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archive: Desperate ISI bid to spread terror during election

Desperate ISI bid to spread terror during election

Josy Joseph in New Delhi
Rediff on Net
September 7, 1999

    Title: Desperate ISI bid to spread terror during election
    Author: Josy Joseph in New Delhi 
    Publication: Rediff on Net
    Date: September 7, 1999 
    Pakistan-trained militants are targeting minority localities to set up
    bases, intelligence sources have said. 
    Interrogation of several militants arrested across the northern and
    eastern regions of the country have revealed an intensified effort by
    Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence to spread terror in the country
    during the elections and target key political figures. To establish a
    base in India, the militants are targeting areas where "communities
    like Muslims and Sikhs are residing in large numbers," a senior
    intelligence official said. 
    Arrested members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Khalistan Commando Force and
    other such organisations revealed that they were trying to set up
    bases in the Kashmir valley, Punjab, certain parts of Delhi and in the
    Sikh-dominated parts of Terai region in Uttar Pradesh. Besides, fresh
    attempts were on to spread their tentacles to South India, where,
    again, Muslim-majority areas are being targeted. 
    The interrogation of an 11-member Laskhar-e-Toiba team, arrested in
    mid-August by the Jammu and Kashmir police, revealed that militants
    have fanned out to areas including Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh,
    Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi, sources said. The leader of the team
    was Amir Khan, a Pakistani national who was here to recruit Indians
    who had lost their immediate relatives in communal violence. In his
    attempt to build an Indian identity, he had obtained educational
    certificates, driving licences and was even planning to marry into a
    Muslim family living in Thane, Maharashtra. 
    The cell had based its operatives in Bombay and Bhiwandi, two areas
    where communal violence in the past have left very deep divisions. It
    was two Bhiwandi residents who obtained the certificates for Amir
    Khan. Among his recruits was a student of the Jamia Milia Islamia
    university in Delhi. 
    A recent home ministry report on increasing activities of ISI-backed
    militants in the North-East too has pointed at the presence of a large
    number of suspicious characters in Muslim-dominated areas. In fact,
    several organisations have cropped up recently in Assam, where the
    demography of many districts have changed drastically due to a large
    influx of Muslims from Bangladesh. 
    The home ministry report, prepared for Home Secretary Kamal Pandey's
    visit to Assam, speaks of the massive migration of Bangladeshis to the
    state. "Among these migrants, there could be a large of miscreants. We
    have ample evidence to that effect," an official said. 
    Recent arrests also revealed attempts by these Islamic fundamentalist
    groups to spread their presence to South India. There have been
    arrests of Islamic terrorists in Golconda, Hyderbad-Secunderabad,
    Tamil Nadu and some parts of Karnataka. In Kerala too there have been
    several obscure Islamic groups cropping up with doubtful sources of
    income, sources said. 
    Recent arrests of several terrorists in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and
    Uttar Pradesh expose desperate attempts to bring to life defunct Sikh
    fundamentalist organisations. Charanjit Singh Sukha, the right hand of
    Paramjit Singh Panjwar who heads a faction of the Khalistan Commando
    Force, was among the arrested in Delhi. He admitted to the police that
    the KCF (Panjwar) group had planned a series of explosions in the
    Capital, which would have been more severe than the Bombay blasts. 
    Intelligence sources said that the KCF (Panjwar) and some other groups
    have been trying to find a foothold in Sikh-dominated areas too. Most
    of the arrests were made in Delhi, Punjab and Terai region, where
    there are quite a few Sikh-majority localities. In Punjab too, reports
    say, there were attempts to resurrect the defunct terrorist outfits. 
    Recent investigations also reveal that despite pumping in money, the
    ISI was unable to locate enough loyal men for carrying out subversive
    works in the country, home ministry sources claim.

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