October 12th, 2015
News Source: IndianExpress | Image Source: dailymail
Those who die in the service of motherland should always be glorified to the extent that their tales of valour linger for years to come. Jammu & Kashmir is the place where sacrifice is not new and tales of valour is the punch line for generations to come. Sub-Inspector Mohd Altaf Dar is one such name whose memories will continue to stay. He was killed in a shootout in Bandipore.
What happened on the fateful day?
Altaf, 37-year-old received a tip-off that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Abu Qasim would be meeting a group of millitants. Qasim is said to be the mastermind behind Udhampur attack.
Altaf left with police personal in a private car pursuing a vehicle in which they suspected that Qasim and his accomplices were travelling. While intercepting the vehicle, the militants fired at the police. Dar was hit in his abdomen after which he was airlifted to Srinagar where he was declared dead.
Behind the arrest of several terrorists:
The senior police officer’s death was a big jolt to the counter insurgency operations. Inspector General of Police, Javed Mutjaba Gilani said that he helped in eliminating the number of militants. He was associated with number of high profile militancy cases where the police department was credited with success. It was Dar’s intelligence inputs that led to the arrest of separatist leader Masarat Alam in 2010.
The officer was behind the arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen commanders, Gazi Misbah and Muzafffar Ahmad Dar, spokesman Junaid-ul-Islam and commanders Pervez Musharraf and Hanif Khan.
Altaf started off as an assistant munshi at a police station and received four promotions in his 15-year career. He took a loan to buy a laptop and recorded phone calls of militants. He was fondly called Altaf laptop for being tech-savvy.
He understood militancy so well that even NIA would send their new officers to meet him in order to understand the militancy problem. Many IPS officers posted in the valley would meet him.
The most surprising thing is that even his friends and neighbours did not know that Dar was considered the brain behind key anti-insurgency operations.
His son Aryan who is 5-year-old is not even told about his death. Mohd Ashraf, Dar’s brother said that the family did not tell Aryan about the unfortunate incident and Aryan still thinks that his father is on an assignment. Aryan has a two-year-old brother. “What will happen to his wife and children? My brother sacrificed his life for the police department. It is the responsibility of his officers to look after his family,” said Ashraf who works in the education department. Tariq Ahmad, Dar’s another sibling said that he last visited the village four days before Eid. Since his younger sister was getting engaged so he stayed with the family for two days.
“We came to know about his death through social media as the police officials said that he was injured in the attack,” said Tariq to IndianExpress reporter.
Villagers remember Dar as a cricket buff who would make generous cash donations to the village team, Murtaza Warriors. Bashir Ahmad Dar, his father said that soon after passing class XII exams he joined the police department and was the first one to join police. Dar’s father said that if he had not been the police officer, he would have been the scientist.
Mohammad Rafi, Dar’s childhood friend and neighbour said that the villagers never knew that he was the officer involved in top counter insurgency operations. Dar’s friend fondly remembers him as a good cricketer.
A police officer describes Dar as an encyclopedia on militancy.