Kashmir, Pak militants at loggerheads in jail
27 June 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Trouble has been brewing in Kot Bhalwal jail with some Kashmiri militants being at loggerheads with Pakistan ultras, detained in high security Central jail on the issue of some recent happening in the Valley including an attempt on the life of Faqir Ahad Sahib at his residence in Sopore. During last 10 days, three incidents of clash between local and foreign militants have been reported inside the jail premises. On two occasions, two militants including a Pakistani and a local had to be taken to hospital for treatment of the injuries suffered by them. While Kot Bhalwal Jail Superintendent Gurdeep Singh tried to downplay the incidents saying 'the clashes do occur even in small families while we have more than 500 militants in the jail', Intelligence sources told the Excelsior 'we are keeping a strict watch on the situation especially in the wake of injuries sustained by a Lashkar-e-Toiba's 'commander' Mohd Shaffi son of Said Ahmed, a resident of Karachi, Pakistan on June 17'. Shaffi was reportedly thrashed by Kashmir cadre of Hizbul Mujahideen on June 17 morning after he justified attacks on tourists in Kashmir saying influx of tourists to the Valley indicated return of normalcy. The local militants were, however, of the opinion that the tourists shouldn't be targeted as it would badly hit economic condition of the local people. Shaffi had to be taken to Government Medical College hospital as he had also sustained a head injury in the clash. Again on June 24, the local and foreign militants clashed in the morning when former objected to the attack on Faqir Ahad Sahib at his residence in Sopore. This time, the 'foreigners' beat- up a local militant Abdul Wahid Dar son of Ghulam Mohd Dar, a resident of Wasim Bagh, Srinagar. Dar was also taken to hospital for treatment of the injuries he suffered in the attack. He was discharged the same day. According to Intelligence sources, additional companies of para-military CRPF were rushed to the jail at 8.30 pm last night after Kashmir and Pakistani militants of different outfits again came head to head and started pelting stones on each other. The clash continued for half an hour till the order was restored by the jail staff and CRPF. Warring groups were separated by the CRPF personnel. Sources said the Intelligence officers have asked security agencies, responsible for maintenance of law and order in Kot Bhalwal jail, to keep a strict vigil on local and foreign militants to prevent occurrence of a major clash between them. Intelligence sources said they were watching the situation from outside and will come into action only if required. Meanwhile, Kot Bhalwal Jail Superintendent, Gurdeep Singh, when contacted, admitted that some incidents did take place in the jail premises but he tried to downplay them. 'In a jail where 500 militants have been lodged, the incidents do take place but they are tackled well in time', he said.