5 Pakistanis among 6 ultras eliminated1 April 2010
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Army, police and CRPF today gunned down six dreaded militants including five Pakistanis and a local after a fierce exchange of gun-battle at Khabra forests near village Raa Bagla in Taryath area of Rajouri taking total number of militants killed in the district in less than a week to 12. With today’s killing, two major groups of militants, who had infiltrated into Indian territory from Pallanwalla and Nowshera sectors during past fortnight, have almost been neutralised. 'A couple of more militants could be there but most of them have been eliminated. Majority of the ultras were dreaded commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit hailing from Pakistan’’, official sources said. While a big group of ultras had intruded from Jogma in Pallanwalla on March 23, prior to that another group is reported to have succeeded in infiltrating into Indian territory from Nowshera sector. The militant groups were reportedly heading towards Gulabgarh and Mahore areas of Reasi district from where they were to be allotted to other areas. Sources said troops of 54 RR, 61 RR, 8 Mahar, 152 CRPF, police and SOG were searching all routes leading from Pallanwalla and Nowshera to Gulabgarh and Mahore following specific inputs that the militants after their infiltration from Pakistan were heading to that area. IGP Jammu Ashok Gupta, DIG Rajouri-Poonch range SD Singh and SSP Rajouri Shafkat Wattali were supervising the operation for past several days to ensure that none of the infiltrator managed to escape. Police party in today’s operation was led by Additional SP Nowshera RK Bhat. CI 16 Corps was reported to have provided vital information about the militants. Sources said Army and police established a contact with the militants at Khabra forests near village Raa Bagla in Taryath area under the jurisdiction of Dharamshal police station at 2.30 pm. The militants, heading towards Mahore forests, were challenged by the troops and asked to surrender. However, they opened firing and made a determined bid to escape. A heavy exchange of gun-fighting ensued between the two sides in which all six militants were gunned down by brave jawans of Army, CRPF and police without suffering any casuality. One of the slain militant has been identified as Mohammad Aslam alias Qasim, a resident of Thanol, Mahore in Reasi district. Five others were Pakistanis. All of them were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit. Sources said Aslam’s brother Abu Ubaida alias Aslan was also a top commander of the LeT outfit and was recently eliminated by Army and police in Mahore. Aslam had been deputed by the LeT outfit to receive the infiltrators and take them safely to Mahore. Recoveries made from the scene of encounter include six AK-47 rifles with 27 magazines and 787 rounds, four UBGL grenades, two HE grenades, 25 Chinese grenades, two satellite telephones with one card, two mobile telephones with two Pak SIM cards, Rs 2.30 lakh cash in Indian currency in the denomination of 1000, four compass, three Global Positioning Systems (GPS), one MP3 player, four maps of routes, five I Com wireless sets, drugs, water bottles, 92 batteries and a number of Pakistan made eatables. Searches in the area continued till late tonight and would be resumed tomorrow morning as security forces and police were anticipating presence of a couple of more militants in the area. 'The larger possibility is that majority of militants, who had infiltrated from Pallanwalla and Nowshera, have been eliminated. However, we are taking no chance and are going ahead with searches to ensure that if there was any other group of ultras, that too was eliminated’’, sources said. Today’s killings have taken number of total militants eliminated in three successful operations in Rajouri district in less than a week to 12. Four Army jawans have also sacrificed their lives while two others got injured. SHO Taryath Showkat Ahmed was also injured in one of the operation. Sources said prior to killings, the militant last night went to the house of a Village Defence Committee (VDC) member Raj Kumar at Raa Bagla and asked for food. As the VDC member refused, the militants resorted to firing. The VDC members fired back forcing the ultras to flee. Sources described killing of 12 dreaded militants, 11 of whom were believed to be Pakistanis, as a major success of Army, CRPF and police which have thwarted the designs of Pakistan army, ISI and LeT leadership to strengthen their cadre in Jammu region. Jawans of 152 CRPF in the operation were led by Jitender Kumar, Assistant Commandant and supervised by Deputy Commandant B S Chauhan. Meanwhile, troops of 25 RR busted two hide-outs of militants in a day long operation at Darra Sangla and Cham Dhok in Surankote tehsil of Poonch district and recovered 220 rounds of AK-47, two AK magazines, three UBGL grenades, three Chinese grenades, one Chinese pistol with one magazine and six rounds.