Two top ultras held in Doda
19 May 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Army and Special Task Force (STF) last night apprehended two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants including a Pakistani from Doda town when they were planning to carry out yet another attack on minorities. In an encounter at Bahu Top in Gandoh area of Doda district, two Army jawans and a militant were injured. Official sources said a joint team of Rashtriya Rifles, Territorial Army and STF had laid a cordon at Pul Doda near Doda town since yesterday morning after developing a 'very specific input' that two hardcore Hizbul ultras, one of them a Pakistani, were expected to move to Doda town to launch another attack on the minorities, which would have been fourth attack this month. Under a well-planned operation, both the militants were apprehended by Army and police at Pul Doda before they could reach the town. They have been identified as Qurban Ali alias Zubair, 28, son of Mullah Ahmed, a resident of Pakistan and Mohd Ashraf Lohar alias Zaffar, 24, son of Abdul Latif R-o Anchakri, both top activists of Hizbul Mujahideen. Duo were immediately shifted to an unidentified location for questioning during which they took Army and police to a hide-out where they had dumped arms and ammunition, which were seized. Recoveries included one AK-47 rifles with six magazines and 160 rounds, one AK-90 rifle, 45 detonators, one remote control Improvised Explosive Device, five meters cortex, three identity cards and letter pads and stamps of Hizbul Mujahideen. The militants, during their questioning, admitted that they were plotting an attack on minority community in Doda. It may be recalled that 19 civilians were massacred by the militants at Kulhand, Doda on May 1 night. After some people shifted to Doda from Kulhand, they were attacked twice. In first grenade attack at New Bus Stand, two persons were killed and 41 others were injured while in second blast, 16 civilians were injured at Ram Lila ground. Further interrogation of the militants was on and some clues were expected of them. A couple of months back, security forces and police had destroyed a hide-out of the militants at Beri Bagh in Doda town from where arms and explosives were seized. Two owners of the house, arrested during the operation, have revealed that Ashraf Lohar along with his associates used to stay in the hide-out. An encounter took place between militants and security forces at Bahu Top under the jurisdiction of Gandoh police station in Doda district in which two Army jawans-Azad Ahmed and Talab Hussain of Territorial Army were injured. A militant was also injured in the operation but he managed to escape along with his associates. Security forces have launched a search operation to apprehend the militant. Army recovered three kg explosives, 17 Pika rounds, 85 AK rounds, one AK magazines and one hand grenade from village Berinar in Koteranka area of Rajouri district.