Dead Bodies Of 2 Majors Sent To Families, 9 Militants Buried JCO, 2 Militants Killed In Bandipore
4 October 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: In yet another gunbattle between militants and security forces today, two militants and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Army have died at Gamroo in Bandipore. Meanwhile, dead bodies of two Majors of RR 34 Bn were sent for funeral to their respective families and nine Pakistani militants, who had died in a major gunbattle yesterday, were buried in Tangmarg today. Informed sources in north Kashmir told EXCELSIOR that with an intelligence support from Police and Army's own sources, troops of 10 Para and 23 Punjab swooped on Gamroo locality in Bandipore area late last night. According to the information, two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were hiding in the locality. After the particular hideout was identified with the support from local Police, troops zeroed in on the target house and challenged the militants to come out for surrender. Militants returned the fire and the gunbattle continued for several hours. Sources said that a JCO, identified as Subash of 10 Para, and two militants got killed. They were identified as Moosa alias Abu Wafa and Qasim Bhatti S-o Prof Zaheer-ur-Rehman. Army as well as Police officials said that both the militants killed in the operation were Pakistani cadres of Lashkar-e-Toiba. IGP Kashmir, Shiv Mohan Sahai, said that Moosa was a 'Divisional Commander' with his organisation. He said that the top wanted militant Abu Moosa, who had emerged as a top functionary of Lashkar after the death of Salah-ud-din alias Bilal alias Hyder last year, had engineered most of the attacks on Police and civilian targets in Srinagar city in the last one year. He said that he had been instrumental in a number of grenade attacks and IED blasts in Bandipore, Ganderbal and Srinagar districts. He was also allegedly responsible for planning some suicide attacks, which had however failed to cause any considerable damage. He said that the death of two militants, which came in the wake of elimination of about a dozen militants in Bandipore since the beginning of the current year, was a major setback for Lashkar-e-Toiba. A Defence press release said that Qasim had been functioning as Lashkar's 'Chief Operational Commander'. He said that two AK rifles and equal number of grenades were recovered from the site of the operation. Meanwhile, floral tributes were paid to Major Dhinesh Raghuraman and Major K P Vinay at headquarters 15 Corps today. Corps Commander Lt Gen Sekhon was present at the wreath laying ceremony alongwith a large number of senior Army officers and jawans. Later, the dead bodies were despatched for New Delhi by an Indian Airlines flight late in the afternoon. Sources said that the bodies of the two young officers, who had got killed in yesterday's gunbattle with militants in Tangmarg area, were being delivered at their respective residences in the evening. Reports from Tangmarg said that dead bodies of all the nine unidentified Pakistani militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were buried at the local 'Martyrs Graveyard' at Badarkoot village. Residents participated in the funeral which was also joined by some middle rung separatist activists. Meanwhile, Army claimed to have apprehended one Muzaib Ahmed Lone at Chitti Bandi in Baramulla district. A Defence press release described him as an active militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. Army also claimed to have arrested two militants of Al-Badar outfit at Littar in Pulwama district. Police claimed to have apprehended a wanted militant, namely Shameem Ahmed Sofi, in Tral area of Pulwama district.