THE KARGIL FUND Set up by The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika
More than a hundred soldiers have already died in the undeclared war in Kargil. Many more are lying injured in hospitals. No assistance is compensation enough for the mother who has lost her son or the wife her husband. But we, the citizens of this country, need to help, in however small a way. The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika are setting up a fund with that modest aim in mind. The fund is being started with an intial contribution of Rs 5 Lakh from the ABP Group. If every reader of The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika donates a small sum, we can raise a huge amount for the families of the soldiers killed or injured in action. As a token of appreciation, both papers will publish the names of donors contributing Rs 500 or more. This is a time to ask yourself what can you do for the nation.   Only account payee cheques and drafts - payable to 'ABP Kargil Fund' - will be accepted. Put the cheque/draft in an envelope with your name and address. Write 'ABP Kargil Fund' and mail it to or deliver (between 10 am and 6 pm except on Sundays) at  
ABP LTD 
6 Prafulla Sarkar Street 
Calcutta 700001 
India
 
 
 
Hostage crisis after BSF camp assault
Delhi ties talks to cross-border terrorism halt
Sena-CPM clash over Dilip Kumar
Army takes over pullout posts
Oklahoma whiff in station blast
Sensex touches all-time high
Calcutta weather

 
 
HOSTAGE CRISIS AFTER BSF CAMP ASSAULT 
 
 
OUR BUREAU
 
July 13 
The theatre of the stealth war shifted from Kargil to a few kilometres within the border as a ?suicide squad? of militants held hostage 12 persons at a Border Security Force residential campus after mowing down three officers, including a DIG, and the wife of a jawan.

The stand-off, which began after the pre-dawn militant strike, stretched into the night with airlifted commandos of the National Security Guard surrounding the building in which the militants are holed up with the hostages.

BSF sources said the commandos have been rushed in to ?take out the militants?. However, no decision has been taken on when the commandos will be given the go-ahead for action.

Deputy inspector-general S.K. Chakravorty, who hails from Tripura, and two other officers were killed while trying to rescue the husband and children of the slain woman. Five children, four women and three BSF personnel have been taken hostage.

The BSF said tonight it believes the assault on the camp at Bandipore, over 45 km from Srinagar and 10 km from the Line of Control, was mounted by the pro-Pakistan Al-Badr militants.

However, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba, a Mujahideen outfit, has also claimed responsibility for the incident, describing it as the ?second round? after the ?first round of Kargil?.

BSF additional DIG Mohammad Ziaullah said around 2 am, two to three militants sneaked into the campus and proceeded to the living quarters of junior officers and jawans close to the family lines.

Hearing the creak of a window opening, a jawan?s wife got up to check. One of the terrorists fired a burst from his rifle, killing her. The jawan, too, was shot at, shattering his right ankle. His two daughters suffered minor injuries.

By this time, the militants had taken cover. Sub-inspector Bhaskaran, who came to the jawan?s aid, was shot dead.

DIG Chakravorty quickly put together a rescue team, encircled the area and approached the building. As he entered the house, Chakravorty ran into a fusillade from the militants who had moved to the first floor. At least 20 bullets hit Chakravorty. Deputy commandant Mohan Raj, who tried to rush to the second floor, was also gunned down.

As morning broke, troops in full battle gear and BSF personnel laid siege to the area, asking the militants to surrender.

Around 11.45 am, two terrorists tried to sneak out of a first-floor window. One was killed by the troops. Though the other was wounded, he scampered back into the building.

Since then, the militants have not made any attempt to communicate with the BSF.

Both the BSF and the foreign ministry spokesmen refused to describe the incident as a hostage situation. They said the militants have not made any demands.

However, a former BSF chief told a television channel he had information that the attack was intended at securing the release of a militant leader in BSF custody.

The BSF headquarters and the home ministry are stunned over the way the militants ?walked? into the heavily-guarded campus. The incident reflects a security slip-up even though Operation Rakshak, part of L.K. Advani?s ?pro-active? policy to flush out militants, was intensified after the Kargil intrusion.    


 
 
DELHI TIES TALKS TO CROSS-BORDER TERRORISM HALT 
 
 
FROM PRANAY SHARMA
 
New Delhi, July 13 
Linking the renewal of dialogue with Pakistan to cessation of cross-border terrorism, India today made it clear that talks may not be possible unless Islamabad disbands training camps for Kashmiri militants and gives an undertaking to Delhi not to encourage insurgent strikes in India.

