Death has broken counter-insurgency backbone, say police
SRINAGAR: In a dramatic attack militants shot dead a police officer following them in his private car and escaped the police dragnet near Bandipore town on Wednesday.
According to the police sources, Sub-Inspector Altaf Ahmed alias Altaf Laptop, head of the Special Investigating Team of Jammu Kashmir Police, was killed after militants overtook his vehicle and showered bullets on him.
The killing of Altaf police says has ‘broken the backbone of counter-intelligence’ in Valley. He has played primary role in neutralizing Hizb-ul-Mujahideen network over the years and was point man for technical surveillance in the state.
Altaf, who was in his late thirties, according to sources, was one of the few officers in police, who had developed contacts in Muzaffarabad and had strategic knowledge of militant camps functional across the Line of Control.
Giving details these sources said Station House Officer Bandipore and DySP Operations had laid a naka near town centre to apprehend most wanted militant of Lashkar-e-Taiba in the area Abu Qasim, when the incident took place Wednesday morning. Altaf was following Tata Mobile (JK05E-1096) used by Abu Qasim and was sure that it would be intercepted at naka and the LeT top militant would be arrested. However, near Dachina village of the district, barely 4 kilometers away from Bandipore town, the Tata Mobile suddenly over took his white colour private ETIOS car. Tata Mobile halted in front of the car and the militants came down from it and resorted to indiscriminate firing. Altaf fired few shots from his pistol but was seriously injured, CNS quoting reliable sources reported.
The injured police officer was immediately airlifted to Army Base hospital Badamibagh where he succumbed to his injuries. A police official identified the slain cop as Altaf Ahmed Dar a resident of Zangalpora Kulgam.
Reports said that soon after the incident, SOG and Army teams from 13 RR cordoned off Argam, Chitaybandey and other villages and launched a massive search operation to trace the militants. Chopper was used to track the movement of militants. Reinforcements were rushed to the spot to ensure that the militants responsible for the attack are prevented from escaping, said a police official.
IGP Kashmir SJM Geelani said that the slain police officer was an asset to the department. Altaf had done a tremendous job on anti-terrorism front. It is really a big loss for us, he said.
Altaf, according to residents of his native village was known by multiple names. He was called Altaf Computer, Altaf South, Altaf Laptop and Altaf SIT. He was a computer expert who tracked militant activities, said a local of Zangalpora Kluge. The slain cop Altaf Dar son of Bashir Ahmed Dar is survived by widow and two kids.
Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was observed in the honour of the slain cop. Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Director General of Police K.Rajendra, IGP Geelani and other police and civil officials paid floral tributes to the deceased cop.
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