Cong leader, 4 militants among 7 killed in Valley
23 July 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A Congress leader and four militants were among seven people killed while ultras attacked a Police Station in the Kashmir valley overnight official sources said. They said militants shot dead a Congress Block President Fateh Mohammad Dar at Larkipora in south Kashmir district of Anantnag this afternoon. The 60-year-old Dar had gone Larkipora to attend a Congress meeting. He was shot dead when he was going to offer mid-day prayers, sources said. They said one person was killed and two others were injured when an explosive device went off at Mawar Handwara in north Kashmir in the afternoon. One of the injured later died in the hospital. Militants threw a grenade at Handwara Police Station last evening. The grenade exploded in the compound causing injuries to one person. Troops of 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) launched a search operation at a village in Shopian in south Kashmir district of Pulwama after receiving an information about the presence of militants there, the sources said. When the troops were sealing all exit points, militants hiding there opened fire on them from automatic weapons. The security personnel also retaliated and in the fierce encounter, two militants were killed. Two AK rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militants. Sources said two more militants were gunned down in a similar operation at Bandipora in north Kashmir last night. A Defence spokesman said that troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC), noticed a group of militants sneaking into this side from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Gurez Sector. However, when the troops asked them to surrender, the infiltrators opened fire and also hurled hand grenades. Troops also retaliated and in the encounter, one soldier lost his life and three others were wounded. The entire area has been cordoned off and the operation was going on when the reports last came in. A senior Army officer recently said that there are about 1300 militants waiting across the border to sneak into this side from PoK. These militants, majority of them locals, are waiting at launching pads near the LoC to infiltrate into this side alongwith arms and ammunition. He said the number of infiltration from PoK has come down but it was still going on. An official spokesman said security forces arrested two Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants alongwith two AK rifles, six magazines, 180 rounds of ammunition, one pistol, one grenade and one wireless set at Kreeri in Pattan last night. Meanwhile, in a major haul in recent times, Police today recovered 250 Kg explosives from a militant hideout in Anantnag district, foiling ultras plan to set off series of explosions in south Kashmir. The explosive, kept in five 50-Kg bags, was recovered from a house at village Sitkipora in Sirigufwara area of Bijbehara, about 50 Kms from here, official sources said. They said the recovery was made on a specific information and dealt a severe blow to the militants plan to set off explosions in Anantnag district. The militants had stored the explosives in the house and believed to trigger series of explosions in south Kashmir particularly on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the lifeline to Kashmir valley passing through highway township of Bijbehara, the sources said. They said no one was arrested in connection with the seizure, biggest in the recent times in the Valley. Confirming the recovery of the explosives, Deputy Inspector General of Police, south Kashmir, H K Lohia said it is premature to say whether the explosive is deadly RDX. We have sent the sample for test and once the report is available, the clear picture will emerge, he said. Security forces unearthed a specially built hideout in the woods and recovered war like stores, including deadly mortar bombs, in north Kashmir, official sources said. However, the weapon for firing the mortars was yet to be recovered, they said. Security forces launched a massive search operation in the woods at Haprada in Vilgam area of frontier district of Kupwara after receiving information that militants have stored arms and ammunition there. After searching the area for more than six hours, security forces finally unearthed the hideout which was built specially for concealing arms and ammunition. They said during the searches of the hideout, security forces recovered 40 Chinese-made 82 mm mortar bombs and more than 1000 rounds of ammunition. However, no one was arrested, they said adding a massive hunt has been launched to recover the gun which was being used for firing the bombs. Meanwhile, four suspected militants, including a former special police officer, were arrested in connection with a grenade attack in Handwara area of Kupwara district, official sources said today. Ex- SPO Fayaz Ahmad lone of Langate and three others identified as Latief Ahmad Malla, Ghulam Jeelani Dar and Shabir Ahmad Ganai, all residents of Sopore, were arrested last evening by police in connection with the grenade attack on Handwara Police Station, the sources said. They said the arrests were made from different areas of Handwara and they are being interrogated to ascertain their involvement in the militancy and their affiliation.