Target Jammu: Grenades At NC Rally Kill 2
28 April 2004
The Indian Express
Jammu: Acting on their threat to disrupt the general elections in Jammu and Kashmir, militants today targeted a National Conference rally in Doda, killing two persons and injuring 60. This is the 27th attack on political rallies in the state ever since the electoral process began. In the last three days alone, rebels have attacked rallies and cavalcades of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, NC chief Omar Abdullah and former Union minister Maqbool Dar. No outfit has claimed responsibility for today's attack. Militants began lobbing grenades at the gathering around 1.15 pm, soon after NC candidate and the state's former Home Minister, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, arrived at Bhagwa bus stand, about 10 km from Doda town. As Suharwardy began his address, a deafening sound sent everyone running for cover. At the time of the attack, senior Congress and BJP leaders were also campaigning in the nearby areas of Kashtigarh, Baghwa and Dessa. Among them were Union Minister of State for Defence, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta (BJP), state Health Minister Lal Singh (Congress) and state BJP president Nirmal Singh. Suharwardy complained of inadequate security at his public meeting, saying he had informed the administration in advance of his plan to address a public meeting in the area. SP, Doda, Sunil Kumar, denied the charge, saying each candidate in the district has been provided with at least 50 police and paramilitary personnel. Today's attack indicates that the militants plan to step up violence in the constituency, which is going to polls on May 10. This was more evident from a huge recovery of arms by security forces at village Al, about 5 km from Doda town, only five minutes after the attack.