Militant-driver blown into pieces in Bijbehara
1 May 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Even as security forces today eliminated four militants, including two Pakistani nationals, in separate gunbattles in Pampore and Sopore, unidentified gunmen shot dead an SOG deserter and a civilian in Kashmir valley. An auto-driver, working for Hizbul Mujahideen, was blown into pieces when his own grenade went off at Zirpara village, in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir today. Informed sources in south Kashmir told EXCELSIOR that one Farooq Ahmed Bhat S-o Ghulam Nabi Bhat was blown into pieces when his hand grenade went off accidentally at Zirpara village, in Bijbehara this afternoon. He was trying to hurl the grenade, which he had concealed under his Pheran, on a patrol of ITBP. It went off, killing him on spot. Four civilians sustained splinter injuries. They were identified as Abrar Hameed Dar, Showkat Ahmed Sofi, Javed Ahmed Bhat and Showkat Ahmed Allai. Officials said that Bhat was operating as an auto-driver but undeground he was working for Hizbul Mujahideen. Sources said that, on a specific information, troops of RR 28 Bn laid siege to Malgonipora, in Sopore-Rafiabad belt in north Kashmir today. According to the tip-off, a group of Pakistani cadres of Lashkar-e- Toiba was present in the village. During the search operation, the militants were spotted in an orchard and engaged in a fierce gunbattle. Two militants died in the encounter. They were identified as Lashkar’s Abu Saifullah Shaheen and Saif-ul-Mehmood, both residents of Pakistan. Two AK-56 rifles and five hand grenades were recovered from the site of encounter. Meanwhile, two militants, killed in an encounter with security forces at Mantrigam-Bobkoot yesterday, have been identified as Aijaz Ahmed Lone S-o Abdur Rahim R-o Athwatoo and Shakoor Ahmed Khan S-o Mohammad Hussain R-o Tanga Ghat. Official sources, however, identified the same as Khalid Nayeem and Jaffar. They confirmed that three soldiers got injured in the clash and seven structures also gutted. Reports from south Kashmir added that, on a tip-off, ITBP 11th Bn, BSF 104 Bn and SOG Awantipore raided a militant hide-out at Samboora, Pampore today. According to the information, a group of local militants were hiding in the house of one Dr Ali Mohammad Dar. As the militants opened fire, troops destroyed the target house, killing two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen on spot. They were identified as Showkat Ahmed Dar S-o Abdul Aziz Dar and Bilal Ahmed Dar S-o Nazir Ahmed Dar, both residents of the same village. Two AK-56 rifles, one wireless set, one pistol and one rocket-launcher were recovered from the site of encounter. Reports said that the house-owner, Dr Ali Mohammad, and several others have been picked up for interrogation. Reports from south Kashmir added that militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad have shot dead one Lal Deen Gujjar of Bathnoor, Tral, who had deserted SOG Tral and returned to the militant outfit. Earlier, after working as a militant with Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lal Deen had surrendered before SOG Tral. Last week, he deserted his camp and was believed to have returned to the militant fold. His assassination has been reportedly claimed by Jaish with the allegation that his return was part of SOG tactics. Reports from north Kashmir added that unidentified gunmen shot dead a civilian, namely Azad Ahmed Khan S-o Shamas-ud-din in R-o Hanoora, Dangiwacha, Rafiabad. Apparently, he had no militant or political connections.