July 2002 News

Terrorism in its most naked form, says Advani

14 July 2002
The Hindu
Luv Puri

Jammu: The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and the Minister of State for Defence, Chaman Lal Gupta, visiting those injured in Saturday's militant attack, in Jammu on Sunday. PTI Jammu July 14. The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, today described the massacre of 27 persons in Jammu as terrorism in its most naked form and said that whoever planned it deserved strong condemnation. Talking to reporters this evening at the Governor's residence here, he said Saturday's attack and the Kaluchak incident two months ago were different, though both attacks were a crime against humanity. In Kaluchak, the jawans and their families were targeted and the latest attack was aimed at poverty-stricken people. The Jammu and Kashmir Governor, G.C. Saxena, and the Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, were also present. Mr. Advani said the purpose of his visit was to study the ground situation and that the Cabinet Committee for Security had assigned him the task of collecting inputs on which would be based a strategy against cross-border terrorism. The strategy would be announced in Parliament. He said he had detailed discussions with Lt. Gen. Saxena, Dr. Abdullah, the DGP, A.K.Suri, and Army officers. Asked whom the Centre blamed for the attacks, Mr. Advani said, ``at the moment, I cannot comment and I am collecting information. We make our announcements on the basis of evidence such as intercepts and other leads. We are looking into the details of the event and who is responsible for it and we will soon make a statement.'' The Deputy Prime Minister arrived in the city this afternoon with Home Ministry officials. He went to the Government Medical Hospital, Jammu, along with Lt. Gen. Saxena, Dr. Abdullah and Mr. Suri, and met the injured people. Tensions run high Emotional scenes were witnessed when Mr. Advani was holding discussions with Army officers and other senior police officials at the Rajiv Nagar colony. At least 1,000 people staged a demonstration and demanded that Mr. Advani meet the slum-dwellers and listen to their problems. They raised slogans against the BJP and the National Conference. After some time the crowd was pacified and Mr. Advani was allowed to speak. He said, ``I have come here to share your grief and the Central Government is very much aware of the pain you have undergone''. He said the entire country was behind them in their hour of crisis. ``We are trying hard to get the support of the international community in our fight against terrorism and we have been successful in this respect. But we certainly have to do something so that this senseless violence against innocent people is stopped once for all.'' The slum-dwellers blocked Mr. Advani's cavalcade and police dispersed the crowd. Government sources told The Hindu that in the evening a delegation of the slum-dwellers was allowed to meet Mr. Advani at the Governor's House and it is learnt that he assured them of full security and all possible relief. There are conflicting reports on the number of terrorists involved in the incident. Even the eyewitness accounts are contradictory. But there is agreement that it could have been between four and sevenPTI reports: Mr. Suri said the Pakistan-based militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for Saturday's attack. ``The Lashkar is responsible for this. There was definite information that the Lashkar has been planning attacks in Jammu and this is in pursuance of that information that we have this incident,'' he said. Ex-gratia An ex-gratia of Rs. 1 lakh would be given to the next of the kin of the victims, the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Rohit Kansal, said today.

 

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