age, said the National Conference appeared set to retain power. About 91 per cent of respondents rejected the violence by the militant separatist groups and 79 per cent said ''they did not believe that Pakistan wants genuine peace with India.'' New Delhi accuses Pakistan of sponsoring the Islamic insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, which has killed more than 60,000 people. Islamabad denies the charge and says it gives only moral support to the rebels and no material aid.


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