Four militants killed in Nishat, Bijbehara gunbattles
6 April 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: While the overnight gunbattle has ended with the death of one militant and one soldier in Bijbehara area of Anantnag, Police and security forces today claimed to have killed three militants in a major operation in Nishat area in the capital city outskirts. Informed sources told the EXCELSIOR that over a specific information, Police and security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Gousiya Colony, near Ishbar, in Nishat area late last night. According to the tip off, three armed militants were present at the house of a vegetable vendor, namely Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh R- o Abdur Rehman Sheikh. As different units of Army and CRPF, led by SOG Srinagar, swooped on the hideout, militants opened fire and triggered off a fierce gunbattle. Sub Inspector Mustafa and constable Tufail of SOG Srinagar sustained injuries. After the injured SOG personnel were evacuated, forces destroyed a part of the the target house, claiming to have killed three militants of Al- Badar Mujahideen. They were identified as Akhtar Pahalwan alias Imran of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmed of Shopian and and Rameez Ahmed Malla S-o Ghulam Mohammad R-o Littar, Pulwama. Three AK-47 rifles, some grenades and a quantity of ammunition besides a radio set were claimed to have been recovered from the site of encounter, in close vicinity of the world famous tourist attraction of Nishat Garden. Official sources said that a dreaded militant, Rameez Ahmed Malla, was involved in a number of strikes on Police, security forces and civilian targets. He had been arrested by Police from Bone and Joint Hospital, Barzullah, after he had escaped alongwith a top wanted Pakistani militant, Abu Azaan, in injured condition in an encounter at Nulai Poshwari in June 2005. Detained under Public Safety Act, Rameez Ahmed Malla had been released on a bail granted by a court. However, in days of his release, he had returned to his militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen and subsequently joined its Pakistani- dominated sister outfit, Al-Badar. Rameez had, according to Police records, planned and executed a number of subversive acts in the year 2005 and 2006. His close associate, Imran Ahmed Bhatti alias Abu Azaan of Multan, got killed alongwith a Muzaffarabad-based militant and two more-Yaqoob Bhat of Ladi, Imam Sahib, and Mudassar Ahmed of Kenihama-in an encounter with Gujarat Police in February 2006. Sources said that one Manzoor Ahmed Sheikh S-o Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh, who was reportedly a former militant presently working as a driver with LAWWDA, was taken into custody by SOG Srinagar for sustained questioning after the operation at Ishbar ended this afternoon. Official sources in south Kashmir added that the overnight gunbattle between militants and security forces ended this afternoon with the death of one holed up militant at Panzpora, near Marhama, in Bijbehara. He was identified as Mohammad Ibrahim Bhat alias Dawoodi S-o Mohammad Khalil Bhat, resident of the nearby Waghama Herpora. Two of the three holed up militants were believed to have escaped. As already reported, Police and security forces had launched the search operation with a raid on a militant hideout at Panzpora last evening. One soldier of the rank of Havildar had died in the initial round of the firing on Thursday. Meanwhile, reports from north Kashmir said that scores of residents staged a demonstration, enforced a shutdown and resorted to stone pelting on the vehicles in movement in protest against the alleged 'misbaviour' of the soldiers of BSF 51 with shopkeepers and pedestrians in Bandipore. They alleged that soldiers roughed up a number of civilians for having parked their vehicles beside some shops in a market. About a dozen vehicles, including six passenger buses, were reportedly damaged in the stone pelting by unruly crowds. Reports said that dead body of 30-year-old Mohammad Ashraf Khatana S-o Lal Deen Khatana R-o Lora, Kalaroos,was recovered from Muree nullah today. Police have registered a case and launched investigation of the death in mysterious circumstances. Sources said that a 19-year- old dailywager of Power Department, namely Javed Ahmed Kuthoo S-o Ghulam Rasool Kuthoo R-o Barji, Harwan, was electrocuted when he was repaiting an LT line at Dhara. He was rushed to SKIMS where doctors declared him dead.