Militant Killed On LoC Was Oldest Border Guide

SRINAGAR: The militant killed in an encounter at the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber Gali area of Poonch district was identified most wanted guide hailing from Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district who had migrated to Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) in nineties, reported Daily Excelsior.

Arms and ammunition recovered from the slain guide in Poonch on Friday November 26,2021. Pic: Daily Excelsior

Quoting officials newspaper Daily Excelsior reported that the slain militant was not only instrumental in some Border Action Team (BAT) attacks on the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri but was also involved in guiding many cadres of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfits to this side of Jammu and Kashmir as he was well versed with various infiltration routes on the LoC.

Slain guide has been identified as Mohammad Arif alias Haji Arif, initially a resident of village Panjni in Balakote area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district and presently putting up at Mathriani village in Khuiratta area of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, said the report.

He had migrated to Pakistan in 1992, it said.

Quoting top officials, the Excelsior reported that Army, Police and Special Operations Group (SOG) Jammu had developed specific information that Mohammad Arif alias Haji Arif will facilitate infiltration by a group of three militants into Poonch district from the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector. Based on the input, they had laid special nakas at various places on the LoC.

Last midnight, Arif was seen moving towards the Indian territory in Bhimber Gali and was intercepted. On being challenged and asked to surrender, he tried to escape and also sounded the three militants following him for infiltration to run back, said the report.

Army personnel opened firing in which the guide was killed. The militants reportedly fled back, the newspaper quoted the officials as having said.

Describing the killing of Arif as a major success of Army, Police and SOG Jammu, sources said he was involved in some BAT attacks on the LoC and was instrumental in facilitating infiltration by several militant groups in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

“His name had also surfaced in the infiltration of a militant group which was involved in the killing of nine Army personnel at Chamrer forests in Surankote and Bhatta Durrian jungles in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district,” Daily Excelsior quoted the officials as having said, adding the group appeared to have escaped from the forests.

It may be mentioned here that five Army personnel were killed in encounter with the militants at Surankote while four others lost their lives in a gun battle with the same militant group in Mendhar later.

Arif was mainly helping the militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed outfits in infiltration for past three decades since his migration from Mendhar, said the report.

“From the possession of guide, Army have recovered one rifle, ammunition and other items which he was carrying for the militants who were following him,” newspaper Daily Excelsior quoted the officials as having said.

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