Police Foil Kashmir Plot To Attack Republic Day25 January 2010
Srinagar: Troops in insurgency-hit Kashmir found a large cache of arms and explosives that were to be used in an attack on India's Republic Day celebrations, police said Monday. Rebel violence routinely increases in the revolt-hit Muslim-majority state of Kashmir ahead of January 26, an annual national holiday. The discovery of the cache rendered 'a severe blow to a sinister plan of militants to launch a major offensive on the eve of Republic Day,' Shakeel Beigh, a senior district police officer, told reporters. Grenades, detonators, mines and guns were found in the northern district of Baramulla and at another site in Rajouri district near the de facto border dividing Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan. The region had been relatively stable in recent months. But there has been a spike in violence in the run-up to the Republic Day festivities, including a militant siege of a Srinagar hotel that resulted in the death of two militants, a policeman and a civilian bystander. Republic Day marks the date in 1950 when India's new republican constitution came into effect. India gained independence from Britain in 1947, but went through a transitional phase when it was still classed as a dominion. Kashmiris have spurned the celebrations since the insurgency against rule from New Delhi began two decades ago.