Al-Badar commdr among 3 ultras killed
4 November 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: While Police in Kulgam area of south Kashmir today killed a top wanted 'District Commander' of Al-Badar in an encounter, Army has eliminated two more militants of the group which had infiltrated into Machhil area of Kupwara district on October 31. Informed sources in south Kashmir told EXCELSIOR that a 12-members contingent of Kulgam Police swooped on a militant hideout at Chak Watoo, in Kulgam area, at 1600 hours this evening on a specific information which suggested presence of a top wanted Pakistani militant of Al-Badar Mujahideen. No sooner did the commandos zero in on the identified house than the holed up militant came out and made an unsuccessful attempt to escape while firing in different directions. However, the Police commandos took positions and gunned down the militant in a 7-minute gunbattle. Sources said that there was no collateral damage. Neither any civilian's life nor property was harmed in the encounter. SP Kulgam, Swayam Prakash Pani, said that the militant, who died in the brief encounter, was later identified as Arif Pathan. An inscription in the name of Weqas was found on his AK-47 rifle. One mobile phone and a hand grenade were also recovered from his possession. He said that Arif Pathan was a Pakistani national and a top wanted 'District Commander' of Al-Badar who had remained active in reorganising Al- Badar in south Kashmir since March this year. He said it was for the first time in last two years that a militant of Al-Badar outfit had got killed in an encounter in south Kashmir. Sources in north Kashmir said that troops of 9-Jat spotted and eliminated two more militants in an encounter in a ravine between Kainar and Khanbal in Machhil sector of Kupwara district today. According to official sources, both the militants killed in today's gunbattle, were members of the militant group which had infiltrated into the Valley through Machhil sector on October 31. While two militants of the group had got killed in an encounter with troops of 9-Jat and RR 56 Bn at Kainaar, two more had died in another gunbattle with troops of 6-Grenadiers in the nearby Gogalnaar between Machhil and Keran sub sectors, close to LoC. Troops had launched a wider operation in search of three more militants of the group who were believed to have escaped but had been hiding in the same area. As six of the 7-members group have been killed in three gunbattles on November 1st and today, sources said that troops were still looking for the last militant who was believed to be hiding somewhere in the same area, close to LoC. Sources said that two AK-47 rifles and a quantity of other arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of operation in Kainar today. None of the six militants, killed in the three gunbattles, had been identified by this evening, raising suggestions of their foreign domicile. Sources said that a sepoy of Rashtriya Rifles 41 Bn sustained a mysterious gunshot injury when a patrol party was in movement in Kupwara town late last night. Even as Army sources claimed that the soldier had got injured when militants fired upon the patrol party in Kupwara town, residents insisted that there was no encounter between the militants and security forces. They suspected the soldier to have got injured due to misfire of his own rifle. A Defence spokesman said that on a specific source information, a joint operation of 22 Rashtriya Rifles and 2 Para was launched in general area of Shiva in Baramulla district. Troops apprehended two militants who were identified as Mohammad Iqbal Wani alias Rashid S-o Gulam Mohiudddin and Shabir Ahmed Sheikh alias Riyaz S-o Gulam Mohammad Sheikh, residents of Shiva. Both the detainees admitted during sustained interrogation that were operatives of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. They revealed that they were involved in grenade lobbing in general area of Sopore to target security forces and convoys and undertake killings of security forces informers. Both the individuals have been handed over to Sopore Police Station. One pistol, 2 Pistol magazines, 3 rounds of pistol ammunition, 2 Chinese hand grenades, 1 IED, 1 Binocular, 1 mobile phone 1100 Nokia and two identity cards were recovered from the detainees, officials said.