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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reinstated by High Court, SSP’s PSO killed 4 cops, 2 NC workers

Srinagar Police claims to have solved all 13 terror attacks in capital; cop-killer cop, 2 others arrested, arms seized

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Aug 21: In a spectacular achievement, Srinagar District Police today claimed to have solved all thirteen terror attacks of the last 18 months in the capital city with the arrest of three militants of Harkatul Mujahideen who, incredibly, included the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of a Senior Superintendent of Police. Arms and ammunitions seized at the residence of the detained constable of the Security Wing of J&K Police include two AK-47 rifles, one Kirankov rifle, 4 Chinese pistols and a huge quantity of ammunition, IEDs and grenades.

IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai, made revelation of the second Police-militant nexus at a crowded news conference this afternoon when he disclosed that a constable of the Security Wing of J&K Police, namely Abdul Rashid Shigan S/o Abdul Ahad Shigan R/o Lachhmanpora, Batmaloo, had been found kingpin of a Harkatul Mujahideen guerrilla group that had carried out as many as 13 terror strikes in Srinagar in the last 18 months.

IGP Sahai disclosed that Shigan, who was currently posted as PSO to SSP Bandipore, Bashir Ahmad Khan, had been arrested on Monday alongwith two of his close associates, namely Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri alias Amir S/o late Ghulam Qadir Gojri R/o Nowakadal, Srinagar. Mr Sahai said that the prize catch Abdul Rashid Shigan had been operating under code-names of Maulvi and Omar Mukhtar. He said that a sizable quantity of arms and ammunition seized at Omar Mukhtar’s residential house in Batmaloo-Tengpora area included one ultra sophisticated Kirankov rifle, two AK-47 rifles, four Chinese pistols, two Kenwood radio sets, two UBGL throwers, 13 UBGL grenades as also a number of hand grenades, IEDs and detonators. The seizure also included two crash helmets and a lady’s hair wig.

Thirteen cases, claimed to have been solved with the arrest of the three militants, include high profile attacks on three ruling national Conference (NC) functionaries including Minister of Law and Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, in which one constable had died. According to the details provided by Sahai, Omar Mukhtar and his group had also gunned down retired Dy SP Abdul Hamid Bhat of Firdausabad Batmaloo on 10-08-2012, NC’s Block President of Nattipora, Ghulam Mohammad Lone, on 2-12-2011, ASI Sukhpal Singh at Safakadal on 20-4-2012, NC worker Bashir Ahmed of Dhobi Mohalla Batmaloo on 24-12-2011 and Inspector of Police Telecommunication Wing, Bashir Ahmad, at Bemina on 29-6-2011.

Well placed and informed sources in J&K Police later disclosed to Early Times that men of different Police Stations in Srinagar, in coordination with Electronic Surveillance Unit (ESU), worked hard for the last several weeks and finally got the breakthrough in all the 13 terror attacks of the last 19 months on Sunday.

According to the details exclusively accessed by this newspaper, Police put its act together immediately after retired Dy SP Abdul Hamid Bhat was gunned down in broad daylight in close vicinity of his home when he was coming out of a mosque on Friday, August 10th. Sources said that DGP Ashok Prasad took an extremely serious notice of the former Dy SP’s killing that was the first Police casualty since the new DGP took over on July 23rd last.

Sources said that Police and ESU scanned thousands of call detail records of over 500 mobile and landline phones in the capital city but failed to get any inkling of the militants carrying out the series of attacks. Finally, the investigators zeroed in on half-a-dozen SIM cards which had been used in particular areas for communication including threats and statements delivered on mediapersons. Voice samples were intercepted, recorded and analyzed. With the combination of technology and human intelligence, top wanted Omar Mukhtar was identified among a group of three suspects whose group photograph Police managed to collect from its meticulously planned sources.

It was only late on Sunday last that a team, working under personal supervision of SSP Srinagar and DIG Central Kashmir succeeded in identifying Omar Mukhtar as none other than Abdul Rashid Shigan of Lachhmanpora, a constable of IRP 11th Bn, posted as PSO to SSP Bandipore Bashir Ahmad Khan. It was observed that Shigan alias Omar Mukhtar had remained attached as PSO to SSP Bashir Khan’s wife and two daughters as his day location was invariably Kashmir University area. SSP’s residence is situated behind the University campus in Sadarbal area of Hazratbal. Shigan’s night locations were invariably Batmaloo Tengpora area.

