Sunday, Jun 16, 2002
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By Shujaat Bukhari
Soliders in search of militants who fired grenades at a venue where the Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, was attending a function, in Srinagar on Saturday. AFP
Mr. Abdullah, who was inaugurating the new complex of the State Board of School Education, escaped unhurt when the grenades missed their target and exploded almost 300 m away. There were no casualties. Senior police officials rushed to the spot and the locality from where the grenades were fired was sealed off.
"Mr. Abdullah was attending the inauguration ceremony at Bemina bypass when the grenades were fired at around 1 p.m.," the IGP, Kashmir range, K. Rajendra, said. "Militants fired two rifle grenades from Hamza Colony, around 700 m away from the venue. As the grenades were fired from out of their range, they landed some 300 m short of their target.
"One of the grenades hit the corner of the highway that divides the housing colonies from the area where the function was being held and exploded in the adjacent marshy land. The other failed to explode and was later defused by us."
Mr. Rajendra said the militants were unable to get closer to the venue because of the strict security measures. "We followed the sanitisation drill carefully and the area around the venue was checked meticulously. The grenades exploded so far away from the venue that it did not even disrupt the function. The Chief Minister did not even move and continued with the function."
Police had information that a new group called Al-Madina was behind the attack. "Al-Madina is in fact a pseudonym for Al-Umar Mujahideen," he said. The group was led by Mushtaq Zargar, one of the three terrorists released in 1999 in exchange for the passengers of an hijacked IA plane.
Two pilgrims killed
UNI, PTI report:
Militants fired indiscriminately and lobbed grenades on a procession of pilgrims, killing two and injuring two others in the Khora-Kanthwara area of Kishtwar tehsil in Doda district this afternoon, official sources said here.
The militants fired from a hilltop in the area when the procession was on way to the Kud Mata Devi. Two of the four injured pilgrims later died, they said. Security personnel accompanying the procession retaliated, forcing the militants to retreat into the forest.
Heavy Pak. shelling
Indian and Pakistani troops are locked in a fierce mortar duel at Paharpur and Pansar border outposts along the International Boundary (IB) in the Hiranagar sector of Kathua district since this morning, while both the armies exchanged mortar and artillery fire at the Drass, Batalik and Davar sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) throughout last night.
A senior military officer of the Northern Command said the Pakistani troops began sudden and heavy mortar shelling on the Drass, Batalik and Davar sectors and pounded forward Indian formations for some time.
Woman set ablaze
A woman died after being set ablaze by three masked men inside a mosque at Kralpora, 10 km from here, police said today.
The woman, identified as Neelofar, sustained 90 per cent burns and died on Friday in hospital. The incident took place when Neelofar had gone to visit a friend.
As she was returning, she was abducted by the masked men who took her inside a mosque, sprinkled kerosene on her and set her ablaze.
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