LeT 'Distt Commdr' killed in Shalimar
29 November 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: While Police today claimed to have killed a 'district commander' of Lashkar-e-Toiba in a brief encounter in Shalimar area, suspected militants carried out an unsuccessful grenade attack on the house of a ruling PDP activist in Batmaloo area of this capital city and gunned down a 60-year-old civilian in Warpora village of Sopore. IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai, told EXCELSIOR that Police laid an ambush in an open area behind the famous Shalimar Garden in the evening today after learning from a specific information that a Pakistani militant and 'district commander' of Lashkar-e-Toiba for Srinagar-Ganderbal, Salman alias Hassan, was expected to make movement towards Srinagar city. When the suspect was spotted and challenged to halt, he opened fire and attempted to escape. In a brief encounter, he was gunned down. IGP said that one Sub Inspector of Special Operations Group (SOG) of Srinagar District Police, Arshid, sustained minor injuries in the gunbattle. One AK-47 rifle and two mobile phones were claimed to have been recovered from the killed militant's possession. IGP said that Salman had operated for Lashkar-e-Toiba in Srinagar- Ganderbal belt of central Kashmir for about three years. He claimed that Salman had taken over as 'District Commander' after the dreaded Lashkar commander Khalid had moved to Bandipore area. A Zonal Police headquarters press release added that Salman had carried out a number of attacks on forces and tourists and he was also involved in a fidayeen attack. Even as many of the residents in Shalimar locality insisted that the Pakistani militant had been captured alive and later eliminated in a fake encounter, Lashkar-e-Toiba's version about this incident was not available till late tonight. Informed sources, meanwhile said that a 60-year-old civilian, namely Abdul Majeed Shah, died in a mysterious shootout at his residence in Omarabad locality of Warpora on Sopore-Bandipore Road late this evening. His family members told Police that some unidentified gunmen shot the house- owner dead. Official sources said that Shah's son, Firdaus Ahmed, had been arrested by Police while buying sweets for some Pakistani militants at a confectionery near Hotel Newlite in Sopore earlier this year. On the allegation of harbouring militants, providing them a hideout at his home and other logistic support, Firdaus remained in detention for several months. Even as residents insisted that the 60- year-old Majeed Shah was gunned down by militants, Police sources said that the matter appeared to be suspicious and it was under investigation. Sources said that suspected militants hurled a grenade on the house of a PDP activist, Ghulam Mohammad Langoo S-o Ghulam Rasool Langoo R-o Ziyarat Batmaloo, late last evening. It exploded on the targeted premises and caused minor damage to glass panes and ventilators. However, none of the inmates was harmed as Langoo and his family members were all confined to indoors. Sources said that a Bengali labourer, namely Abdul Salam S-o Sirajjuddin R-o West Bengal died while lifting wood logs at a plyboard factory at Gulzarpora in Awantipore area. Police has initiated proceedings under section 174 Cr PC (death in mysterious circumstances). Defence sources said that over a source information, a search operation was launched by troops of Rashtriya Rifles 44 Bn in general area of Dunaru, 8 Kms from Balpora in Pulwama district. Troops apprehended one over ground worker, namely Shabbir Ahmed Kalas S-o Nazir Ahmed Kalas R-o Dunaru. According to official sources, the detainee had links with Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Kellar-Shopian belt. He allegedly used to provide information to organisational cadres regarding the movement of militants. Sources claimed that after Army made some recoveries from Kalas, he was handed over to Gagran camp of Special Operations Group in Pulwama-Shopian belt. Defence sources also claimed that troops of RR 13 Bn and J&K Police apprehended three suspects from Hajan Crossing in Sumbal area. They were identified as Fayaz Ahmed Lone S-o Mohammed Kamal Lone R-o Ajas, Merajuddin Teli S-o Mohammed Akbar Teli R-o Hajan and Shamsuddin Khan S-o Mohammed Kitab Khan R-o Chirawan. They were allegedly involved in providing logistic support to militants in Sumbal-Safapora area. All the three detainees have been handed over to police station Sumbal for further investigation.