Monday, April 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Top militant shot dead
Three hideouts smashed

SRINAGAR, April 2 (PTI) — A self-styled district commander of pro-Pak militant outfit, Tehreek-e-Jehad-e-Islami, was killed in a shootout with the security forces even as three militant hideouts were smashed in the Kashmir valley since last night, a defence spokesman said here today.

Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of armymen and special operations group (SOG) raided Kulnar forest and asked militant Mohammad Yaqoob Shah to surrender, he said.

But Shah fired indiscriminately at security men and was killed in the retaliatory action, the spokesman said adding Shah was evading arrest for many years and was responsible for a large number of militancy-related incidents.

An AK assault rifle and some ammunition was seized from him, he said.

This was the second encounter in the area within a week. Earlier on March 26, the security forces had gunned down Shakeel Abbassi of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in the forest.

Three hideouts of militants were also busted during search operations at Drusoo in Pulwama district, Garote-Kandi in Rajouri district and Harni-Hal in the Kheri area of Banihal in Doda district yesterday.

A rocket projectile gun, a rocket with a booster, a remote control switch, 6 kg of explosives, three wireless sets, 44 improvised explosive devices and a grenade were recovered by the security forces during the operations, the spokesman added.

The police also recovered two bodies in Pulwama and Baramula district today, official sources said.

Earlier, militants fired at a police party in the Kali Masta area of Udhampur district last evening. The police party immediately returned the fire, but the militants escaped, the spokesman said.

The militants left behind a sniper rifle, a .303 rifle, a pistol, four grenades, a binocular, two pistol magazines and 165 rounds of ammunition which were seized, he said.

JAMMU: Four Army jawans were killed yesterday in an explosion while handling explosives in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, a defence spokesman said here today.The blast occurred when the soldiers were handling a consignment of explosives at a forward post in the Mendhar area of Poonch district, the spokesman said.Meanwhile, Indian and Pakistani troops continued to exchange fire in the Bhawani and Laam subsectors of Poonch district since yesterday.Besides using light arms, Pakistani troops also fired mortar shells in these areas, forcing Indian troops to retaliate appropriately, the spokesman added.Back


Centre to release Hurriyat leaders

NEW DELHI, April 2 (PTI) — A couple of senior Hurriyat Conference leaders, who have been in jail for the past six months, are likely to be released this week as a goodwill gesture by the Centre, Home Minister sources said today.

Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Chief of the banned JKLF Yaseen Malik are likely to be released this week.

Besides Geelani and Malik, some other prominent Hurriyat leaders, including Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulana Abbas Ansari, Javed Ahmed Mir and Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai are lodged in Jodhpur Jail in Rajasthan. The sources said other leaders were also be released in phase.Back

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