May 2006 News

Terror Before Talks

21 May 2006
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had an early lunch to thank for the delay in his visit to the Sher-e-Kashmir Park in Srinagar, the scene of Sunday's fidayeen attack. But not everyone was so lucky. Seven people (two policemen among them) died and over 20 were injured in the attack. Two militants were also killed in the exchange of fire with the security forces. The timing of the strike was not a surprise. Two days ago, Azad had said that the 'boys will do some mischief before the second round-table conference on Kashmir (May 24)'. The central security agencies too had suspected such a terrorist hit. Azad was the target of one of the attackers, who fired at the podium where the CM would have been seated had he reached the venue on time. 'I thought, 'Let me have something to eat before I leave,' Azad told HT over phone. 'That made the whole difference.' The attack took place around 1.10 p.m. 'My lunch delayed me by 15 minutes. When I was about to leave for the rally venue, the security men came and stopped me, saying a fidayeen attack had taken place.' The CM said had he left at 1 p.m. as scheduled, 'I don't know what would have happened'. For Kashmir, the day is etched in blood. Sunday's was the third major May 21 attack. This time the target was the J&K CM 1990 Moulvi Mohammad Farooq, father of Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, was shot dead by two assassins at his residence at Nageen in the suburbs of Srinagar 2001 Abdul Ghani Lone, chairman of People's Conference, was shot dead at the Moulvi's commemorative rally at Idgah Sunday's attack took place at Srinagar's Sher-e-Kashmir Park where the Congress had organised a rally to mark the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated 15 years ago


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