Two HM Militants Holed Up In A Mosque Killed In Kashmir
29 September 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Two Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants including a commander, holed up in a mosque, were killed by the security forces in the night-long operation, a police spokesman said. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Badgam, Ashiq Bukhari said a tip off was received that some militants were hiding in village Tujan in central Kashmir last evening. Special Operation Group (SOG) of state police alongwith 89 and 181 battalion CRPF and 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) launched a joint operation in the area. However, when the security forces were sealing the village militants opened indiscriminate firing and later took shelter in a local mosque. The cordon around the mosque was tightened after reinforcement troops were reached there from Pulwama and 183 CRPF camp. After the firing was stopped some elders were sent inside the mosque to persuade the militants to surrender. However, the militants refused to surrender and remained inside the mosque. He said later the RR troops were withdrawn and the operation was conducted by CRPF and SOG. With the first light of dawn, militants again started firing when security forces resumed operation. However, encounter again started after when militants came out from the mosque security forces fired teargas. Both the militants were killed, Bukhari said. He said during the operation the mosque did not suffered any collateral damage. But few windowpanes were damaged, he added. Mr Bukarhi identified the slain militants as Khursheed Ahmed Rather alias Zubair and Nazir Ahmed Dar alias Erfan. Assistant Superintendent of Police, Pulwama, Abdul Qayoom said that Khurshid was the self-styled Company Commander of HM outfit and was a most wanted 'A' category militant. He said he was associated with Al-Jehad outfit in 1991 arrested in 1992-93 and finally released a year later. Khursheed again re-joined into militancy in year 2005 and joined HM outfit and was wanted in several cases of militancy related violence. Mr Qayoum said Nazir Dar had infiltrated into this side two months earlier after spending 8 years in Pakistan. He further said that one AK rifle, one Pistol, one Carbine and some ammunition was also recovered from the site of encounter.