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'Plan' to kill candidates foiled

The seven Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants, including a battalion commander, who were arrested in Srinagar on Saturday. — Photo: Nissar Ahmad

The seven Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants, including a battalion commander, who were arrested in Srinagar on Saturday. — Photo: Nissar Ahmad  

Srinagar Oct. 5. The BSF has foiled a militant plan to target candidates contesting the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls, with the arrest of seven Hizb-ul Mujahideen ultras responsible for violence during electioneering in Srinagar.

Acting on specific information, the BSF raided a house here last evening and arrested them, while they were planning to target `would-be' peoples' representatives, the BSF DIG, Desh Raj, told reporters here. The militants had also planned to disrupt the darbar move, the six-monthly shifting of the seat of government from the summer capital, Srinagar, to the winter capital, Jammu, at the end of this month.

The DIG said the arrested militants were `self-styled' battalion commander, Irshad Ahmed Ahangar alias Shahid and `deputy battalion commander', Imtiaz Ahmed Gujri alias Khalid, besides Shoukat Ahmed Gujri alias Umar, Umar Tariq Malik alias Riyaz, Arshad Ahmed Bhat alias Altaf, and Farooq Ahmed Bhat alias Tariq.

One more militant Mohd Shafi Dar was arrested later from the Batmaloo area.

The militants, all locals, admitted that, during the electioneering in Srinagar, they had launched grenade attacks and were responsible for the attack on the Congress headquarters on September 17.They also admitted to killing several security personnel.

A large quantity of arms and ammunition, including four China-made pistols, three grenade launchers, 15 rifle grenades, 10 grenades, four IEDs, four kg of explosives, four remote-controlled devices and seven detonators were recovered from the house.

The DIG said the `module' was active in Srinagar and their arrest would bring down militancy-related incidents. Imtiaz said the plan was to target candidates irrespective of party affiliations. Mr.Des Raj said that militants could indulge in more violence after the polls were over.

EC orders repoll

The Election Commission today ordered repoll in four polling stations in Pahalgam segment in south Kashmir, Anantnag district and one in Kathua constituency in Jammu region, following complaints of malpractices on polling day, official sources said. The decision was taken after some of the contesting candidates complained. The complaints were verified by returning officers in the two segments, that went to polls on October 1, in the third phase of elections.

The repoll will take place at two polling stations in Baktoot, one each in Hadrukuthal-Sofiapora and Wullerhama in Pahalgam segment, and Taraf Sanji in Katua segment. Repolling will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 8, when six segments of the militancy-infested Doda district and Lolab segment in Kupwara district, go to polls.

Polling in Lolab segment, scheduled on September 16, was countermanded due to the killing of National Conference candidate, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, by militants on September 11. — PTI

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