March 2003 News

Mufti Asks Militants To Read Writing On Wall

20 March 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that his Government is alive to the militancy situation and would put an end to the menance of militancy with an iron hand. Making a suo-motto Statement in the legislative assembly before start of question hour, he said the Government is constantly reviewing the situation and appropriate action taken at all levels. 'It will not dither to take hard action against anti-national elements', he added. Mufti assured the House of firm action against such enemies of peace and said, ' the crunch time for them has approached and I fervently hope they would see the writing on the wall and respond positively to the dialogue process initiated by the Government' he said adding this is not only the best but only option available to everybody who wants to serve the interests of the State. Let no one be in doubt about that', he asserted. Saying that security forces are not complacent in braving the challenges, the Chief Minister disclosed that 214 militants including 74 foreign mercenaries have been killed and 66 arrested this year. A large quantity of arms and ammunition have also been seized which include 189 AK rifles, 47 pistols, revolvers, 45 RPGs, 3 pika guns, 2 rocket launchers, 78 kg of RDX, 710 hand grenades, etc. The Chief Minister said that the spring season is the reinforcement time for the militants in the State and this year was no exception to this established cyclic pattern. They are using Rajouri-Poonch corridor for infiltration as it is favourable because of late and heavy snowfall in the higher reaches, he added. The security forces on the Line of Control (LoC) are very alert and have foiled as many as 10 attempts of infiltration since January this year. A number of them were killed but reports indicate that about 140-150 militants, mostly foreign mercenaries, have managed to escape the strengthened vigil on LoC and spread to inaccessible areas of Poonch, Rajouri and Doda which led to their heightened activities. The reports indicates that these militants had planned spectacular action targeting protected persons, bus stands, railway station and minority habitations, he said. Mufti Sayeed referred to 7 militancy incidents from killing of owner of a shop at main chowk Rajouri in a IED blast to attack on police picket at Ind in Gool in Udhampur on the intervening night of March 15-16 in which 13 persons including 11 policemen-SPOs and 2 civilians were killed and 28 weapons taken away by militants. He said the picket was manned by 28 police personnel in addition to a VDC comprising 28 members. However, militants using sophisticated weaponry outnumbered the picket personnel. Dwelling on the Ind incident in detail, the Chief Minister said that the intelligence inputs suggest that the attack on Ind police picket was in retaliation to the killing of Amanullah, a self-styled commander of Hizbul-Mujahideen outfit in an encounter on February 25. He referred to the visits of the Governor, DGP, IGP-Jammu and himself on March 16 and 18 and said that operations have been launched to neutralize the militants responsible for the attack and to take steps to prevent reoccurrence of such incidents. The security grid in the area is being strengthened by deploying one more company of IRP, additional VDCs and SPOs to sensitize the area. He said 'we conveyed our heartfelt sympathies and sentiments of solidarity of legislators to the affected families'. Ex-gratia relief was distributed among them on spot. Besides, CGI sheets and some other material is being distributed among the people whose residential houses have been damaged. Action for payment of ex-gratia relief on account of the damaged houses is afoot and all possible measures, including employment for one of the members of the affected families, would be taken to mitigate their sufferings, stressed Mufti Sayeed. Reiterating his Government's commitment to do every thing for restoration of peace with dignity, Mufti Sayeed described those trying to sabotage his sincere efforts of resolving the vexed situation through dialogue as enemies of peace. Unlike on Monday last, the House heard the Chief Minister's statement with rapt attention.

 

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