Claiming that the Kargil experience was a setback to the Lahore dialogue process, India said its ?future dealings with Pakistan will be governed by the sequence of steps? it had ?already spelt out? and by Pakistan?s response to them.

Apart from demanding the withdrawal of intruders by the morning of July 16, Delhi wants a statement from Islamabad reaffirming the ?inviolability and sanctity? of the LoC.

In a tactical move, India is arguing that cross-border terrorism is tantamount to violation of the LoC and, therefore, there can be no dialogue unless Pakistan gives an undertaking to desist from encouraging any terrorist activity against Delhi.

In a national telecast last night, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked for a face-to-face with his Indian counterpart A.B. Vajpayee ?to save our people from the dangers of war and give them peace and security?.

But India today made it clear that it was in no mood to hold a high-level dialogue with Pakistan unless Islamabad complies with its conditions.

India?s reluctance to return to talks immediately after the resolution of the Kargil conflict stems from domestic compulsions. The Vajpayee government ? now cresting the nationalist wave over its success in Kargil ? may lose the edge over political rivals if it renews talks with Islamabad. The Prime Minister is wary of a return to the negotiations table being turned into an electoral plank against the BJP.

By demanding an undertaking from Pakistan, Vajpayee wants not just to buy more time, but also to consolidate the image of the BJP as that of a tough party which will not compromise the interest of the nation.

Foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said India had taken the initiative in the Lahore dialogue process. He said Vajpayee had made the extra effort of riding the peace bus to improve relations with Islamabad.

?Pakistan?s armed intrusion and aggression in Kargil was a betrayal of trust. It also revealed Pakistan?s abiding hostility. It would, therefore, be idle to pretend that this experience has not set back India-Pakistan relations,? he said.

Citing several conditions if the two countries were to re-start dialogue, Jassal said: ?The first essential step is a total clearing up of the remnants of armed intrusion and aggression. We expect that this will be cleared by the first light of July 16. Till this is not completed to our satisfaction, no other steps will be taken.?

Jassal pointed out that after the withdrawal, ?Pakistan would need to reaffirm the inviolability and sanctity of the LoC?. ?In this regard, we hold that the sponsorship of cross-border terrorism is a violation of the LoC,? he added. Referring to the ?gruesome incident? in Bandipore this morning, Jassal said: ?It is yet another reminder of Pakistan?s brazen and continuing sponsorship of terrorism.?

He made it clear that ?Pakistan will have to abandon this path of encouraging and abetting terrorism and dismantle the entire network set up on Pakistani territory for the purpose?.

The international community, which has supported India on the Kargil conflict, expects New Delhi to return to the dialogue process with Pakistan once it is resolved.

Since the withdrawal of intruders has already begun and there are indications that the process may be over by the end of the week, world leaders may ask Delhi to return to the talks table.

However, the Indian leadership feels the world will realise Delhi?s compulsions and not pressure it to begin talks.

Foreign ministry officials argued that with polls due in six weeks, ?it is natural for the ruling party to gear up for the elections rather than try and finalise dates for talks with Pakistan?.    


 
 
SENA-CPM CLASH OVER DILIP KUMAR 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, July 13 
Shiv Sena supporters and members of the CPM?s student wing today clashed over actor Dilip Kumar on busy Janpath. The incident occurred in spite of Kumar?s meeting with A.B. Vajpayee on Sunday in which the Prime Minister told the actor that he could keep the Nishan-e-Imtiaz award conferred on him by Pakistan. Kumar also met President K.R. Narayanan for 45 minutes today.

Hordes of Sainiks gathered outside Le Meridien hotel, shouting against the actor. They had an effigy of Kumar on a donkey.

A group of SFI workers, shouting slogans in support of Kumar, marched towards the Sainiks. They were soon joined by activists of Delhi Pradesh Congress and Janata Dal. Police stopped the groups when they were still a few yards away from each other. Sena activists burnt the effigy. Then, while appearing to retreat, some of the Sainiks hit the SFI supporters. The Left activists retaliated with the poles of their red flags. Kumar later said: ?Delhi is the place where.there is a Central administration. If these people (Sena) can create trouble here, you can imagine what they can do in Mumbai, their citadel.?

No date set,says Pak: Pakistan today described as a ?pack of lies? that New Delhi has given Islamabad a July 16 deadline for complete withdrawal of intruders from Kargil.

