|NIA members at the blast site. File picture
Srinagar, Aug. 6: Security forces today shot dead one of the three main accused militants involved in the 2011 Delhi High Court blast in a gunfight in Jammu’s Kishtwar district.
The army said Hizb commander and main accused Amir Ali Kamal, who carried a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was killed along with associate Mohammad Shafi in an encounter in Trothil forest area.
On October 25 last year, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had announced Rs 10 lakh each for information on the whereabouts of Amir and two other accused, Junaid Akram Malik alias Umair, and Shakir Hussain alias Chota Hafiz.
The NIA investigations had revealed they played a crucial role in the conspiracy leading to the blast on September 7, which left 16 persons dead and dozens injured.
The months-long hunt cost security forces two gallantry award-winning soldiers Noor Hussain (Sena medal) and Rajesh Kumar (Shaurya Chakra) this May and two special police officers, Mohammad Hanief and Bilal Ahmad, last December.
Defence spokesperson Colonel R.K. Palta said in Jammu the militants were killed on a specific information tip-off on their presence in the area and had been taken by surprise. “The troops of 10 Rashtriya Rifles had to climb treacherous mountains for eight to 10 hours to reach their hideout,” he said.
“The gunfight started at 9.30am when troops encircled their hideout. They opened fire on the troops and in the ensuing encounter, which lasted two to three hours, two militants were killed.”
Amir, 26, had been active in Kishtwar area since 2008. Several operations to arrest him and his colleagues had failed.
“He was hiding in the mountains and was always on the run,” a police officer said.
Another militant, Sajad alias Rizwan, was arrested during today’s operation. An AK 47 rifle and a pistol were recovered from the spot.