Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Friday said that militants involved in Thursday's attack on the house of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, in which one policeman died, have been killed in Pulwama.
"Militants involved in yesterday's attack have been killed," IGP told reporters during a news conference. "We also recovered the weapon that was taken by them."
He was flanked by DIG central Kashmir Amit Kumar and SSP Srinagar Sandeep Chaudhary during the news conference.
Giving details of the Pulwama encounter, Kumar said that the police started firing around 4:35 am after giving them the opportunity to surrender. "The militants tried to get out of the house during firing but they returned to the house and took three civilians as hostages," he said. "We had to delay our operation as we had to take out the civilians first."
The IGP said that the slain militants were affiliated to LeT and Al-Badr. "Army, Srinagar police, CRPF and Pulwama police solved the case of firing on BJP leader's house in less than 24 hours," he said.
He said one among the slain militants was Suhail Lone involved in Thursday's attack. "An AK-47 rifle, a pistol and one SLR which was snatched from the policeman have been recovered," he said adding that the recovery of the SLR, he said, proves that these militants were involved in the Nowgam attack.
"One new thing has emerged that it was the attack carried in unison by Al-Badr and LeT. Initially we thought all four militants were from Srinagar and were from LeT," he said.
The Kashmir police chief said that the militants had come in an Alto vehicle (JK01E-2098) which has been seized from the house of one Nawaz Dar. "The vehicle belongs to him and it helped security agencies to track the militants immediately," he said. He said that two other militants who were part of the attack belonged to Srinagar and remained in the summer capital. "Those from Pulwama left and were killed."
At the encounter site, Kumar said, one lady suffered injuries in cross firing while two or three persons were injured in clashes.
IGP Kashmir said that the threat is for all political parties, however BJP cadre faces a little more. "The people with every party are facing threats but I accept that BJP is having a little more threat," he said.
He said that it is a challenge to provide security, but the Jammu and Kashmir Police was taking all measures to strengthen the security system.
"Many changes will take place, there will be revamping in the PSO (personal security officer) system. Protected persons and the JKP jawans are vulnerable as they are soft targets. This is a challenge, but we are taking measures," he said.
The senior cop that security apparatus is being strengthened and policemen will be imparted more training "so that they can neutralize militants on their own immediately."
"SOPs and PSO guard changes are being made. From now onwards we won't be deploying those who go home frequently."
He said that six militants are active in Srinagar city. "We are tracking them."