HM module targeting Panchayat members busted

HM module targeting Panchayat members busted

30 September 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: The attempts by Pakistan based commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) to revive militancy in South Kashmir district of Shopian received a major jolt today when security forces arrested four militants of the outfit who were threatening Panchayat members. Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Ashok Prasad, today said that they will provide security to the Panchayat members who are being targeted by militants. A senior police official said here that these militants were responsible for threatening Panchs and Sarpanchs of the district besides extortion. The police official said that they surfaced on the police radar few months back in several extortion cases. 'Later, their involvement was also found in issuing threats to Panchs and Sarpanchs of the area', he added. Police said that these militants were arrested by a joint team of police, 62 RR of Army and CRPF from Shopian. The arrested militants have been identified as Altaf Ganaie, Adil Shah, Sadam Shah and Zahid Shah. Police said that huge quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered from the arrested militants. The recovered arms and ammunition include four AK 47 rifles, 16 magazines and 500 rounds of ammunition. Police said that several Overground Workers of the outfit working with them have also been detained and they are being questioned. Police said that these Overground Workers might be involved in threatening Panchayat members through posters that appeared in the district in August this year. Militants targeted a Sarpanch in July this year in Shopian but he escaped unhurt while his brother was injured in the attack. Two militants intercepted Sarpanch Mohammad Yaqoob Malla of Pahalpora Shopian when he was coming out of a nearby Masjid after offering night prayers in July this year. But his brother Muhammad Rafi Malla had an argument with militants resulting in a scuffle during which Yaqoob fled. Militants fired three shots at Rafi and he was cirtically injured. After the attack on Sarpanch, threatening posters appeared in the market places and around Masjids in the villages of Pahlipora, Prang, Thearan, Baba Khadar, Trekawangam and Chittergam of district Shopian last month. This led to the resignation of over 50 Panchs and Sarpanchs in these and adjacent villages. It may be mentioned here that last week Police and Army busted a Hizbul Mujahideen module in Tral area of South Kashmir that was tasked to target Panchayat members of the area. They arrested 3 members of the module as Noor Mohammad Zargar son of Abdul Aziz resident of Tral Payeen, Fayaz Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Shaban resident of Largam Tral and Qashif Rashid Bhat son of Abdul Rashid resident of Lariyar Tral Payeen. One Snipper Rifle and two pistols were recovered from their possession. Meanwhile, around 40 Panchs and Sarpanchs resigned in North Kashmir district of Baramulla today. These resignation came through paid advertisements in local newspapers. In one of the joint paid advertisements that appeared in a local daily, 8 Panchayat members of village Ruhmana, Rafiabad in district Baramulla resigned today. The DGP Prasad today on the sidelines of a function said here that police will provide security to the Panchayat members, who of late have become soft targets for militants. 'It is concern for us and within our resources we are duty bound to provide them protection. We will increase the background security for the safety', he added. Meanwhile Shopian police and 62 RR busted a hideout at Nallah Dongri near village Chittergam, Shopian, in the jurisdiction of police station Zainapora. Two SLR rifles without magazines and two .303 rifles without magazines were recovered from the hide out. All the weapons recovered were rusted condition. A case has been registered in this regard.