April 2004 News

Three Terrorists Killed By Troops In Kashmir On Poll Eve

18 April 2004
The Hindustan Times

Jammu: Troops shot dead three Muslim terrorists on Monday who sneaked into Kashmir from the Pakistani side on the eve of elections, a defence ministry spokesman said. The trio were killed in a shootout along a ceasefire line dividing the disputed Himalayan territory, defence spokesman Colonel Najib Singh said. Authorities said, based on radio intercepts, 'they were coming to disrupt the election process,' said Singh. The polls are due to be held in phases starting Tuesday in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. Results will be known on May 13. Singh identified the three, caught in the Khari Karmara area of the border district of Poonch, 240 kilometres (150 miles) northwest of Jammu, as Pakistani nationals. Polling will be carried out in Indian Kashmir over four days from Tuesday. There are 300 polling stations in Poonch, 200 of which authorities say are 'hypersensitive' due to the revolt that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. There have already been several deadly election-related rebel attacks in the vote run-up and rebels have warned Kashmiris of dire consequences if they take part in the polls in which 6.3 million state residents can cast ballots. Security has been increased in the already heavily militarised state to try to ensure peaceful elections. Measures include the deployment of 7,000 extra paramilitary troops to join the 65,000 paramilitary troops fighting the revolt.


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