Monday, April 30, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CRPF vehicle blown up, 6 jawans dead
Tribune News Service and UNI

Srinagar, April 29
Five CRPF jawans were killed and another six injured when militants blew up their vehicle in the Beerwah area in Badgam district of Central Kashmir today.

The police said militants detonated a powerful improvised explosive device (IED), planted on the Hardu-Malpora road, when the Beerwah police and CRPF personnel were on way to a nearby village to investigate the death of a person allegedly killed by militants early today.

The dead were identified as Bintu Singh, Badri Prasad, Rajinder Singh, Prakash Chander and Suchan Singh. The condition of three injured jawans — Head Constable Karal Singh, Bhagat Singh and Adalat Singh — was stated to be serious.

Official sources said three BSF men, including Assistant Commandant Jai Singh, were killed in a fierce encounter with militants at Zanpanzal-Kokerkhal in the Chrar-e-Sharief area of Badgam early today.

The sources said three militants were also killed in the encounter which was continuing when last reports were received.

In another incident in Badgam, the spokesman said two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, Abdul Hamid and Niaz Ahmad Bhat, were killed in another encounter with security forces at Hanjipora-Soibug today.

The encounter took place around 5 am and lasted several hours. The operation in the area was launched following information provided by a captured militant, Zahid Ahmad Bhat, alias ‘Boya’.

Zahid, a hit-man working for the Hizbul Mujahideen, was arrested by the security forces immediately after he gunned down a surrendered militant, Gulzar Ahmad Dar, at Gogjibagh in Srinagar last evening.

Two pistols and a grenade were recovered from Zahid, who during questioning confessed his involvement in a large number of militancy related incidents and the presence of his associates in Soibug village.

The police picked up another body of an unidentified person from the Kunzar belt of Badgam district today, he said.

JAMMU: The troops of the Romeo Force and the police achieved a major success in their counter-insurgency operations when 11 militants, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, were killed in forest village of Hari Marhot near the Surankot area in Poonch district today.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said that on receipt of information about the hideout of the militants in the forest belt, troops and the police cordoned off the forest belt. As the troops neared the spot, they came under heavy fire.

He said that the security forces retaliated smashing the hideout. When the guns of the militants fell silent, a search was carried out and 11 bodies including that of a “divisional” commander of the Lashkar were recovered. As many as 11 assault rifles, 50 hand grenades and large quantities of ammunition were seized from the area.

The group of militants had plans of carrying out large-scale violence in Poonch district. The militants had recently decided to join hands and carry out armed attacks on the security pickets and convoys besides killing of civilians.

The hand grenades recovered from the scene of incident were to be used against the security forces by blowing up their convoys and camps.

Reports received by other government agencies had revealed that more infiltrators were to join the group eliminated in today’s operation so that armed and grenade attacks could be carried out on a large scale, paralysing the state administration and demoralising the police.

The state government functionaries in Poonch said that the elimination of 11 militants in today’s operations had for the time being, saved many precious lives not only in Poonch but in the adjoining Rajouri district.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today took stock of the law and order situation and development works in the valley at a high-level meeting here today.

The meeting was convened by the Chief Minister immediately after his arrival in Srinagar this morning. Minister for Revenue Abdul Qayoom, Minister for Works Ali Mohammad Sagar, Minister for State for Home Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, Chief Minister’s Adviser Shafi Shaida and senior civil and police officers were present at the meeting.

Later, briefing about the meeting, Mr Shaida said the Chief Minister was informed about the law and order situation and arrangements made in connection with the reopening of offices in the summer Capital on May 7.

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