HUJI chief shot dead in Kishtwar
JAMMU: Delivering one of the biggest setback to militants in Doda district, the Special Task Force (STF) and 26 Rashtriya Rifles gunned down the district chief of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HUJI) during a mid-night operation at village Padyarna, six kms east of Kishtwar tehsil.
Identified as Javed Iqbal Lone alias Noor Hussain (code 63), the HUJI chief was eliminated in a neat and swift operation carried out jointly by the STF and RR under the supervision of SSP Doda Mr Muneer Khan.
Giving details of the encounter which led to the elimination of one of the most wanted militant, a Defence spokesman said Noor Hussain was being tracked for over three weeks following reports that he was camping somewhere near Padyarna to chalk out a fresh strategy with the activists of his outfit for stepping-up the militant activities.
His (Noor Hussainís) arrival at Padyarna was confirmed by STF Kishtwar last night. The STF swung into action and with the help of 26 RR promptly cordoned off the area. Trapped in an ambush, Noor Hussain put up a brief resistance before he was shot dead in less than 15 minutes operation.
One AK-47 rifle, two magazines, 19 rounds, one Yassu radio set, two Chinese made pistols, Rs 5000 in cash and one fake identity card forging his identity as Mohd Amin Lone, issued from Anantnag district, were recovered from the possession of slain HUJI chief.
The spokesman said Noor Hussain had joined militancy in 1992 and had a meteoric rise from a low rank cadre in Hizbul Mujahideen to divisional commander of HUJI outfit. He had shifted to HUJI after Harkat-ul-Ansar had split into Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami. Interestingly, the spokesman said, Noor Hussain was fourth chief of HUJI to be killed during the past eight months.
Reliable sources in top rung of Intelligence set-up indicated that Hizbul Mujahideen was responsible for giving an information to police about the presence of Noor Hussain at Padyarna, which ultimately led to Hussainís killing. HM and HUJI are the only two outfits which are co-existing in the areas of Chhatru, Keshwan and Padyarna surrounding Kishtwar tehsil.
Besides, the difference in basic ethos of foreign mercenaries versus local militants, both the outfits were demanding their pound of flesh from contractors, forestors and locals, who were finding it difficult to sustain two groups simultaneously.
The spokesman said the arrest of HUJI district chief Ghazali in June 1999 and killings of HUJIís top leaders like Ayubi, Basarath and now Noor Hussain were made on the information of Hizbul Mujahideen.
Noor Hussain was appointed as HUJI chief of Doda-Anantnag after the killing of his predecessor Basarath in December 1999. Hussain was instrumental in the killings of several innocent civilians besides numerous attacks on security forces, the spokesman said.
SSP Doda Mr Munir Khan said that Hussain had personally co-ordinated the killings of eight prominent citizens of Kishtwar town including Ghulam Mohd Lone, chairman of Jamia Mosque, Tanveer Kitchloo, a forest contractor and Mohi-ud-Din Qazi, a senior NC activists in 1999.
A chief co-ordinator behind fresh recruitments in the militantsí ranks, he had exfiltrated to Pakistan in September last year with over 20 recruits and brought back a group of foreign mercenaries in November last year, a part of which was dropped in Anantnag while the rest were inducted in Doda.
Maj Gen C S Brar, GOC Delta Force has expressed his happiness in the elimination of Noor Hussain, which has led to virtual collapse of HUJI outfit in Kishtwar sub division.