Srinagar: The Mirbazar Kulgam encounter ended Friday morning with the killing of one militant even as police said that a “major tragedy” has been averted before Independence Day.
"Kulgam Encounter Update: Operation is over now. A major tragedy has been averted before Independence Day. NHW will open for traffic shortly," Kashmir Zone Police tweeted Friday morning.
Police identified the slain militant as Usman. “He was an associate of Lamboo who was recently killed in operation in Dachigam forests,” police said, adding that Usman was active for last six months.
“#KulgamEncounterUpdate: Killed #terrorist (Usman) is #Pakistani and identified as an associate of
JeM top commander Lamboo @ Adnan who was recently killed in an #encounter. It confirms Pakistan’s involvement in attack on BSF convoy: IGP Kashmir @JmuKmrPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police said in another tweet.
“The Arms and ammunition recovered from encounter site indicate that security forces have averted a major tragedy,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Zone Vijay Kumar told reporters here. He said the forces used rocket launchers and he was neutralised at night.
He added that the search was difficult at night, therefore, it was carried out in the morning today. "The body of a Pakistani terrorist, called Usman, was found. He was active for the past 6 months. AK 47, magazines, grenade, rocket launcher grenade found. This shows that a major incident was going to take place," the IGP added.
The encounter had started on Thursday afternoon after the militants opened fire on a Border Security Force convoy at Mirbazar in Kulgam. The militants were chased by the joint party of security forces and they took shelter in a four-storeyed concrete building.
On Thursday, police had said that two security forces personnel and two civilians were injured during the encounter.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Police chief said that extraordinary security arrangements have been put in place for Independence Day celebrations. “People should participate without any fear and security forces are there to take their care,” he said.
Meanwhile, a police handout issued on Friday giving detail of the encounter, said: “Convoy of BSF moving on NH-44 were attacked at around 1430 hours on August 12, 2021, near Malpora crossing, Kulgam. However, swift, effective and immediate retaliatory actions by the CRPF and JKP deployed on NHW didn’t only thwart the attack and saved the precious lives of security personnel and civilians but also trapped the terrorist into an inhabited building.
“A strong team of Army immediately reached to incident site. Senior officers of police, Army and CRPF immediately reached. Later on IGP Kashmir and GoC Victor force also reached, assessed situation and surprised operation till late night. It was decided to use Rocket launcher as target building was a huge & concrete structure.
“Drones were used to keep updating situation inside building. During this process two drones were destroyed by the terrorist. All precautions were followed to stop collateral damages. In the ensuing gun-battle, joint teams of Kulgam Police, CRPF and Army (RR) neutralised foreign terrorist (FT). He was later on identified as Usman of LeT outfit of Pakistan.
“The recoveries from the encounter site included RPG Launcher-01, RPG rounds-04, AK series rifle-01, AK magazines-03 and two grenades. Terrorist also resorted to launching a RPG shell, multiple grenade lobbing and heavy firing. It is pertinent to mention that terrorist has used RPG after a long time.
“Two SFs personnel received injuries during the encounter whereas two civilians were injured far away from the site by stray projectiles. 22 civilians including shopkeepers, elderly, women and children were also evacuated to safety by the SFs.
“The preliminary investigations, recoveries and the manner of engagement by the terrorist suggest that attack was a pre-planned one and intended to inflict considerable damage to the security forces to disrupt schedules functions of 15th August and spread fear amongst general public.
“Joint teams of SFs were successful in averting a major tragedy before the Independence Day.
“IGP Kashmir & GoC Victor Force jointly termed it a big success, appreciated the alertness and appreciate action which led to killing of hardcore Pakistani terrorist without collateral damage to our men and civilians.”