Jaish commander escapes in bollywood style chase
27 November 2001
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: While as three militants, one special police official (SPO) and a civilian got killed in different militancy-related incidents across Kashmir valley since last evening, one militant was captured and another escaped in a dramatic chase by security forces in Shopian today. It was in broad daylight that two militants of Jaish-e- Mohammad, driving a motorcycyle reached close to the company headquarters of Rashtriya Rifles 01 Bn and 4-1 GR at Chogam, in the south Kashmir locality of Shopian. They seemed to be conducting reccee of the formation, possibility for a suicide attack. As soon as the sentries challenged them, they sped away but were intercepted by the military intelligence sleuths in civvies. While the local militant drove fast, his Pakistani accomplice opened pistol shots. The dare-devil duo escaped towards Pinjora road. However, the sleuths chased them, targeted them with AK-47 fire and both were hit. Still, they continued the run and dropped their motorcycle. The Pakistani militant Nasir-ul-Islam, who was later identified as a ''district commander'' of Jaish-e-Mohammad, boarded a Maruti car and managed to escape. His local colleague, Shahnawaz Ahmed Rather S-o Ghulam Nabi Rather R-o Aglar, Pinjora, was given a lift by a protected person, Abdus Salam Shah, in his Ambassador car which he has obtained from State Motor Garages . Shah, who is a local leader of the ruling National Conference, delivered him at Sub District Hospital of Shopian. No sooner did the doctors begin his examination than the security forces and Police swooped on the operation theatre. With critical injuries, he was rushed to Srinagar and admitted at Bone & Joint Hospital, Barzulla. Informed sources told EXCELSIOR that, on a specific information, troops of RR 01 Bn and SOG Shopian raided a militant hideout at Tungdan village, in Shopian area, this afternoon. One militant, believed to be a Pakistani cadre of Lashkar-e-Toiba, was killed in the gunbattle while as another was fighting the troops when reports last came in. Another Pakistani militant of Jaish-e- Mohammad, Aijaz Ahmed of Multan, was killed by RR 01 Bn and SOG Shopian at Aglar Chat, near Marhama, in Shopian-Kulgam belt. Official sources claimed that he had been arrested and died in a blast while making recoveries from a hideout. However, residents insisted that he had been captured alive from Pinjora village and later eliminated in a fake encounter. Sources said that, in the continued combing operation in Dardpora forest area of Kupwara, troops of RR 18 Bn and SOG Kupwara eliminated two militants in an encounter today. They were identified as Lashkar-e-Toiba’s ''battalion commander'' Abu Sayeed of Liaquatabad, Pakistan, and Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ''company commander'', Nazir Ahmed Pad S-o Shams-ud-din Pad of Dardpora. Two AK-56 rifles, one damaged wireless set and a quantity of grenades was recovered from the spot. Militants ambushed a patrol of 21-Bihar, 4-9 GR and SOG Kupwara at Shah Mohalla Sogam, in Kupwara district. One soldier sustained injuries in exchange of fire. Later, SOG Kupwara combed the nearby forest area and destroyed 5 hideouts. Reports from Sumbal said that militants shot dead SPO Mohammad Maqbool Dar S-o Mohammad Shaban Dar R-o Magraypora outside the village mosque. Police claimed to have recovered dead body of a civilian, Assadullah Mir S-o Sultan Mir R-o Lurgam Tral. According to official sources, he had been kidnapped by militants from his house and later killed. Unidentified gunmen appeared at Chanderhama, in Baramulla district, and fired upon the village headman, Bashir Ahmed Ganai, at 2030 hours this evening. With critical injuries, he was rushed to hospital. Unconfirmed reports said that he succumbed to injuries while being rushed to a hospital. Police and security forces spotted two grenade-cluster IEDs at Pantachowk, on Jammu-Srinagar highway this morning and later defused the same. Similarly one IED was found at Shikargah in Tral and defused. Here in the capital city, militants fired some rifle grenades towards Police Station Safakadal. A grenade hit the building but failed to cause any major damage. In Safakadal area, a number of people registered their protest against sealing off the house of a civilian under POTO.