3 Militants, Cop Killed In Srinagar Shoot-out29 November 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A fierce gunfight at a market place in the summer capital Srinagar today left three suspected militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit and a policeman dead. The militants riding on a motorcycle were killed after they were intercepted by a naka party at Qammarwari Chowk in the city this afternoon, IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai, told reporters after the incident. A policeman also laid down his life and a civilian was injured in the brief gun battle which took place around 12.35 afternoon sparking panic in the city. Police had set up special naka at Qammarwari Chowk on Srinagar-Baramulla national highway. The ultras, who were riding on a motorcycle, hurled a grenade towards the policemen and in the retaliatory action got killed,' Sahai said. Although the identity of the deceased ultras could not be established immediately, police sources said one of the slain militants was believed to be a foreigner. Selection Grade Constable Mohammad Ashraf Shah, a resident of Lar area of Ganderbal district, showed exemplary bravery in fighting the militants and was hit by a bullet in the head, causing his instant death. A civilian Mohammad Maqbool Bhat received a fire-arm injury in his arm after he was caught in the crossfire and was hospitalized, the sources said. Two silencer-fitted pistols, three grenades and some ammunition were recovered from the possession of the slain militants. The motorcycle, bearing registration No:JK01J 1932, was also seized. The motorcycle, a 2005-make Pulsar, was registered on the name of Mudassir Ahmad Khan of Qammarwari as per the duplicate registration certificate of the two-wheeler prepared on December 2, 2008. It bears the chasis No:98610 and Engine No:9467. This was the second major encounter between militants and security forces in Srinagar in over a month. Earlier, three militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit were killed in a fierce gunbattle at Malura, five kms from Qammarwari area, on October 21. The IGP said the militants were making attempts to disturb the peace and law and order situation in Srinagar city but so far the security forces have foiled their plans. 'They (militants) have been trying to disturb peace in Srinagar. We have been successful in keeping them at bay so far and we will try to ensure that it stays that way,' Sahai said. Asked about the number of militants active in the city, he said there were no militants in Srinagar. 'The militants come from other parts of the Valley, strike in the city and go back,' he added. The IGP said the militants had used the recent unrest in the Valley to regroup and reorganize their ranks. 'It is very natural thing that they will try to regroup and reorganise. They took advantage of the unrest in the Valley,' Sahai said reiterating that there was a definite link between separatists and militants. The militants instigate and fuel the unrest so that they get time to regroup, he added. Senior officers joined lower ranks to pay homage to constable Shah, who was killed while taking on the three militants at Qammarwari Chowk here. An impressive guard of honour was held in memory of Shah in the lawns of Police Control Room here, which was followed by laying of floral wreaths on his mortal remains. Besides Sahai, IGP Armed, Z H Chisti, DIG, Armed, Rouf-ul-Hassan, DIG, North Kashmir, Muneer Ahmad Khan, DIG CRPF Sham Chand, SSP Srinagar Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, SSP, PCR, Srinagar, Javid and all Srinagar based Commandants of CRPF,JKAP and IRP battallions paid their homage and respects to the deceased constable by laying floral wreaths on his mortal remains. Constable Shah had joined the Police services in 1997 and was presently posted with Police Post Qamarwari. He is survived by aged parents besides wife and two children. Meanwhile, revealing identity of two Pakistani militants killed in a joint operation by security forces in Handwara belt of Kupwara district on Saturday, police today said the deceased included a dreaded commander of LeT instrumental in exfiltration, infiltration and further distribution of LeT cadres in North Kashmir. 'We have established the identity of the militants killed in a joint operation by police and Army at Moldari Wadder forest on November 27. They are divisional commander of LeT for North Kashmir Abdul Rehman alias 'Naveed' and 'Talood' and his close associate Muslim Zaraar alias 'Muslim Bhai', both Pakistani nationals,' Sahai said. Terming the killing of the two top militants as a 'major breakthrough', he said their killing has dealt a severe blow to militancy in North Kashmir. 'With killings of these two militants, the activities of Lashkar in North Kashmir will decrease,' the IGP added. He said while Rehman was active in Handwara belt for the last four years, Zaraar had been active in Sopore and Rafiabad belt of Baramulla district. Rehman was active in North Kashmir for the last four years and was wanted in a case related to the killing of three Army personnel at Rajpora and Krimhoora. 'Rehman was instrumental in exfiltration, infiltration and further distribution of LeT cadres in North Kashmir especially in Rafiabad, Sopore, Lolab and Handwara. He was also motivating Over Ground Workers including women for arranging logistic hideouts, case and gathering local movements,' Sahai said. Rehman was a close associate of Abu Saad, former district Commander and took over as divisional chief after exfiltration of Abu Saad in 2008. The IGP said Rehman was operating in Wadipora, Bakihaker, Krimhoora, Brinjal, Bawan, Wader Bala areas of Handwara. The slain militant remained associated with top ranking commanders of LeT and other militant outfits since 2006. Besides Abu Saad, he remained associated with divisional commander of LeT Furkan Bhai, district commander Noman Bhai (dead), Abdullah Ooni, district commander Lolab Qari Hamad, Abu Jabran and Ubaiddullah, district commander of Al-Badr Tameem alias Sonaullah and district commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad Showket Bhai. He said, according to conservative estimates, about 150 militants were active in three North Kashmir districts of Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla. 'There are around 140 to 150 active militants in North Kashmir and these are conservative estimates,' Sahai said. The recoveries made from the slain militants during the operation included two AK-47 rifles, six magazines, 125 rounds, one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) with three grenades, three Chinese grenades, one RDX packet, a solar charger, 26 dry cells and a damaged radio set, he said. A huge quantity of provision items including 7.8 quintals rice, 6.5 quintals Atta, 20 liters of kerosene oil, 40 kgs mustard oil, 14 kgs of chilli powder and other spices were recovered from the hideouts of the militants in the forests. 'The recoveries are indicative of the fact that they (militants) were planning to remain holed up in the forests during the winter months,' the IGP said. Meanwhile, in recognition of the courage and bravery, shown by the police party at Qammarwari, Srinagar today, wherein three militants were killed on spot, DGP Kuldeep Khoda, has ordered the out-of-turn promotions of three constables as Selection grade constables, one constable as Head constable and one Head constable as Assistant Sub Inspector besides sanctioned Rs 5 lakhs as reward for police party.