Al-Badr hideout sealed under POTO, 3 of family killed in blast
25 November 2001
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: While as security forces eliminated three militants and three members of a Bandipore family died in an IED blast today, SOG claimed to have sealed a hideout of the militant outfit Al-Badr under Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO). Informed sources in north Kashmir told EXCELSIOR that an IED blast occurred in the residential house of one Abdur Rehman Khan S-o Manan Khan at Lawaypora village, in Bandipore, at 1630 hours this evening. Fiftyfive-year-old house-owner got killed alongwith his 13-year-old son, Mohammad Ishaq Khan, and 11-year-old son, Mohammad Sadiq Khan. His 8-year-old daughter, Saleema, sustained critical injuries. Unconfirmed reports from Bandipore said that an unidentified militant, who was fabricating the IED when it went off accidentally, also sustained injuries. The house suffered extensive damage. Official sources said that, on the basis of a tip off, SOG Ganderbal raided a militant hideout at Theuru village in Ganderbal area last night. According to the specific information, a group of Al- Badr militants were present at the house of one Mohammad Ramzan Rather. No sooner did the SOG party swoop on the target house than the militants opened fire. In heavy exchange of gunfire, SOG killed two persons. According to official sources one of them was believed to be an Afghan national, Abu Bakr, while as another one was the house-owner’s son, Nisar Ahmed Rather. One AK-56 rifle, one pistol, one wireless set and a quantity of ammunition were recovered from the spot. However, residents claimed that only one militant was killed in the gunbattle. They claimed that another one was the house-owner’s son Meraj Ahmed, who, according to residents, was an innocent civilian and Class 10th student of High School Theuru. Officials claimed that the house-owner’s son was also an active militant whose photographs with a number of armed militants had been seized. Reports from Kupwara said that troops of RR 21 Bn killed a Pakistani militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba in an encounter at Papat forest area in Handwara. He was identified as Abu Yasir. Militants lobbed a hand grenade towards a BSF picket at bus-stand in Kupwara town. However, there was no damage. Reports said that during last night, militants intruded into the house of Fayaz Ahmed Mir S-o Abdul Aziz at Dardsun village, in Kupwara, and shot him dead. He was reportedly a surrendered militant. POTO INVOKED Official sources in the capital city said that, on a specific information, SOG Srinagar raided the house of one Ghulam Mohammad Malik at Malik Sahib Fatehkadal. An arms dump of Al- Badr was recovered from the house which had been specially constructed in the basement. Sources said that SOG later sealed the house under the provisions of POTO and the inmates were asked to live at some relative’s house. It is for the first time that the recently imposed POTO has been invoked in Jammu & Kashmir while sealing the militant hideout. Officials claimed that a large quantity of arms spares and ammunition were seized at the hideout. Persons arrested from the hideout included Manzoor Ahmed, Ghulam Mohd Dar, Ghulam Hassan, John Mohd, Bashir Ahmed, Nazir Ahmed, Jameer Arshad, Yaseen Ahmed, Muneer Ali and Tariq Majid. Recovery from the hideout included two pistols, two kg RDX, one rocket, two boosters, a wireless set, two hand grenades and a large quantity of ammunition.