In a major success, security forces on Friday gunned down top Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islamia militant Bashir Ahmed, who is believed to be the mastermind of the UP serial blasts, in a fierce gunbattle in a snow-bound area in Kishtawar district on Friday morning.
An AK rifle, magazines, ammunition rounds, satellite phones, radio sets, explosive material and important papers were recovered from the slain militant after the encounter in Doligam area of the district.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range, Farooq Khan said that the police, assisted by 11 Rashtriya Rifle troops, set up ambush points in the area on Thursday night on a tip-off about the presence of self-styled HuJI Supreme Commander Ahmed alias Sabba Hajia in snow-bound Doligam area of the district.
As the militant shifted from one hideout to another, the joint operation party challenged him to surrender but he fired at them, Khan said, adding a fierce gunbattle took place in the area in which the militant was killed.
He termed it as a major success of the police as the militant was the mastermind of the serial blasts in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow in November last year. Ahmed’s role was also being probed in the twin-blasts at Hyderabad.
Ahmed had joined Harkat-ul-Ansar in 1992 and crossed into PoK, where he received training in arms. From 1995 to 1998, he trained hundreds of new recruits in two major militant HuJI training camps in Jungle Mangal (PoK) and Manshira (Pakistan).
He became a master trainer and was an expert in making and handling of IEDs, besides being trained in jungle warfare and handling of sophisticated weapons, he said. In 1998, Ahmed crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from PoK and was actively involved in militant activities.