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Top Hizb militant with press card arrested in Kashmir

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Apr 8 (UNI) Security forces have arrested a top Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Doru village of Sopore tehsil in north Kashmir's Baramulla district and seized four fake identity cards, including one showing him as a correspondent of a local bilingual daily newspaper from him, a defence spokesman said today.

He said Mohammad Shafi Sheikh alias Ali Mohammad alias Alia was apprehended while trying to target the security forces on April 5.

Giving details, the spokesman said a joint operation was launched by 47 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Task Force (STF) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Kupwara in village Doru, Sopore which resulted in Sheikh's arrest.

He said Sheikh was apprehended while trying to take out his weapon after he had lobbed grenades at the security forces.

However, his accomplice managed to escape, the spokesman added.

He said Sheikh was the Hizb's financial controller and used to coordinate activities of various other militant groups active in Handwara-Zalurah-Sopore belt.

The 40-year-old militant later confessed to having received specialist training in handling and operating sophisticated communication equipment in Pakistan, the spokesman said.

Being shrewd and calculative, Sheikh could be easily passed off as an innocent civilian, he added.

The spokesman said four fake identity cards, including one showing him as a Press Reporter of a local bi-lingual daily newspaper, were seized from him.

Shiekh has also confessed to his involvement in IED attacks, including one on 52 RR and 15 RR and a motorcycle bomb on a troop carrying vehicle at Warpura in 2004, in Sopore-Bandipur belt.

About 40 kg of high grade explosive material was also seized from his possession which he was planning to use against the security forces on the Bandipur axis, he added.

The spokesman said Shiekh coordinated construction of hideouts and caches for various militant groups.

According to information provided by him, in one such hideout where two militants were killed by the security forces on February 6, 80 kg of explosive material, two satellite phones and some communication equipment got burnt.

The spokesman said Sheikh was also involved in several killings of innocent civilians. He has confessed to killing one forester of the Zalurah belt and another school dropout, Raja Arshad Mir of Mawar, Naugam.

He said Sheikh has been dealing and arranging finances for the Hizbul Mujahideen.

A payment list amounting to Rs 41 lakh containing 359 names of local militants of all groups was seized from him, the spokesman said, adding a number of other incriminating documents pertaining to other financial dealings (none of which is less than Rs one lakh), list of war-like stores were seized from his possession.


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