August 2003 News

Lashkar, Jaish Form 4 Fidayeen Squads: IGP

8 August 2003
The Times of India

Srinagar: Inspector General of Police, K Rajinder today said Lashkar Toiiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad have formed four Fidayeen squads of three members each to disrupt the forthcoming Independence day celebrations. Rajinder was talking to a local news agency CNS. He said around 2500 militants are presently active in valley including 800 to 1000 foreigners. In Srinagar, he said, 25 militants are active. IGP, Kashmir range, said the arrangments have been made to ensure an incident free I day celebrations. He said security has been tightened around Bakshi stadium, the venue of the main function here and efforts have been made to disrupt militant designs. He said the intelligence reports suggest that the Fidayeen groups of Lashkar and Jaish are planning strikes on the I-day eve. 'They are presently hiding in the adjoining areas of Srinagar', he told the news agency. For disrupting the celebrations, he said, both the militant groups have formed four groups of three militants each. 'But, we are prepared to take them', he said. Rajinder said militants have formulated a strategy to target political activists and policemen and they are continuing their activities to give shape to the strategy. He also said the infiltration of militants is continuing and Pakistan has suceeded in infiltrating 500 militants this year. A large number of infiltrators were eliminated, he said. Rajinder said Shopian, Tral and Kulgam are three pockets heavily infested with militants belonging to Hizb, Lashkar and Jaish. He said Hizb chosses IED explosions and pistols to hit their targets while Lashkar and Jaish employ Fidayeen attacks. The senior police officer also said that released militants are also active and are aiding the active militants. He said it is necessary to keep a watch over their activities. Referring to ongoing Amarnath yatra, he said, some 1500 policemen are at the job and working in coordination with other para- military groups in ensuring a safe piligrimage. He claimed no human rights violations are being made by police and in case of specific complaints action is initiated. He referred to the custodial death at Nowgam and said the concerned SHO was suspended and the case was handed to Crime Branch. He said severe action would be initiated against anybody found involved in anti-people activities. He said people aspire for peace and there is marked improvement over last few months. He said the fear of gun is decreasing and more and more tourists are flowing into the valley.


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