February 2000 News

Top HM ultra Toofan escapes from Rajouri police station

14 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: A dreaded militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit has escaped from the lock-up of Rajouri police station making a mockery of security arrangements in the militancy-infested district.

Identified as Mohd Shabir son of Sahib Din, a resident of Kotdhara, the hardcore Pakistan-trained militant was nabbed by the security forces after a fierce gun-battle. Mohd Shabir, who was known in the militant circles as ‘Toofan’, was deputy district chief of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.

Toofan was wanted to police for the killing of a National Conference leader Ghulam Nabi Riaz besides several other subversive activities. He figured amongst the list of most wanted militants.

Police sources told EXCELSIOR here today that Mohd Shabir was lodged in the lock-up of Rajouri police station soon after he was captured alive in an encounter with security forces and police about a week back.

Sources said the officers of security forces, who had supervised the operation, had categorically told the SHO Rajouri police station Mr Haq Nawaz that Toofan was a hardcore militant and security in the police station should be tightened to ensure that he couldn’t manage to escape.

Despite the directive, Toofan managed to escape from the lock-up in the mid-night giving a dodge to police personnel on duty in the police station. Toofan was found missing from the lock-up in the morning when police personnel woke up from their sleep.

An alert was immediately sounded in Rajouri district by the district administration and all police station, nakas and army troops were alerted to track down the escaped militant. However, till the reports last came in today, Toofan hadn’t been re-arrested.

Sources said they apprehended the involvement of Rajouri police station staff in facilitating the escape of notorious militant. The role of SHO police station Mr Haq Nawaz was also being verified by the authorities, they added.

According to sources, Toofan was involved in the killing of National Conference district secretary for Rajouri Ghulam Nabi Riaz sometime back. Besides this killing, Riaz was wanted in a series of killings, kidnappings, extortions and attacks on army, security forces and police.

Meanwhile, the district Rajouri administration has ordered a high level inquiry into the escape of top militant. A senior officer has been asked to investigate loopholes in Rajouri police station which led to militant’s escape. The role of police officials and constables was also being investigated.

 

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