Militant, Host Killed In Bandipore
20 June 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: One militant of Harkatul Mujahideen and his host got killed in a fierce gunbattle in Bandipore even as two BSF personnel and two members of the host's family sustained critical injuries. Troops have, meanwhile, recovered an IED in Bandipore. Informed sources told EXCELSIOR that working over a specific information, men of Police Station Bandipore and BSF swooped on the house of one Ghulam Nabi Zargar at Muslimabad, in close vicinity of Police Station Bandipore in the morning today. As troops zeroed in on Zargar's house, one-odd holed up militant opened heavy gunfire and made unsuccessful attempts to escape. DIG North Kashmir, Dr B Srinivas, said that the militant held the inmates on gunpoint for some time. Suddenly the militant lobbed a hand grenade which exploded inside the room, causing injuries to the militant, house-owner Ghulam Nabi Zargar, his daughter Nazima and son Meraj-ud-din Zargar, besides two BSF personnel who were just entering the room. While the BSF men were rushed to Srinagar by helicopter and admitted to 92 Base Hospital for treatment, doctors insisted that one of the duo was still critical. Sources said that troops gunned down the injured militant in a brief encounter. The house-owner Ghulam Nabi Zargar succumbed to injuries when he was on way to Sub District Hospital, Bandipore. One AK-56 rifle, one mobile telephone set and a satellite telephone were claimed to have been recovered from the slain militant's possession. Officials claimed that the militant had been operating with Harkatul Mujahideen's 'District Chief' for Bandipore, Daanish. Believed to be a Pakistani national, he had been active as a militant for the last many years. Unconfirmed reports later said that the slain militant had been identified as Shaheen of Pakistan. Officials alleged that the house-owner's son, Meraj-ud-din, was an 'overground activisit' of Harkatul Mujahideen and he would be questioned after his possible recovery in a few days. Residents, however, insisted that Meraj-ud-din had no links whatsoever to militancy. According to them, the slain militant had forcibly barged into Zargar's residence. Meanwhile, reports from Bandipore added that troops of RR 57 Bn recovered one pouch and two grenades from the house of Abdul Ahad Wani S-o Maqbool Wani at Ahamsharief near Bandipore. At Sopore, near Jamia Qadeem, forces claimed to have recover an IED, wrapped in a polythene cover.