April 2003 News

Lashkar Trains Guns On Temples, Sangh Brass

10 April 2003
The Statesman

Jammu: The Lashkar-e-Taiyaba is planning to target senior RSS and VHP leaders and attack temples across the country to avenge the killings of Muslims during the post-Godhra riots. At a press conference in Srinagar today, Mr Ashok Suri, Jammu & Kashmir DGP, claimed to have established the involvement of Lashkar militants in the massacre of Kashmiri Pandits at Nadimarg with the arrest of a Pakistani ultra. Mustafa, a Lashkar district commander arrested from south Kashmir, confessed during interrogation that the group was involved in the Nadimarg massacre, Mr Suri said. The militant disclosed that the outfit at a meeting in December last year had decided to carry out attacks across the country to avenge Muslim killings in Gujarat. The DGP said the ultra would be further interrogated and information obtained from him would be used to arrest other ultras involved in the Nadimarg killings. The militant was brought before reporters but they were not allowed to ask him questions. During his interrogation, Mustafa had disclosed that senior VHP and RSS leaders and temples across the country were on the outfit's hit list, Mr Suri said. 'They (the outfit) took the decision following instructions from their mentors in Pakistan to avenge Muslim killings. Militants were directed to establish bases among Muslim youth in Delhi, Gujarat for waging jehad.' The Pakistan-based Lashkar leadership plans to create more hideouts in the Valley and local commanders have been asked to recruit Kashmiri boys. Documents seized from Mustafa confirmed his revelations and also gave an insight into the strategy adopted by Lashkar to collect funds for their activities, he said. Mustafa infiltrated into the Valley in September 2001 and was based in a village in Pulwama with six other militants. Together, they had managed to establish huge and created convenient hideouts. He had also started recruiting in LeT cadre. Some of Mustafa's associates were responsible for the attack on Awantipora air base in 2001. Militant killed: An Al-badr militant was killed in an encounter in Rajouri today, officials said, adds PTI from Srinagar. A joint team of the Army and police spotted the ultra at Lowerkote-Duma this morning and shot him dead in an encounter. An AK-47 rifle and a damaged radio set were recovered from him.


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