Top Hizbul commander surrenders in Banihal
30 November 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Jammu: A section commander of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit today surrendered at Sarbagni near Banihal in Ramban police district before Army and police officers while security forces arrested 15 Myanmarese nationals in Akhnoor sector when they were trying to exfiltrate to Pakistan. Mohd Iqbal Sohail alias Yasir son of Mohd Ibrahim Singh, a resident of Sarbagni, who was active in Ramban-Banihal belt since 1998, surrendered before 23 Rashtriya Rifles Commandant and Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Banihal at Sarbagni this morning, official sources said. He handed over one AK rifle, three magazines, 91 rounds and one hand grenade at the time of surrender. He was a Pakistan trained militant. Sohail was involved in a number of militant activities in Ramban and Banihal areas and was wanted to police, the sources said, adding he was motivated for surrender by his parents and elderly people of his village. His parents were also present at the time of surrender. After surrender, the Hizbul commander was sent for questioning to ascertain hide-outs of the militants. Sohails surrender came just two days after two top Hizbul militantsZubair Ahmed Bhat alias Shabir and Maktoor Ahmed alias Owais Tauheed laid down arms before Army at Dachan in Gool area of Ramban police district. Sources said Sohail had married a local girl in the recent past and often came to meet her clandestinely and when cops laid ambushes to trap him, he decided to surrender to save his life. Some more militants are expected to lay down their arms in the near future in view of the increased counter-insurgency operations, the sources added. Security forces today detected and defused a four kg weight IED, planted by the militants at village Kahara in Gandoh area of Doda district. A Bomb Disposal Squad was rushed to the spot which defused the IED. Fifteen Myanmar nationals, trying to exfiltrate to Pakistan, were arrested near International Border in Akhnoor sector today. Security forces arrested the Myanmarese including two women and an equal number of children, last night when they were moving towards border in Chicken Neck area in Akhnoor sector, the sources said. Preliminary questioning revealed that they wanted to cross over to Pakistan to work there as labourers in some construction company, the sources said. They were being handed over to police for further investigation and disposal. Security forces had also apprehended three Myanmarese, while trying to cross over to Pakistan, in Kanachak yesterday.