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'I am waiting for the body'

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | August 30, 2003 16:30 IST
Last Updated: August 30, 2003 17:02 IST


Though the media has confirmed that Gazi Baba, who masterminded the December 13, 2001, attack on Parliament and massacred 25 Kashmiri Pandits in the mid-nineties, was among four terrorists killed in an encounter in Srinagar on Saturday, Vijay Raman, Border Security Force Inspector General (Kashmir), said he would wait till he saw the body of the terrorist.

Gazi Baba could not have escaped the cordon of the security forces, particularly after the place where the terrorists were hiding -- a house in Noorbagh area -- was blown up, he told rediff.com from Srinagar.

"I am waiting for his body. After I see it I will be able to confirm to the media that Gazi Baba is dead, though most of the media agencies have already started saying so," Raman told rediff.com

Asked how the BSF got the tip-off about the terrorists, he said, "We had arrested a militant a couple of days back. After sustained interrogation he broke down at around 3 am and told us that Gazi Baba was hiding in a residential place in the Noorbagh area. We moved in swiftly and surrounded the place at around 3.30 am. There were four militants in the building and they put up a stiff resistance and engaged us for almost 12 hours before we decided to blow up the place," he said.

According to sources in Jammu and Kashmir police, Gazi Baba had been in the valley for almost a month. Senior police officials admitted that if the information was true then anything could have happened because Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi were in Kashmir on August 27 and 28.

BSF Director General Ajai Raj Sharma said he was proud of those who had taken part in the operation.

He also said he would like to see the body before making any pronouncements.


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