Sources revealed that early in the morning on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr on Monday, SSP Srinagar, Ashiq Bukhari, contacted Commanding Officer of IRP 11th Bn (Security) and requested him to provide 300 men, including Constable Abdul Rashid Shigan, for duty at the congregational prayers at Eidgah. When the deployment reported for duty, SSP Bukhari picked up Constable Shigan. He was subjected to sustained interrogation during which he spilled the beans and admitted that he had been operating under code-names of Maulvi and Omar Mukhtar and had planned and executed all the 13 terror attacks in Srinagar, alongwith his associates, from January 2011 to 10-8-2012.

On the basis of Shigan’s disclosures, Police picked up his associate militant, Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri of Nawakadal from a chicken feed dealer’s shop at Karan Nagar when he was going to perform prayers at a mosque. Later, third member of the group, Manzoor Ahmed Wani of Nattipora, was also taken into custody. Thereafter, Police conducted a raid on Shigan’s house at Lachhmanpora, Batmaloo, and recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition. Shigan, operating under code-name of Omar Mukhtar, had claimed responsibility of almost all the thirteen terror strikes on behalf of an unknown outfit, Kashmir Islamic Movement.

During the course of the investigation, it became clear that Abdul Rashid Shigan was an active militant of Harkatul Mujahideen outfit until 1998. Despite being a militant, he parted with bribe money of Rs 25,000 and got himself recruited as a Constable in J&K Armed police. However, in a couple of years, he surfaced as a militant. Police recovered a pistol and some ammunition from his residence. He was detained first under section 7/25 Indian Arms Act at Police Station Saddar and later under Public Safety Act. However, J&K High Court not only quashed his detention orders and set him free but also directed the Government to reinstate him as Constable in J&K Police.

Since 2007, he remained posted in Security Wing and lastly remained attached to SSP Bandipore, Bashir Ahmad Khan, as PSO. SSP attached him to his wife, reportedly a government employee, and two of his daughters. Sources clarified that neither SSP nor his family members had ever suspected Shigan as being an active militant or chief of the newfound group Kashmir Islamic Movement. Police are still investigating if there was any link between Shigan and assassination of a former militant of Hizbul Mujahideen, Ghulam Hassan Mir alias Shabnam of Tral, who was gunned down earlier this year yards away from SSP Khan’s house in Sadarbal area of Hazratbal.

Sources said that interrogation of the three detained militants and investigation into the 13 terror strikes was still underway and a number of Omar Mukhtar’s associates would be arrested soon. They said that Omar Mukhtar was directly in touch with his handlers in Pakistan. He revealed to his interrogators that in most of the strikes, he had carried his Kirankov rifle in a laptop bag. On August 10th too, he took out his Kirankov from his laptop bag at Firdausabad mosque entrance and gunned down retired Dy SP Abdul Hamid Bhat in point blank range.


Terror attacks allegedly planned and executed by Abdul Rashid Shigan alias Omar Mukhtar, detained chief of Kashmir Islamic Movement.
Fired upon then SHO Batmaloo (presently SHO Ram Munshi Bagh) Inspector Bashir Ahmed near Tengpora, left him injured.
Shot dead Inspector Bashir Ahmad of J&K Police Telecommunication Wing in Bemina area
Shot dead NC’s Block President Ghulam Mohammad Lone at Nattipora, Srinagar
Fired upon ancestral house of Minister of Law Ali Mohammad Sagar at Zaldagar and shot dead his his PSO SgCt Gulzar Ahmad
Shot dead NC worker Bashir Ahmad at Dhobi Mohalla, Batmaloo
Fired upon former Director Information Farooq Reenzu’s PSO, Constable Afroz Hussain, and left him injured at Saraibala shrine.
Fired upon 80-year-old Pir Jalal-ud-din and left him injured near Batmaloo Sahab shrine
Shot dead ASI Sukhpal Singh at Darishkadal, near Safakadal
Fired upon a contingent of CRPF 32 Bn at Victory Crossing Khanyar and left seven personnel injured
Fired rifle grenades on Army installation at Tatoo Ground, Batmaloo
Fired rifle grenades on Civil Secretariat Srinagar
Shot dead retired Dy SP Abdul Hamid Bhat at a mosque in Firdausabad, Batmaloo

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