Mohammed Naveed, a suspected Pakistani militant captured alive after a deadly highway attack in Udhampur district, pleaded with his hostage-turned captor to kill him just before he was arrested by security forces in the mountainous village of Narsoo.
Naveed, who also goes by the name Usman Khan, was caught by villagers he took hostage on Wednesday, hours after he and an accomplice ambushed a Border Security Force truck, killing two troopers. He told interrogators he came from Pakistan to “kill Hindus” and that “it’s fun doing this”. He also told them he belonged to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Shoot me, I don’t want to be killed by the security forces,” Naveed pleaded with Supwal village resident Vikram Sharma, a 31-year-old worker with a chemical factory who was taken hostage when he confronted the militant outside his in-laws’ house at Narsoo.
The drama began when Naveed took Sharma and four other civilians hostage as he fled towards the village in the hills after BSF personnel fired back. One of the hostages, Rakesh Kumar, said they misled the armed militant when he asked them to take him to a safe place.
“I was leaving for the factory when I saw a large crowd on the highway and decided to return home to enquire … That is when I came across the terrorist standing a few metres from my in-laws’ house, waving at me to come closer,” said Sharma.
By then, Naveed had already captured two of Sharma’s relatives. Naveed directed the five men to climb an adjacent hill and asked them to find him a safe hideout.
“He talked in mixed Hindi and Dogri. He also disclosed that he was on a holy job entrusted by Allah,” said Sharma. “He found a secure place for himself and made us sit in front of him at gunpoint. He said he would not kill us, but was only looking for a way to escape. He said he belonged to Pakistan and had come to Narsoo through Jammu in a small vehicle,” said Sharma.
The hostages tried to engage him in different ways. On Naveed’s demand, they even provided him water and food.
“When we saw a column of security forces inching towards our hideout, Naved tried to train his weapon on them. That is when Rakesh and I pounced upon him,” said Sharma.
In the scuffle, Naveed’s AK-47 dropped a few metres away. Both Naveed and Sharma rushed to grab the weapon.
“My index finger got into the trigger and a shot was fired. Meanwhile, we had overpowered the terrorist and I pointed the gun at his head. The others with us had run away to save their lives,” recounted Sharma. “We frisked him but found nothing except the fully loaded AK-47 and two hand grenades, before the security personnel rounded him up.”