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Saturday, August 25, 2012

High drama at Jamia Masjid: Insas snatched back from militants

2 cops injured in scuffle but residents help Police to disarm ultras

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Aug 24: In a wild goose chase, residents and shopkeepers of downtown Srinagar today overpowered two unidentified militants and snatched away from them an automatic rifle that they had earlier snatched away from a Policeman.

Informed sources revealed to Early Times that minutes after the Friday congregational prayers concluded at Jamia Masjid, two unidentified militants attacked Constable Nazir Ahmad of IRP 2nd Bn at sentry post No: 4 of the mosque while hitting his head with a pistol. As the constable collapsed, they snatched away his Insas rifle and began running away in the direction of Bohri Kadal Chowk. Other guards at the post raised an alarm and began chasing the duo. They were soon joined by about a dozen of residents and shopkeepers in chasing the militants.

Finally the high voltage drama concluded into its climax at a spot close to Bohri Kadal Chowk on Nallah Maar Road that passes through middle of the densely populated downtown. Eyewitnesses said that the chasers pounced upon the duo when the militants were trying to board an auto-rickshaw. Constable Ali Mohammad captured one of the militants and snatched away from him Constable Nazir’s Insas rifle. Another militant attempted to fire upon the chasers but suddenly his pistol got jammed. It was snatched away from the militant but its magazine could not be traced. Three pistol rounds were later recovered from the spot and one round was found stuck in the Chinese pistol’s chamber.

Additional Director General, Armed Police and Law & Order, K Rajendra Kumar, told Early Times that one Constable sustained minor injuries in the initial militant attack. However, eyewitnesses maintained that two Policemen, namely Nazir Ahmad and Ali Mohammad, sustained injuries in their head and forehead respectively at the first and last spot. They were later rushed to SKIMS for medical examination and treatment and discharged late this evening.

Rajendra confirmed that the Police guards, with the help of residents and shopkeepers, chased away the militants, overpowered them and snatched away the injured Constable’s service rifle (Insas) and a Chinese pistol from them. Both weapons were handed over to Police. Rajendra said that he himself rushed to the spot and encouraged the guards with a reward and word of appreciation and gratitude to the residents and shopkeepers who helped Police overpower the militants and recover the rifle. He said that the auto-rickshaw, being used to flee from the spot, turned turtle in the scuffle and the militants escaped but left behind their own Chinese pistol. He said that both the weapons were now in possession of Police.

Rajendra said that as many as 18 armed police guards stood deployed on the four sentry posts for protection of Jamia Masjid and those participating in the congregational prayers there. He said that neither of the two militants had been identified immediately but Police agencies were on job to identify and arrest them with the help of technology and human intelligence.

Meanwhile, authoritative sources said that Srinagar District Police had succeeded in obtaining more information about the detained Kashmir Islamic Movement Chief Abdul Rashid Shigan alias Omar Mukhtar’s group that had allegedly planned and carried out over a dozen guerrilla strikes in the capital city in the last 18 months. Some important arrests and recovery of more weapons was expected in the next 48 hours. However, according to sources, none of the politicians or government officials has surfaced in the guerrilla network so far.


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