Top HM Ultra Held With Rs 2.5 Lakh Hawala Money
10 October 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Close on the heels of the arrest of a Law student-cum-Hizbul Mujahideen militant Zahid Bhatti from Janipura on outskirts of the City, Special Operations Group (SOG), Jammu today apprehended another top ultra of the outfit and recovered Rs 2.5 lakh worth hawala money from his possession. Police have, meanwhile, launched a hunt for two more hardcore militants Nazir Ahmed and Masood Ali alias Salim Iqbal son of Mohd Ramzan Mir R-o Chalat, Arnas, a district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen for Mahore-Arnas belt. While Nazir Ahmed escaped from near the Udhampur Bus Stand this afternoon, Salim Iqbal was reported to be operating in Mahore. Official sources told the Excelsior that a SOG Jammu team headed by SP Operations Mubassar Lateefi and comprising Inspector Sunil Jasrotia under the supervision of DIG Jammu range Lalat Indu Mohanty and SSP Jammu Parminder Singh laid a naka at Jhajjar Kotli this morning after developing a specific input that a top Hizbul Mujahideen militant was travelling in a bus from Udhampur to Domel from where he had to take another bus to Reasi to reach Arnas. The bus was intercepted at Jhajjar Kotli bridge and subjected to thorough searches. The militant, identified as Manzoor Ahmed Mir, 25, son of Khalil Ahmed Mir, a resident of Chalat, Arnas in Mahore tehsil of Reasi district was apprehended from the bus. During his frisking, the SOG team recovered three large cigarette boxes from his possession which he had concealed the hawala money worth Rs 2.54 lakh, which was seized by the SOG sleuths. A general look at the cigarettes boxes indicated only cigarette packets in them. However, it was after a thorough frisking of the boxes that hawala money was found. The militant was immediately whisked away to a safer area for sustained questioning where he disclosed that Masood Ali alias Salim, a 'district commander' of Hizbul Mujahideen, who happened to be his brother-in-law had asked him to wait in outer area of Udhampur Bus Stand at 10 am today where a Hizbul Mujahideen militant Nazir Ahmed would deliver him the consignment of hawala money. After establishing a contact on mobile telephones (both Manzoor Ahmed and Nazir Ahmed were having Cellphones), Nazir Ahmed delivered the hawala consignment to Manzoor Ahmed Mir and slipped away. Police said they have gathered best possible description of Nazir Ahmed during preliminary questioning of Manzoor Ahmed and alerted their counterparts in Udhampur to search for him. However, there was a possibility that Nazir Ahmed would have boarded either a Doda bound or Gool bound bus from Udhampur soon after handing over the hawala consignment to Manzoor Ahmed and escaped from Udhampur town. Manzoor's questioning revealed that he was an active militant of Hizbul Mujahideen since 2004. However, he was arrested by security forces in September 2005 along with a consignment of arms, ammunition and explosives at Chalat, Arnas in Mahore. He was detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) and other relevant provisions of law and remained in Kot Bhalwal jail for one and a half years. He was bailed out in March 2007 but he again joined the militancy at the behest of his brother-in-law Salim Iqbal and remained active for six months. Salim Iqbal, according to sources, was a Special Police Officer (SPO) in Reasi police till four years back before he deserted police and joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. Presently, he was rated as an 'A' category militant in Reasi district and was involved in a series of militant activities. Sources said Manzoor Ahmed Mir could give the cops some vital clues about the hide-outs of Salim Iqbal to whom he had to deliver the hawala consignment at Chalat. However, Iqbal had slipped away from the agreed place after getting a report of Manzoor's arrest, sources said.