Militants strike again in Sopore
19 October 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Militants have yet again struck on non-combatant targets in the 'liberated' appletown of Sopore as they have left a PDP Councilor's personal security officer (PSO) wounded before taking away his rifle. Militants have also kidnapped a civilian and amputated his earlobe to add to the wave of terror. Meanwhile, security forces have killed two militants in separate gunbattles in Bandipore and Rafiabad in Baramulla district today. Informed sources in north Kashmir told the EXCELSIOR that militants fired upon SPO Javed Ahmed, a resident of Watlab and PSO to PDP's local leader and Councilor Haji Mohammad Abdullah Dar, at Bilal Colony in the Chinkipora outskirts of Sopore at 1830 hours this evening. The SPO was guarding and escorting his VIP who was going to call on a friend. Sources said that minutes after the PDP leader alighted from his vehicle and began walking towards his friend's home, militants opened fire on the SPO in uniform and left him wounded. They withdrew from the spot but only after snatching away the injured SPO's Insas automatic rifle. The injured SPO was referred to SKIMS and operated upon by doctors in an attempt to save his life. It was not immediately clear why the more important target, the PDP leader, was not attacked by the militants who conducted the assault with full confidence and vanished into the locality. Sources said that some armed militants kidnapped a civilian, namely Abdul Majeed Bhat S-o Abdul Rasheed Bhat R-o Tikkipora, Lolab, from a busy market in Sopore town and took him to a hideout. He appeared to have been subjected to physical torture. He was let off but not before the suspected militants amputated his earlobe with a sharp knife. He was dropped at a deserted place and his Insas rifle was taken away by militants. Inquiries revealed that Bhat had earlier worked with Territorial Army and quit his job lately. He had arrived in Sopore a couple of days before gunmen kidnapped him. Meanwhile, security forces have killed two unidentified militants in separate gunbattles in Bandipore and Watergam Rafiabad localities today. Meanwhile, Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his constituent leaders staged a demonstration in Civil Lines here today in protest of deferred execution of the Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru. They claimed that Guru was innocent and, accordingly, demanded his release from jail.