September 1999 News

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RR unearths ISI plan to give Doda control to LET

17 September 1999
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: Delta Force of the Rashtriya Rifles today achieved a major breakthrough in the ongoing anti-militancy operations in Doda district when it mowed down two dreaded militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba and unearthed a Pak game-plan to step-up subversive activities in the disturbed district.

A Defence spokesman said in Udhampur that Rashtriya Rifles carried out an operation, on the basis of a general information about influx of foreign mercenaries, in Thathri Bonjwa belt in Doda district late last night. The well-planned operation was conducted during the night hours to take the militants by surprise.

Two strong columns of the army led by Lt Col A Ohri and Major S C Maan had a chance encounter with a group of militants while carrying out a search operation in village Lanka in Bonjwa area around 2130 hours last night.

Militants opened firing on the approaching army teams and made a determined attempt to escape from the area. Army jawans took positions and returned the firing. During the encounter, which lasted more than four hours, troops succeeded in eliminating two hard core militants.

There was no report of any casualty on army side in the encounter. Recovery made from the scene of encounter included one AK-47 grenade launching rifle, four land mines, five rounds of RPG and two diaries containing coded information.

The spokesman said some sensational disclosures were gathered during uncoding of the diary of one of the slain militant identified as Babood. The diary revealed that the militant was having specific instruction of his appointment as ‘chief controller’ of Thathri tehsil. He had been directed by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to take over from the current ‘tehsil commander’ Jehangir belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.

The documents also accused the local militants of being cowards and not being able to carry out any worthwhile operation even during the period when Rashtriya Rifles was pulled out from Doda and sent to Kargil for ‘Operation Vijay’. The area had fallen vacant due to de-induction of security forces during Kargil war, which led to proliferation of militants into these voids, the spokesman said.

He said the area also witnessed large scale violence including year’s worst massacre at village Liyota in Thathri area where whole families were butchered in July. He said the reports about induction of over 100 foreign mercenaries in Doda district indicates the sinister and dangerous designs of the ISI.

He said the ISI game plan is to carry out selective, phased take over of the leadership by the Lashkar-e-Toiba till the complete region comes under their control. He, however, added that army was determined to thwart the militants’ designs.


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