March 2002 News

HM group commander Shakeel Pathan surrenders to BSF

9 March 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: A ‘group commander’ of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit has surrendered before the Border Security Force (BSF) in Gool area of Udhampur district alongwith a large quantity of arms and ammunition. Shakeel Ahmed Pathan (code name S-5) surrendered before 172 battalion of BSF at village Dhamkund in Gool area yesterday, DIG BSF Sebastian told newsmen here this afternoon. Sebastian accompanied by Commandant Y P Yadav said Pathan, hailing from Dalwa village of Gool, was a hardcore terrorist having let loose a reign of terror in Sangaldan, Gool, Manglogi and Dedha villages of Gool since 1994. Pathan handed over one AK-47 rifle, four magazines, 85 rounds, one hand grenade and explosive material at the time of surrender. BSF’s Assistant Commandant Sanjeev Kumar and head constable Narinder Kumar persuaded Pathan to lay down arms and join the national mainstream. Sebastian said Pathan had joined militancy in 1994 when he was studying in Class-IX in Dalwa high school. He became ‘area commander’ of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in March 1999 when Hizb ‘group commander’ Zaffar Iqbal alongwith his associate was killed in a joint operation by BSF and police in Gool. Pathan told newsmen that he decided to surrender before the BSF after realising that he had been misled on the concept of ‘jehad’ during his training in a camp at Illaqa Gair in Pakistan. ''The foreign mercenaries are committing excesses on our people in the hilly areas. Killing innocent people and raping young girls can’t be dubbed as jehad'', he said. According to Pathan, the outfits active in the upper reaches of Udhampur especially in Mahore and Gool areas were Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HUJI), Harkat-ul- Mujahideen (HuM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Al Badar and Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM) outfit. He said the local terrorists were lying very low in Mahore and Gool and these were the foreign mercenaries, mostly the Pakistanis, who were calling the shots. He said the terrorists were still pouring in to the upper reaches of Udhampur and Doda districts despite massive build-up of forces on the International Border as well as Line of Control (LoC). Pathan was part of a group of 10 terrorists, all of whom used to operate together. While two of them included Bashir Ahmed and Mohd Akram had already surrendered, another ultra of his group, Shaheen was killed recently. Other terrorists of Pathan’s group, who were still at large, were named by him as Mumtaz Ahmed, Qasim, Rice, Maqsood, Bakar, Danish and Ghulam Mohammed (code names). Meanwhile, a BSF handout said the force have killed eight militants this year so far. Noted among them were Sadardeen (code 06) R-o Mahakund, Farooq Ahmed R-o Chakras, Mahore, Irfan Hussain R-o Doda and Shaheen R-o PoK, all belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. During the operations, three BSF jawans attained martyrdom while three others were injured. With the surrender of Shakeel Ahmed Pathan, Hizbul Mujahideen’s ‘commander’ Amanullah Shah Peer has received a serious jolt in militant actions in Gool and Mahore areas of Udhampur, the handout added. Meanwhile, army today arrested another terrorist Abdul Jabbar from Gurmul area of Doda.


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