Top HM comdr killed in Doda
JAMMU, Jan 15: Army and police today gunned down ‘district commander’ of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit after a fierce gun battle at Tantna in Gundna area of Doda, about 40 kilometers from Doda in wee hours of this morning while search operation was on for couple of more militants. The operation was carried out by the security forces in four feet of snow clad Tantna area amidst extreme chilly weather conditions.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh announced the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen militant at a press conference in Police Control Room (PCR) this evening. He also disclosed that Jammu and Kashmir Police has recommended dismissal of DySP Davinder Singh from the services, who was arrested in company of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants and handing over the case to the National Invest-igating Agency.
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Dilbag listed series of achievements of Jammu and Kashmir Police during the past few days including elimination and arrest of top militants and arrest of Hizbul ultras along with DySP Davinder Singh.
Reports said a joint team of 10 Rashtriya Rifles of Army and police cordoned off village Tantna in Gundna area of Doda district last night after developing specific inputs that Haroon Abbas alias Moin-ul-Islam, 27, son of Ghulam Abbas Wani, a resident of Furqanabad in Ghat area of Doda, who was involved in four killings and two weapon snatching incidents at Kishtwar, had taken shelter in snow clad village along with couple of other militants.
Police parties led by SSP Doda Mumtaz Ahmad rushed to the village and with the help of Army engaged the militants in gun battle in early hours of this morning in which Haroon Abbas was killed.
Mumtaz Ahmed said Haroon was district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and A++ category militant having involvement in the killings of BJP senior leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar, senior RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO Rajinder Singh and two weapon snatching incidents from PSOs of the deputy Commissioner Kishtwar and PDP district president Sheikh Nassir.
DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range Sujit Kumar, who is also officiating as DIG Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range, supervised the entire operation.
Haroon used to shift from Kishtwar to Doda and vice versa depending upon the tasks assigned to him by the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. Presently, he had shifted to Doda district on a mission.
Haroon, an MBA and Medical Representative had gone missing from Jammu in October 2018 and subsequently joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. He was operating in Doda and Kishtwar districts mainly but had also visited some parts of the Valley especially South Kashmir.
Security forces recovered one AK-47 rifle, three magazines, one Chinese grenade, one Radio set and AK ammunition from the possession of slain militant. Army and police, meanwhile, continued search operations at Tantna and surrounding areas in search of other militants accompanying Haroon.
During burial procession of the militant, some people raised provocative slogans.
Meanwhile, at the press conference, Dilbag said the JKP has recommended dismissal of the DySP Davinder Singh, who was arrested in company of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, and handing over the case to the NIA.
He said the police has also recommended taking back the gallantry medal awarded to Singh by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State on Independence Day in 2018, stressing that the police will act “very ruthlessly” in such cases as “we don’t believe in sheltering or protecting people who have no loyalty towards the force, nation and their people”.
Police had arrested Singh at Mir Bazar in Kulgam district of south Kashmir along with Hizbul Mujahideen militants Naveed Baba and Altaf, besides an unidentified lawyer who was working as an Over Ground Worker for the terror outfits.
“The DySP was suspended for his act and his sacking has also been recommended. The Government will take a call on that. We have already recommended transfer of the case to the NIA because something of wider level can come out of it,’’ the police chief said.
Asked whether the police is going to seize his properties, the DGP said the law will take its own course and whatever is necessary as per law will be done.
“These kind of activities are not going to deter us or make any impact on our morale which rather gets further strengthened. We don’t believe in sheltering or protecting such type of people. We are very strict with them and in the past we have also removed people from service. We are very ruthless and we will be very ruthless in this case also,” Dilbag said.
He added that the officer has not been awarded any gallantry or meritorious medal by the Ministry of Home Affairs but a gallantry medal was awarded to him by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State on Independence Day in 2018 for his participation in countering a suicide attack by militants at District Police Lines in Pulwama during 2017.
