Militants Pushed Back From LoC In Rajouri17 August 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: In a major development, four hardcore militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, operating in Reasi district for past quite sometime, have reportedly surrendered before security forces and police at Hakawas on Reasi-Kulgam border along with a large quantity of arms and ammunition. The surrender has delivered a major setback to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, which has nearly been wiped out in Reasi district. The militants were reported to have surrendered tonight before 9 Rashtriya Rifles and joint teams of Kulgam and Reasi police at village Hakawas, the border of the two districts, falling under the jurisdiction of Damhal Hanjipora police station of Kulgam district, official sources said. The militants have been identified as Mohammad Rafiq alias Basharat son of Abdul Rehman Sheikh R-o Neoch, Mahore, Rashid alias Hakim alias Bashir son of Habib Sheikh R-o Neoch, Mahore, Mohammad Shaffi alias Billal son of Mohammad Akbar Doga R-o Deval, Mahore and Mohammad Maqbool son of Abdul Gaffar R-o Lar, Mahore. The militants surrendered along with a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosive devices. Soon after their surrender, the militants were taken to a safer area in Kulgam district for questioning to ascertain identity of their associates, if any, and hideouts. Sources, however, said that only this group of the militants had been left in Reasi district and their surrender has virtually finished the group. The militants were operating in Reasi district for past quite sometime. They were involved in a series of subversive activities. Sources said a number of elderly citizens worked behind the scene for ensuring surrender of the militants. Meanwhile, a major attempt was made by the militants to infiltrate into the Indian territory from the Line of Control (LoC) in Keri sector of Rajouri district late last night. The terrorists had reached close the bushes along the fence from where they opened firing on the troops to made their way into this side but failed in the wake of effective retaliatory firing. An Army jawan was injured in firing by the militants. Colonel Media, Nagrota Corps N P Arora told the Excelsior that Army have lodged a strong protest with Pakistani troops over the hotline on infiltration attempt by the militants. He said the Pakistan Army was told in clear terms that infiltration attempt by the militants from close the LoC was not possible without their abetment. As usual, the Pakistani troops denied having any knowledge of the intrusion bid. The Pakistan Army officials were told on the hotline that it was not possible for the infiltrators to reach close to the fence and open firing on the troops without backing of the troops from across the LoC. Official sources said it didnít seem to be a ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army. Most of the firing was done by the militant group, which was trying to enter into the Indian side from Keri sector, they added. Army jawan Sepoy Jaswinder Singh was also injured in firing by the militants. His injuries were, however, normal and he has been hospitalized in stable condition. Sources said the troops from this side retaliated to firing by the militants. The retaliatory firing was aimed at neutralizing the militants and ensure that they didnít manage to sneak into this side. Number of the militants trying to cross the LoC was stated to be between four to six. All of them were heavily armed with weapons and explosive devices. Movement of some of the militants was clearly visible from this side as they were firing from behind the bushes, close to the fence, sources said, adding the militants fled back following effective retaliatory firing brought down by the troops from this side. Army conducted searches in the area but didnít find any traces of the militants, which indicated that the intrusion bid had been foiled. A number of militants have reportedly been camping at the LoC waiting for an opportunity to sneak-in. Senior Army and police officers have also confirmed presence of the militants across the LoC. Nearly half a dozen militants have been killed by the troops at the LoC in Kupwara sector during past few days. However, the militants hadnít been able to infiltrate into this side from twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, sources said, adding a strict vigil is being maintained on the LoC to thwart infiltration attempts by the Army. Only a day before, the Rangers had opened firing on forward posts of the Border Security Force (BSF) at Ballard in Ramgarh sector of Samba district. The firing was done on the eve of Independence Day celebrations. The same day, the BSF had lodged a strong protest with the Rangers over unprovoked firing and ceasefire violation. Sources didnít rule out the possibility of the Rangers having planned to push the militants under the covering fire to disturb Independence Day celebration but they failed in their plot after the BSF jawans returned the firing.