March 2003 News

Hindu Militant Is Shot In J-K, For First Time In 13 Years

17 March 2003
The Indian Express

Bhaderwah: For the first time in the 13 years of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces today claimed to have killed a Hindu militant - along with seven others - in a fierce encounter at Chatter Gali, about 25 km from Bhaderwah in Doda district. The militant has been identified as Kuldip Singh alias Akhtar Ansari of Puneja. Kuldeep's elder brother is reported to be sector commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Doda district. Pointing out that they were sons of Lal Chand, sources said that they had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir nearly five years ago. The brothers had returned to Doda in 2001, after undergoing arms training. Though security forces and police had arrested four to five Hindus for helping militants in the past, it was for the first time that a Hindu was found waging an armed fight alongside Kashmiri militants. Two of the other slain militants have been identified as Sadiq Ali and Mohammad Ashraf. Sources said that Rashtriya Rifles troops, on specific information about the presence of a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Sangra-Chattar Gala forests, had launched a combing operation in the morning. As they reached a cave, the militants opened fire on the search party. The troops retaliated and in the ensuing gun battle, eight militants were killed. The roof of cave collapsed and sources said that bodies of three militants were retrieved from the debris. The bodies of the slain militants were handed over to their family members after post-mortem, sources said.


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