Gazi Misbah-ud-din

Nisar Ahmad Bhat alias Gazi Misbah-ud-din, the alleged chief commander of operations of Hizbul Mujahideen walked free this week after a court in Islamabad granted him bail leaving the police red faced. Bhat has spent two years in jail after he was arrested during a police raid on a suspected hideout in Pulwama in 2007.
Police is stunned, not just by the bail, but because the commander managed to give the police a slip outside court.
Security agencies in Kashmir are known to circumvent court’s release order by releasing an accused in court, and re-arresting him under PSA or other acts just at the gates of the court complex. The practice has been followed even in cases of prominent political leaders from the separatist camp. The recent instance is that of Shabir Ahmad Shah.
In Bhat’s case a perplexed police seems to have been taken off guard. Sources say the charges produced against Dar were bailable and the court had asked authorities if these were any other charges against him. After the prosecution failed to produce other charges, apparently due to miscommunication between different security agencies, the court granted bail to the accused.  
The judge also directed the police party accompanying Bhat to remove his handcuffs and hand him over to his lawyer in court. Police complied and Bhat walked out of the court room along with his lawyer. Police could not keep track of him outside and Bhat became the first major militant commander to walk free on bail.
Police sources say they are now on the lookout for Bhat and conducting inquiry on how the man managed to escape. By chance or design, Bhat succeeded in circumventing the police practise.
Police say Bhat has been the divisional commander of the Hizb for Poonch-Rajouri districts from 1999 to 2004.


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