3 militants killed in Sopore encounter

Were involved in major attacks: DGP
3 militants killed in Sopore encounter
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Baramulla/Srinagar, June 21: Three militants including Mudasir Pandit of LeT were killed in a gunfight with security forces at Gund Brath village of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Sunday night, police said.

A soldier was also injured in the gunfight and was airlifted for advanced treatment. Police said they recovered 3 rifles and ammunition from the encounter site.

The police identified the slain militant commanders as Mudasir Pandit, Khursheed Ahmad Mir and a Pakistani militant Asrar Abdullah. Mudasir Ahmad and Khursheed Ahmad were two local militant commanders of LeT outfit and were carrying a police bounty of Rs 10 lakhs.

Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh, said that security forces killed the militant group that was involved in major attacks in Sopore.

“This operation was very important for police and security forces. In the encounter, three militant commanders were killed who were active for a long time and were involved in several major militant crimes,” DGP Singh told newsmen here while briefing about the encounter.

The police chief said all the three slain were top commanders of Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit - Mudasir Pandit was the LeT commander of the area. “There are 18 FIRs against him and he was involved in the killing of nine security forces’ personnel, four civilians, two ex-militants, three sarpanchs and two separatists.”

The other militants, he said were a Pakistani named Abdullah alias Asrar, who was working with Pandit since long and the third one Khursheed Mir of Sopore, against whom there were six FIRs and he was involved in the killing of seven security forces personnel and five civilians and two grenade attacks.

“The group was also involved in two major attacks in the Sopore area—first one on March 29 in which two Municipal Councillors and a policeman were killed and another one in which two policemen and two civilians were killed in main market Sopore on June 12,” he said.

“I urge the militants’ families not to give shelter to active militants,” IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said during the news conference adding then they blame the police for misbehaving with them. “The families of militants should refrain from providing food and shelter to active militants,” he added.

Kashmir police chief said there was a huge support from the locals in tracking the militants. “We had circulated posters displaying the images of all three wanted militant commanders. The police tracked their pinpoint location, but locals supported us. I thank the locals for the huge support,” he said.

The GoC Kilo Force during the news conference said that a soldier was injured in the operation and he was evacuated to a hospital where his condition is stated to be stable. Sahi said the group is the second such group in the recent time in which local militants were accompanied by Pakistani militants.

“This is a big network that exists, which is a cause of concern. This nexus needs to be broken and to be destroyed so that there is no hurdle in the peace and development in J&K,” he said. “I appeal to the civil society and people of Kashmir to cooperate with the security forces so that we break this network. This network wants to continue the cycle of violence.”

“I appeal to the local militants to leave gun culture and join the national mainstream. If they do not, then I assure you that they will meet the similar fate as that of slain in Sopore gunfight.”

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