People Capture Pak Militant For Kupwara Police
16 November 2006
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Six years ago, a dare-devil Gujjar in the Pir Panjal foothills of Kund, Kulgam, sliced a militant into pieces with his axe. His younger brother, later engaged as SPO, became the victim of a militant strike near Yaripora last month. Three years ago, an auto- rickshaw driver of Sonwar, handed over a Pakistani militant of a Jehadi organisation to Army, a day after militants caused havoc in a fidayeen strike on a paramilitary camp at Indira Nagar. Again last month, the 'brave man' was kidnapped and shot dead by militants. This doesn't really stop ordinary civilians from capturing a militant and handing him over to Police or security forces even as the situation can, by no means, be compared to that of 1965 when the people of Kashmir had captured hundreds of Pakistani 'Mujahideen' and handed them over to authorities. 'There's no stopping this bloodshed until the people of Kashmir rise like in 1965, capture these terrorists and hand them over to Police and Army', Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad exclaimed in a tone of emotion and helplessness at the inauguration of an industrial exhibition here minutes after a grenade blast- in which 5 civilians (now 7) got killed and about 60 sustained injuries at Tahab in Pulwama district- - on November 10th. His official scribes made it a point to ignore and delete the most newsy line of his statement for they still perceive 'Khatra' (risk) in reporting this kind of an offensive. At that point of time, Azad didn't know that the people of Tahab had not only captured the grenade thrower, Ghulam Nabi Mir alias Shora R-o Littar, Pulwama, but had also subjected him to severe physical torture. Same evening, he was handed over to Army. While Army claimed that Shora was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant and nephew to the outfit's most wanted 'District Commander' Ashfaq, the militant spokesman claimed on Nov 12th that he had been actually working for security forces for the last one year. A day before, the same captured youth had been labelled as 'innocent' and a National Conference sympathiser had been held guilty of capturing him 'out of vendetta'. Government has, till date, rewarded the residents of Tahab with silence. Even the 16-year-old public demand of establishing a hospital has not been accepted for the '1965-type brave men' of Tahab. Security advisers are said to be referring to the humiliation caused to two PDP leaders who visited that village. But, they have not perhaps made the real reason clear to their boss: Residents complain that it were the same two politicians who had played key role in getting Shora and another detained militant, Rameez Ahmed Malla, released from Police custody last year. Notwithstanding the Government's sustained silence for the residents of Tahab-that has now begun to generate suspicions regarding the captured youth's affiliation-residents of Awoora in Kupwara district today captured a Pakistani militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba and handed him over to Police. According to SSP Kupwara, Vijay Kumar, the captured militant has identified himself as Saquib Aziz Malik S-o Abdul Aziz Malik R-o House No:5, Street No: 37, C Block, Tehsil Kotadu, District Muzaffargarh, Multan, Pakistan. He has revealed to the people and his Police interrogators that he was part of a 6- member group of Lashkar militants who infiltrated into the Valley from Dudhniyal (Athmuqam) to Dudi Machhil. The group, without a Kashmiri guide, strayed from Kalaroos to Batpora Gulgam and was intercepted by Police and Army. While three militants of the group got killed in an encounter with Police and Army in Helmatpora-Gulgam- Awoora forest belt, Squib Malik was captured by the people and handed over to Police at Kupwara this morning. On his disclosures and identification, remaining two militants of the group have been trapped this evening at the residence of one Mohammad Sultan Lone S-o Ghulam Rasool Lone at Gulgam. SOG Kupwara and troops of RR 41 Bn, who have laid siege to Lone's house, are confident that on Friday morning both the holed up militants would be captured or killed. As 7 militants of the two freshly infiltrated groups have been killed between Warsun and Helmatpora, one has been captured and two are likely to be killed tomorrow, authorities have learned that as many as four groups of 5 to six militants each had infiltrated into Kupwara area through the same route in the last 10 days. IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai, today rushed all the way to Kupwara and handed a cash reward of Rs 1 Lakh to the people who had spotted and captured the Pakistani militant first. But, how far the Valley is still away from the 1965, could well be gauged from the fact that even the Government's own Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar culled out today's militant capture from its evening bulletin and replaced it with a developmental story on the construction of a road in Kupwara. Interestingly in the case of Tahab also, it was not DD but the private news channels that forced the separatist leader Shabir Shah to lament that they were too repetitive, subjective and proactive. Inspite of the State of helplessness the CM and his IGP appear to working in, the common people have captured two more militants in the Valley earlier this year. Months before Tahab and Kupwara, the people had captured one Mohammad Afzal Rather S-o Nazir Ahmed Rather R-o Nesbal, Sumbal, after he lobbed a hand grenade at Tourist Reception Centre in Srinagar on July 11th. Officials and many people then believed that Afzal was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. Like Shora, the outfit had disowned Afzal and claimed that he was a counter-insurgent. And when people of Sugoo, Pulwama, captured gunman Rayees Ahmed Malik alias Major S-o Ghulam Mohammad Malik of Gugloora, Pinjora, on October 16th this year, Hizbul Mujahideen was quick to claim that he had been 'expelled from the organisation two months ago'. However, unlike Tahab, IGP Kashmir gave away cash reward of Rs 2 Lakh to the residents of Gusoo who are now using the money on the construction of lanes and drains in their village.