Suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants today gunned down Police Sub-Inspector Altaf Ahmed, who was considered a key operational man and credited with smashing of many militant hideouts and arrest and killing of terrorists on the basis of intelligence generated by him.
Preliminary probe indicated that he became a victim of a trap laid by LeT.
In the morning, Altaf, nicknamed as ’24-hour duty cop’, reached his office as usual and soon after he got a “tip-off” about the presence of top LeT commander Abdul Rehman alias ‘Qassim’ in a house nearby in Bandipora area.
Wasting no time, the officer boarded his official vehicle and moved towards the house.
According to the probe quoting eyewitnesses, a pick up van started following him from some distance. When the officer reached a secluded spot in Aragam area, the pick up van overtook his vehicle and militants sitting in it fired two bullets on the left side of his chest and one on the right side.
Critically injured, he was airlifted to Army’s 92 Base Hospital at Badamibagh cantonment where he succumbed to injuries, sources said.
He was credited with smashing of many of LeT hideouts, arrest of its cadres and generating intelligence leading to encounters in which cadres of the outfit were killed.
As soon as the news about his death spread, a pall of gloom descended on police headquarters.
Besides top brass of police, Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, top Army, paramilitary and senior intelligence officials paid their homage to the officer, who joined Jammu and Kashmir police as a constable.
Because of his professional capabilities, he received three promotions between 2007 to 2012 when the force was led by Kuldeep Khoda, who is now the Chief Vigilance Commissioner of the state.
Senior officials working with him said that he was always on duty and never said “no” to any operation. “He can be credited with 50 per cent of operations that have taken place since 2008,” the official said.
Survived by a wife, two small children of the age of four and two, Altaf, who belongs to a village located on border between Kulgam and Devsar assembly constituencies, has received gallantry medals from the state as well as the central government.