All you need to know about Altaf Ahmad Dar: The counter-insurgency Warrior of Jammu Kashmir Police

Martyrs like Dar, never die- ADGP Armed J&K

Altaf Ahmad also called ‘Altaf Laptop” among his friends was a tech savvy officer of Special Investigating Team of Jammu Kashmir Police. He was posted in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district and was tracking movements of LeT militant Abu Qasim from past couple of days.

In an attempt to nab this militant, Dar left for Bandipore on Tuesday evening with some police personnel in a private car. They were pursuing a vehicle in which they believed Qasim and his associates were travelling. When they tried to intercept the vehicle, the militants fired at them. Altaf fired few shots from his pistol but was seriously injured. He was hit in the neck and abdomen. He was airlifted to Badamibagh based 92 Base Army hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Altaf ahmad dar

Martyr Altaf Ahmad Dar was the resident of Zangalpora Kulgam. He was married and had two kids. Because of his tech savvy nature, he was known with multiple names like Altaf Computer, Altaf South, Altaf Laptop and Altaf SIT. He started off as an assistant munshi at a police station. He received four promotions in his 15-year career.

He was attached to the office of SP, Srinagar South when he took loan to buy a laptop and started recording phone calls of militants. Soon,senior officials recognized his talent and gave him a separate “counter-insurgency unit.”

Altaf Dar headed a special investigation team and was credited with the police department’s success in following most high profile militancy cases in the valley.

  • Arrest of separatist leader Masarat Alam in 2010
  • Arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen commanders which includes operations chiefs Gazi Misbah and Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, spokesman Junaid-ul-Islam, and commanders Pervez Musharraf and Hanif Khan
  • In 2012, when the police department was investigating the killing of its officers, it was Dar who solved the case by arresting Abdul Rashid Shigan — a policeman who had been running a militant module that was behind 13 attacks.
  • He had also solved the murder of Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith chief Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah.

It was because of Altaf’s competency, NIA used to send its new officers to him to understand the militancy problem. It is indeed the saddest day for Jammu Kashmir Police. With his martyrdom, the department has now lost one of their best counter-insurgency officers. A wreath laying ceremony was observed in the honour of this slain cop and Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Director General of Police K.Rajendra, IGP Javaid Mujtaba Geelani and other police and civil officials paid floral tributes to the deceased cop.

Here is what the officers of JKP who were in close contact with Altaf Ahmad Dar had to say about this braveheart:

SM Sahai ADGP Armed J&K: Altaf had the rare ability to understand the use of data mining in investigation. Quintessential policeman who understood that it was all about people after all the ‘laptop’ only gives back what you give it. But martyrs never die. Altaf, a brave and dedicated police officer, was and shall always be an inspiration for all of us in uniform.

Uttam Singh, SSP, Jammu: Today, J&K police stands poorer today with Altaf’s passing away. His contribution will forever be counted as a defining one in breaking the backbone of militancy. He leaves behind a little bit of himself in all of us; if not his abilities, at least his commitment and resolve to accomplish his unfinished task.

Swayam Prakash Pani, a JK cadre IPS officer deputed in Delhi: Beacause of Altaf, laptop became mightier than the Kalsonikovs.  From being a Munshi of JKP to SIT, the voyage of Altaf saw no fall. He tamed death and died as A HERO. His mobile hello tune Dabang Dabang still rings in my mind.

Kuldeep Khoda, Former DGP, J&K: Altaf’s death is a great loss to J&K police. His last promotion was for trapping Masarat Alam at height of 2010 crisis. He was an outstanding operational intelligence policeman. Our salute to this fighter and warrior.

Farooq Ahmed, Retired IGP, J&K: Altaf was a self appointed warrior. The police force is grateful to him and others who laid down their lives for the country though not many remember them.

Gopal Sharma, Former DGP, J&K: Altaf was a brave and evolved police officer who had seen the true face of the evil, call it militancy, extremism or terrorism. There is a whole generation of people who have not only seen this evil, but have themselves, or seen their dearest suffer

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