HM, LeT clash; 2 militants killed
29 September 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Even as two militants died in separate incidents of violence and a soldier committed suicide, 10 boys have been taken into custody in Handwara for planning exfiltration to a guerrilla training camp in PoK. Informed sources said that two groups of militants, most likely Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba, opened fire on each other in confusion at Neeldora in Shopian area late last night. One of the Lashkar militants got killed. His body was recovered from the area today. He was identified as Lashkar's 'District Commander' Sameer Ahmed Mir alias Abu Saquib S-o Mohammad Yusuf Mir R-o Hattipora, Yaripora, Kulgam. Police sources claimed that Sameer was responsible for massacre of nine Nepalese labourers near Yaripora, Kulgam. He had allegedly killed a number of other civilians in Shopian area in the last few years. Reports from Kupwara said that SOG and troops of Rashtriya Rifles 18 Bn had laid an ambush in the dense forest cover of Duraswani in Lolab area late last evening. As a group of five militants was spotted, only one of them got killed in the forces' firing. Four militants of the group escaped. One of them left behind a trail of blood but sniffer dogs failed to track him down. The militant killed in action was unidentified but officials believed he was a Pakistani cadre of Lashkar-er-Toiba. Reports from north Kashmir said that Police in Handwara has taken into custody ten young boys, including five students, who were planning to leave for a militant training camp in PoK. Sources said that when interrogated by SOG teams, the boys admitted that they had been planning to exfiltrate to PoK. Police sources said that after counter- indoctrination, these teenagers would be returned to their parents. Some of them had been allowed to interact with their families. A BSF jawan allegedly committed suicide here today by shooting himself with a service rifle, official sources said. Constable Madhu Sudhan Reddy, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, shot himself in the head inside a bullet proof vehicle at Sanat Nagar BSF headquarters in uptown Srinagar this morning, the sources said. Reddy, a driver in the headquarters, committed suicide after locking himself in the vehicle around 7.45 am and his body was found by colleagues who had gone to the parking area to clean vehicles around 8.30 am, they said. The motive behind Reddy's drastic step was not immediately known, officials said adding that he remained visibly disturbed ever since his return from leave on September 21. Meanwhile a photojournalist sustained injuries in demonstrators' stone pelting on Police in downtown, six more lensmen were hurt when CRPF struck on them at Nowhatta Chowk in Jamia Masjid area. IGP CRPF has placed a delinquent official under suspension and ordered an inquiry into the bizarre incident. Informed sources said that AFP's photojournalist Tauseef Mustafa was hit in his head when demonstrators were pelting stones on Police in Nowhatta area. Bleeding profusely, he was rushed to Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital Rainawari. After getting necessary medical treatment he was discharged in the evening. Simultaneously, some CRPF soldiers of 96 Bn objected to photography and videography of the demonstration by over a dozen camerapersons of different newsagencies and television channels at Nowhatta. One of the soldiers lost his cool and he struck on AFP's Sajjad Hussain, hitting him in the head. Sajjad too bled profusely and went unconscious. When some of his colleagues rushed to come to his rescue, they too were roughed up and severely beaten up by the soldiers. An injured Sajjad Hussain, whose expensive digital camera was damaged in the scuffle, was finally evacuated with the help of Police and rushed to JLNM Hospital. Doctors referred him to SKIMS Soura. Late this evening, Sajjad was discharged from the hospital after receiving proper medical treatment. Other photojournalists, who were left bruised and injured, included Rafeeq Maqbool of AP besides a reporter and a cameraperson of Times Now television channel. IGP CRPF, A P Maheshwari, told the EXCELSIOR that he himself rushed to the spot and listened to both sides. He said that he watched the film of the whole incident which negated the version of the CRPF personnel. Consequently, Constable Ram Niwas, who had struck on Sajjad Hussain's head with a gun, was immediately removed from duty and placed under suspension. IGP said that disciplinary action was also being initiated against head of the CRPF platoon, Sub Inspector Lalaram. He said that DIG CRPF R S H Sahota would conduct a detailed inquiry and submit his report within a week following which other punitive and remedial measures would be taken.