Police releases pictures of 'wanted' militants in Kishtwar, announces reward for info

Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday released pictures of seven Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) “wanted” militants of Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. The police have also announced a cash reward and a job for anyone providing information leading to their arrest or killing.

The hilly district of Kishtwar was declared militants-free over a decade ago. However, the district saw the killing of a senior BJP leader and his brother in November last year and gun-snatching incident from a policeman recently.

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

The poster carries pictures of the “wanted militants” 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 militants are active in the region and six of them belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and one to the Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT).

“People should be aware of such militants 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 Jehangir and Hazari, affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, are the longest surviving militants in the state.

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

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

They said Jehangir 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.

Early 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.