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Sunday, 16 December, 2001, 18:15 GMT
India names attack 'ringleader'
Indian police commandos outside parliament building
India has warned its patience is running out
Indian police have brought charges against a suspected Kashmiri militant who is accused of masterminding last week's suicide attack on the Indian parliament which left 13 dead.

Mohammad Afzal, who was arrested in the Kashmir city of Srinagar, is said to be a member of the Jaish-e-Mohammad separatist group and could face the death penalty if, as expected, he is further charged under new anti-terrorist legislation.

Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma, who announced the charges, also accused Pakistan's main intelligence service (ISI) of involvement in the raid, and suggested Pakistan's military government must have been aware of its planning.

The things we have come to notice clearly show the ISI was connected with this, and if the ISI is connected with this then Pakistan must know of it

Ajay Raj Sharma
Police Commissioner

Pakistan has denied involvement and warned India against overreacting.

Mr Afzal, who along with his wife was charged on 15 counts including conspiracy, was trained by the ISI, the police commissioner said.

Mr Sharma, who leads the investigation into Thursday's attack, told reporters that the five attackers were Pakistani citizens. They all died during the raid.

The attack on parliament was allegedly a combined action by two Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant groups, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"It now seems the ISI ordered the Jaish and Laskar-e-Taiba to launch a combined attack," the police commissioner said.

Indian pressure

Twelve people died in the gun battle outside parliament between the security forces and the militants. A 13th man - a security guard - died in hospital on Sunday.

Police say two of four people detained in connection with the attack were trained by the ISI in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Indian protesters outside the Pakistani High Commission in Delhi
Indian protesters demand a tougher line with Pakistan

Mr Sharma said that those questioned by police had not actually said that the Pakistani Government knew about the plot, which officials believe was hatched some three or four months ago.

He added that the suspects would soon be charged with a new anti-terror law which allows for the death penalty.

Delhi is stepping up pressure on Islamabad to act against Kashmiri separatists which operate in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Pakistani warning

The Indian Government itself is under pressure from internal groups which accuse it of taking a soft approach toward Pakistan.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee warned that India had now reached the limits of its tolerance.

"We cannot tolerate such attacks any more," he said.

Home Minister LK Advani said India would wait "for a few days" for Pakistan to take action against the militants.

But Pakistan has responded to the escalating Indian rhetoric with a warning that it is ready to retaliate if India takes action against it.

Pakistan called on Delhi to produce evidence to support its claims.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence in 1947.

Pakistan Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider
"Pakistan has been taking action to control terrorism"
India's Junior Home Minister I D Swami
"The Pakistani Government has been sponsoring them"
'India Today' Consultant Maroof Raza
"This is part of a growing pattern"
See also:

15 Dec 01 | South Asia
India steps up pressure on Pakistan
15 Dec 01 | South Asia
Suspects held over parliament raid
13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Pakistan leads world condemnation
13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Kashmir groups condemn attack
15 Oct 01 | South Asia
India and Pakistan: Troubled relations
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