Red alert in Anantnag as Hizb ‘highway squad’ planning major attack
LeT claims its J&K chief Abu Dujana escaped but confirms death of two top militants in Bijbehra encounter
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
JAMMU, Dec 10: Police and security forces on Saturday sounded a red alert in Anantnag area after learning that Hizbul Mujahideen’s ‘Highway Squad’ was planning a major strike on the highway in South Kashmir.
Highly placed authoritative sources revealed to STATE TIMES that according to reliable information, Hizbul Mujahideen’s “Highway Squad” was planning to carry out a major attack on the security forces’ convoy on Srinagar-Jammu highway somewhere between Qazigund and Khannabal. Sources said that the militants of the “Highway Squad”, believed to be residents of Khudwani-Arwani belt, were planning to plant and explode a powerful IED, targeting some convoy of Army, BSF or CRPF in the next two or three days.
While the top officials in Police and security agencies were still blurred over the number and identity of the militants killed in the three-day-long gunbattle near Arwani, LeT confirmed that two of its top operatives, namely Abdul Majid Zargar alias Abu Talha Majid s/o Mohammad Amin Zargar of Gofabal, Kaimoh, and Ibrahim Ruhul Amin s/o Mohammad Amin of Vesu, Qazigund, had got killed in the joint operation of Army, CRPF and J&K Police.
Let spokesman claimed in a press release that the organisation’s J&K chief, Abu Dujana, a Pakistani militant who has been operating in the Valley since 2012, managed to escape from the tightly cordoned area. As already reported, a local civilian was also found dead. His bullet-riddled body was spotted and recovered from the railway track on Thursday.
Officials said that three AK-47 rifles were recovered from the debris of a completely destroyed house alongwith two acutely charred human bodies. However, senior CRPF officials insisted that three militants and a civilian had died in the operation. They said it was being verified whether the third militant, killed in the encounter, was Waseem of Shopian, Junaid Matu of Redwani or someone else. J&K Police officials claimed that only two militants and a civilian supporter of the militants had died in the operation.
Abu Dujana is currently the most wanted militant in Jammu and Kashmir. He was appointed as LeT’s chief for J&K after the organisation’s most dreaded head Abu Qasim of Bahwalpur, Pakistan, was killed in an encounter at Khandaypora, Kulgam, on October 29, 2015. Qasim was believed to be the mastermind of scores of attacks and fatal casualties of Police and security forces, including the August 5, 2015, fidayeen attack on a paramilitary convoy near Udhampur, on Srinagar-Jammu highway.
[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]