September 2006 News

Captain Killed In Valley Encounter, Four Skeletons Found Near LoC

4 September 2006
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Four army personnel, including a Captain, and eight militants were among 13 persons killed in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, officials said today. Army Captain AJI Anthony, two soldiers and three militants were killed in a fierce gunbattle lasting nearly 20 hours in the Bandipora area of Baramulla district, a defence spokesman said. The encounter broke out at Ayatmullah village in the Bandipora area, 57 km from here, last evening and ended this afternoon, the spokesman said. A police spokesman said three residential houses were gutted during the operation, which was still continuing when last reports were received this evening. Prior to the Ayatmullah encounter, a militant of Lashker-e-Toiba outfit identified as Ilyas was arrested in an injured condition after a brief encounter at nearby Reshipora, the spokesman said. However, the injured militant was handed over to the police and was taken to hospital, he added. In another encounter, the police spokesman said security forces shot dead a Pakistani militant affiliated with Jaish- e-Mohammad outfit Qadir Yaar, a resident of Sargodha, during search operations at Midoora-Khangund in the Tral area of Pulwama district today. However, his associate who was injured in the encounter escaped. An AK assault rifle, 10 under barrel grenade launchers and a grenade were recovered from the killed ultra, he said. The spokesman said an army jawan was killed and four injured when militants hurled a grenade on a security patrol near Kalwa in the Mahore area of Udhampur district last night. Meanwhile, the police recovered four human skeletons, believed to be those of militants, during search operations at Lashdat near the Line of Control in Kupwara district today, the spokesman said adding that two rusted magazines and two hand grenades were recovered along with the skeletons. He said the police recovered the body of a middle-aged person from Kaloosa village of Bandipora in Baramulla district today. Identified as Zahoor Ahmad Sofi, peon in a private educational institute, the killing of the deceased triggered massive protest demonstrations in his Brar village as the residents alleged that he was killed in custody by Special Operations Group of local police. The residents took to streets and refused to conduct last rites of the deceased, demanding a probe into the circumstances leading to the death of Sofi and severe punishment to those responsible for his killing. They alleged that the deceased was arrested by SOG stationed at Kaloosa 10 days back and killed him during interrogation. The body bore torture marks, they said. Taking serious note of the incident, Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Baseer Ahmad Khan ordered a magisterial inquiry into the circumstances leading to the death of Sofi, the sources said. They said Assistant Commissioner, Baramulla, was assigned the job of investigating the incident and asked to submit his report within a fortnight.


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