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Militants killed MLC: J&K DGP

Onkar Singh in Srinagar | August 28, 2003 11:51 IST

Director General of Jammu and Kashmir police Gopal Sharma has said that militant-turned-politician Javed Ahmad Shah was killed by the terrorists, who had taken refuge in the Greenway Hotel after an attack on the BSNL office in Srinagar.

The police had stormed the hotel only at 0630 IST after 19 civilians had been evacuated, he told rediff.com on Thursday at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre, venue of the Inter-State Council meet.

"Let me clarify that Javed Shah was killed by the militants and not by police fire. Shah ran a daily called Watan. His office was located in the hotel. There were eight persons in his office at the time the encounter began.

"Three persons, including Javed Shah, his personal security officer and one more elderly person, were shot dead by the terrorists while the others were rescued. We are interrogating the survivors," Sharma said.

"The militants could have gone and killed Javed Shah directly, but it seemed they had some other plan in mind. They first threw a grenade (at the BSNL office) before heading for the Greenway Hotel. They then killed Shah and his associates," he said.

He denied the incident was a major setback to the police and para-military forces, which had been claiming that all was well in the state.

"How can you say it is a set back? The (Inter-State Council) meet is going on as per schedule. We have managed to handle the terrorists," he said.

He praised the security personnel for handling the crisis with minimum casualties.

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