“We are recommending the Government to take back his gallantry medal,” he said advising media persons to avoid “speculative stories” not based on facts.
On the progress of investigation in the case, he said what he revealed during interrogation would be shared by the interrogation team at an appropriate time.
“The DySP was involved in a criminal act and is being treated like a militant,” the DGP said, adding the allegations about his involvement in Parliament attack as claimed earlier by hanged Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and various other allegations will be looked into.
Asked whether any other official is under scanner following the arrest of Davinder Singh, the DGP said “there is no need for speculations and investigation in the case is ongoing. However, if anybody is found involved in this nexus, he will not be spared.”
In response to another question about any follow up arrests in the case, he said no arrests have been made so far.
“We have carried out raids on the inputs provided by Naveed Baba. We carried out five operations and busted two hideouts but no terrorist was found. We carried out searches in the houses and seized incriminating material,” he said.
Dilbag said the police has its own internal surveillance system and as soon as involvement of the DySP came to light, appropriate action was taken.
Asked whether he was having any contact with militant handlers in Pakistan, he said “such a thing had not come to the fore during his interrogation so far”.
“As was said by Advisor Farooq Khan that black sheep are present in any organization, two of our Special Police Officers had fled with weapons last year and joined militant ranks but both of them were killed along with two other militants within 24 hours,” he said.
Similarly, two Army personnel deserted the force and joined militant ranks and they also met the same fate.
“Whatever the rank or organization, we do not care for it. if somebody is doing any unlawful activity or such type of thing, strict action is being taken,” Dilbag said.
He said this operation has taken place on the police input.
“This was our own action and nobody else had any information what kind of operation we are undertaking. Police is very strict with those who can bring bad name and dent the image. Anyone deserting any force, showing no loyalty towards his organization, nation, own people and their interests, strict action has been taken against them,” he said.
Asked about the reaction of political parties to the arrest of the DySP for his involvement in terrorism, the DGP refused to comment on the remarks of the politicians and said “we focus on our work and it is not my mandate.”
On Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s statement that had the officer been “Davinder Khan”, the reaction of the “troll regiment of the RSS” would have been different; he said “it is unfortunate to make such type of statements”.
“I am not here to react to the political statements. My job is professional and my job is to take care of the morale of the force. We have carried out a number of successful operations and our action will go on (against terrorists),” he said.
Dilbag said the first 15 days of January were very eventful during which three good operations were conducted (against militants) in Kashmir and Doda district of Jammu region.
“After the killing of Osama along with two of his associates in an encounter in Batote area of Ramban district last year, Haroon was trying to revive militant activities in erstwhile Doda district. His killing is a major setback to the terrorism revival plan in the region,” the DGP said.
He said after the killing of Osama, Wani became very active. “We got an information about his presence along with his other associate, hailing from Kashmir. The operation to track down the other militant is continuing,” he added.
Dilbag said the militants are running shortage of weapons and the weapon snatching was done to arm new recruits. “We have recently arrested one more militant, Tariq who had bought a .303 rifle for Rs 1.5 lakh.”
The DGP lauded Doda police for the successful operation and said there are still some more militants who are under the police radar.”I am hopeful that our operation parties will be able to neutralize them soon.”
In anti-terrorism operation in Kashmir over the past fortnight, he said Hamad Khan of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed along with two of his associates in Tral area of Pulwama district, while another hardcore militant who had escaped an encounter in Ganderbal district was arrested from Srinagar where he had moved to his hideout for treatment.
Another listed Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Adil, was killed in an encounter in Budgam district, while two other hardcore militants including Naveed Baba was arrested in Kulgam district since the beginning of this month, he said.
Earlier, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Udhampur-Reasi range, Sujit Kumar, who is officiating as DIG Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban Range, said Wani was an A++ category militant and an AK-47 rifle, three magazines, 73 rounds, a Chinese grenade and a radio set have been recovered from him.
He said another militant fled towards higher snowbound areas and operations was on to track him.
Top HM comdr killed in Doda