Family contests police version
Srinagar: Amid questions, Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday said the owner of a building, where a militant and his associate were killed in an encounter here yesterday, was killed in the crossfire and promised a probe into the incident to ascertain complete details.
A foreign militant identified as Haider, his local associate and an Over Ground Worker (OWG) who provided his rented space to the militants, were killed in an encounter with security forces in uptown Hyderpora area on Monday, police said.
Altaf Ahmed, the owner of the house, was also injured during the encounter and later succumbed, police said.
However, Ahmed’s daughter has claimed he was used as a “human shield” by the security forces during the encounter.
Answering the questions, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar said that Ahmed was killed in the “crossfire” during the encounter.
“It is not clear whether he was hit by the bullets fired by militants or security forces. Militants were carrying pistols and it would be clear after investigations whose bullet hit him,” he said, addressing a press conference here.
He said there will be a thorough probe into the sequence of events that resulted in the killing of the house owner.
Apart from investigating the sequence of events related to yesterday’s encounter, the probe team will also investigate the computer links of the militants with foreign countries.
Asked why the mortal remains of Ahmed were not handed over to his family for last rites, the IGP said it was done because of apprehensions over the law and order situation.
Kumar said the foreign militant Haider and his local associate were being hosted by Mudasir, who lived in the building as a tenant but was an OGW.
“Mudasir was providing shelter to the militants. This way, he was harboring militants,” the IGP said.
Mudasir was also involved in ferrying Haider from the site of the recent militant attack in Jamalata area of Srinagar where a police man was injured,” Kumar said.
He said Mudasir was also involved in ferrying militants from south and north Kashmir areas.
A Special Investigation Team, headed by a DIG, has been constituted to probe the modus operandi of ‘Hi-tech Hyderpora hideout’.
Kumar said the police received a tip off about the presence of militants near the national highway in Hyderpora and a cordon-and-search operation was initiated.
“Police, CRPF and the army laid a cordon and when the security forces were about to storm the spot where militants were hiding, indiscriminate firing on the forces was started,” the IGP said.
Along with Haider, his local associate Amir, possibly from Banihal area of Jammu, was killed.
The IGP identified Amir as a “hybrid militant” who was also associated with Altaf Ahmed. Ahmed ran a cement shop in Hyderpora.
“We have called a family from Banihal to identify the slain (Amir),” the IGP said.
He said that from the encounter site, two pistols, two magazines, half-a-dozen mobile phones and a few computers were recovered.
“Mudasir was also running a call centre. He was an OGW and was directly involved in harboring militants,” IGP Kumar said.
In view of this case, the IGP asked people to get in touch with the police before renting out rooms or building.
Asked whether the police had any clear evidence of Mudasir being involved in “harbouring militants”, the IGP said they had digital evidence and once they get further proof, it will be shared with the media.
Kumar in a late Monday tweet said: “The house owner who was injured in terrorist fire, succumbed to his injuries. Militants have been hiding on top floor of his building. As per source and digital evidence, he has been working as a terror associate. Search is still going on.” (UNI)