Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday said the two militants killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district were affiliated with JeM.
“On a credible input, a cordon & search operation was launched jointly by police and security forces at Marhama in Bijbehara area of District Anantnag,” said a spokesman.
He said as the search operation was going on, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter, he said.
In the exchange of fire with the militants, one Army man Anil Jaswal sustained gunshot injuries. He was evacuated to the hospital where he succumbed, said the spokesman.
“In the ensuing encounter, 02 militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The killed militants have been identified as Sajad Ahmad Bhat and Tawseef Ahmad Bhat both residents of Marhama, Bijbehara.”
As per the records available with the police, both the killed militants were affiliated with proscribed outfit JeM and were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities, he said.
According to the police records, Sajad was wanted in Lethpora blast in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed earlier this year.
“As per the material evidence collected during the course of investigation it was learnt that Maruti Eco vehicle used for carrying out the blast in Lethpora was owned by one Sajad Bhat of Marhama. As the news of Sajad’s involvement spread, he escaped and joined proscribed outfit JeM,” said the spokesman.
“A picture of Sajad carrying AK-47 rifle was also circulated on social media announcing his joining the outfit. Pertinently Tawseef played a key role in recruiting of Sajad to the militant ranks,” he added.
“Both of them were part of groups involved in planning and executing series of attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against them. Some of the crime cases registered against Sajad include case FIR No 16/2018 and case FIR No 28/2019 pertaining to Lethpora attack. Cases registered against Tawseef include case FIR No 95/2018.”