March 2005 News

Inquiry Launched Into Leakage Of Names Of Passengers

31 March 2005

Srinagar: With serious concerns being raised over leakage of names and addresses of the passengers travelling to Muzaffarabad by the first bus from Srinagar on April seven, an inquiry has been launched into the development even as the army assured all possible steps to ensure security. 'We are investigating the matter. It is premature to say anything at this time,' police sources said here today. Militants of four outfits had yesterday circulated to the media here list of passengers scheduled to take the first bus between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and threatened them against travelling. 'We are looking into the matter as to how the militants got the list of confirmed passengers....We believe that the list had been leaked across the border as most of the militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir have their base camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,' a senior security official said on condition of anonymity. Preliminary investigations suggested the militants have managed to lay their hands on the list of passengers in POK and circulated it among the news organisations here to create fear among the people, the official said. Army Chief J J Singh told reporters in Delhi that his force would do 'whatever is possible' to provide security to passengers. 'The state government and the security forces are determined to make it a success. We will ensure that whatever is possible will be done to provide security,' the Army Chief said on the sidelines of a function of presentation of trophies to best marching contingents of this year's Republic Day parade. 'It is a desperate and anti-people act, they have held out such threats during elections also,' he said terming the proposed resumption of bus service from April seven as a key confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan. Singh said Army conducting targeted anti- militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir and this month, 63 militants had been killed with the loss of only one soldier. President of opposition National Conference Omar Abdullah expressed concern over the leak of the list of passangers and demanded an inquiry into the matter. 'It means that militants have access to the forms meant to maintain secrecy,' said Omar who is among 10 politicians awaiting clearence from Pakistan to visit Muzaffarabad.


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