HM Operational Chief Shot Dead In Gool
26 August 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Hizbul Mujahideen's 'operational commander' for Ramban, Ijaz Ahmed Chopan, who had taken over charge of the operations after the killing of Billoo Gujjar, was tonight gunned down by Army and police at Bhimdassa, Gool in Ramban district. Earlier in the morning, CID and police foiled a terror plot to strike on Budda Amarnath yatris in Poonch by effecting recovery of six kg RDX from Mandi area while two Pakistani militants were reported to have infiltrated into Indian territory from forward village of Mala Parot on Akhnoor- Sunderbani border. DIG Udhampur-Doda range, Lalat Indu Mohanty, who is relinquishing charge of the post tomorrow after his posting as DIG Jammu range, told the Excelsior that troops of 58 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Striking Reserve (SSR), Special Operations Group (SOG) and Ramban police launched a joint search operation in Chamsar forests in Bhimdassa area of Gool in Ramban district this morning after developing a specific input about the movement of Ijaz Ahmed Chopan alias Qari son of Ghulam Ahmed Chopan R-o Sumbar, Ramban in the area. Police party in the operation was supervised by SSP Ramban Basant Rath. Chopan was a hardcore militant of Hizbul Mujahideen operating in Gool-Gulabgarh-Mahore belt for last six to seven years and had taken over as 'operation commander' of the outfit after the killing of Billoo Gujjar. He was an IED expert and was instrumental in a series of IED blasts in Gool-Gulabgarh-Mahore in which several security personnel and civilians were injured. Chopan and his body- guards were trapped in Chamsar forests at 9 am. After day long hide and seek battle, the Hizbul commander was eliminated by police and security forces tonight. His body-guards were still camping in the area and a search was on to eliminate them. Security forces or police didn't suffer any casualties in the operation. One AK-47 rifle, two magazines, 50 rounds, one mobile phone, three grenades and a number of documents were recovered from the slain militant. Meanwhile, two Pakistani militants were reported to have infiltrated into this side of Line of Control (LoC) from Munawar Tawi route and entered village Mala Parot in Sunderbani tehsil, the last village under the jurisdiction of Akhnoor police station last night. They knocked the door of a civilian, Sanjay Kumar and asked him to accompany them to a hill which leads to Rajouri district. The civilian accompanied them upto an old road, constructed in 1971 and managed to escape from captivity of the militants taking cover of darkness. In the morning, he sounded local people and police. Additional SP Jammu Shakti Pathak along with a police contingent and security forces rushed to the spot and launched a search operation in the area. By late this evening, the militants remained untraced. The civilian told police that militants were speaking Punjabi and were carrying with them a consignment of arms and explosives. Sources said the militants might have taken the Rajouri route to dodge the civilian knowingly that he will inform police. They could have taken another route later. Intelligence agencies and police today foiled a terror plot to strike on Budda Amarnath yatris this morning as 'Chhari Mubarak' left the town for the holy shrine. On a specific information, sleuths of CID (Counter Intelligence), Poonch police and security forces conducted a raid at Gagnan forest in Sabjian area of Mandi district early this morning and recovered six kg RDX, 1500 AK rounds, concealed in two boxes, one telescope, 15 rounds, four AK magazines and five pistol rounds. Sources said the RDX was to be used by the militants in triggering blasts on the track of Budda Amarnath yatris as 'Chhari Mubarak' left this morning for Budda Amarnath ji shrine. The 'Chhari Mubarak' was seen off among others by R&B Minister Gulchain Singh Charak, Deputy Commissioner, Poonch J S Pachnanda and SSP Poonch Jagjit Kumar. The CID (CI) team in the operation was led by SP Dev Raj.