Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Monday said that militants involved in killing of SPO and two CRPF personnel in Keeri area of Baramula district were killed in day-long encounter and termed it a successful operation.
“Although we suffered three casualties, but all the two militants who attacked joint party were killed in successful operation,” DGP told reporters here.
He said that Sajad alias Haider, a resident of Sopore, was the top most militant commander of north Kashmir and figured among 10 most wanted insurgents of J&K.
DGP equated Haider with slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and said the LeT commander was involved in a series of attacks on security forces since 2016. “Haider was chief recruiter in north Kashmir and was also behind several killings which included panchs and sarpanchs in the northern parts of the Valley,” he said.
“Haider was a militant of 2016 vintage. He is of the same stature as that of Burhan Wani in his area. We have managed to arrest at least 20 of his people so far,” he said, adding that Haider was the main architect and brain behind the killing of BJP workers Wasim Bari, his brother and father. “Besides, he was also responsible for the killing of a CRPF trooper in Sopore on July 1,” he said.
Singh said that soon after the attack that took place at around 10 am today, the security forces present at the spot chased the attacking militants who had disappeared into an apple orchard after killing the three personnel.
The police chief said that earlier as soon as the security forces came out of their vehicles, the militants, who had sprung from the nearby orchard towards the main road, fired bullets resulting in injuries of CRPF troopers Khurshid Khan (41) and Lavkush Sudarshan Sharma (27) – both from Bihar. Along with the CRPF men, a J&K police SPO Muzaffar Ahmed was also injured and all three later succumbed.
According to Dilbag Singh, an injured militant left behind his blood soaked pheran (traditional Kashmiri attire) and ran deeper into the orchards.
“We used our dog squad to trace the militants, especially the one who was injured. But as we were reaching the injured gunman, another militant, who had taken position on a tree fired as soon as the troops were walking beneath him,” Dilbag Singh said. “The troops then fired into the tree killing the militant.”
DGP said that the injured militant was also traced sometime later and another gunfight ensued subsequently resulting in his killing.