Helicopter was airlifting Rly
machinery to Reasi-Sangaldan belt
7 IAF men, 2 KRCL engineers injured as MI-26
* Jammu Airport runway closed for hrs; flights
By Mohinder Verma
Dec 14: Seven
Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel including a
Squadron Leader and two engineers of the Konkan
Railways Corporation Limited (KRCL) were injured
when a MI-26 Helicopter crashed shortly after
taking off from the Technical Airport adjoining
the domestic airport of Jammu this morning. The
helicopter was airlifting heavy road and tunnel
construction machinery for the Northern Railways
to Reasi-Sangaldan stretch of the Katra-Qazigund
The crash led to
the closure of the Jammu Airport runway for hours
together and subsequent diversion of the incoming
flights and delay in the departure of already
landed one besides creating panic in the
residential areas adjoining the airport. Soon
after the incident, Indian Air Forces
Station Commander, Group Captain D Singh ordered
an enquiry to ascertain the cause behind the
said that as a part of continuous operation to
airlift heavy machinery to Reasi-Sangaldan
stretch of the Katra-Qazigund Railway Project,
MI-26 helicopter of the Indian Air Force took off
from the Technical Airport at around 9 am along
with Temrock machine being used in the
construction of road tunnels. Besides seven crew
members of the Air Force, two senior officers of
the Konkan Railways Corporation Limited (KRCL)
were also on board the helicopter.
When it attained
the height of just 30 to 40 meters above the
airstrip, the helicopter all of a sudden crashed
and fell on the ground near the runway with a big
bang causing grievous injuries to all the persons
on board. The intensity of the bang could be
gauged from the fact that broken parts of the
badly damaged helicopter were seen scattered up
to over 100 meters away from the spot of crash.
Amidst dense smoke
emanating from the mangled helicopter, the crash
site was immediately cordoned off and IAF
immediately pressed rescue teams and fire tenders
into service to avoid explosion due to aviation
shortest possible time, all the seven crew
members as well as two officers of KRCL were
brought out of the helicopter and rushed to
Military Hospital, Satwari where doctors had
already been sounded about the incident for
gearing up men and machinery for prompt treatment
of the injured.
The crash caused
panic among the inhabitants in all the areas
adjoining airport with people coming out of their
houses and enquiring about the incident.
offering prayers in the premises of Pir Baba when
a sudden big bang rattled the entire area and
dense smoke started emanating from the runway of
technical airport", a civilian Bashir Ahmed
said, adding "some broken parts of the
crashed helicopter even landed near the Pir
Stating that a
major tragedy has been averted, defence sources
said, "had the helicopter been crashed after
gaining little more height it would have caused
much devastation as on one side of the site of
crash there is an Army School and on the other
side Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and
building", adding "even if it had
crashed after leaving the airport, the damage
could have been wide-spread taking several
The injured IAF
personnel are Squadron Leader D Sharma, Wing
Commanders R Ghosh and Vishnu Sharma, Junior
Warrant Officer J M Tazeer and three Sergeants
namely A K Patnaik, P K Pradhan and K P Soni. The
injured KRCL officers are Chief Engineer,
Nagendra Sharma and Deputy Financial Advisor,
Mahesh Dass Sharma. Though condition of two of
them was stated to be critical yet they were
responding to the treatment when reports last
Due to the
helicopter crash, the runway of the technical as
well as domestic airport was closed as parts of
the crashed helicopter were scattered up to large
distance and without inspection of the airstrip
allowing operations of the flights was fraught
Soon after rescue
operation, a special vehicle of the IAF fitted
with magnetic sheets and plates was pressed to
ensure that even small piece of iron or other
metal dont remain on the runway. It was
only after three hour long runway inspection that
flights were allowed to and fro Jammu airport.
period, two flights of GoAir and SpiceJet, which
were scheduled to land at Jammu airport, were
diverted to Srinagar Airport and departure of
already landed Indigo flight got delayed.
