Abdullah challenges ultras after bid on life
14 January 2001
Srinagar: Militants today made an abortive attempt on the life of Dr Farooq Abdullah, firing two rifle grenades when the chief minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a bridge at Habbakadal here. Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack and vowed to continue striking against him and other Indian leaders unless they “reversed their treacherous policies,” said an AFP report from Muzaffara-bad, PoK capital. One grenade fell into the Jhelum, the other exploded outside the meeting venue. There was no loss of life, officials said. Undeterred by the attack, Dr Abdullah said he won’t be cowed down by bullets and bombs, and nobody could deter him from the path of restoring peace in Jammu & Kashmir. “Farooq na pahle ghabraya hai na agey ghabrayega,” (Farooq has never feared in the past nor would he fear in the future), he said, resuming his address disrupted for a short while when the militants fired grenades towards him around 12.30 p.m. Security forces deployed there fired several shots in the air to scare away the militants. Dr Abdullah rejected the demand for tripartite talks among India, Pakistan and representatives of J&K people as demanded by the Hurriyat Conference. “There is no purpose in tripartite talks and Pakistan would soon realise that it had to hold talks with India alone.” He said the only solution to the Kashmir problem was granting autonomy to the state and suggested that the Line of Control be converted to an international border. He said the process of peace initiative would be taken to its logical end. Dr Abdullah said he had told the Centre to allow all Hurriyat leaders to visit Pakistan to see for themselves the plight of the people there. He said Mr Abdul Gani Lone, after his return from Pakistan, had admitted that the gun had wreaked havoc in Kashmir. The attack came 20 hours after Dr Abdullah said police had been ordered to kill militants wherever they were. “My orders to the police are wherever you find a militant despatch him as I do not want to fill jails,” he told a meeting in Barmulla. Advani condemns attack: Mr LK Advani has condemned the “dastardly attack” on Dr Abdullah. “Following the recent incident at the Red Fort and now with today’s incident in Srinagar, the entire situation will be reviewed before 26 January 26,” SNS adds from Delhi. In a statement the home minister said: “The activities of the militants in J&K and other parts of the country, including the Capital, has exposed the fact that Pakistan is not willing to abandon cross-border terrorism despite the Prime Minister’s peace initiative.” Major hurt: A Major and two other armymen were critically injured in a landmine explosion set off by militants at village Aadora in Baramulla district last evening.