May 2004 News

Ultras Strike On Poll-eve

9 May 2004
The Indian Express

Jammu: An information official was killed and 27 others, including eight policemen, were injured in a series of strikes by militants in Doda and Udhampur on the eve of polls. In Mahore, security forces gunned down two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants who had earlier attacked a polling party in the same area a week ago. Militants threw a grenade at the high-security Doda Hospital at 11.40 am, minutes after the NC's Udhampur candidate K.N. Suharwardy, entered the hospital. The grenade missed its target and exploded outside the gate, killing Abdul Majeed, in-charge Deputy Information Officer of Doda. Four constables and a local journalist were injured in the attack. Around 5 pm, militants lobbed a grenade at a police patrol at Al village, also in Doda, injuring four cops. A third grenade attack took place at Saila Talab in Udhampur town late in the evening, injuring five people. This the second bid on Suharwardy in a month. Last month, militants threw a grenade while he was addressing a rally at Bhaderwah, killing two and injuring 40 others. Eighteen of the injured in today's grenade blast were admitted to Doda hospital while three were discharged after first aid. Four of the critically injured, including two cops, were airlifted to Government Medical College Hospital. The blast has raised security concerns, coming on the eve of elections as tight security was in place in Doda. Militants struck at six places in Doda and Udhampur in the past two days. Three police personnel were killed when militants triggered two explosions on the Doda-Desa road yesterday. Security agencies have intercepted wireless messages from heads of militant outfits asking their cadre to intensify attacks in Udhampur to sabotage the polls. Two militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, who attacked a polling party in Mahore tehsil in Udhampur, were killed in an encounter today. Security forces recovered two AK-47s with magazines, a radio set and some documents from them, indicating they were sent to carry out attacks on polling booths. Late in the evening, militants hurled a grenade at Saila Talab in Udhampur town at 8.30 pm, injuring five people. Many of the vehicles parked nearby were also destroyed by the flurrying splinters. Within minutes, senior police and Army officials rushed to the spot and shifted the injured to hospital. The area was cordoned and search operation was launched. Security has further been beefed up in the town.


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