Narrow Escape For CPM MLA In Militant Attack
8 August 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A senior leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Member of State Legislative Assembly had a close shave when militants attacked his motorcade in south Kashmir this afternoon. Official sources said militants attacked CPM senior leader and MLA Wachi Mohammad Khaleel Naik near Chak Cholina in south Kashmir district of Shopian this afternoon. The guards of Naik also retaliated and exchange of firing continued for some time. Mr Naik escaped unhurt in the attack. However, militants managed to escape, sources said adding a massive operation has been launched to nab the militants. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack. Security forces shot dead a top commander of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) during a fierce encounter in Kupwara district today, police said. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Baramulla-Kupwara) range B Srinivas said, on a specific information received by police that a top militant of LeT is hiding in the house of Tariq Ahmad Wani, at Hanjipora, police and Army immediately cordoned off the area from all exit points. During the operation, troops came under heavy firing from a particular house. The fire was returned effectively and in the ensuing encounter an operational commander of LeT identified as Taib alias Abu Talah was killed. One solider, one police personnel and a civilian Tariq Ahmad received injuries during the encounter. The injured have been shifted to hospital where their condition is said to be out of danger, he said. One AK rifle, three magazines and three grenades were recovered from the slain militant. Meanwhile, SSP Kupwara Vijay Kumar giving further details of the encounter said that the slain militant Taib was an operational commander of LeT for the Bandipore area. He had sneaked or shifted the area and escaped an encounter with the police and troops of 6 Rashtriya Rifles on August 5. The said militant was accused of killing an Army commander and his body guard in Bandipore. Troops recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition and arrested a suspected militant during search operations in the Valley. Based on specific information, troops of 22 Rashtriya Rifles launched a search operation in general area Ningali, 3 kms from Sopore last evening. The spokesman said during the operation 13 UBGL shells, one radio set I Com and one RPG booster were recovered from the house of one Nisar Ahmed, a resident of Ningali, Sopore. Nisar was absconding, he said. In another operation, 32 RR personnel arrested an active overground worker of Al-Badr, identified as Bilal Ahmad Ganai, from Ludur in Sopore township of Baramulla district. The spokesman said Ganai had been handed over to police for further investigation.