After failing to attack CM at KU, LeT ultras killed in Sopore
‘Div Commdr’ Hashaam, Abdullah Shaheen killed in 24-hour-long operation
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Highly placed authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that Muzamil alias Urfi alias Hashaam of Badam Bagh, Sopore, alongwith a Pakistani militant of LeT, had been given the task of planning and executing a fatal attack on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah immediately after the latter’s open challenge to militants last month. In his reaction to killing of a Panch in Sangrama area of Sopore, Chief Minister had publicly commented that militants were "cowards" and they had been attacking soft targets. He had challenged them to carry out an attack on him and face the retaliation.
According to the information available with the official sources, some Sopore-based militants of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, headed by Muzamil, conducted a reconnaissance survey of several sensitive spots in the capital city. As they were planning to execute a ‘fidayeen attack’ on the Chief Minister during one of his recent visits to the
, Police and
intelligence agencies got an inkling of the strike. Muzamil could not
be traced immediately but his brother, Muntazar Amin Dar, who is a student of
Masters in Commerce, was arrested by Sopore Police and passed on to Special
Operations Group (SOG) Srinagar for sustained interrogation. Kashmir
However, SOG failed to extract any significant information from Muntazar. According to the interrogators, Muntazar was a “hard core pro-Pakistani student” but did not have knowledge of his militant brother's guerrilla operations, including his plan to execute an attack on CM at the University campus. He was finally released today after Muzamil died in an encounter and a day after a group of students staged demonstrations and threatened to boycott classes in case the detained student was not set free.
Sources said that while tracking Muzamil and two Pakistani cadres of LeT, Police and security forces received information of the LeT Divisional Commander’s presence in Shalpora locality of Sopore, some 300 yards behind Police Station on Sopore-Bandipore road, in the afternoon on Saturday. Sopore Police, alongwith CRPF 179 Bn and Rashtriya Rifles 22 Bn, laid siege to the locality and began a cordon-and-search operation. During the initial stage of the operation, two militants hiding in a residential house opened fire from an AK-47 rifle and lobbed two grenades.
A CRPF constable sustained injuries. Police and security forces maintained a tight cordon and stormed the identified hideout in the forenoon today. Dy SP of SOG Sopore, Riyaz Ahmad Tantray, had a providential escape as he was hit straight in his forehead. His bullet-proof headgear neutralized the brunt. Thereafter, Police and troops brought down the target house with IEDs, killing both the holed up militants. Their dead bodies were recovered from the debris late in the afternoon.
Sources participating in the operation said that one AK-47 rifle and two Chinese pistols were recovered from the spot. They said that collateral damage was restricted to only three personnel getting injured. Sources identified one of them as ASI Kafil Ahmad of Sopore Police and another as Naik Gurjan Singh of RR 22 Bn.
GOC of Kilo Force, Lt Gen Sarat Chand, Commander of Army’s Watlab-based Sector-5, Brig J.P. Mathews, Commanding Officer of RR 22 Bn, Col Bikram Saini, SP Sopore, Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, and other officers supervised the 24-hour-long operation.
IGP Kashmir, S.M. Sahai, visited Sopore immediately after both the militants got killed. According to an official press release, he told mediapersons police intervention party stormed into the target house after nightlong siege of some houses in the morning toda. He said that ASI Kafil Ahmad of Sopore Police and Naik Gurjan Singh of 22 RR got injured.
“In the ensuing gunfight that lasted for several hours two militants of LET got killed who were identified as Muzamil Amin Dar alias Hashaam alias Urfi alias Usman S/o Mohammad Amin Dar R/o Badambagh Sopore; Divisional Commander LeT, and Abdullah Shaheen resident of Pakistan”, IGP said. He added that Hashaam was wanted in several terrorist acts, including the killing of SPO Reyazul Hassan Tantray S/o Ghulam Hassan Tantray R/o Brath Kalan on September 8th this year.