Two Kulhand massacre main accused shot dead
27 December 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: In a major success, Doda police and Army today gunned down two main accused on April 30 night Kulhand massacre in which 19 civilians of minority community were mowed down by the ultras, in an encounter at Udhianpur in Doda district. Mohd Ashraf Ganai, who had escaped from several encounters in Doda after Kulhand carnage, was finally eliminated by troops of 8 Rashtriya Rifles, Doda police and Special Striking Reserve (SSR) at village Kora in Udhianpur area of Doda district at 4 pm, SSP Doda Manohar Singh said. Ganai son of Abdul Rahman Ganai, a resident of Daliyog Udhianpur, was killed along with his associate Mohd Yunus R-o Kotal Sajan, Doda after a fierce two hour long gun-battle, he said. Mohd Yunus was son of a police head constable Ghulam Hussain, posted at Gool in CID wing. DIG Udhampur- Doda range Lalat Indu Mohanty supervised the operation. Official sources said Army and Doda police along with SSR launched a search operation at Kora after developing a specific information that Khurshid Mohd Ashraf Ganai, an 'A' category militant carrying a reward of Rs one lakh on his head, who was a prime accused in Kulhand killings, had taken shelter in an abandoned dhok at Kora. The hide-out was surrounded by troops and police this afternoon and Ganai was asked to surrender along with his associate. However, both of them opened heavy firing from their hide-out which was replied by the security personnel. In heavy exchange of firing, both the militants were gunned down. Army or police didn't suffer any casualties in the operation. Recoveries made from the possession of Mohd Ashraf Ganai and Mohd Yunus include two AK rifles, six magazines, 38 AK rounds, six grenades, two UBGL grenades, a large quantity of incriminating documents and some eatables. Besides Kulhand massacre, Ganai was also involved in a series of killings at Bharat, Bhagwa and Gundana areas, where he was operating for last seven to eight years, sources said. Presently, he was operating as a 'district commander' of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit. It may be recalled that on April 30 night, a group of five LeT militants had struck at Kulhand in Doda district and gunned down 19 members of minority community. The case was challaned in the court of law few days back with the arrest of one accused, Khurshid Ahmed. Mohd Ashraf Ganai and Mohd Yunus were among four more accused named in the challan. With the killing of Ganai and Yunus, two accused are still wanted in the massacre case. Both of them, according to sources, were Pakistanis. After the massacre, Ganai was trapped at least in three encounters with security forces and police but he had managed to escape all the times. In another search operation, police today apprehended two Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) from Dhaggal Halal in Kalakote tehsil of Rajouri district. They have been identified as Mohd Aslam and Mohd Latif, both brothers and sons of Abdul Rehman R-o Dhaggal Halal.