April 2000 News

Police rescues 4 boys from ultras clutches

25 April 2000
Daily Excelsior

Rajouri: Police today rescued four teen-aged youths of Marwah, Kishtwar in Doda district, who were being forcibly taken for arms training across the border by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen cadre. The youths were rescued from Bhimber Gali (BG) sector in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district. DIG Rajouri-Poonch Range Ram Lubaya told EXCELSIOR that alert cops posted in BG area spotted four boys moving mysteriously towards the Line of Control (LoC). They took the boys into custody and started questioning them. Initially, the boys claimed that they were residents of Anantnag. They also showed identity cards issued by Naib Tehsildar, Anantnag to establish their identity. However, police team became doubtful and handed them over to Mendhar police station for sustained interrogation. Lubaya said during interrogation the boys broke down and confessed that they hailed from Marwah area of Kishtwar tehsil in Doda district and were forced by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen militants to go for arms training in Pakistan. The boys disclosed their real identity as Irshad Ahmed son of Ghulam Hassan, Zakir Hussain son of Abdul Sheikh, Abdul Gani son of Abdul Aziz Bhat and Wali Mohd son of Mohd Anwar Sheikh, all residents of Marwah in Kishtwar tehsil. They were aged between 15 to 19. Police said a guide, who had to take the boys across LoC for arms training, managed to give a slip after sensing the arrest of boys. A search operation has been launched to nab the guide, who was suspected to be a local agent of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. Police said the identity cards, which were in possession of the boys, were found to be fake. Signatures and stamp of Naib Tehsildar, Anantnag had reportedly been tampered to make the fake identity cards. Alertness displayed by BG and Mendhar police resulted into saving of four poor and innocent boys from falling into the clutches of Pakistan-trained militants. This also indicates that recruitment of youths for militancy was still on in Doda district, police said. Meanwhile, police today smashed a hideout of the militants at Lassana forests in Surankote tehsil of Poonch district. Recovery made from the hideout include 300 rounds of AK-47 rifles, 250 dry battery cells and two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) rockets. However, no militant was present in the hideout when police parties conducted the raid. Searches continued in the area to apprehend the militants instrumental in using the hideout. Mendhar police also arrested a drug-peddler Nazir Hussain son of Sakhi Mohammad, a resident of Golad and recovered 2.5 kg opium from his possession. The seizure valued several lakhs in the international market. The raiding party was led by Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Mendhar Altaf Hussain and comprised Naib Tehsildar and SHO Mendhar.


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