Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, Aug 12, 2005
Google

National
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

National Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Vaishno Devi shrine fortified, pen bomb recovered

Beat cops given special instructions to keep an eye on `pithus'

JAMMU: More Army troops have been deployed at Katra and around the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in view of the high degree of threat perception and the chance recovery of a pen bomb from outside the `Bhavan.'

The pen, which can also write, vibrates and can be used to cause a minor explosion by fitting it with a detonator, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Udhampur-Doda) Satvir Gupta said.

Though the pen was recovered from the luggage room outside the cave shrine on August 9, police kept it a secret to avoid fear psychosis among Vaishno Devi pilgrims.

Mr Gupta said as no one was allowed to enter the cave shrine with one's belongings, the suspected militant, who had come there in the guise of a pilgrim, dropped the pen bomb inside the luggage room to avoid arrest.

He said as there were intelligence inputs that militants could cause explosions on the cave shrine, all possible security arrangements had been made to avoid any such incident.

Mr Gupta said in addition to two companies of Army deployed at Katra last year, nearly two more companies of army had been deployed in and around the town for the protection of the pilgrims.

He said though the cave shrine had been fortified, pilgrims were also being requested to remain alert and contact police in case they found a suspicious person around them.

The officer said field officers and beat cops had been given special instructions to also keep an eye on Vaishno Devi `pithus' (labourers who carry children and luggage pick-a-back on the Katra-Bhavan track) after a `pithu' joined Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) ranks a week ago. The `pithu,' who joined the LeT, was identified as Tariq of Ind in Gool.

As Tariq worked as `pithu' only for a month or so, Superintendent of Police (Ramban-Gool-Banihal) Gareeb Dass said he suspected that the former worked in Katra only to recce the area.

Mr Dass said a special operation had been launched in the Ind forests in search for Tariq.

Mr Gupta said as the majority of the `pithus' belonged to the militancy infested areas of Doda and Udhampur districts, it had become important to keep them under constant vigil.

Militants could force these `pithus' to cause blasts at Katra and en route to the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi by threatening to kill their families at homes, he added.

Katra has witnessed at least three blasts in the last one year. Over two years back, two `pithus' were arrested for their involvement in the killings of civilians in Udhampur district.

Mr Gupta said troops had been deployed at all the vantage points in and around Katra and Bhavan to prevent militants from making a strike.

Quoting intelligence inputs, Mr Dass said the items of daily use, which `pithus' carried home from Katra, were also being sold by them to militants at higher rates.

He said the plot to kill a woman and her daughter at Mahakund and Abdul Ghani and Mohammad Shafi at Ind a fortnight back was also suspected to have been hatched up at Katra. — UNI

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



National

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu