Shopian people capture Hizb militant, take reward of Rs 2 Lakh
16 October 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: In an unprecedented incident, people in Shopian area have captured a category 'A' militant of Hizbul Mujahideen and handed him over to Police while claiming cash reward of Rs 2 Lakh which they would use for improvement of roads and lanes in their village. Police sources said that residents of Sugoo village in the militant-infested Pulwama-Shopian belt captured a category 'A' militant of Hizbul Mujahideen, namely Rayees Ahmed Malik S-o Ghulam Mohammad Malik R-o Pinjora, when he barged into the house of one Ghulam Mohiuddin and demanded money from him. Malik, according to Police, had already spread terror in the village by snatching away seven mobile phone sets from different people and making other extortions. Sources said that Malik was a category 'A' militant for whose arrest J&K Police had since announced cash reward of Rs 2 Lakh. They said that Malik had risen to the category of the top wanted militants after he ambushed Congress leader and Councillor, Mohammad Shafi Banday on Shopian-Pulwama Road on October 11th last year. Even as the real target Banday had survived the attack, his Security Wing driver Mohammad Iqbal Pandit had got killed while his PSO, Constable Bashir Ahmed, had been critically wounded in the attack. Later, Police had arrested one Naseer Ahmed and claimed that it was he who had informed Malik and others about Mr Banday's movement on a cellphone. Naseer was working in Banday's LPG agency in Shopian. Police had also recovered an AK-47 rifle from him. Sources said that Malik was involved in many other attacks on Police, security forces and civilians. After a severe interrogation, which the people recorded on a cellphone, Malik made certain confessions. Sources said that he had been captured by the residents at 8 p.m, interrogated for two hours and later handed over to Police. A party of SOG camp Imamsahib rushed to the village and took his possession. Later, Police claimed that one AK-56 rifle and one grenade were recovered from the militant who has since been declared as a proclaimed offender. People demanded cash reward of the militant and went to Shopian to receive it publicly. IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai went all the way to Shopian and gave away the cash reward of Rs 2 Lakh to the people. Residents said that they would spend the whole amount on improvement and construction of their village road and lanes. Meanwhile, a Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman claimed in a statement that Malik had been expelled and disowned by the organisation two months back and the organisation had since issued a death warrant against him for his indulging in criminal activities.