Hizbul commander, Army jawan killed
4 May 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A top Hizbul Mujahideen militant and an Army jawan were killed in separate gun battles in Anantnag and Bandipora districts today. Self- styled District Commander of Hizbul, Riyaz Ahmad Deva alias Saifullah, was killed in a gunfight with Special Operations Group of Police near Khalhar village of Anantnag district of south Kashmir, a police spokesman said. Describing his killing as a major success, he said the militant was active in the district for the past nine years and was involved in a large number of killings and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts. An Army jawan was killed in a gun battle with militants at Bapora-Aragam in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, a Defence spokesman said. The encounter broke out when Army troops launched a search operation to track down hiding militants, the spokesman said. Meanwhile, militants today made an unsuccessful attempt to target security force convoy when they hurled a hand grenade in north Kashmir, official sources said. They said militants hurled a hand grenade towards the convoy of the security forces at Malamathan, Sopore. However, it missed a vehicle, carrying security personnel, and exploded at a distance without causing any damage. Later, security forces conducted searches in the area, but the militants had managed to escape. Agencies Add A strike call given by Democratic Liberation Party (DLP) in protest against alleged human rights violations by the security forces and surrendered militants evoked no response from any part of the Valley. The breakaway Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a general strike, supported by others, on the same issues and also in protest against the arrest of four senior amalgam leaders under Public Safety Act (PSA) tomorrow. Shops and business establishments were opened with vehicle and transport plying on all routes as usual. Work in Government offices and educational institutions was also normal. Life remained crippled in the apple township of Sopore for the second day today due to spontaneous strike in protest against police action on demonstrators, protesting the death of a child in a road accident. Shops and other business establishments were closed. However, traffic was near normal on all routes. Work in Government and commercial establishments was also affected due to strike. People are protesting against the firing in the air and use of teargas shells by police on demonstrators, particularly shopkeepers, on May 2. The demonstrators, who set on fire a bus and a police vehicle and damaged two other vehicles, after a child was killed by a speedy vehicle, were demanding action against the driver. The driver has already been arrested by the police.