Lashkar warns of suicide attacks during polls

18 April 2009
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) on Saturday threatened to launch suicide attacks during the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir, asking people to participate in the poll process 'at their own peril'. 'We will launch fidayeen (suicide) attacks during the poll process,' LeT spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi said in a statement to Srinagar-based media outlets. Warning the people against participating in the elections, the spokesman said 'if people vote they will be doing so at their own peril'. The terror outfit, which is allegedly behind the Mumbai attack last year, said New Delhi was trying to make stronger its 'illegal occupation' of Jammu and Kashmir. During the November-December state assembly elections, the terror group, which largely has foreign mercenaries fighting in the Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu, had said it would not interfere in the poll process. However, the large turnout during the assembly polls has baffled militant groups and also the hardline faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference led by pro-Pakistan Syed Ali Geelani. The LeT threat comes close on the heels of United Jehad Council (UJC) and Geelani's diktat earlier this week asking people to boycott the Lok Sabha elections. Syed Sallahuddin, chief of the UJC, an amalgam of 13 militant organisations, has threatened to disrupt the poll process. The moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said the election is a non-issue. De-linking electoral politics from the 'Kashmir issue', the moderate Hurriyat said it was for people to decide whether they should vote or boycott the polls. 'These (elections) are for day to day governance and development. For us in the Hurriyat Conference holding elections is a non-issue,' acting Hurriyat chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari said.