Spl Crack Teams Launch Massive Operations Against Sopore Assailants

16 June 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Sopore: A day after special security review meeting was held in Sopore, security forces are preparing for the major assault of recent years against the gunmen who killed four Hurriyat Conference (HC) activists and former militants in restive apple town in past one week. Sources said that 5 Deputy Superintendents of Police (DySPs) and one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) who have carried out operations during the past in Sopore against militants and over 500 police men who are specially trained for conducting anti-militancy operations have been posted in Sopore to conduct the massive operation against the gun men responsible for the killings. Army's three additional companies including special forces have also been deployed for the operations against the Sopore assailants who have created panic in North Kashmir. These fresh troops and policemen who arrived today conducted cordon and search operations in Badambagh and Noor Bagh areas in restive Sopore. The operation was conducted by troops including Army's 22 Rashtriya Rifles, 179 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police's Special Operation Group (SOG). The security forces conducted searches and questioned several people during the operations, however, no one was arrested. Police also stepped up security along the roads leading to Sopore Town and sealed all entry and exit points. Police also pasted posters of two militant commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen who they said have formed Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) and are being held responsible for the killing spree. The posters accused Abdul Qayoom Najar alias Qayoom Nazarwala and Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo of Sopore being involved in the killing spree in Sopore and sought information from general public for a cash reward worth Rs 20 lakh. Police have also accused them of carrying out fatal attacks including recent ones on civilians, police in restive Sopore. Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir, Gareeb Dass told Excelsior: 'We pasted posters of two top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen splinter group after Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police found them behind the killing spree.' He said there are several other persons involved in the killings but Qayoom and Imtiyaz are most wanted. 'They have serious differences with the Hurriyat Conference leaders and other militant leadership over several issues for past one year which has surfaced now', he added. Dass said that security forces have formed special crack teams which will conduct operations against these militants. He said that these militants are choosing soft targets of people associated with Hurriyat Conference and former militants to create fear psychosis in the area. He said police and other security forces have identified these persons and has launched operations against them and people need not to worry. Najjar, who has been declared most wanted, joined Hizbul Mujahideen in year 1995 and Imtiyaz in year 2010 and both are A-plus category militants. Najjar, however, left militancy in between and re-joined it in 2006. Police accused them of killing a Hurriyat Conference (G) activist, Altaf-ur-Rehman Sheikh of Iqbal Nagar Sopore. Besides, the police also blame the duo for the killings of Muhammad Rafiq Dar, Mehraj-ud-Din Dar (former Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front militant) of Badam Bagh Sopore, Khursheed Ahmad Bhat (trade union leader) of Bomie Sopore and Ghulam Hassan Dar (mobile tower landlord ) of Dooru Sopore. Police also blamed Qayoom Najar, for the killing of Sarpanch Ghulam Ahmad Bhat of Bomai Sopore and a civilian Abdul Rashid of Rafiabad in Baramulla district. Police blamed Imtiyaz Kandoo for the killing of four cops in Hygam village of the Baramulla district on April 26, 2013. Police have given two landline numbers on the posters for those who are willing o share information about the two militants. 'Name of informant will be kept secret,' the posters read. The numbers are of Special Operation Group (SOG) Sopore and Police Control Room Sopore. As the security in Sopore area has been intensified, a Hurriyat Conference (G) activist, had close shave today when gunmen tried to eliminate him. Abdul Ahad Rehmani of Tarzoo Sopore, an active member of Hurriyat Conference (G), who runs a seminary in the village saw suspicious person trying to kill him in his agriculture fields but his workers after smelling rat approached the man who fled in a waiting car. There is fear psychosis among the released militants and Hurriyat Conference activists in Sopore area after the killing spree and majority of them have gone into hiding to avoid becoming targets. Militants tonight hurled a grenade at the house of Dr Mohammad Ramzan Sofi, landlord of a tower, in Kral Teng Sopore tonight. However, there was no damage to the tower. This is the second attack on the tower since last month when telecoms were attacked in Sopore. Police and Army launched searches in the area to track the militants responsible for the attack. In the meantime, North Kashmir's Sopore observed shut down for the second consecutive day today against the killings of civilians. Shops, commercial establishments and education institutes were closed in the Town and its adjoining areas. Clashes between youth and police broke out in Main Chowk and other adjoining localities. Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in sensitive localities of the Town to maintain law and order.