July 2003 News

Army knew about militants at Hill Kaka in 2000: Farooq

9 July 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI: In what could be a further embarrassment for the Army, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today said he had been raising the issue of concentration of militants at Hill Kaka in Surankote sector of Jammu region since early 2000 though it was tackled only this year through the operation 'Sarp Vinash'. Ridiculing the reports that the State machinary was silent about the concentration of militants in Hill Kaka, Abdullah, who is here to participate in the Parliamentary consultative meeting, said 'I have been raising the issue with Army in every meeting of the Unified Headquarters but saw no action.' The former Chief Minister said he had no idea about the delay of operation by the Army till April this year. 'May be they had some operational requirement,' he said. 'Well, they have faced the damage as maximum of militants are reported to have fled the Hill Kaka region and are now entrenched in other areas of Doda, Udhampur, Rajouri and Kishtwar, killing people at their own whims,' Abdullah said. Asked when was the first information shared with the Army about the amassing of militants in this region, Abdullah, who is now the member of Rajya Sabha, said 'the information started trickling first from the Intelligence Bureau which was further substantiated by the State Police.' 'As a fall out of these reports, the Indian Air Force had taken a decision of not flying their helicopters around this region,' Abdullah said. Abdullah said the former State Director General of Police A K Suri and the Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) had held several rounds of meetings with the Army authorities for flushing out militants but their plea fell on deaf ears. 'May be army was busy in carrying out operations in Kupwara, Doda and higher reaches of the Rajouri region,' he said. The former Chief Minister said that alarm bells started ringing only after 19 people were brutally massacred in Hill Kaka region and added that the State Government had requested for an early operation in this region which also left the authorities unmoved. 'However, I believe that the present operation has not yielded desired results as maximum of militants have fled to other areas around Hill Kaka and were carrying out killings of innocents,' he said. (PTI)


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