|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Attempt on Omar, Farooq Abdullah
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | October 24, 2004 16:21 IST
Militants on Sunday made an attempt to assassinate former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and National Conference president and member of Parliament Omar Abdullah.
An improvised explosive device (IED) went off at Sarnal, 65km from Srinagar in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, when the duo, accompanied by party MLAs and some others, were on their way to attend the fateha khawani (prayers offered on the 4th day after a person's death) of slain former minister Safdar Ali Baig who was gunned down on Thursday outside his house.
Seven passers-by were injured in the explosion, which destroyed the high frequency jammer that is part of Dr Abdullah's security cover and put a question mark over its efficacy. The muti-crore hi-tech anti-sabotage vehicles, called jammers, are part of the security cover of all VVIPs who enjoy Z-plus security.
"There was a massive explosion. The security guards immediately surrounded Omar Abdullah and other party leaders as the rest of us ran for cover," said a police officer who was part of the convoy.
The commandos accompanying the NC leaders opened fire in air the after the blast.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar after his return, Omar Abdullah alleged that the local administration had not made adequate security arrangements, as 'they all knew that we were visiting the place'.
"No senior police officer was present at Sarnal. Even the district police chief Ashiq Hussain Bukhari was mysteriously absent from the spot as were other district officers. That is surprising. I doubt they had carried out anti-sabotage checks," he said.
"The worst thing is that the high frequency mobile jammer was destroyed in the blast. I have doubts about its efficiency to jam radio signals because the IED appears to have been triggered by a remote control device."
Omar alleged that the 'chief minister is trying to eliminate the NC top leadership politically and physically'.
Rejecting the inquiry ordered by the state police, which will be headed by the additional director general of police (CID), he demanded a high level probe by a senior central official.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis