November 2003 News

Ultras Send Doves A Reminder

18 November 2003
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Barely two days before the Hurriyat Conference meets to decide the future of a dialogue with the Centre, militants broke their silence with a fidayeen attack right next to the Army's 15 Corps headquarters here, killing a CRPF personnel and injuring two others. At around 6.15 pm, a group of militants appeared at Indra Nagar and tried to storm into the battalion headquarter of 62 CRPF. 'One of our vehicles had just returned to the battalion location and as the boys were coming down, the militants opened fire at them,' said CRPF Inspector General V.B. Singh. 'Our men retaliated and the battalion location is safe'. He added that three CRPF men were injured in the shoot-out and the operation is still on. One of the injured died later. The firing continued for an hour as the Army in the neighbouring camp, too, opened retaliatory fire to prevent the militants from fleeing. 'We have cordoned off the entire area and we suspect the militants are hiding nearby,' IGP, Kashmir Range, K. Rajendra said. Today's attack is believed to send a chilling message to the Hurriyat doves who are to decide their response to the Centre's talks offer on Friday. A little-known militant outfit, Al- Mansoorian, took responsibility for the attack. The Hurriyat doves, however, were busy giving final touches to what they call their 'roadmap' for the peace process. Former Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said there are 'three main issues on our agenda - talks, financial issue, that is to see how Hurriyat can raise funds to run its affairs, and some organisational matters'. Sources reveal the doves are set to send positive signals to the Centre on the issue of talks. 'Only Mirwaiz Umer Farooq is yet to be convinced,' a leader said. 'But don't expect a bombshell on Friday. It is going to be a measured response.' Meanwhile, the government today threw a tight security blanket around the leadership of the Ansari camp, fearing an attack by militants. Sources said leaders have been receiving threats on phone, asking them to keep away from the dialogue process.


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