Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief arrested in Kashmir (Lead)

February 9th, 2009 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Feb 9 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir police Monday said they have arrested the operational chief commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, dealing a severe blow to the Pakistan-based terror outfit.

Muzaffar Dar, alias Ghaznavi alias Ali, was arrested during a search operation Monday afternoon by the police from his hideout in Saderbal area, close to the University of Kashmir, on the outskirts of Srinagar, B. Srinivas, inspector general of police (Kashmir zone), told reporters in the evening.

Dar, a local militant but trained in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, has been an active terrorist in Jammu and Kashmir since early 1990 when the armed insurgency erupted in the state, Srinivas said.

“He was active in militancy since 1990. He had received weapons and subversive activities training in Pakistan,” Srinivas said.

A close associate of Hizbul Mujahideen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin, Dar had masterminded several terrorist operations and was actively involved in financing the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, the police officer said.

He had organised a massive landmine blast on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway last year that killed around a dozen Indian Army soldiers, Srinivas said.

“He was in constant touch with the group’s supreme commander Syed Sallahuddin presently operating from Muzaffarabad in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Dar’s wireless code was 19,” he said.

Dar, 38, belonged to Chandiloora village in Magam near Pattan in the north Kashmir Baramulla district.

“His arrest is a major blow to the Hizbul Mujahideen whose top commanders have been arrested or eliminated by the security forces during the last one year,” the police officer said.

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