Plan to assassinate Farooq unearthed

27th August 1997

SRINAGAR: The security agencies have come across a grand plan of targeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The informed sources said that a suicide squad is being set up on the pattern of human bomb that was used in the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh two years ago.

Following these reports, security around the Chief Minister, who has survived three attempts on his life in the past one year, has been tightened. Mr Abdullah was targeted twice during election campaign for the Assembly polls last year and also at Hazratbal on December 5, on the occasion of 91st birth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, founder of National Conference.

A sum of Rs. one crore has been allocated for this suicide project, say sources quoting reports emanating from across the border. This confirms "our fears that the big plans were being made to destabilise the State Government" and they view Dr Abdullah as the biggest hurdle in execution of their plans, so he is the number one target, the sources said.

These sources also revealed that the ex filtration is on the rise as last week alone 25 Kashmiri youth from various parts of the valley have crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC). The ex filtration has picked up after a gap of two years, the sources said.

Militants operating in Kashmir are also under instructions not to engage the security forces in areas close to the border. That is the strategy to facilitate both ex filtration and infiltration without hassle, according to sources who analysed the reports of fresh moves of the militants.

TRAINING CAMPS: Militants have set up training camps for arms training in the Pir Panjal Range near Surankote in the frontier district of Poonch in Jammu region, reports reaching here said.

Officials have confirmed the reports. A band of foreign militants, a majority of them from Afghanistan and few from Sudan, were training the local youth in the use of arms and explosives. This training lasts for two to six weeks depending on the potential of youth recruited as militants.

The militants were mostly recruiting the vulnerable youth from Darhal and Buddhal in Rajouri district and Suran and Mendhar areas of Poonch district. The youth living in these poverty stricken areas find the lure of money and power of the gun too tempting to resist.

Police sources here said that this sort of recruitment of the local youth has been going on in the two districts close to the Line of Control in Jammu region for quite some time. They pointed out to the abduction of three youth from Suran three days ago. "We suspect that they might have been taken for training by the militants", the police sources said.

This phenomenon has been going on in the two border districts for quite some time. There are an estimated 300 foreign militants in the two districts mainly concentrating on fresh recruitment. and dumping of arms and ammunition. The fresh dumps are known to very few even among the militant ranks.

Police say that they were keeping a watch on the activities of the militants through their sources, but it was becoming difficult to target the militants for they shift their bases on a day-to-day basis and also the training centres in the rocks and impenetrable jungles. "Our problem also stems from the fact there is a presence of civilian population in the mountains this time of the year", a senior official said.

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