Wanted for 3 decades; guide, facilitator of infiltration bids killed in Poonch

Arms and ammunition recovered from the slain guide in Poonch on Friday.
Arms and ammunition recovered from the slain guide in Poonch on Friday.

Had migrated to PoJK from Mendhar in 1992

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Nov 26: Army and Police today gunned down one of the most wanted guide hailing from Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district who had migrated to Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) in nineties in an encounter at the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber Gali area of Poonch district.

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Slain militant was not only instrumental in some Border Action Team (BAT) attacks on the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri but was also involved in guiding many cadre of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfits to this side of Jammu and Kashmir as he was well versed with various infiltration routes on the LoC.
Slain guide has been identified as Mohammad Arif alias Haji Arif, initially a resident of village Panjni in Balakote area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district and presently putting up at Mathriani village in Khuiratta area of PoJK.
He had migrated to PoJK in 1992.
Top officials told the Excelsior that Army, Police and Special Operations Group (SOG) Jammu had developed specific information that Mohammad Arif alias Haji Arif will facilitate infiltration by a group of three militants into Poonch district from the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector. Based on the input, they had laid special nakas at various places on the LoC.
Last midnight, Arif was seen moving towards the Indian territory in Bhimber Gali and was intercepted. On being challenged and asked to surrender, he tried to escape and also sounded the three militants following him for infiltration to run back.
Security personnel opened firing in which the guide was killed,
The militants reportedly fled back to PoJK, the officials said.
Describing the killing of Arif as major success of Army, Police and SOG Jammu, sources said he was involved in some BAT attacks on the LoC and was instrumental in facilitating infiltration by several militant groups in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.
“His name had also surfaced in the infiltration of a militant group which was involved in the killing of nine Army personnel at Chamrer forests in Surankote and Bhatta Durrian jungles in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district,” the officials said, adding the group appeared to have escaped from the forests.
It may be mentioned here that five Army personnel were martyred in encounter with the militants at Surankote while four others lost their lives in gun battle with same militant group in Mendhar later.
Arif was mainly helping the militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed outfits in infiltration for past three decades since his migration to PoJK from Mendhar.
From the possession of guide, Army have recovered one rifle, ammunition and other items which he was carrying for the militants who were following him, the officials said.
During past few months, security forces have killed 10 militants in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri while there were reports that some of the militants might have managed to reach South Kashmir after their infiltration from PoJK.