September 1999 News

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Militants attempt to blast J&K secretariat

29 September 1999
The Hindustan Times
By Arun Joshi

Militants fired and exploded five rifle grenades at the high security civil secretariat here this morning killing one and wounding five others in an act indicative of their rising violent activities in the summer capital.

This was the sixth attack on the secretariat in the past six years. The police maintained only six were wounded and blamed All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) for being behind the attack.

"This was a manifestation of the conspiracy hatched by Hurriyat Conference as part of its direct action programme," Director General of Police Gurbachan Jagat told The Hindustan Times in his reaction to this attack.

He said that cases have been registered against Mohammad Yasin Malik, Javed Mir and other activists of Hurriyat Conference. "We have reports that they were involved in this conspiracy," he said.

The rifle grenades exploded in quick succession at 10.35 am. when the secretariat had just begun its work for the day. Ministers and officials were still pouring in when the grenades hit the lawns, the five-storey building of the secretariat shattering the windowpanes and forcing the employees and officials inside the building to rush for cover.

"The grenades exploded in front of us," said a secretariat employee on condition of anonymity. "But before we could recover there was another explosion," he added. He said then there were three others. "All I could see was that there was smoke rising from the lawns," the employee who was one among the participants of the demonstration in the secretariat lawns of a pay hike said.

Two grenades fell at the gate, one hit the building in between the second and third floor and two exploded near the lawns. That triggered panic among the employees who rushed out of the building only to watch the injured being shifted to hospitals.

Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was not in the building at that time. He and some other ministers rushed to the secretariat on learning about the explosions.

PDP campaigners ambushed: Militants today ambushed a campaign vehicle of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and made an attempt on the life of a senior party leader, while eight people, including five militants and two securitymen, were killed in the state.


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