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AMU hostels act as ISI havens - The Pioneer

Deepak Sharma ()
October 8, 1998

Title: AMU hostels act as ISI havens
Author: Deepak Sharma
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: October 8, 1998

The Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan is spending more than
Rs 5 crore per month on the 39 terrorist training camps being run in
Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), officers of the northern command
divulged here on Tuesday.

The ISI, they said, had recently supplied a consignment of anti-aircraft
guns and tank missiles, including sophisticated SAM-7 anti-aircraft
missiles, to the Harkat-ul-Ansar and two prominent foreign mercenaries
active in the Valley.

More surprisingly, the ISI's links with student groups in the Aligarh
Muslim University (AMU) have come to light. The Army officials said,
interrogation of certain militants in Kashmir had revealed that hardeore
members of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) were harboured
by student leaders at university hostels. Recently, four members of the
JKLF were arrested from Aligarh on a tip-off from the Intelligence
Bureau and Military Intelligence department.

The Northern Command officials, who are in the city in connection with
the display of weapons captured from terrorists, said ISI agents were
also involved in hawala and drug trafficking in a big way.

"We have identified 149 routes from where foreign mercenaries are being
infiltrated into India. The porous UP-Nepal border is also one of the
major routes for drug trafficking and infiltration of terrorists," said
an official.

As part of diversionary tactics to help infiltrators, the Pakistanis
fired over 2,000 anti-aircraft rounds and 1,000 rocket-propelled
grenades along the Kashmir border in the first six months of this year.
But along the Nepal border, things are done far more ,easily and without
fear, they said.

Despite an exclusive Indo-Nepal border police, raised by the UP
Government, militant infiltration has not been checked. Sources said, in
recent years, the ISI has funded over 150 religious institutions along
the UP-Nepal border in Bahraich and Sidharthnagar districts to woo the
local minority population. "Even the prime accused in the Mumbai serial
bombing case -- the Memon brothers - were harboured in Nepal," alleged
the officials.

On reports regarding the activities of the world's most wanted terrorist
Osama bin Laden in Kashmir, the officials said it was yet to be
confirmed if he had links with Hijbul Mujaheedin or the group led by
Mast Gul. "It's too early to comment on this issue but three terrorist
training camps have been identified in Afghanistan. The camps training
Kashmiri militants are sponsored by the Taliban," said a senior Army
official.

The Army, which has been given special powers under the Armed Forces
Special Powers Act in Kashmir, is righting a proxy war with Pakistan in
the Valley. Since 1990, 807 jawans have been killed and 2,615 seriously
wounded in anti-terrorist activities.


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