Saturday, July 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

2 Pak militants shot in Batala

BATALA, July 28 (PTI) — Two Pakistan-backed militants were killed and two others apprehended during a 12-hour long encounter with security forces near Rattar Chhattar village in Dera Baba Nanak sector in Punjab today.

The Inspector-General of Police (border range), Mr Bakshi Ram said the residents of Rattar Chhattar village situated close to international Indo-Pak border, informed the Punjab police that some suspected persons were hiding in the village.

A joint party of police and the BSF cordoned off the village at 5 pm yesterday and more contingents of police and BSF were rushed to the spot. On seeing the police party, the militants started firing. The party also returned the fire.

The exchange of fire continued till 5 am this morning in which a dreaded militant of Harkat-ul-Zahaad-e-Islam( a Pakistan backed outfit) Sammual Masih alias Sher Khan, a resident of Balia village under Narowal police station in Pakistan and Hafis Alla Rafia, a resident of Faislabad (Pakistan) were killed and their two gang members, Mohammad Hanif, a resident of Basike Kalan under Narowal police station and Yakub Ullah alias Usman, a resident of Mannpur village Fagus police station in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK),were arrested after the encounter.

According to Mr Bakshi Ram four AK-56 Chinese rifles, 16 magazines, two Chinese pistols of .30 bore and its four magazines, 10 hand grenades, 400 cartridges of various calibers and Indian currency worth Rs 26,145 were recovered from the encounter site.

Sher Khan was the nephew of Jaika Masih, who had dug tunnels at Indo-Pak border thrice.

He said the militants had got the training of weapons at Kotli in Pakistan. The ISI runs the Kotli training centre where militants get 40-day training and after getting training they were given assault rifles and hand-grenades.

Militants are also being given training at Zaffarwal in Pakistan and captain Asad-Ullah gives the training to militants for three months.

Another training camp is also being run at Shakkargarh, where ISI’s Captain Sher Khan and a head constable Ali handle the training.

Referring to crossing at the border from Pakistan to India despite, fencing on the border, he said there was a gap of one to two acres where fencing was washed away in the floods in the Ravi a few years ago.

They had crossed the Ravi on Monday night around 8 pm and hid in Rattar Chhattar village.

The Inspector-General said this was the first incident in the state that the Pakistani militants had crossed over to Punjab to take the consignment of arms and weapons to Jammu and Kashmir.

Perhaps, it was a result of cease-fire announced by the militants in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

The IG said during the preliminary investigations, the arrested militants disclosed that Hanif-Ullah and Yakub-Ullah had planned to go to Jammu with consignment of arms and weapons and some important telephone numbers of ‘’bosses’’ at Jammu were also provided by them to the police.

He announced that a suitable award would be given to ASI Arwinder Singh Choki in charge Dharamkot Bagga under Dera Baba Nanak who first got information regarding the intruders.

His case has been sent to Director-General Police, Punjab, for the award.

He also appreciated the villagers help, particularly Tarlok Singh on whose tubewell, the intruders took shelter and who had informed the police.

The IG disclosed that the militants were given Indian currency worth Rs 20,000 by the ISI while they were leaving for India and they crossed the border with the active support of Pakistani Rangers from Jassar observation post in Pakistan.

He said two of the four militants had to go to Jammu with consignment of arms and weapons and remaining two had to go back to Pakistan as they had crossed the border to guide them and pay a safe passage for them.

The bodies of the killed militants were brought to the civil hospital here for the post-mortem examination and were later buried here.

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