LeT 'Distt Commdr', Army's source killed in Pattan
10 August 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: A 'District Commander' of Lashkar-e-Toiba, a counter-insurgent source of security forces, a Police constable and a timber smuggler have got killed in different incidents of violence in Kashmir valley since last evening. Official sources told the EXCELSIOR that troops of Rashtriya Rifles 29 Bn and SOG Baramulla killed a top wanted Pakistani commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba in an encounter at Wanigam, near Hyder Beg, in Pattan. He was identified as Iqramullah alias Abu Haris of Peshawar. Officials claimed that Abu Haris was Lashkar's 'District Commander' in Kreeri-Pattan belt and he had operated there for the last three years. They said that he had been found involved in a number of militant strikes on security forces, including the one when DIG CRPF had been attacked near Palhalan and two civilians had got killed three months ago. One AK-56 rifle, one Kenwood radio set and some remote control electronic devices were claimed to have been recovered from the militant killed. Local sources said that the two militants and their upper ground activist, Naseer-ud-din, had dropped the seized weapons while escaping earlier on Tuesday from the cordon-and-search operation. Independent sources said that Abu Haris and a resident of Palhalan area, Maulvi Naseer- ud-din, had been captured by troops of RR 29 Bn in a search operation on Tuesday evening after they had escaped alongwith another militant in a cordon-and-search operation at Pethpora in Wanigam. After two days of sustained interrogation, Abu Haris was killed in a 'fake encounter' and Maulvi was detained for further questioning. Maulvi is understood to have revealed the top Lashkar functionary Salah-ud-din's connections with Abu Haris. He is said to have admitted that he had carried Rs 4.50 Lakh and a satellite phone from Bandipore-based Salah-ud-din to Pattan-based Abu Haris. In hours of Abu Haris' getting killed at Wanigam, militants today appeared in the main market at Pattan and they gunned down one Abdur Rahim Tantray S-o Sonaullah Tantray of Yatipora. His sister-in-law, Rafeeqa, and a shopkeeper, Farooq Ahmed Gujri, sustained injuries in the shootout. Shopkeepers closed down business but most of them returned soon after they realised that Tantray had been shot dead by militants. Official sources confirmed to this newspaper that Tantray had been working as a counter-insurgent source with security forces for the last few years. Reports from Budgam said that in the dead of night, suspected militants targeted Constable Mohammad Amin Shah S-o Abdul Majeed Shah R-o Daren Qazigund outside a revered shrine in Pakharpora town when thousands of devotees had gathered there on the first night of the annual Urs. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared as brought dead. Sources said that troops of Rashtriya Rifles 02 Bn had laid an ambush near Goigam in Magam-Beerwah belt late last night. As a timber smuggler, namely Nazir Ahmed Parray S-o Ghulam Ahmed Parray R-o Badran, happened to pass by with his horse laden with timber, troops opened fire. Parray got killed alongwith his horse. Army lodged a report at the local Police Station that Parray got killed in crossfiring when he was trapped in an incident of shootout between troops and militants. However, residents lodged a counter-FIR with the claim that troops had gunned down the poor civilian without any reason or provocation.