February 2002 News

Pervez pushing Osama men into J&K

17 February 2002
The Pioneer
Deepak Sharma

New Delhi: Terrorist outfits Al-Qaeda and Jaish-e-Mohammed are spreading their tentacles in the Kashmir Valley. In a top secret report tabled before Home Minister L K Advani, the Intelligence Bureau has revealed that Al-Qaeda men are desperately trying to build their network in Kashmir. The report also hints at an increase in infiltration of terrorists from across the border. Seriously concerned about the situation, Mr Advani held a one-on-one meeting with Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and former RAW Secretary Gary Saxena at his North Block office on Saturday evening. Sources said that perturbed over increasing infiltration on the border, Mr Advani recently told the US Ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill, that New Delhi is disappointed with Pakistan''s failure to curb cross-border terrorism. On the issue of infiltration, the IB report says that taking a ''pro-active'' approach, the security forces gunned down 597 terrorists in Kashmir during the last three months. However, infiltration of terrorists from across the border has not stopped. ''In January 2002, 167 terrorists were killed in encounters. ''The trend, in the subsequent period, indicates a rise in infiltration,'' the report says. The latest figures reveal that after a statewide crackdown on Jaish and Lashkar cadres the ratio of killings of security personnel to terrorists have come down to 1:6.4 (as on January 2002). During the same month last year, ratio was 1:2.7, meaning 30 security personnel and 81 terrorists were killed.'' But what is disturbing is the fact that Al-Qaeda cadres, backed by a faction of ISI, are gradually tying to sneak into the Valley. ''Recently, during interrogation of a terrorist vital information about Al-Qaeda modules operating in Kashmir had come to our notice,'' said a senior MHA official. The IB report says that in a well-coordinated operation, which led to killing of two powerful terrorist commanders, the sleuths subsequently laid their hands on big-time hawala operators based in Srinagar. ''We interrogated dreaded terrorists Isfaq Maulvi of Hijbul Mujahideen and later gunned down Shakar Gajnavi. Isfaq, who was using a satellite phone, was speaking to hawala operators in Srinagar and Delhi. In all, we recovered Rs 1 crore from terrorist hideouts,'' the official said, adding, ''11 top business houses in Srinagar and Baramulla were found involved in funding terrorists.''


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