Two more HM militants surrender in Thathri
21 January 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Two more Hizbul Mujahideen militants today surrendered before Army and police at Thathri in Kishtwar tehsil of Doda district while troops averted a major catastrophe by defusing a powerful IED at Shanderi, about five kms from Thathri this evening. Only yesterday, three hardcore Hizbul Mujahideen militants including two section commanders had surrendered before Army and police in Thathri along with a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives. With todays surrenders, a total of five Hizbul Mujahideen militants have laid down their arms in Thathri during last two days, official sources said, describing it as a major setback to the militant outfit. The militants, who surrendered today before 26 Rashtriya Rifles Commander, SSP Doda Prithvi Raj Manhas and SP Doda (Operations) Varinder Sharma, have been identified as Asif Mohd Bhat alias Umar Jan (Set Code Aqib) son of Nazir Ahmed and Mohd Ashraf Chichi alias Kesar Gul son of Alla Ditta, both residents of Nadra, Thathri. Arms and ammunition handed over by the militants at the time of surrender included one AK rifle, three magazines and 60 rounds, one wireless set, one Under Barrel Grenade Launching (UBGL) gun and five Chinese hand grenades. Asif Mohd Bhat was a Pakistan trained militant and was active in Kishtwar tehsil since 2002. He was involved in kidnappings and extortions etc besides attacks on security forces. Mohd Ashraf Chichi had also participated in several operations. Over a dozen Hizbul Mujahideen militants have either been killed or have surrendered during last one month in Doda district. Meanwhile, troops of 63 Rashtriya Rifles today detected a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED), hidden by the militants at village Shanderi, about five kms from Thathri this evening. The IED contained 12 kg explosives and was attached to a three meter fuse wire. Concealed in a metal container, the IED was ready for use. A Bomb Disposal Squad of Army was rushed to the spot which defused the IED. According to sources, the IED had to be planted by the militants either in a crowded area or on the road to target civil or security forces vehicles. A search operation was conducted in the area but the militants remained untraced. Army and police had recovered 25 kg RDX and two AK rifles besides ammunition from a hide- out in Doda town which was meant to be used in Doda town on or before Republic Day celebrations. Police and Army also recovered 700 AK rounds and 70 pistol rounds during a search operation in Top Neel area of Doda today.