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August 10, 2000
Angry Abdullah warns Pak of retaliation
Onkar Singh in Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah has blamed the Lashkar-e-Tayiba for the twin blasts in Srinagar Thursday afternoon that killed 11 people and left nearly 27 injured.
Several security personnel and a photo-journalist of The Hindustan Times lost their lives when a powerful bomb exploded in an ambassador car on the Residency Road near Kothibagh police station in the capital town.
The blast followed minutes after a smaller explosion, which was probably meant to attract a crowd to the spot.
"As far as today's blast is concerned, this is the handiwork Lashkar-e-Tayiba. They first threw a grenade. And just when some police officers and journalists were trying to figure out what had happened, they exploded a remote-controlled devise hidden in a stolen car," said the chief minister.
He said that the state administration would now put down militancy with a heavy hand.
"We have been watching the situation deteriorate in J&K for ten years. It's time now that the world woke up...this is going to lead to a far greater catastrophe. If Pakistan does not give this up (aiding and abetting terrorism in India) then a greater damage would happen to that country," said a visibly agitated Dr Abdullah.
He denied there was any laxity on the part of the security forces. "We had stepped up our vigil the moment talks with the Hizbul Mujahideen broke down. Now I will have to be strict with the people. I would have every vehicle that enters my state searched in order to stop deadly weapons from coming in. People would have to put up with this. There is nothing that we can do about it now," he said.
In Pahalgam the security cordon around Mahant Dipender Giri was tightened as soon as the news of the blast spread.
Dr Abdullah said he was satisfied with the security arrangements made for the Amarnath Yatra.
"I would pray to the almighty Lord Shiva. May better sense prevail and this madness in Jammu and Kashmir come to an end," Mahant Giri told rediff.com.
A majority of the Yatris who were either on their way to the caves or were returning after a darshan said they were happy with the security arrangements.
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