All 3 LeT Ultras Holed Up In A House Gunned Down
1 July 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: All three top Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, held up in a house since last night at Dalli Nowpora in Kulhand area of Doda district, were eliminated by Army and police this evening in a 24 hour long fierce gun-battle. A police constable was killed in the operation today while five others were injured last night. A Mosque, which was in the vicinity of Bashir Ahmed Rather's house where the militants had taken shelter, didn't suffer any damage in prolonged gunfighting. The encounter was delayed and a police constable Abdul Rashid sacrificed his life only in a bid to save the religious place, SSP Doda Manohar Singh, who led the operational team, said. Troops of 8 Rashtriya Rifles and Doda police rushed to spot last night after five police personnel were injured in initial round of firing by the militants from inside the house of Rather, who was absconding and was being searched. Two injured cops were referred here last evening. Army and police maintained a cordon around the house throughout the last night during which intermittent exchange of firing between the two sides continued. In the morning, security personnel again asked the militants to come out and surrender but the ultras continued firing. Sources said Army and police ensured protection of the Mosque and civilians in the village and then engaged militants in the gun-battle. In the evening, all three militants were killed and the house where they were hiding was razed to ground. A Selection Grade Constable Abdul Rashid of Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police laid down his life in the operation today. Five police personnel including four SPOs and a constable were injured in the encounter last night. Brigadier Holley of 4 - Sector Rashtriya Rifles, DIG Udhampur-Doda range Lalat Indu Mohanty and CO 8 - RR Peter supervised the operation. Sources said body of one of the slain militant has been recovered from the spot while two others were buried in debris of the house. Efforts were on to clear debris of the house and recover the bodies. One of the slain militant has been identified as Asger Ali Itoo (code name Abu Sohail Askar) alias Muzamil alias Doctor son of Subhan Itoo R-o Udianpur, an activist of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Two unidentified militants were also part of the same outfit. Asger Ali was active in Kulhand, Bharat, Ail, Ugad and Koti areas since 2003 and was involved in massacre of 19 members of a particular community at Kulhand on May 1, 2006. He was also a close associate of Kulhand massacre mastermind, Ashraf Ganaie, who was killed in an encounter in December last year. He had masterminded a grenade attack at Old Bus Stand in Doda on June 25 in which two civilians were killed and 14 others were injured.