Published On: Thu, Oct 8th, 2015

‘Dabangg’ police officer shot dead by militants

Srinagar: One of Kashmir’s most active and competent counter-insurgency officers, Inspector Altaf Ahmad Dar, popularly known as “Dabangg police officer”, who was in his late 30s, was killed in an encounter with militants in north Kashmir’s Bandipora area on Wednesday.

Dabangg police officer Altaf Ahmad Dar

Dabangg police officer Altaf Ahmad Dar

He was tracking some militants who were on their way to receive their accomplices, who had recently infiltrated into the state, a top police official said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police described his killing as a huge loss to police force.

“He was brilliant. One of the best among us. It is a huge and irreparable loss. Very difficult to overcome this shock,” said a senior superintendent of police known for his counter insurgency operations.

Since 2004, all Hizbul Mujahideen top commanders, including their chiefs, were killed or arrested in operations carried out by him.

Officials say he was responsible for neutralising and arresting top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen including Mohammad Gaznavi, Gazi Misbahudin, Dr Dawood, who is now in NIA custody, Rayees Kachur, Pervez Mushraff, Junaid-ul-Islam, and many others.

“Countless successful operations are to his credit,” said an official.

He was also responsible for tracking and arresting separatist leader Masarat Alam during the 2010 summer uprising. Police officers describe him as a one-man army and say his killing would affect the whole operation network of police. They said he was number one on the hit list of militants.

“Altaf was one of our best officers. He has done tremendous work on anti-terrorism front. It is big loss for us,” Kashmir police chief SJM Giliani said.

Altaf was known for his intelligence gathering, tracking militants and leading the operations. Senior officers say he was brilliant in technical surveillance.

Dar, a graduate, hailed from south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. He was recruited into the police service in 1998 as a constable. But due to his exceptional record in counter insurgency operations, he got four promotions and was handling the special investigation team at Rajbagh police station in Srinagar, which would track militants across Kashmir, hawala transactions, and solve militancy-related cases.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed visited the police control room where he offered his condolences. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also paid a tribute to Dar.

Director General of Police, K Rajendra Kumar, said: “In today’s operation intelligence was generated by him and he was personally leading the operation.”

Kumar described him as exemplary police officer with heart of lion and intelligence of exceptional nature.

He said he had passion for hard work and led relentless operations against militants in which a number of top militants were killed during the last decade.

Inputs with Mail Today

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