November 2006 News

Hizb 'Div Commdr' Suhail Faisal killed

28 November 2006
The Daily Excelsior
From Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar: Suhail Faisal, one of Hizbul Mujahideen's most wanted commanders in Jammu and Kashmir, has been killed by security forces at his hideout which he had established in the residential locality of the former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his relatives in Baba Mohalla of Bijbehara township in south Kashmir. Meanwhile, suspected militants have fired upon the wife of one-time Hizbul Muhajideen chief Abdul Majeed Dar in the Srinagar outskirts of Chhanapora and 9 civilian, including 5 tourists, have been left wounded in a grenade attack at the tourist attraction of Tangmarg in Baramulla district today. Informed sources told the EXCELSIOR that late last night troops of 3 Para, Rashtriya Rifles 01 Bn and District Police Anantnag laid siege to the interior locality of Baba Mohalla in Bijbehara township in Anantnag district. According to a specific information available with a security agency, south Kashmir's most wanted militant, after the Hizb Operational chief Gazi Misbah-ud-din, Mohammad Ashraf Shah alias Suhail Faisal S-o Habibullah Shah R-o Jablipora, Bijbehara, had established a secret hideout at the residence of one Ghulam Ahmed Najjar. According to the tip off, Suhail Faisal was present at the hideout. As troops swooped on the target house, the holed up militant came out of his cell and opened fire which left Maj Pitambar of 3 Para critically injured. Another soldier was also injured. Sources said that Maj Pitambar was evacuated but later he succumbed to injuries. In the nightlong operation, Suhail Faisal got killed. Officials as well Hizbul Mujahideen said in their statements that Suhail Faisal was the organisation's 'Divisional Commander' for south Kashmir. Both said that Suhail had worked as a militant, including 'District Commander' in Rajouri Poonch areas of Jammu, since the beginning of armed insurgency in the State in 1990. He had visited his outfit's base camp and headquarters across LoC several times and last time he had returned to Valley in 2002-03. Officials said that after the Hizb Operational Chief in Jammu and Kashmir, Shahnawaz alias Gazi Misbah- ud-din, Suhail Faisal was the Valley's most wanted militant. They said that the 46-year-old Suhail Faisal was a trained engineer who had invented the technology of making IED blasts with the use of mobile phones. They said that he was involved in a large number of attacks on security forces, Police, counter-insurgents, particularly a large number of IED blasts on Srinagar-Jammu highway. 'He was a thinktank for his organisation who had not only escaped in about a hundred operations of Police and security forces but was confident to the extent that he had set up his hideout at a house just 50 yards from that of the former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed', an official said. He said that the hideout was much similar to that of Gazi Baba in Noorbagh locality of Srinagar. Officials claimed that Suhail Faisal's death was a major setback for Hizbul Mujahideen and an equally significant achievement for Police and security forces. Reports from Bijbehara said that over 2,000 people participated in the slain militant's Namaz-e-Janazah. Meanwhile, at 2030 hours tonight, suspected militants barged into the residence of Dr Shameema Badroo, widow of one-time Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief, Abdul Majeed Dar, at Lal Nagar, Chhanapora, in outskirts of this capital city. One of the unidentified gunmen fired several shots on Dr Shameema Badroo from the lawn. Shameema, who was inside a room, sustained critical injuries. As the gunmen vanished, Dr Shameema was rushed to SHMS Hospital, where she was battling for life late tonight. Shameema's second husband, Abdul Majeed Dar, had been gunned down by assassins at his brother Fayaz Ahmed Dar's residence in Noorbag locality of Sopore town on March 23, 2003. Dar had been eliminated days before he had to leave for Muzaffarabad, PoK, reportedly in an attempt to dislodge Syed Salah-ud-din and gain control over the organisation. While some of his loyalists held the Syed loyalists responsible for the assassination, the organisation denied its hand in Dar's killing. After taking divorce from her first engineer husband, Javed Ahmed Bhat of Batpora Sopore, mother of two children, Shameema, had married then Hizb operational chief Abdul Majeed Dar in 1992. Later, Dar took her to Pakistan but is widely believed to have returned disgruntled. According to residents, she had been close to Dar since 1978 and had been seen visiting his residence at Shalapora Armpora on several occasions. After Dar's assassination, Shameema had become active as a social worker and had once held a press conference only to threaten that she would expose her husband's killers. Residents in Sopore said that for some years she had also close association with a prominent separatist leader's son, who also happens to be a doctor by profession. Her first husband is said to have divorced her in distress 15 years ago. Residents said that she had also visited Dubai and other Gulf cities. Meanwhile, official sources said that nine persons, including five tourists, sustained injuries, when a militant lobbed a hand grenade on a Tata Qualis, bearing registration No JK02V-7192, near Traffic Check Post at Tangmarg when the vehicle was returning to Srinagar from Gulmarg this afternoon. Two of the injured, including the driver, reportedly from Trikuta Nagar Jammu, were said to be critical.


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