The top Hizb Commander Sameer Tiger was killed in a five hour long encounter today at his native village Drabgam barely 18 km away from South Kashmir’s Pulwma main town.
His killing according to Jammu Kashmir Police Chief SP Vaid will ‘bring peace in the area.’ However, his death is being widely mourned by people across Kashmir. “His separation is painful, said Hizbul Mujhadeen spokesperson.
Sameer Ahmed Bhat son of Muhammad Maqbool belonged to a humble, down trodden family. His father is a labourer while his younger sister studies in class 6th. His younger brother is also a student.
Sameer before joining the militant organization Hizbul Mujahdeen was a known stone-pelter and was arrested by police many times for his involvement in stone-throwing incidents.
Police said that before joining militancy, Sameer was working as an Over Ground Worker for Hizbul Mujhadeen, however, his family has refuted these charges saying that on stone-pelting charges, he was frequently being called to police stations and army camps. “One fine morning in May 6, 2016, he left home and didn’t return. “After the expiry of over 15 days, we lodged a missing report at Police Station Rajpora,” said one of his relatives to news agency CNS.
The family came to know through social media about his joining militancy. His videos surfaced frequently on social media in which he could be seen scolding people for indulging in ‘anti-Movement’ activities. In one of the videos, he could be seen scolding some fake militants. Even, today hours before his death, one of his purported videos went viral. Sameer Tiger in the video could be seen asking an alleged Informer to convey a message to Major Shukla of 44 Rashtriya Rifles of India army to face him directly.
Police records show, Sameer as involved in multiple incidents of militancy.
According to a police official, “Sameer was involved in the firing incident on the residential house of former legislator Syed Bashir Ahmad in Sheikhard and in a grenade attack on the Naka Party at Haal, Pulwama. Besides his involvement was established in the kidnapping and firing on two civilians from Qasbayar in which one civilian Bashir Ahmad Dar had died instantly while another Altaf Ahmad Dar was seriously injured. In 2017, he had indiscriminately fired upon a patrolling party of 44 RR besides he had also entered into the residential houses of civilians in South Kashmir and forced them to issue video statements against the government and security agencies. Several FIRs pertaining to these incidents had been registered in Police Station Rajpora. Sameer was said to be a close confidant of HM commander Riyaz Naikoo and both had been spotted together in a video released recently on social media.”
His friends and family members say that Sameer had a great motivational power. He according to his family persuaded two of his relatives Manzoor Ahmed Baba and Waseem Ganaie both from Drabgam village to joint Fidayeen Squad of Jaish-e-Muhammad, though he was himself associated with Hizbul Mujhadeen.
Baba was killed in Lehthpora Fidayeen attack while Waseem lost his life in a gun fight with government forces at Kandi Aglar.
Due to his active role in militancy, police put him in A++ category of militants. He is probably the first militant from Kashmir whose photograph with M-5 assault rifle went viral.
A security official on condition of anonymity said that Sameer was an active militant who usually targeted those civilians having links with security agencies. “His departure is a big relief for those civilians who want to assist security agencies in combating militancy in Kashmir,” he said.