5-hour battle to foil intrusion
India wary of Pak UN trap
When money can buy militancy
We were forced to defend: Nayeemuddin
Mousumi in final
To Our Readers

New Delhi, Sept. 12 
The army today fought a fierce five-hour battle with Pakistani soldiers, pushing back the intruders who had sneaked into the Chamb area of Akhnoor sub-sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

This is the fourth major skirmish between the two sides since the end of the Kargil conflict. Earlier, in August, there was a face-off in the Turtuk sector, following which six Indian soldiers were reported missing. Two of them were later found to have been captured by the Pakistanis.

Defence sources said the intruders, a 15-strong Pakistani detachment, launched their assault on two Indian forward posts. Heavily armed, they moved in under the cover of darkness around 2.30 am.

The Indian jawans got wind of the raid only when the hail of grenades and rockets hit the outposts, located about 200 metres off the border.

The ensuing gunfight continued for several hours after dawn. Reinforcements arrived from the neighbouring area and the Pakistanis were outnumbered.

At the end of the skirmish, bodies of five Pakistani soldiers were found close to the outposts. Four injured intruders were dragged back to Pakistani soil by their comrades.

The escaping soldiers were given fire cover by heavy shelling from across the border. Sources said there was no casualty on the Indian side.

Defence sources said this kind of intrusion served a purpose: it helped to draw the Indian forces? attention away from infiltrators being pushed in through quieter border areas.

With the last phase of voting yet to be completed in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan is sending batches of foreign mercenaries to disrupt the elections.

Pakistani forces are also pursuing a strategy of persistently attacking Indian encampments and keeping the jawans on tenterhooks.

The objective, sources said, was to ensure that the Indian soldiers grew exasperated and lost the energy to fight. India had claimed that it killed seven Pakistanis in a similar intrusion attempt in Akhnoor last month.

Last evening, militants tried to strike at the high-security army headquarters at Badami Bagh cantonment ? a move that indicated the extent of their daring.

The headquarters houses the offices of the 15 Corps, one of the two corps guarding the Line of Control. The rocket, however, exploded in mid-air, causing no injury. Lashkar-e-Toiba, the pro-Pakistan militant outfit, claimed responsibility for the attack and said a missile had been fired towards the army base.

In Srinagar, the state government said the Indian security forces had identified one of the militants killed yesterday as the self-styled commander of Tehreek-e-Jehad-Islami.

Popularly known as Sikra, he was a resident of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and had, of late, been spreading terror in Jammu. Sikra was among the terrorists killed in an encounter at Nadiyala in Surankote, Poonch.    

New Delhi, Sept. 12 
The possibility of Pakistan moving a resolution at the UN General Assembly calling for a ?strategic restraint? with India has got officials here worried about the embarrassment it could cause to New Delhi.

There are indications that the Nawaz Sharif government, under domestic pressure after Kargil, may try and move the resolution to put India in a spot.

Sharif has decided not to attend the General Assembly session which begins in New York on Tuesday. Pakistan?s delegation will be led by foreign minister Sartaj Aziz. The neighbours are to speak on September 22.

Foreign ministry officials here feel Aziz?s speech will give a strong hint of whether the resolution would be moved or not.

If Pakistan does move a resolution on disarmament, it will be in the assembly?s first committee, which sits in October. But to ensure the resolution is carried, Islamabad will first assess the mood of other participating nations.

It is most likely to begin by sounding out members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference. If the OIC makes a positive response, Pakistan may circulate a draft of the resolution to gauge how the rest feel about it.

In a recent talk in Islamabad on the Indian nuclear doctrine, the Pakistani foreign secretary had put forth 10 proposals for reducing the tension in South Asia.

The proposals included, besides a ?strategic regime?, a regional agreement between Delhi and Islamabad to ensure that neither will conduct further nuclear tests till the entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The foreign secretary had also asked India not to deploy its nuclear weapons and to refrain from making ?hundreds? of warheads, as envisaged in the draft doctrine released by Delhi last month.

Two Pakistani resolutions ? on regional disarmament and on conventional arms control at regional and sub-regional levels ? have already been adopted by the assembly. The resolutions, highly India-specific, stress the disparities among countries in terms of size and military capability.

The latest resolution will probably be on the same lines, with only the nuclear angle added to make it acceptable to most members of the General Assembly.

Indian officials said if such a resolution was moved, Delhi would not hesitate to oppose it. But, privately, they admit it could be embarrassing. ?Pakistan has nothing to lose and everything to gain,? an official said.

Since the Security Council has already passed a resolution calling for dismantling of the South Asian nuclear programmes, Pakistan is likely to be backed by most of the members, isolating India.    

Bandipora (Baramulla), Sept. 12 
Special Task Force (STF) deputy superintendent Jugal Kishore Sharma settles his burly frame into an armchair laid out on the lawn overlooking his small but heavily guarded camp. He is casually dressed: a polo-neck ?T? shirt and a tracksuit bottom. With a gentle smile and a wink he asks a constable to bring them over. Within a minute, three little figures appear.