Not only the
helicopter even Rs 4 crore worth Temrok machine
weighing 14 tonnes suffered extensive damage in
the crash, official sources said.
This was the 19th
sortie of the MI-26 to Surukote area in
Reasi-Sangaldhan belt, where machinery was being
airlifted to pave the way for construction of
approach roads up to the alignment of the railway
track, official sources said while disclosing
that early 18 sorties were conducted successfully
since October 29 when the first sortie was made
by the MI-26 by carrying dozers and tipper.
sortie been successful, only one more would have
been required for airlifting of remaining
machinery to Surukote, where a helipad has been
constructed by the Northern Railways with the
assistance of the local people especially for
this purpose, sources said, adding "now
there is no time-schedule for airlifting of left
over machinery as contractor has to make
arrangements for another Temrock machine
following damage to already managed one".
Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Northern
Railways, R K Gupta is arriving tomorrow morning
to enquire about the health of two KRCL officers,
one of whom was this evening shifted from
Military Hospital Satwari to Acharya Shri Chander
College of Medical Sciences (ASCOMS) Hospital at
Sidhra for surgery.
Mr Gupta will also
visit the Technical Airport to ascertain
intensity of damage to Temrock machine.
It is pertinent to
mention here that this was for the first time
since extension of railways network beyond Jammu
Tawi that Armys help was sought to airlift
heavy road and tunnels construction machinery to
remote and toughest terrain.
teams to trace 31 most wanted ultras
NEW DELHI, Dec 14: Planning a major
crackdown on absconding terrorists, the
Centre has formed special teams to nab 31
most wanted militants, including 19
Indian Mujahideen men, whose list has
been circulated to all the States and
sources said these special teams will
make "concerted efforts" to
apprehend the absconding IM and
Jam-I-yyathul Ansarul Muslimeen (JIAM)
terrorists within the country and
coordinate with foreign countries where
they are suspected to be holed up.
Home Ministry has prepared a complete set
of documents on the 31 absconding
terrorists and circulated it to all the
States and Union Territories for gaining
more and more information about them.
detailed dossiers about the IM and JIAM
militants along with photographs have
also been shared with a few Gulf
countries as intelligence inputs suggest
that some of them were currently based
there with their Pakistani passports.
sources said some of the foreign
countries had already started helping the
security agencies and begun surveillance
on some suspects.
these 31 terrorists, eight are from Uttar
Pradesh (all from Azamgarh), 10 from
Karnataka (three of them from Bhatkal
town), six from Kerala (all from Kannur),
three from Maharashtra and two each from
Gujarat and Jharkhand.
terrorists, majority were either in
Pakistan or Middle East while around 10
are in India, the sources said.
Ministry dispatched the particulars of
the terrorists to the States and advised
them to be alert and look for them as
some of them could be hiding anywhere in
been regular intelligence inputs that the
IM has been trying to expand its network
by recruiting new members, particularly
from Uttar Pradesh, and sending some of
them to Pakistan for terror training.
said though the IM cadres were lying low
for sometime, the terror group has not
desisted from launching attacks in the
country the recent one being at
Varanasi on Tuesday last.
Mujahideens hand is suspected in
over 10 serial blasts in Delhi and other
parts of the country that claimed nearly
struck Bangalore on July 25, 2008. Nine
bombs exploded in the city, killing a
woman and injuring 20 people.
which is a shadow outfit of the banned
SIMI and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba
which is directly controlled by ISI, was
banned by the Government in June this
addition to the terror list, the number
of such outfits has gone up to 35 which
includes Al-Qaeda, LTTE,
Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen,
CPI-Maoist and ULFA.
Mujahideen is alleged to be involved in
serial bomb blasts in Delhi, Uttar
Pradesh, Bangalore and Mumbai and came
under spotlight on February 23, 2005 when
it carried out a blast in Varanasi
leaving eight people injured.
deadliest attack of the IM was in the
pre-Diwali blasts in the national capital
in 2005 in which 66 people were killed.
