ASI Killed, 3 SOG Men Injured In Attack

ASI Killed, 3 SOG Men Injured In Attack

7 January 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: The Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police suffered a major loss as one of its officers who had been at the forefront of fighting militancy in Kashmir since 1990s was killed in militant firing and three others were injured in Sopore this morning. A Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed in a gun battle after he fired at an Army patrol in Awantipora area of South Kashmir this evening. Police sources said that acting on a tip off, an SOG party raided house of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar in Chankhan Sopore this morning. Militants hiding inside hurled a grenade on the SOG and fired at them from AK-47 rifles injuring four SOG personnel including Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, Kafeel Ahmad. Kafeel who was critically injured in the militant attack was removed to 92-Base Hospital at 15 Corps Headquarters of Army at Badami Bagh Cantonment, Srinagar. He, however, succumbed to his injuries. The other injured have been identified as constables Manzoor Ahmad Gania of Panzala Kupwara, Zakir Ahmad Sheikh of Tahratpora, Handwara and Irfan Ahmad of Pulwama. They are undergoing treatment and their condition is stated to be out of danger. Police and 52-Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of Army re-enforcement rushed to the spot and search operation against the militants was launched. But the militants had managed to escape. The search operation concluded at around 2:30 p.m. Police, however, arrested house owner Mushtaq Ahmad Dar. Kafeel’s killing is a major loss to the Police as he had been at the forefront of fighting militancy since 1996 when he was appointed as constable in Jammu and Kashmir Police. He was given two out of turn promotions in 2011 for killing two top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba in Sopore area. Kafeel Ahmad from Keran in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district was recruited as constable in Jammu and Kashmir Police in 1996. In February 2011, he was promoted as Head Constable for being at the forefront of killing an LeT commander at Noor Bagh in Sopore. In September 2011, he was promoted as ASI after Kafeel killed Chief Commander of LeT, Abdullah Uni in his hideout. Kafeel was part of the major operations which security forces launched in Sopore area since 2005 as he was essential member of the SOG Sopore. He is survived by two minor kids, wife and elderly mother. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Abdul Gani Mir told reporters on the sidelines of wreath laying function of the police officer at Police Lines Srinagar this evening that a police party launched searches in Chankhan area of Sopore this morning after receiving information about presence of militants hiding in a house. “As the party reached the house, militants lobbed a grenade injuring four police personnel. One of the injured, an Assistant Sub Inspector, later succumbed to his injuries”, he added. A wreath laying ceremony of the ASI, Kafeel Ahmad, was held at Police Lines Srinagar this evening during which a Guard of Honour and floral tributes were paid to the police officer. IGP Mir, DIG CRPF K M Yadav, DIG CRPF Jai Prakash, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Shah, SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar and other police officers and Jawans took part in the wreath laying ceremony. Sources said that police had received information about the presence of Muzaffar Molvi of Al-Badr and Mehmood Bhai of LeT in the house of Mushtaq Dar at Chankhan, Sopore this morning. Mehmood Bhai who is also being called Chota Hurraira escaped 5 times from security forces cordon since October last year. He first slipped from security cordon on October 2 at Ahmad Nagar area of Srinagar injuring eight Police men including a Sub-Inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police. He again gave slip to the security forces in Ahmad Nagar, a month later and fled to Sopore where he again gave slip to the security forces. And in December last year, he again gave slip the security forces in Hajin area of Bandipora. Mehmood Bhai has infiltrated in summer this year and had come to Srinagar in October to carry out an attack but security forces foiled his attempt. A Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman while speaking to a local news service claimed responsibility for the attack on the SOG party at Sopore. In the meantime, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir’s Awantipora area tonight. Sources said that one Army personnel was injured when their patrol party was attacked by militants in Beighpora, Awantipore in South Kashmir this evening. Sources said that militants fired several rounds towards the Army patrol party of 55 RR injuring one army personnel. Army also retaliated by firing few rounds but militants escaped. Army and police immediately cordoned off the area and conducted searches to nab the militants. The Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told Excelsior that a militant’s body was recovered during the searches along with a weapon and a pouch. The identity of the militant will be known in the morning. However, sources identified the dead militant as Riyaz Naikoo, a LeT militant who was active in Awantipora area. A Srinagar based defence spokesman said that a joint operation was launched in Tokun Beighpora in Awantipora during which one militant was killed and an AK-56 rifle was recovered.