by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: The events unfolding in the Tral police camp might be unprecedented. Seemingly this is the first case in which a detained person has snatched a rifle, apparently from his interrogator, and took control of the chamber.
Earlier in the day, a local news gatherer had quoted some anonymous police officer saying that the case is being investigated. There was no word officially, however, so far.
Regardless of it, Mohammad Amin Malik, who was killed in the gunfight during the intervening night of June 2 and 3 inside the Tral police camp had many identities. The initial one was being an active Hizb-ul Mujahideen militant who walked out of jail in 2004.
A resident of Nagbal Machhma, Tral, police said, Amin was active since 2000 and was arrested from Tral market in 2002. Locals claim that after his release he had been working as a labourer, a claim now contested by the police who termed him an active militant operative.
Amin’s second identity was being the brother of Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind’s militant Shabir Ahmad Malik who was killed in Brenpathri area of Tral in the same month of June but two years ago in 2019.
Shabir was initially with Lashkar-e-Toiba but later joined Zakir Musa led Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind (AGH). Police believed, Shabir was the spokesman of AGH at the time of his killing.
Earlier on May 30, 2021, the Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed that they had arrested Amin with “incriminating” material. After being killed on Thursday, Amin was termed as “terror operative” by the police. Another report circulating on social media claims he was arrested a few days earlier.
Post arrest, late Wednesday evening, fire shots were reported from inside the interrogation cell of the SOG camp in Tral where police said that Amin snatched and fired from the AK-47 service rifle of constable Amjad Khan injuring him on the spot.
“He critically wounded CT Amjad Khan and then took total control of the interrogation room and engaged the police personnel by firing intermittently from the snatched weapon,” the police statement said.
Following the incident, the police said that Amin’s mother and other relatives were called in along with an executive magistrate to appeal him to surrender.
“Sensing grave danger to the lives of police personnel and that of the militant, his mother and Executive Magistrate were brought on the site and repeated sincere efforts were made to persuade him to through away the weapon and surrender,” the statement said. “The militant, however, displayed complete defiance to such persuasions and not only refused to surrender but also fired upon the Police party engaged in persuasion. One of the police personnel was hit with a bullet on the chest and survived because of the bulletproof jacket he was wearing.”
Last month, the police had conducted a raid on a house wherefrom arms and ammunition were recovered. As per the police, the house belonged to Amin.
However, reports suggest that at the time of the raid Amin wasn’t in the house. He was questioned later when he produced himself before the police leading to his arrest on May 30. Ever since his brother Shabir Ahmad had joined militancy in 2018, the family was questioned by police.
“Amin was arrested on May 30, 2021, along with incriminating materials viz. arms, ammunition and explosives including unlicensed 12 bore gun, live rounds, explosives, iron/steel balls, 9 feature phones and other warlike stores used in the fabrication of IEDs,” a police official said during the day. “A case FIR No. 48/2021 under relevant sections of law was registered at Police Station Tral.”
Amin was on police remand and on June 2, he was brought from Police Station Tral to the SOG camp Tral for further interrogation.
Police claimed that after all efforts to make him surrender failed, Malik was engaged in a gunfight following the rules and SoP of such engagement and was killed.
“The snatched weapon was recovered from his possession.”
In this regard, case FIR No. 61/2021 under relevant sections of law stand registered at Police Station Tral and investigation taken up.
The body of the slain militant was sent to Police Hospital Srinagar for medico-legal formalities.
Residents said Amin, 38, is survived by a wife, two sons aged 8 and 14 along with a mother and a younger brother. His father Abdul Ahad Malik has passed away.