Red Alert in Kashmir for Republic Day
10 January 2001
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Police and security agencies have sounded red alert in the Valley as a run up to Republic Day after receiving information that militants might try to strike in a big way. The arrest of members of the far Right militant outfit Jamait-ul-Mujahideen on Tuesday revealed plans to carry out numerous strikes, including bomb blasts and grenade attacks, against political leaders as well as to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations. Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Dr A.K. Bhan told the media that sustained interrogation of the six militants revealed that the group was in constant touch with Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence and Lashkar-e-Toiba to carry out the attacks. Bhan said, among the arrested militants are Jamait's chief coordinator Muzzafar Mirza and deputy district commander Khursheed Alam. Two other militants, Nisar Ahmad Gandroo and Zahoor Ahmad Shoora of Nowhatta area, were arrested by the JK police in Calcutta. The two militants, he said, were raising money for the outfit and also consolidating it's operation to carry out major strikes in the city. K. Rajendra, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, said the police are expecting more arrests in future and any more information would hamper their investigations. He said the outfit, which was localized and had been targeted by security agencies during the last three years, was desperately trying to reorganize itself. The outfit's self-styled chief commander General Abdullah gave a slip to security agencies from a hospital last year where he was being treated. Abdullah is said to have crossed over to Pakistan, from where he runs the operations according to the police. Police sources said security in and around Srinagar has been intensified and the frequency of patrolling upped. More barricades were erected on the roads leading to the summer capital. Sources said all entry points to Srinagar are being constantly monitored. At vital junctions, police and paramilitary forces are frisking passengers and pedestrians. According to the police, the instructions of putting police on high vigil became imperative after militants made an abortive bid to blow up the Central Telegraph Office in the heart of the Srinagar city on Tuesday. As many as 26 persons, mostly civilians, were injured in the blast. On Sunday, suspected militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba made a vain bid to attack the Srinagar Airport, which is partly under control of the Indian Air Force. Police, however, discounted the claim of LeT that it had threatened the vital installation.