Khan was the founding member of the
Indian Mujahideen, which was created by
ISI ostensibly to spread terror through
Indian front outfits. The group is at
present headed by Iqbal Bhatkal, a
resident of North Karnataka, the sources
outfits hand is seen in this
years Pune blast that claimed 17
lives. Maharashtras Anti-Terrorist
Squad claims that it had evidence to link
Riaz Bhatkal, Iqbals brother, with
the blast. The Bhatkal brothers are
believed to be in the Gulf and Pakistan.
Qaeda's chief military strategist
Pak Army exposed by owning suicide bomber: Army
DELHI, Dec 14: Army chief General V K Singh today
said the "intentions and ways" of
Pakistan Army have "become clear" with
it owning up a suicide bomber, who
died in India, as one of its soldiers on its
nothing to say on what they (Pak Army) has put up
on its website. But if it has (owned up), then it
clearly show what their intentions and ways are
and what their next move will be," Singh
told reporters here on the sidelines of an Army
Singh met with
school children from Jammu and Kashmir, who came
visiting Delhi as part of the Armys
Op Sadhbhavana movement, to win the
hearts of the people of Kashmir.
"All I can
say is we have to be more alert and only then we
can protect the people and our troops," he
said when asked what he thought of Pakistan Army
sending suicide bombers to India.
tried our best (to prevent infiltration). We are
trying to stop infiltration. We will be alert on
all fronts," he added.
Armys website named Zulfikar Ahmed as an
ISI agent, who was on a suicide attack mission in
India and had died in the citys Ganga Ram
Hospital on November 16, 2007.
www.Pakistanarmy.Gov.Pk also claimed that Ahmed
was a Naik in the
Engineers arm of the Army and his
formation was Headquarters 30
Corps/Directorate General ISI.
It had a few days
ago listed the Army men who were killed in the
war with India over their Kargil intrusions in
1999, thereby owning up that it had carried out
the clandestine operation.
Islamabad, Al-Qaeda has made jihadi commander
Ilyas Kashmiri as its chief military strategist
for the region to plan and spearhead terrorist
attacks against the West.
militant Saif Al-Adal was recently named
Al-Qaedas military chief for operations in
Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kashmiri was made the
chief military strategist following the death of
Mustafa Abu al-Yazid in a US drone strike in
North Waziristan in May, The News daily reported
quoting sources in the Pakistani security
establishment as saying.
Kashmiri is the
chief of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir chapter of
the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami and has been linked
to several attacks in India, including the
bombing of a bakery in Pune.
Kashmiris tactical and guerrilla skills and
left a recorded audio message on the basis of
which Kashmiri was appointed to the new post, the
audiotape was released by Al-Qaedas media
wing on June 15.
In the tape, Yazid
referred to Kashmiri as an official part of
Al-Qaeda, adding that terror attacks should now
be carried out inside the US.
Yazid said in the
same tape that Al-Qaedas "Kashmir
faction" led by Kashmiri carried out the
February 13 bombing of the German Bakery in Pune.
After Saif Al-Adal
returned to the battlefield following his release
by the Iranian Government in exchange for the
release of an Iranian diplomat kidnapped by the
Taliban in Pakistan in 2008, Kashmiri has been
assigned the task of carrying out terror attacks
in the West.
Sources in the
Pakistani security establishment said Kashmiri
had been tasked to target the West in view his
global jihadi links and a "well-entrenched
network of deep-cover agents in Europe and
Kashmiri is a
"prime example of the increasing
partnership" between Osama bin Ladens
Al-Qaeda, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and
jihadi groups active in Jammu and Kashmir, whose
members have assembled in Waziristan tribal
region on the Afghan border, the report said.
The report said
Kashmiri is "considered brutal and
goal-oriented just like his Egyptian partner Saif
Al-Adal, who has substantial experience
cooperating with other anti-US militant
unconfirmed reports that Kashmiri was part of the
Special Services Group of the Pakistan Army in
He has been on the
US radar since the Mumbai attacks in which
several Americans were killed.
product of the Pakistani security establishment,
Kashmiri fell out of favour with his spymasters
when he refused to serve under the command of
junior jihadi Maulana Masood Azhar after he
founded the Jaish-e-Mohammad in early 2001.
