October 2003 News

HM commander drove RDX laden car to Doda

10 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: A Hizbul Mujahideen 'area commander' had himself driven an Ambassador car, misusing Registration Certificate (RC) of a doctor from Anantnag to Doda, which carried 300 kg deadly RDX and was seized by police in Doda town in wee hours of September 26 morning. Plan of the Hizbul Mujahideen militants was to kill a VVIP during his visit to Doda town. Such a huge quantity of RDX had been stored in the Ambassador car to ensure that the VVIP was 'killed at any cost'. Senior police officers, investigating first ever sensational recovery of 300 kg RDX in Doda district, told EXCELSIOR that a militant, who had driven the car from Anantnag to Doda, has been identified as Hamid, HM's 'area commander' for Doda town. Hamid hailed from outskirts of Doda town and was an active militant of the outfit for past quite sometime. 'Just a day before, Hamid slipped from a hideout on outskirts of Jammu City minutes before a police raid', police said, adding 'a source, who had been provided with Hamid's photograph, had sounded police about the militant's presence'. Plainclothesmen of police now have been deployed in several localities in the City as police officers anticipated Hamid's presence here. As per the preliminary investigations, according to sources, Hamid is a very 'vital link' in the plot to eliminate a VVIP, which was reportedly hatched in Anantnag. Unless Hamid is apprehended, the source who supplied a huge quantity of RDX to Doda, can't be reached, they said. Hamid's family, grilled by police, told the interrogators that he deserted the house as soon as a word spread in Doda town that RDX filled Ambassador car has been seized by police and security forces. Sources said Hamid had to drive the car to a hideout in the night itself but couldn't do so due to patrolling in the area. He parked the vehicle near the under construction new district hospital and would have make an attempt to shift it to the hideout after assessing security forces movement. According to sources, a RC recovered from the Ambassador car pertained to registration number DEV 4404. The militants had also fixed number plate of same registration number on the car to ensure that it matched in case of a checking. However, the investigations revealed that Ambassador car DEV 4404 was registered on the name of a doctor Haleema of Anantnag. Dr Haleema had sold the car to Aijaz Ahmed Bhat of Sangam, Bijbehara. After using the car for sometime, Bhat had disposed off the vehicle to a scrap dealer. The scrap dealer told police that he had dismantled the vehicle and sold its spare parts. Police believed that the Ambassador car, used in smuggling the RDX, was having another registration number, which was reportedly destroyed by the militants and number of a dismantled car was used to dodge the police. It was being ascertained by the police as from where the militants managed to get RC of a dismantled car. Police have, however, succeeded in ascertaining engine and chassis numbers of the car. Police authorities have approached Hindustan Motors (HM), the manufacturers of Ambassador cars, in Mumbai to ascertain name of the dealer to whom the car with the engine and chassis number had been sold. 'If we could identify name of the dealer it would help us, to some extent, in identifying first owner of the car', the sources said, adding a response from Hindustan Motors was awaited so far. Police investigations have, however, confirmed that RDX was smuggled in the car from Anantnag to Doda. Police officers of Doda and Anantnag were in constant touch with each other to establish hideouts of the militants from where such a huge quantity of RDX was supplied to Doda. 'Investigations have confirmed that the militants had a 'definite plan' to kill a VVIP by exploding 300 kg RDX filled car during his visit to Doda', the sources said. Even if the car was exploded some distance away the quantity of explosive material would have led to several casualties. This was for the first time that 300 kg RDX was seized in a single incident. Sources said all the persons who had purchased and sold the car, whose RC was used in the Ambassador car by the militants, were quizzed by police to determine the source, who provided them the RC. However, a possibility of the militants having managed a duplicate RC of a dismantled vehicle was also not ruled out. Meanwhile, police continued a massive search operation for Hamid, whose arrest will unravel entire mystery behind the smuggling of RDX.


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