Killer Of Sopore Sisters Shot, Claim Cops

Killer Of Sopore Sisters Shot, Claim Cops

13 March 2011
The Indian Express
Bashaarat Masood

Srinagar: After a gunbattle that lasted for 24 hours, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Army on Sunday claimed that they had killed Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Waseem Ganai in Sopore. The police claimed that Ganai (22) was responsible for the death of two teenaged sisters in Sopore on January 31. “We have killed him (Ganai),” Superintendent of Police, Sopore, Altaf Khan told The Indian Express. “He was killed today morning. He was involved in the killing of the two sisters and was a hyper-active militant of the LeT,” he added. Last month, the police had claimed that Ganai, together with a local militant, Muzaffar Ahmad Naikoo, was behind the killing of the two sisters in Sopore. Two teenaged sisters - Akhtara and Arifa - were abducted from their home in Muslimpeer and killed some 500 yards away. Ganai was killed barely 200 metre away from the house of the two sisters. Ganai went underground last year when the police raided his house in Chinkipora. The police said Ganai was involved with the LeT for more than four years. “He was an active over ground worker (OGW) of the Lashkar for several years. Last year, when we raided his house, he went underground,” Khan said. On Saturday, the police had cordoned off the clinic of Dr M R Sofi at Kralteng after specific inputs that Ganai and a Pakistani militant and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen commander, Kaleemullah, were hiding there. The Pakistani militant tried to break the security cordon by opening indiscriminate fire. He was killed in retaliatory fire. After several hours of gunfight, the police apprehended that both had been killed. But when they removed the debris, they could only find the body of Kaleemullah. The police then apprehended that Ganai had taken shelter in the nearby drain. They fired several grenades into the drain and killed Ganai on Sunday morning, the police claimed. The police said an armyman was injured when Ganai opened fire from inside the drain. In the evening as the police handed over Ganai’s body to his family, thousands took to streets, raising pro-freedom slogans. And when he was being buried, a group of militants suddenly surfaced at the graveyard and saluted him by firing shots in the air. The police sources said that Ganai’s killing is a major breakthrough for the security forces, especially as he was a close associate of Lashkar’s most wanted commander Abdullah Uni who has escaped the security cordon several times during the past one year. Ganai’s code name was Sher Uni (Lion of Uni). The police sources added that Kaleemullah was the last surviving Harkat commander in North Kashmir.


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