Mirgund Attacker Found Dead in Canal

Tariq was Deputy Chief of Lashkar-e-Islam: Police

SRINAGAR:  The body of the Deputy Chief of newly floated militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Islam was found from a flood channel in Naidkhai area of north Kashmir Monday morning.

Police said that some civilians this morning spotted a body in Nalla Ferozpur at Gulabwari (Bandipore). “The Police took the body into their custody and later on iden-tified the deceased as Tariq Ahmad Mir alias Zahid Arif, son of Ghulam-ud-Din Mir, resident of Adoora in Mawar, Handwara area of Kupwara district…,” a police spokesman said.

“A pistol, 1-magzine and 13 rounds were also recovered along with the deceased from Ferozpor Nallah”, he said. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of north Kashmir, Garib Das confirmed that the deceased militant was the deputy chief of breakaway Hizb group Lashkar-e-Islam.

Lashkar, which is being headed by “most wanted” Abdul Qayoom Najar, who parted his ways with Hizbul Mujahi-deen after developing serious differences with its Pakis-tan-based leadership over operations in the valley, has claimed responsibilities for number of attacks on tele-communication installations and former militants and Hurriyat activists associated with Syed Ali Geelani’s fac-tion. “Tariq was a close associate of Qayoom Najar and an active member of Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) militant outfit. The said militant was involved in a number of attacks in-cluding the recent Sopore attacks,” police said.

Police said that the deceased militant is among the two attackers who fired upon a police party at Mirgund in Narbal on July 31 in which SHO Pattan and two cops were injured. “Immediately, after this incident, all the na-ka points on the roads were activated. One such naka party of Police and army challenged the fleeing militants and one of the militants jumped into Ferozpur Nallah and got drowned.”

DIG Das confirmed that Qayoom Najar was the militant accompanying Tariq during Mirgund attack. He said that the duo gave a slip to army at one location after firing at police. “The forces also fired at them but they managed to escape,” he said. “After giving slip to army, the forces again spotted them running at Gulabwari in Sumbal but they did not open fire as they were not sure whether they were militants or civilians. Subsequently, the two mili-tants jumped into the water but Tariq could not swim and he drowned. However, Qayoom Najar managed to cross the river and escaped,” the DIG said.

He said that police have obtained some vital documents from the Tavera vehicle the militants had used. “We are hopeful that we will soon track down Qayoom Najar,” he claimed.

Police said that Tariq was involved in a number of kil-lings, planting of IEDs and attacks on cellular towers in north Kashmir.  “A number of FIRs in Pattan, Sopore and Handwara police stations stand registered against the deceased militant,” the police said.

The DIG Das said that the strength of Lashkar-e-Islam in north Kashmir is 8 to 10 members and 10 to 12 in south Kashmir. “They have few members in central Kashmir as well. Overall, they are 25 to 30 members,” he added. —-With inputs from GNS

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