Slain PSO’s AK-47 recovered from Tanvir’s luggage at Kud
Bemina youth was on Police radar since May 23
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Jun 13: Even as his family members and neighbourers in Ibrahim Colony of Bemina maintained that he had ceased to be a militant on his release from jail in 2005, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have recovered same AK-47 rifle from Tanvir Sultan’s luggage after the shootout in a bus at Kud on Monday which had been snatched away from Constable Mohammad Sadiq Sheikh of JKAP 11th battalion (Security) when he was gunned down by an unidentified militant at Tengpora, Batmaloo, in Srinagar on May 23.
On May 23, militants had struck in a big way, killing three Police personnel in two broad daylight attacks in the summer capital. Within an hour of striking at Zadibal, where one ASI and one constable were shot dead, militants had killed Constable Sadiq, the personal security officer of a protected person of Handwara at Tengpora. They had decamped with his AK-47 rifle. Recovery of the same assault rifle from Tanvir Sultan’s luggage has prompted Police and security agencies to scan his activities afresh.
Highly placed authoritative sources, who spoke to STATE TIMES, confirmed that the same AK-47 was recovered today from Tanvir’s belongings in the Jammu-bound SRTC bus.
“We are investigating whether Tanvir himself was involved in the killing of three or one Police official on May 23 or some other militants had carried out the assassinations and subsequently passed on Constable Sadiq’s rifle to Tanvir”, said a top official. He said Police have learned that Tanvir’s cellphone was permanently switched off since May 22 evening. This is an indication that Tanvir was on the radar of Police since the killing of three Police personnel in Srinagar on May 23. This also indicates that some agency could have tracked his passage from Srinagar to Jammu and asked CRPF to intercept his bus somewhere on the highway and go for physical frisking or arrest.
Preliminary inquiries revealed that Tanvir had been found involved in two fidayeen attacks and arrested in 2002. He had been released in 2005. Previously, his elder brother Gowhar, who was a prominent commander with Hizbul Mujahideen, had got killed in an encounter with security forces. He was buried in the ‘martyrs graveyard’ of Batmaloo. Originally residents of Batmaloo, Tanvir and his family had subsequently shifted residence to Ibrahim Colony, Bemina.
Residents said that Tanvir’s father, a retired government employee, had seven sons. After Gowhar, his second son was killed in the shootout at Kud today.
Tanvir’s brothers and neighbourers refused the official version that he was an armed militant who got killed in an encounter at Kud. They claimed that after 2005, he had no connection with militants or militancy. According to them, he had undergone some treatment to his shoulder in Amritsar some time back and today he was travelling to the same hospital for follow up examination. They also claimed that when Tanvir was in Amritsar, Police had enquired about him and asked the family to produce him on his return earlier this year. When he returned, the family called the Police but were told that he was not wanted.