Hizb Militant Killed Was Part Of Group That Infiltrated Gurez

21 April 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant killed in north Kashmir on Monday was part of the group that had infiltrated into the valley through Gurez sector in late March. J-K Police said the Hizb militant, Abdul Rashid Beig, a resident of Ganesthan village, Sumbal who was killed in a gun battle with the security forces at Palhallan on Monday was on police radar from past 20 days. “It seems that he had infiltrated recently,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Viplaw Kumar said. “His feet were frost bitten and bandaged.” Rashid Beig was killed in a two hour long encounter in Palhalan after a joint party of police, CRPF and Army cordoned a house in the area. A CRPF jawan also died in the encounter. Two policemen and same number of CRPF jawans were also injured in the gunfight. Police said one AK rifle, five magazines, a pistol and some ammunition was also recovered from the site of encounter. Police sources said the slain militant had crossed over to Muzaffarabad for arms training a few years back and had infiltrated into the valley recently through Gurez sector where he along with other militants managed to give security forces a slip. In the last week of March, Army had intercepted a large group of infiltrators in Gurez sector of Bandipora district and engaged them in a gun battle in which one militant was killed. Despite a massive manhunt by the Army to flush out them out, the militants managed to escape. After failing to track the militants in the dense forests, Army called off the operation after eight days. The killing of the Rashid Beig is an indication that militants who infiltrated into the valley recently have been able to reach the heart of the valley. Palhallan, the north Kashmir village where Monday’s encounter took place, is barely 30 kilometres from Srinagar. “It seems the militants are desperate to regroup and they are reviewing their strategy,” a police officer said. “We are keeping an eye on the situation.” Hizb which is the largest indigenous militant group had recently said that they have reviewed their strategy and their main area of operation will be in the border areas.