November 2002 News

Temple terror: Advani blames Pak

25 November 2002
The Asian Age

New Delhi: Deputy prime minister L.K. Advani on Monday held Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba responsible for the attack on the Raghunath temple complex on Sunday and said the sudden spurt in violence in Jammu and Kashmir was part of a “deliberate design” to create a communal divide in the state. The fidayeen attack on the temple evoked sharp reaction in Parliament, with members cutting across the party lines stressing on the need for effective measures against Pakistan, which, they said, has been applying duel standards on terrorism. They also criticised developed countries, especially the US, for extending financial assistance to Pakistan. Both the Houses of Parliament adopted a resolution deploring the attack on the Raghunath and Panchbakhtar temples in Jammu and said it indicated the terrorists’ desperation to disturb the delicate balance of peace in the state. “We deeply mourn the loss of lives of innocent people and deplore in the strongest terms these dastardly acts of violence of the terrorists,” the resolution read out by presiding officers of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha said. Members in both the Houses stood in silence as a mark of respect in the memory of the people who died in the terrorist attack. “This senseless act of violence by terrorists indicates their frustration at the successful completion of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections and their desperation to disturb the delicate balance of peace in the state,” it said. Making a suo moto statement in the Lok Sabha on Sunday’s attack, Mr Advani said, “Monitoring of the communication network of terrorists indicate that the Jammu attack is the handiwork of Al Mansooran which is a cover organisation of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.” He added that the spurt of violence also followed the release of LeT chief Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed by the Pakistan government. “After his release, he vowed to continue the jihad in Jammu & Kashmir and gave a public call to step up terrorist violence in the state.” In the last three days, there have been a series of attacks by terrorists, chief among which were a suicide attack on the CRPF camp at the Pamposh Hotel complex in Srinagar on Friday and detonation of an IED on the route of the Jammu-bound Army convoy through near Jawahar tunnel on Saturday. “These and the present attack on the Raghunath temple makes one speculate whether it is a mere coincidence that this spate of terrorist incidents has occurred just when the process of government formation has been completed in Pakistan,” Mr Advani said. According to him, the attack is part of a deliberate design to create a communal divide in Jammu & Kashmir. The people of the state, we are sure, will defeat the design, Mr Advani added. “These terrorists have demonstrated their total lack of concern for overwhelming yearning for peace demonstrated by the people of Jammu and Kashmir when they braved violence and exercised their right of vote in the recent Assembly elections. “The terrorists have simultaneously shown their disdain for international opinion and the efforts of various countries which have been trying to apply moral and diplomatic pressure to end cross-border terrorism in India,” Mr Advani said in an obvious reference to Pakistan. The Centre, he said, was committed to provide all assistance to the state government in its fight against terrorism. Chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had a meeting with senior police officials to take measures to strengthen security in the state, particularly in the Jammu region, the deputy prime minister said. Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, as a special case, allowed the members to seek clarification on the deputy prime minister’s statement leading to an impromptu debate that lasted for over two hours. Members of Parliament, especially from the Opposition, wanted the government to act instead of reiterating how Pakistan has aiding and abetting the cross-border terrorism. Saying that they have heard enough about the pro-active policy, hot pursuit and zero tolerance, members wanted the government to take them into confidence how it would fight against the terrorist activities. They also criticised the government for its lack of will power to fight against terrorism and asked why it could not contain terrorism despite ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan in the past. Mr S. Jaipal Reddy, Mr Shivraj Patil, Mr Satyavruta Chaturvedi, Mr S.C. Shukla (Congress), Mr Somnath Chatterjee and Mr R.C. Pal (CPI-M), Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mr Akhilesh Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Mr Rashid Alvi (BSP), Mr P.H. Pandian (AIADMK), Mr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD), Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra (BJP), Mr Mohan Rawale (Shiv Sena), Mr K. Yerran Naidu (TDP), Ms Mamata Banerjee (Trinamul Congress) and others took part in the debate.


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