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Wanted dead or alive: Posters of terrorists in J&K

By Anuj Cariappa

Srinagar, Mar 28: The posters carrying pictures of seven "wanted terrorists" affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have come up in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district with an announcement for a cash reward and a job for anyone providing information leading to their arrest or killing.

Wanted dead or alive: Posters of terrorists at J&K

The hilly Kishtwar district in this province, which was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, was rattled by the killing of a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and his brother in November last year and gun-snatching incident from a policeman recently.

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"For any information leading to get hold live or dead - cash reward in lakhs & job," the poster, which was put up by police in Kishtwar at various places, reads.

The poster carries pictures of the "wanted terrorists" -- Mohammad Amin alias "Jahangir", Riaz Ahmed alias "Hazari", Mudassir Hussain, Jamal Din alias "Abu Bakar", Talib Hussain, Junaid Akram and Usama Bin Javed alias "Osama".

The poster ends with a message that the identity of the informant would be kept secret.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Kishtwar, Shakti Pathak said the terrorists are active in the region and six of them belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen and one to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

"People should be aware of such terrorists who are wanted. Those who wish to inform us about them can contact us. Informant's identity will be kept secret," he said.

Police sources said Jahangir and Hazari, affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, are the longest surviving terrorists in the state.

They have never been caught since the inception of the terrorism in the state in early 1990's, they added.

Five others, including, LeT terrorist Osama have joined terror ranks last year, the sources said, adding they included two students who were pursuing studies in the Kashmir Valley.

They said Jahangir and Hazari are active in Dachin and Marwah areas and have managed to evade arrest as they are locals and fully know the topography of the region, mostly moving in upper reaches away from human habitations.

The counter-insurgency operation came under a review in the district following the killing of BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar on November 1 last year.

The Parihar brothers were returning home after closing their stationery shop in Kishtwar town when gunmen fired at them in the Tappal Gali area, a case which was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after initial investigation by local police.

No one has been arrested by the agency so far, though earlier investigation suggested involvement of Osama in the killing but could not be collaborated by the investigation, the officials said.

The NIA had got some vital leads in the case which is expected to be cracked shortly, they said.

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Earlier this month, unidentified gunmen snatched the service rifle of the personal security officer (PSO) of district development commissioner, Kishtwar, from his rented accommodation in the town.

Though police conducted a massive search for two days, no one has been arrested in connection with the rifle snatching incident so far, the officials said.

The PSO, Daleep Kumar, claimed that some masked gunmen intruded into his residence on the night of March 8 and decamped with his AK-47 rifle and three loaded magazines besides mobile phone after threatening him and his family.

The mobile phone of the policeman was later recovered from an isolated place near the house during the search operation but there is still no trace of the rifle and the culprits, the officials said.

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