Reveal ultras support base in Pir Panjal
7 November 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Two top militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who surrendered before police in Rajouri this morning, have disclosed that the militants especially foreign mercenaries were strengthening their positions in Pir Panjal ranges and have even started running training camps for local ultras there. The militants, who trekked down to Rajouri from Pir Panjal range, to surrender before DIG Rajouri-Poonch range Prithvi Raj Manhas following mediation with them through their families and some elderly people, have also revealed that Pir Panjal range has again become a hub of foreign mercenaries of LeT and Jaish- e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit, official sources said. The militants, who laid down their arms after remaining active in militancy for a period ranging between two to six years, have been identified as Mohd Sharif alias Sharka son of Mishri, a resident of Allal Mangota, Thanna Mandi and Mohd Mushtaq son of Papa R-o Paleri, Kandi in Rajouri district. At the time of surrender before Mr Manhas, the militants handed over two AK-56 rifles, three magazines, one wireless set, four hand grenades and two mobile telephones. Soon after their surrender, the militants were shifted to a safer area where they were subjected to sustained interrogation by police officers. During questioning, they were reported to have disclosed that foreign mercenaries of LeT and JeM outfits were in the process of strengthening their positions in Pir Panjal range. They have raised necessary infrastructure to brave heavy snowfall and ensuing winter. Generally, the militants trek down to plains during winter and are either get killed or apprehended by security forces. However, according to surrendered militants, the foreign mercenaries have enough stocking with them to brave the winter. The ultras have revealed that the foreign mercenaries have even revived training camps in Pir Panjal ranges for local recruits. Following several successful operations by security forces and police in Pir Panjal range during last couple of years, a number of militants especially the foreign mercenaries were killed or apprehended and their hide-outs were destroyed. In these operations as well, it was revealed that the militants had been running training camps for local ultras. However, with the passage of time, the militants were again reported to have managed to create their bases in Pir Panjal range, sources said. They added that further interrogation of the surrendered militants was on and some more clues were expected of them. On the basis of their questioning, few hide- outs of the ultras were expected to be smashed.