Kashmir police look for released militant commander


Srinagar : Police were Thursday looking for a top guerrilla commander who allegedly gave them a slip after a court ordered his release in a particular case and before he could be arrested on other charges pending against him.

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Nisar Ahmad alias Gazi Misbahuddin, chief commander (operations) of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, was set free by a south Kashmir court Wednesday.

“He was released and handed over to his lawyer,” a police officer said, adding the sessions court in Anantnag quashed the charges against him under the Public Safety Act.

According to police sources, Misbahuddin was to be re-arrested for other charges pending against him but he disappeared.

It is the usual practice of security forces in Kashmir to re-arrest released guerrilla commanders for other charges pending against them if a court sets aside their detention in a particular case.

“There are many cases pending against such militant commanders and if required they are re-arrested as they are wanted in more than one case registered against them in different police stations of the state”, a senior police officer said.

The prize catch for counter-insurgency forces in the state, Musbahuddin was arrested from Srinagar on Dec 6, 2007. The dreaded militant commander is known for his proximity to Hizb Chief and Chairman of the United Jehad Council Syed Sallahuddin. He had taken over the operations command of Hizbul Mujahideen in 2003.

The released guerrilla commander has apparently gone underground leaving security officials red faced.

Officials are tight-lipped whether the guerrilla commander had actually given them a slip.

“The court ordered his release and he was released. That is all I can tell you at the moment,” said another police officer.