Lashkar chief, associate killed; LeT wiped out in Doda belt4 August 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Police said today that dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit has been wiped out from Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts with the killing of LeT chief for Kishtwar, Habib Gujjar alias Salman and his associate in a fierce gunbattle at village Nagaran in Nagni area of Keshwan in Kishtwar district this afternoon. An announcement of the killing of Salman, who was being chased by police and Army for past several months and had a narrow escape in an encounter at Doda about a couple of months back, was made by IGP Jammu Dilbagh Singh here at a hurriedly called press conference this afternoon. Mr Singh said Salman and his associate were gunned down at Nagni, Keshwan after a day long encounter. With their killings, the LeT outfit has been eliminated in entire Doda belt comprising Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts, he added. Slain militants have been identified as Habib Gujjar alias Salman son of Khair Din R-o Sarawan, Keshwan and Irshad Ahmed Koli son of Jamaal Din Koli R-o Singhpora, Chatroo. While Salman was a dreaded militant of the LeT outfit involved in a series of killings, attacks on security forces and other subversive activities and was operating in Kishtwar and Doda districts for past more than four years, Koli had been inducted into militancy by Salman about 25 days back and was locally trained in handling of arms and explosive material, Mr Singh said. Troops of 11 Rashtriya Rifles and police jointly conducted the operation this morning after getting reports that Salman Gujjar along with his associate had been hiding in the house of one Amin Qazi. The militants deserted the house and fled to mountains after getting tip off about movement of Army and police in the area. The IGP Jammu said a fierce gunbattle ensued after a contact was established with Salman Gujjar. Both the militants were killed at 3.45 pm. Police and security forces didn’t suffer any casualties in the operation. Bodies of the two ultras were recovered from the site of encounter. Recoveries made from the scene of encounter included one AK-47 rifle, three magazines, 134 rounds, LeT letter heads, other literature, uniforms used by Salman, explosive devices strategic maps of Doda and Kishtwar and other belongings of the militant. The house owner, where Salman had taken shelter, has been detained for questioning. Police parties in the operation were supervised by DIG Doda-Ramban range Manish Kumar Sinha. Mr Singh said Salman had managed to recruit six youth of Kishtwar into the LeT outfit during past some time, all of whom have been neutralized. While four of them-Khurshid Ahmed, Mohammad Issaq, Jan Mohammad and Noman had already been killed, Abdul Jabbar was arrested. The sixth surviving recruit-Irshad Ahmed Koli was killed today along with Salman. In one of the most inhuman act, Salman had attacked the house of Mohammad Qasim, Havaldar and Incharge STF’s Nagni post and killed his old mother Gorjan Begum in retaliation to the killing of his uncle, who happened to be an Over Ground Worker (OGW) of the militants. He had also killed two civilians including Abdul Gani son of Abdul Aziz R-o Kawat during Panchayat elections and Talib Hussain. He was instrumental in a number of attacks on security forces. The Jammu Police chief said after the killing and arrest of a large number of LeT militants, Salman was trying hard for more recruitment in his outfit but had failed excepting Koli, who was killed today. Salman was Lashkar chief for Doda and Kishtwar districts and had direct liaison with Pakistan based commanders of the LeT outfit. His intercepts revealed that he had been trying hard for induction of some cadre in Doda and Kishtwar from the Kashmir valley but had failed. Even after police and security forces trapped him this morning, he made a frantic call to one of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant to help him take out of the cordon. However, the Hizbul militant didn’t come to his rescue. 'With the killing of Habib Gujjar alias Salman and his associate, Koli, the LeT outfit has been wiped out hundred per cent from Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts’’, Mr Singh said, adding that Salman was the last surviving dreaded militant of the outfit and had been designated as its chief. He said some cadre of Hizbul Mujahideen were still active in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts. Efforts were on to eliminate or apprehend them, he added. Dilbagh Singh announced that in the aftermath of yesterday’s arrest of a LeT militant Mushtaq Ahmed alias Mustafa alias Master of Budhan, Reasi from Belicharana, police have decided to conduct a census and prepare data of all the people living in ‘unauthorized colonies’ including Belicharana in Jammu and its outskirts. 'We have decided to conduct a census and prepare data of all the people, mostly migrants of Rajouri, Poonch, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar etc putting up in unauthorized colonies’’, he said and didn’t rule out the possibility of some other militants like Mustafa putting up in the basties. 'If one militant can hide in unauthorized basties, I don’t rule out the possibility of more militants having taken shelter in some colonies’’, he said but maintained that Mustafa was not a threat. The IGP Jammu pointed out militant attack of Ragunath temple was planned at Rajouri and Poonch but executed from Qasim Nagar basti, where the militants had dumped arms, ammunition and explosives. Mr Singh said there were no organised training camps for militants in any part of Jammu and local recruits in Kishtwar (now killed or arrested) had been trained by the militants while working with them. He said security arrangements have been finalised for Independence Day. There was no specific input of any terror strike on August 15, he added.