Sharma barks at them to squat on the damp ground. ?These **** could not take the rigours of jungle and mountain-life that make terrorists. They had taken one of the pathways used by militants to move fresh recruits to Pakistan. Before heading back and surrendering at the police station along with three others, they had trekked three days and three nights and had reached very close to the LoC,? Sharma said.

There is no dark and dingy interrogation cell in the STF camp. Sharma prefers to prise out information from his captives under the sky. ?Name??? growls Sharma. ?Javed Ahmed Lone??, the first prisoner stutters, his emaciated face darkened with fear. ?Age??? asks Sharma. ?I? 16, sir??, stammers Javed, tearing a little bit of skin from his index finger in sheer nervousness. ?Father?s name??? inquires Sharma. ?Mohammad Kamal Lone of Erin,?? replies Javed. ?What does he do??? questions Sharma. Javed hesitates. But when Sharma lets loose a volley of invectives and threatens to use third degree, Javed stammers: ?NC (National Conference) block president.??

Soon the police officer is joined by an officer of the BSF?s ?G? (intelligence) branch in mufti. Once the antecedents of the other two ? Jafar Ahmed Lone, 17, and Mushtaque Ahmed Dar, 18 ? are jotted down, Sharma and the BSF officer get down to serious business.

?We and three others had gone up to the mountains in the afternoon of September 1 to fetch firewood when 15 of them (militants) accosted us. They promised to give us Rs 10,000 each if we went along with them across (the border) and returned to create terror and attack the security forces,?? narrates Mushtaque of Nadehal.

?They were armed,?? Mushtaque continues, but Sharma cuts him short. ?They went along quite willingly. It is the lure of money and there is no ideological commitment,?? explains Sharma.

?We left Erin in the afternoon. By late evening we were at Samthan,? Mushtaque recalls.

?Did you go via Bothu, Sanarbani and Chhandji??? asks the BSF officer. ??Yes,?? says Jafar, confirming the officer?s suspicion about the route followed by the group. Satisfied, Sharma produces a sheaf of photographs and wants the three to identify some of them. ?What were they saying among themselves??? he asks. ?They were communicating over walkie-talkies. I think they were from the Hizbul Mujahideen,?? says Jafar, now relaxed.

When shown some of the photographs of local Kashmiri youth who had taken up the gun, Jafar, Javed and Mushtaque excitedly and willingly identify them. ?That is Mama, that there is SK, this one is Suleiman, this is Pilot and one was known as Shafriyan,?? the three blurt out the code names, but smile as they score with each identification. They all belong to the Hizbul.

?We know these three are basically innocent. But their detention gives us the opportunity to make them and their parents and relatives our sources. That is what we require in a place where most villagers do not cooperate with the security forces,?? says Sharma winding up the interrogation.    

Calcutta, Sept. 12 
Mohun Bagan coach Syed Nayeemuddin today said his team was forced to defend in face of consistent attacks from Bangladesh?s Muktijoddha Sansad in yesterday?s Asian Club Cup away tie in Dhaka.

Mohun Bagan drew goalless but advanced to the second round by virtue of the first-leg victory here.

?The ground in Dhaka appeared unplayable on match eve but a good bit of rolling made it slightly better,? said Nayeem who returned with the team today.

He said even star striker Chima Okerie had to come down to help the defence where Samuel Omollo and Debjit Ghosh ?stood out?. ?Muktijoddha this time looked a different team. It turned out to be a very tough match.?    

Calcutta, Sept. 12 
Mousumi Pal will meet Saptaparni Guha in the girls singles final of the Green Top table tennis championship.

In the semi-finals today, Mousumi defeated Deepmala Pyne 17-21, 21-18, 21-16, 13-21, 21-14, while Saptaparni beat Poulomi Sinha 21-14, 14-21, 21-18, 21-10.

The sub-junior boys final will pit Sourav Pradhan against Pintu Das. Sourav got past Amarnath Das 17-21, 21-17, 21-13, 21-14 and Pintu beat Chiranjib Chowdhury 21-16, 21-18, 21-17.

In the cadet boy?s semis yesterday, Amarnath beat Soumya Nandy 21-10, 18-21, 21-13 and Jayanta Sarkar got past Prosenjit Guchait 21-16, 21-19.

In cadet girl?s semis, Sayantika Kundu beat Agamani Mitra 21-19, 21-8 while Nabanita Bose defeated Pallabi Kundu 21-13, 23-25, 21-14.

State junior billiards

Akram Khan defeated Pranav Modi 454-156 in the 11th state junior billiards championship.

Other results: Mayur Agarwal bt Ankit Kariwal 325-161; Devraj Gorsia bt Atul Kejriwal 320-149; Brijesh Damani bt Ching Sin Fath 318-256.    

The Telegraph website today is a truncated edition because of the September 3 fire. Apart from the Front page links are available only to the East section.    

Maintained by Web Development Company