September 1999 News


HUJI chief for J&K among 6 top ultras eliminated in Rajouri

17 September 1999
Daily Excelsior

RAJOURI: Army today thwarted a major Pakistan-sponsored infiltration attempt and gunned down six top militants including Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HUJI) chief Saifullah after a fierce two hour long gun-battle at Modi Dara on the Line of Control (LoC) in Keri sector.

A huge quantity of weaponry including seven AK rifles and seven wireless sets besides Rs 1.10 lakh in Indian currency were recovered from the possession of slain militants.

Defence sources said HUJI chief for Jammu and Kashmir Saifullah alias ‘Deputy Commissioner Rajouri’, a resident of Multan district of Pakistan had infiltrated about 2.5 kms deep into the Indian territory along with his five battle-hardened associates from Keri sector when an army patrol party of 2 Sikh spotted them at 1030 hours today.

Troops laid a cordon around the militants and challenged them. Equipped with sophisticated weapons and explosive devices, the militants rained bullets on troops, who retaliated effectively. A fierce gun-battle ensued which continued for more than two hours.

Troops emerged victorious when they eliminated all the six militants on the spot and thwarted a Pakistan-sponsored infiltration attempt on the LoC. Troops didn't suffer a single casualty in the well-planned operation.

Dead bodies of all six slain militants have been recovered from the place of encounter. Four of them have been identified from the diaries and identity cards recovered from their possession. They include Saifullah, who was code named by the ISI as ‘DC Rajouri’ and appointed as J&K chief of the recently formed HUJI outfit. He was a resident of Multan.

Other three slain militants have been identified as Abu Hamja, ‘area commander’ of HUJI and an Afghan national, Mohd Farooq of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Mohammad Ishfaq. All of them were activists of HUJI outfit.

The seizure made from the possession of militants include Rs 1.10 lakh in Indian currency, seven AK-47 rifles, two rockets, one rocket launcher, four pistols, seven wireless sets, 39 grenades, one grenade launcher, one binocular, 1500 rounds and other ammunition.

Senior army and police officers visited the encounter site this afternoon and appreciated the tremendous courage displayed by the army in eliminated dreaded militants. They also inspected the weaponry recovered from the militants.

With the killing of six militants, troops have achieved a major success as the militants were being pushed into this border district by ISI to indulge in large-scale massacres of a particular community and spread terror in the area. Their killings has delivered a major setback to ISI especially the HUJI outfit as their chief was among those who fell to army bullets.

Sources said Saifullah besides being a battle-hardy militant was also known as motivator and co-ordinator of the militants. His infiltration by the ISI was also aimed at strengthening the HUJI outfit by recruiting the local youths.

Meanwhile, ISI also made two more infiltration attempts through Nowshera and Bhimber Gali (BG) sectors in this district late last night. Pak army opened heavy firing on Indian positions in a bid to force infiltration of militants through both the sectors.

However, the sources said, Indian army which was maintaining a high alert on the LoC returned the firing and thwarted ISI attempt to push the infiltrators.

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