Rare example of bravery: unarmed people nab two heavily-armed militants in Mahore

Militants captured by villagers (left) and arms and ammunition recovered from them (right) in Mahore area of Reasi district on Sunday. -Excelsior/Romesh Mengi
Militants captured by villagers (left) and arms and ammunition recovered from them (right) in Mahore area of Reasi district on Sunday. -Excelsior/Romesh Mengi

This shows end of terrorism is not far away: Sinha

LG announces Rs 5 lakh cash reward, DGP Rs 2 lakh

Wanted in Rajouri blasts, comdr, associate were heading to Valley

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 3: In a rare incident of its kind in over three decades long militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, the unarmed people displayed extraordinary courage in a dhok in Mahore tehsil of Reasi district and captured two heavily-armed and most wanted militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit inviting strong praise from Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha who declared that with such determination by common man the end of terrorism is not far away.

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Sinha announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh while Director General of Police (DGP) announced Rs 2 lakh reward for the villagers.
The LeT militants captured by the villagers have been identified as Faizal Ahmad Dar son of Bashir Ahmad Dar, a resident of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district who was a categorized militant and Talib Hussain Shah son of Haider Shah, a resident of Rajouri, who was involved in four blasts at Koteranka-Budhal and was carrying a reward of Rs two lakh on his head.
Talib had earlier worked with a news channel and headed IT cell of Minority Wing of a political party.
The bold and courageous action by the villagers which drew applause everywhere took place at Tukson dhok in Mahore tehsil of Reasi district in wee hours of this morning when the militants approached a house for food. The family turned suspicious and acting cautiously made the militants sit inside their house. The house owner rang up his brother after getting out and some neighbours.
The people acting cautiously gave no chance to the heavily-armed militants to open firing and overpowered them. They tied the militants with a rope after snatching their weapons.
In the meantime, they informed local police.
Police teams from Mahore police station immediately reached the village and took the militants into custody.
The militants were carrying with them two AK rifles, seven grenades, a pistol and huge quantity of ammunition which had been snatched by the villagers and kept in a separate room. Police have taken arms, ammunition and explosives into its possession.
Soon after the news spread that two hardcore militants have been captured by police along with weaponry, there was all-round praise for the villagers.
Saluting the bravery of villagers of Tukson Dhok, Reasi for apprehending two most-wanted terrorists, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha remarked: “Such determination by common man shows end of terrorism is not far away”.
Sinha announced Rs 5 lakh reward to the villagers for gallant act against terrorists and terrorism.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh also lauded bravery of the people of Tukson Dhok and announced Rs 2 lakh reward for the villagers.
Though the Village Defence Committees (VDCs) have been instrumental in killing and apprehending of a large number of militants, this is probably for the first time when unarmed villagers apprehended two heavily-armed hardcore militants.
Several officers of police and paramilitary forces reached the spot and appreciated the people for their bravery.
Meanwhile, the arrested militants are being brought to Reasi. A team of Rajouri police has also reached Reasi as Talib Hussain Shah is wanted in the district for four blasts in Koteranka-Budhal and instigating youth to join militancy. His two associates involved in the blasts including Sadiq and Shabir have already been arrested by police.
“Today, villagers of Tukson Dhok showed extreme courage in apprehending two most wanted terrorists of LeT who had reached the area to take shelter after continuous pressure from the police and Army (in Rajouri district),” Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh said in a statement here.
DIG Udhampur-Reasi range Suleman Choudhary, lauding bravery of the villagers, said the militants are being brought to Reasi for sustained questioning and ascertain their involvement in different terror activities.
SSP Reasi Amit Gupta is camping at the spot for investigation of the case.
“While sustained questioning of the militants is yet to take place, there is a possibility that the militants were heading from Reasi to South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, which has borders with Mahore area of Reasi district,” sources said.
Earlier, they had escaped from Rajouri to Reasi.
Preliminary questioning, however, revealed that both the militants were also in touch with a Pakistan’s LeT handler Salman, who was repeatedly issuing directions to them for carrying out terror acts in the border district of Rajouri and other places.
The arrest of the duo followed unearthing of a module headed by Talib Hussain in Rajouri district on June 28, which was behind the recent series of explosions in the district.
While two terror operatives of the outfit were arrested along with five Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Hussain was on the run and had moved to nearby Reasi district to escape the dragnet of security forces.
Terming the arrest of the two terrorists as a “major breakthrough”, police said they were attempting to revive terrorism in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch besides Reasi.
Twin explosions rocked Koteranka town of Rajouri on March 26 and another on April 19, leaving two persons injured.
Two more persons were injured in another blast that took place in Shahpur-Budhal area of Rajouri on April 24. Talib Hussain was mastermind of these blasts.
Sources said repeated attempts are being made to revive terrorism in Jammu with a view to destabilise the region in view of development activities.
“However, the people of this region are totally against such attempts. They are determined not to let the region relapse into the dark era of past few decades when many innocent people were killed,” they added.
“Tukson Dhok incident shows determination of the people in marching towards peace and progress,” they said, adding the security forces are also assisting the villagers in organizing themselves into Village Defence Committees (VDCs) and giving them training to operate rifles. The villagers have become `aatamnirbhar’ in true sense to defend themselves against militants, they asserted.