February 2000 News

Arms, explosives haul after encounter near Mansar

7 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: Four militants escaped after a fierce day-long gun battle with police in Ramkot area near Mansar at the border of Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur districts today leaving behind a huge quantity of arms and explosives including 20 kg RDX.

This is the second encounter between militants and police at Ramkot forest area during last two months. In the first encounter, dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen militant Shakeel Ansari had escaped alongwith his four associates in December last year.

A police spokesman said police got an information that a group of four militants, belonging to Shakeel Ansari group of Hizbul Mujahideen, had managed to reach Ramkot via Samba and Mansar after infiltrating from the International Border. They were on their way to upper reaches of Udhampur and Doda districts.

A strong contingent of police, assisted by the security forces, cordoned off the entire Ramkot forest area late last night after getting a tip off about militantsí presence. The spokesman said police party spotted the militants and chased them.

An encounter ensued between the two sides in the early hours of this morning, which continued intermittently throughout the day today. However, reports reaching here late this evening said that all the four militants managed to give a dodge to the police team.

However, the fleeing militants left behind a huge quantity of arms and explosives in the area. The weaponry was seized by the police which include 20 kg RDX, one sniper rifle, five rocket grenades, four programme time devices, two remote control devices, one radio set, four rockets, four rocket boosters and 1000 ammunition rounds.

More reinforcement of police and security forces has been dispatched to Ramkot forests to continue a hunt for the fleeing militants, the spokesman said, adding a massive search operation was going on in the forest area to track down the militants.

However, police donít rule out the possibility of the militants having managed to cross Ramkot forests. Udhampur police has also been alerted by the police authorities and asked to maintain a vigil along the route.

It may be recalled that Shakeel Ansari and his four associates had escaped from Ramkot forests about two months back after a fierce gun battle with police.

Police said this particular infiltration route was being used by the militants especially the members of Shakeel Ansari group to safely reach the upper reaches of Udhampur and Doda districts, where the group has its presence in large number.

 

Return to the Archives 2000 Index Page

Return to Home Page