?It is absolutely wrong on part of India to make such a claim,? foreign office spokesman Tariq Altaf said.    


 
 
ARMY TAKES OVER PULLOUT POSTS 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, July 13 
Indian troops today allowed little time to lapse after the Pakistani pullout on the warfront, moving in swiftly but cautiously into vacated sectors as forward observation posts updated them with enemy details.

The army proceeded in small patrol parties, scouring the rocky route for landmines, and backing up with mortar and artillery to secure the wrested positions.

?It is not that we will wait 48 hours or more before moving in. We are following intruder movement closely and accordingly moving in,? an army official said.

Denying that this amounted to giving infiltrators safe passage, he said avoiding direct confrontation was the best thing possible. He said tension on both sides was high, with Pakistanis frustrated that their gameplan was foiled and Indians seething at the death of so many colleagues. Hence, it was best not to stoke the embers.

Both foot soldiers and air reconnaissance missions have been supplying data on the pullouts. Air force spokesman Group Captain D.N. Ganesh said reconnaissance sorties were being carried out as strikes had been discontinued.

In Kaksar, evacuation began almost 72 hours ago. There were signs of withdrawal in Mushkoh Valley today, with the army tracking the pullout route of the intruders. In both sectors, Pakistani shelling has stopped.

The enemy is holding on to some ridges in Drass and Bata- lik. Shelling has been heavy in Drass over the last 24 hours, and Indian artillery and mortars are firing back. The army said there are about 60 intruders in Drass alone.

India expects Pakistan will keep its word and evacuate Indian territory by Friday. But Indian troop movement is cautious as they fear the retreating intruders will not leave without planting booby traps and landmines.    


 
 
OKLAHOMA WHIFF IN STATION BLAST 
 
 
BY DEEPANKAR GANGULY
 
Calcutta, July 13 
Investigators probing the blast at New Jalpaiguri railway station have identified the explosive as the same that was used in the Oklahoma bombing in 1995 where 168 people were killed. They have also identified the six people suspected to be responsible for the June 22 blast, which took nine lives.

They said the explosive was not RDX, as believed at first, but ammonium nitrate fuel oil (Anfo), used for the first time in the country.

Three jawans were among those killed in the blast that shook terror-free West Bengal out of its complacency, forcing security agencies to go on alert in the region with the war raging in Kargil.

After three weeks, investigators of the Government Railway Police (GRP) today said they had identified the masterminds, but had not been able to arrest them yet.

Rajat Majumdar, heading the probe, told The Telegraph: ?The way the operation was carried out suggests it was the handiwork of a well-equipped outfit. All clues point to the ISI. Investigations have traced six ISI agents and the kingpin is a man called Mama alias Rabbani alias S. Singh. He was operating in the region for a while and has slipped out of the nation now.??

Majumdar did not want to reveal the names of the others for the sake of investigation. The police officer said he traced Mama to Nepal, but drew a blank there.

The Nepal police told Majumdar that Khalistani militants had gone to that country to pick up explosives and detonators.

Majumdar said the police first suspected that RDX had been used in the blast because of the intensity of the explosion.

But as investigations proceeded, the suspicion was proved wrong. Post-mortem reports said there were ?gross lacerated wounds on the chest and abdomen with multiple holes. Some wounds had oily materials.??

?We realised then that the explosive was not RDX because it is not oily,? Majumdar said.

Forensic tests confirmed the explosive was Anfo. A detonator, which has an electronic timer, sets off the explosive.    


 
 
SENSEX TOUCHES ALL-TIME HIGH 
 
 
OUR BUREAU
 
Mumbai, July 13 
Minutes after brokers on Dalal Street returned to resume what was widely expected to be a tumultuous session, the BSE sensitive index raced past the last milestone to a new intra-day high of 4678.28.

The September 12, 1994 record of 4643.31 was swept away, but the 30-share index failed to hold on to its early gains and closed a shade lower at 4655.63 points.    


 
 
CALCUTTA WEATHER 
 
 
 
 
Today?s forecast: A few spells of light rain with one or two spells of showers or thundershowers

Temperature: Maximum 29.9?C (2?C below normal)
Minimum 26?C (Normal)

Relative humidity: Maximum 98%
Minimum 84%

Rainfall: 23.4 mm

Sunset: 6.22 pm
Sunrise: 5.03am
 

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