Top Lashkar commander Sajad Haider among militants killed in Baramulla: DGP Dilbag Singh

File Image of J&K DGP Dilbag Singh

Director General of Police J&K, Dilbag Singh on Monday said that a top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba was among the militants killed in a gunfight that broke out in Kreeri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Identifying him as Sajad Haider, Singh said he operating on the lines of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani to recruit local boys into militancy.

While the DGP confirmed the killings of two militants, he said there are chances that the third militant hiding in the area is a Pakistani, who goes by the name Usman. The firing exchange is on and we haven’t recovered the third body yet, he said.

Addressing a press conference at the Police Control Room here, the DGP said that one of the slain militants Sajad Haider alias Raja was one of the most wanted commanders in J&K. 

“He was like Burhan Wani and had joined militancy in 2016 winter. Like Burhan, Sajad too would lure youth into militancy. We have arrested at least 20 youth who were recruited by Sajad besides many Over Ground Workers (OGWs),” the DGP Singh said, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO). 

Flanked by the IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, the DGP said that Sajad was involved in a series of “crimes and militancy related incidents that include killing of fruit merchants, security forces personnel, non-local labourers etc.”

He said, of late, Sajad had started working like slain Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo and would release video messages to lure youth and to issue fresh threats to political workers and forces. “His killing is a big success for security forces,” the DGP said.

He said Sajad had taken along one of his recruits Annayatullah Mir, who joined Lashkar in March this year, to carry out the attack. “Mir was injured in the first retaliation by a Head Constable just a few meters away from the attack spot where three security forces personnel were killed,” DGP Singh said.

Asked about the sequence of the attack and retaliatory action by the forces, the DGP said that in the morning, militants attacked a joint patrolling cum naka party of police and CRPF in which two CRPF men and a SPO were killed. “Just minutes after the attack, special operations group (SoG) of police engaged the militants and one was hit just at the bund, a few meters away from the attack site.

He later managed to go inside the orchards. In the meantime, SOG men surrounded the orchards and after they were joined by the army and CRPF, one militant who was sitting on a tree, started firing. First he was killed by the security forces,” the DGP said, adding that “it was after him that the injured militant was killed.”

He said as forces kept searching the area, another militant fired and he too was engaged and later killed. “In total three militants were killed in the operation that is going on still since morning,” the DGP Singh said.