September 2002 News

Trudge the poll path under shadow of the gun

22 September 2002
The Statesman

Srinagar: Curtains came down on electioneering in Budgam, Jammu and Srinagar districts amid a fresh surge of violence. Militants targeted the houses of two candidates, a designated polling station and security patrols and convoys, killing two security men and injuring 25 , police said. Elsewhere in the state, 14 militants were killed in separate incidents. Militants fired two rifle grenades at National Conference MLA Sheikh Mohammad Rafiq’s at Kachdooru in Pulwama district last night. No one was injured. Sheikh Rafiq is contesting the elections from the Shopian Assembly constituency. Ultras hurled a grenade at Congress candidate Mohammad Shafi Banday’s house in Pulwama this afternoon, damaging glass panes. This was the second attack on Mr Banday’s house over the last three days. In another incident, militants tossed a grenade at a security vehicle in Shopian this morning. The grenade missed the target and exploded on the road, injuring 11 civilians. A police vehicle came under fire at Watoora in Badgam. No one was injured. A BSF jawan was killed and four injured when militants ambushed a Jammu-bound convoy at Hanjipora near Sangam on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway today. The BSF has launched a man- hunt to nab the militants, officials said. A Lashkar-e-Taiyaba militant and a special police officer were killed and another security personnel injured in separate encounters in Poonch today, officials said. The militant was shot dead by the Army in Kannardi. An AK rifle, three grenades and three magazines were recovered from him. In another encounter in Surankote, a SPO was killed and a jawan injured, officials said. Five militants were gunned down at Bandipori where troops recovered a machine gun, two AK 47 rifles and a pistol. Security forces killed five militants in Bhimbor Gali and Mendhar in Jammu. In Kulgam, where an abortive bid was made on Ms Sakina Itoo’s life, the Army gunned down three militants. Omar to resign after polls Mr Omar Abdullah today said he would resign from the NDA government after the election process in Jammu and Kashmir was over. “I am not going to wait for the election results. Whatever be the results, in my favour or against me, I am going to resign,” he told reporters in Srinagar. Will any other NC member be inducted into the Union Cabinet? Mr Abdullah said there were no immediate plans on the matter. He admitted there was a lot of bitterness between the NC and the NDA, especially after Mrs Sushma Swaraj’s criticism of the NC for embezzling Central funds. He brushed aside allegations that the party hadn’t done much for Ganderbal, an Abdullah family stronghold.

 

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