Army weighing options to avenge Kaluchak: CM
15 May 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Srinagar: Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah today said that Army was seriously considering what best action could be taken to prevent and avenge the affronts like that of Kaluchak in Jammu. He indicated that (after the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting in New Delhi) Union Defence Minister, George Fernan-des, and Union Home Minister, L K Advani, would attend the Unified Headquarters meeting in Srinagar to finalise an option. Dr Abdullah would be himself present in the meeting as Chairman of the Unified Command. In an informal chat with mediapersons after the swearing in ceremony of the new Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Mr Justice Babulal Chandulal Patel, a melancholic Dr Farooq Abdullah repeated his Governmentís helplessness vis-a-vis the continuing terrorist attacks. ''We will have to be the victims of their gun. Every one of us shall have to suffer'', Dr Abdullah said when asked how he would stop the militant attacks on his National Conference (NC) activists. Nevertheless, he resolved to conduct the Assembly elections ''in absolutely free and fair atmosphere''. Dr Abdullah said that an important conclave of the ruling party would be held soon in Srinagar and, on that occasion, he would be succeeded by a new incumbent (his son, Omar Abdullah) as the NC president. As regards the possibility of his becoming the President or Vice President of India, Dr Abdullah said that anything was possible. Combating terrorism, he said, was the concern of the whole world. He suggested that India would have to take the world into confidence in taking any hard step against the menace of terrorism. Dr Abdullah said that there was no possibility of recalling the troops from the borders as the infiltration of militants was going on unabated. He indicated that the Union Defence and Home Ministers would be visiting Jammu & Kashmir in near future and deliberating with armed forces how to take on the challenge of militantsí influx and attacks. Dr Abdullah said that he would be discussing the latest developments and situation with the Prime Minister in New Delhi within two days. Dr Abdullah disagreed with the suggestion that the suicide strike at Kaluchak was a security lapse. ''You see, what kind of animals what have to deal with. They didnít spare even two-year-old kids'', he said of the Fidayeen guerrillas. Asked how he looked at the current factional feud in Hizbul Mujahideen, Dr Abdullah described it as ''fairly reassuring'' that some people (among militants) had begun to realise the ground realities of Kashmir. ''It must open the eyes of their Pakistani masters. They must know that Kashmiris are not blind any more''. Earlier, Governor Girish Chander Saxena administered the oath to the new Chief Justice. George Fernandes, who reached here for an interaction with security forces and inspection of forward positions, was present at the swearing in ceremony. Judges of J&K High Court and some Government advocates, a number of Dr Abdullahís ministerial colleagues and Advisers, Commander of 15 corps, Chief Secretary, Director General of J&K Police, IGs of BSF, CRPF and ITBP, senior IAS, KAS and IPS officers and a host of MLAs and MLCs, attended the ceremony at Raj Bhawan. Directors of official electronic media and a large number of Srinagar-based journalists also attended the function as guests. However, J&K High Court Bar Association, which is a constituent of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, did not attend the function.