Top guerrilla commander arrested in Kashmir (Lead)January 14th, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Jan 14 (IANS) Police Wednesday arrested a former chief commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen who had infiltrated from Pakistan to coordinate between various terrorist groups for major strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India.Ahsan Dar, one of the seniormost Kashmiri guerrilla commanders, was arrested in Baramulla’s Sumbal area following a tip-off, a senior police officer said.
“Dar was trying to promote coordination between the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen and other militant organisations in the state,” deputy inspector general of police Abdul Gani Mir told reporters.
“His arrest is likely to throw further light on the nexus between the various militant groups,” the police officer said.
“He has (orchestrated) various attacks on security forces and was trying to give a fresh impetus to the militant activities within the state and also in the rest of the country,” Mir said.
Dar founded the Hizbul Mujahideen in 1990 as its first chief commander but was later expelled from the outfit in 1992 when Syed Salahuddin replaced him.
Salahuddin, who is presently based in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, is also the head of the United Jehad Council (UJC), the conglomerate of various guerrilla groups fighting separatist war in Kashmir.
Dar was “one of the pioneers of militancy in the state and has remained a close associate of Syed Salahuddin”, according to the police officer.
Dar, who first went to Pakistan in 1984 and again in 1988 for arms training, was earlier arrested in 1993 as chief of a splinter Hizbul Mujahideen group which he had named as Muslim Mujahideen. He was later released in 1999 after serving the detention.
“He had crossed over to Pakistan after his release and returned early last year,” the police officer said.
Security agencies said his arrest was a big success in counter insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
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