He has also
established himself as head of Al-Qaedas
shadow army, Lashkar-e-Zil, and commander of
Brigade 313, which is made up of members of
Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, HuJI,
Lashker-e-Toiba, JeM, Jundullah and other
Pakistani militant groups. (PTI)
Alam admits taking Rs 40 lakh to fuel protests
*Pak used new channels to fund separatists
By Sanjeev Pargal
Masrat Alam, a hard-line Hurriyat Conference
leader, who led Kashmir unrest from June to
September by issuing regular protest calendars,
has so far confessed having received Rs 40 lakh
from Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani
through different channels to fuel the protests
and incite stone pelters.
sustained interrogation by police after his
arrest from outskirts of Srinagar more than one
and a half month back, Masrat has admitted that
he got Rs 40 lakh from Geelani during three
months of hiding to generate protests and stone
pelting incidents across the Kashmir valley.
of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda told the Excelsior
today that police was trying to ascertain
channels used by Geelani to make payments to
Masrat in hiding. The sources, who were making
payments to the Hurriyat chairman, are also being
Mr Khoda said
Pakistan has been using different channels to
fund the separatists including Geelani to sustain
protests, which were part of their new strategy.
Some of them were paid cash during their trips to
different States while some others got money
through net banking. Srinagar-Muzaffarabad
cross-LoC trade route has also been used for
funding separatists, he added.
payment of funds to separatists and others by
Pakistan) was not a simple mechanism. Had it been
so simple, we would have choked it. Several
channels are being used by Pakistan to fund
separatists and militants, he said
but added that police was always on the task to
unravel the sources and block them.
Masrat Alam has
revealed some of the channels implied by
Pakistan. Police was on the job to nail the
persons, who had acted as conduits between
Geelani and Alam when the latter was issuing
protest calendars and spreading trouble in the
Valley from hiding using the funds given by
Geelani, the DGP said.
He added that
Masrat Alam, the new face among separatists in
Kashmir, has been booked under several cases.
"It was not
that everybody engaged in protests was paid. The
organizers had been paid and they incited the
people to hold protests and subject security
forces and police to stone pelting. The militants
of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen
(HM) had also been working behind the scenes to
fuel the protests, the State police
He said in view of
a sharp decline in militancy last year when it
had gone an all time low, Pakistan changed its
strategy this year to keep the Kashmir valley
Under the new
strategy, Pakistan encouraged separatists and
other agents to incite people for mob violence.
The separatists to hold street protests and mob
violence exploited very small issues of public
grievances, which could have been easily
addressed. The simple protests were converted
into pro-azadi processions, he said.
"Now when the
latest strategy of Pakistan has also failed to
work, their strategists would try to introduce
fresh kind of trouble in the Valley next year but
we are fully prepared to deal with
them, Mr Khoda said.
According to him,
it was repeatedly observed in the Valley that
minor grievances pertaining to power or water
shortage or any other household problem was
exploited by the separatists or their agents and
people were forced to take to streets with
processionists starting pelting stones on
para-military and police personnel.
He said a large
number of persons, who, at the behest of
separatists, had exploited the local people, have
been identified during investigations by police
and will be booked. No body involved in
encouraging mob violence leading to trouble in
the Valley will be spared, he added.
Claiming that mob
violence has failed, Mr Khoda said Pakistan was
not ready to accept its failure.
He asserted that
police had not been able to find anything on
ground which could suggest that the militants had
managed to take advantage of unrest in the Valley
and strengthened their positions.
Intelligence assessment which pointed out that
the militants could have utilized to unrest to
strengthen them in Kashmir. Though we are not
ruling out this completely, there was no evidence
either to suggest that the militants have gained
from the unrest, he added.
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