46 Top Commanders Among 798 Militants Neutralised In Seven Months
5 August 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Director General of Police, Gopal Sharma, today claimed that with the arrest of six militants, Jammu & Kashmir Police had solved the car bomb explosions that had left seven persons dead and scores wounded on May 11th and July 10th this year at Jawahar Nagar and Sonwar in this capital city. He sounded hopeful that Police would also crack the car bomb blast in which 9 soldiers of Army had got killed and over a dozen injured at Nishat. While addressing a news conference at Jammu & Kashmir Police Headquarters here this evening, DGP revealed that he had constituted a high-level investigation team, headed by IGP Kashmir Javed Makhdoomi, in the wake of a series of car bomb blasts in Srinagar and Pulwama since May 11th this year. He claimed that Police achieved a breakthrough when it arrested a group of six militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, who had caused a number of the car bomb blasts. DGP said that on a specific information, Police arrested a Hizb militant, namely Meraj-ud-din Khandey code Suhail code Ishfaq from Jawahar Nagar. On his disclosures, Police arrested another militant, namely Hilal Ahmed code Nadeem alias Saba, from Tral. DGP said that during their sustained interrogation the detainees revealed that they had engineered and executed the car bomb blasts of Jawahar Nagar and Burn Hall School, Sonwar. According to the DGP, the detained duo revealed that a top-wanted Hizb commander Rasheed Gujjar of Tral and Akbar Bhat had taken the explosive-laden car to Srinagar and handed it over to a waiting Khandey at Pantachowk on May 11th. The trio entered the city via National Highway Bypass and parked the car beside a graveyard on the main road at Jawahar Nagar. According to a plan, they targetted a CRPF convoy, causing a massive explosion. Two officials of the State Excise Department had got killed and nearly 50 others, including seven CRPF personnel, injured while more than 40 shops and other structures had suffered extensive damage. Quoting disclosures, purportedly made by the detainees, DGP said that Hilal Ahmed code Nadeem and his associate, Shabir, had parked another explosive-laden car on the main road outside Burn Hall School at Sonwar. They targeted a vehicle of the Army as four soldiers, including a Major, besides a civilian got killed and eighteen persons, including three Army personnel, sustained injuries. DGP claimed that with the arrest of Khandey and Nadeem, both the car bomb blasts had been solved by Police. He said that with the arrest of four more militants today, Police had achieved a major breakthrough in the Nishat blast, which had left 9 soldiers dead and over a dozen injured. He identified the detainees as Shabir, Iqbal, Sheeraz and Shabir Ahmed. DGP said that over a specific information Police conducted a raid on the SMHS Hospital yesterday and arrested a Harkat-ul-Ansar militant, namely Zahoor Illahi of Machhua, Bagh-e-Mehtab, who was under treatment after getting injured in a gunbattle with security forces in Kupwara. His associate and a resident of Sopore, namely Ghulam Nabi Ahangar of Hathi Shah Mohalla, was also picked up and detained for interrogation. DGP said that Police had also arrested two militants, allegedly involved in planning a major bomb blast in Pattan area, from Magam-Pattan belt. He said that a militant, responsible for causing a grenade attack in Khanyar, was arrested by Police in a dramatic chase in Nawpora area. Responding to criticism that about 30 blasts had occurred in Valley in the last 80 days and scores of the civilians had sustained injuries, DGP asserted that as many as 798 militants had been neutralised by Police and security forces during the same period. He said that only 760 militants had been killed or arrested by security forces in the seven months of the last year. According to him, more than 46 top militant commanders had been eliminated by Police and security forces in the last seven months. Asked if there was any possibility of suicide attacks by militants around the Independence Day of August 15th after these detentions, DGP said that nothing could be ruled out. 'They (militants) can make attempts to strike work on the I-Day but we are determined to fail such attempts', DGP said. He said that a number of the suspects had been apprehended and Police were likely to arrest them all in near future.