Top ultra Hassan Bhai shot dead in Kishtwar
8 August 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A top militant of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit, who was also a close associate of JeM supremo Azhar Masood, was killed in an encounter between police and militants in Keshwan forests in Kishtwar tehsil of Doda district last night. He has been identified as Hassan Bhai son of Attah Ullah, a resident of Sheikhopora, Pakistan. Official sources said a police party from Kishtwar cordoned off the house of one Muzaffar Hussain son of Ghulam Mohd at Shaheedi Mohalla in Kishtwar town last evening after developing a specific information that a top Jaish militant had taken shelter in his house. Police asked the militant to come out and surrender but he tried to open firing on the cops. The police personnel swiftly entered into the house and overpowered the militant. From his possession, police recovered one Chinese pistol, two magazines, 10 live rounds, stamps and other incriminating material. The militant was immediately whisked away to an unknown location for questioning. During questioning, sources said, Hassan Bhai disclosed location of Jaish hide-outs and presence of some militants in Keshwan forests. He disclosed that the militants were grouping at Keshwan with a plan to strike in Kishtwar and other towns of Doda district on the eve of Independence Day. Police immediately planned an operation to eliminate the militants and effect recoveries of arms and ammunition in Keshwan forests. Sources said the police party was fired upon by the militants from atop a hill when it was heading towards Keshwan forests. Police party immediately took positions and retaliated. In the exchange of gun-fighting, Hassan Bhai was seriously injured. Police evacuated him from the scene of encounter but he succumbed to his injuries before being shifted to hospital. Enforcement of police also rushed to the spot and a massive search operation was launched for the militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit. Searches continued till late this morning but the ultras remained untraced. Hassan Bhai was operating in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir for the last eight years. He was a close associate and second-in-command of Jaish chief Azhar Masood. Hassan Bhai was involved in a series of militant activities in Kashmir and Doda. Army today rescued a 16 year old boy Abdul Rashid Sheikh son of Ghulam Mustafa R-o Thanala, Bhadarwah from the captivity of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit from Thanala forests. Sheikh had been kidnapped by the militants from his house on July 27 for recruitment in the militant outfit. He has been taken for questioning and was likely to be handed over to his family. Army arrested three Over Ground Workers (OGWs) from village Daraj in Budhal area of Rajouri district. They have been identified as Ghulam Rasool, 65, son of Ghulam Qadir, Shabir Shah, 40, son of Yaqub Shah, resident of Daraj and Mohd Hafeez, 40, son of Ghulam Mohd, resident of Larkoti. They have been handed over to Budhal police for questioning. They were working for Hizbul Mujahideen Pir Panjal Regiment (HMPPR).