LeT commander among 2 militants killed in Pampore gunfight

LeT commander among 2 militants killed in Pampore gunfight
Army personnel near the gunfight site in south Kashmir. [Representational Picture]Mir Wasim/GK File

Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants including a commander were killed in an encounter with security forces at Drangbal area of Pampore in Pulwama district of southern Kashmir on Saturday.

Police identified the slain as Umer Mushtaq Khandey and Shahid Khurshid of LeT (TRF). Khandey, police said, was a LeT commander.

Police said that slain militants were “collaborators in recent killings in City Srinagar” and involved in several other militant related crimes.

The encounter at Drangbal started last night after J&K Police, 50RR and 110Bn CRPF launched a cordoned and search operation in the area on the specific information about the presence of militants.

“#Encounter has started at Drangbal area of #Pampore, #Awantipora. Police & Security Forces are on the job. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted soon after the encounter began.

Today afternoon, Police in another tweet said: “#PamporeEncounterUpdate: 02 #terrorists killed. #Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition recovered.#Search going on. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice.”

The militants had taken shelter in a three storied concrete building that was damaged during the encounter. Later the bodies were recovered from debris, police said.

Police said Khandey was involved in the killing of two policemen in Barzulla area of Srinagar earlier this year. On 20 February this year, in a hit and run militant attack two cops were killed in Barazulla. “LeT #terrorist Umar Mustaq Khandey who martyred our 2 colleagues SgCT Mohammad Yousf and Ct Suhail Ah in Baghat Srinagar while they were having tea, #neutralised in Drangbal, #Pampore. Amongst various other crimes of the terrorists, this stands out as most unforgivable. (1/2),@KashmirPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police said in another tweet.

Meanwhile, in the evening, police in a statement said: “ During the intervening night of 15/16 October, based on specific input generated by Awantipora Police regarding presence of terrorists in Drangbal area of Pampore, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 50RR and 110Bn CRPF in the said area.

“During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained they were given opportunity to surrender, instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

“In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Umer Mushtaq Khandey and Shahid Khurshid linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT (TRF).

“As per police records, both the killed terrorists were collaborators in recent killings in City Srinagar and involved in several other terror crimes. Besides, Umer Mushtaq was also involved in the killing of SgCt Mohammad Yousuf and Ct Suhail Ahmad in Baghat area of Srinagar and figured among the list of top 10 most wanted terrorists. He was also responsible for creating terror among the locals and had been coercing innocent citizens to sympathise with anti-national elements.

“Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation. Police has registered a case under relevant sections of law and started investigation in to the matter.

“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.

“IGP Kashmir congratulated the joint teams working with great synergy and coordination on the ground for carrying out successful anti-terrorist operations in professional manner without any collateral damage.

“IGP Kashmir said that, post recent civilian killings in City Srinagar terrorists Shahid Khurshid along with Shahid Bashir shifted to district Pulwama while as their other associate Mukhtar Shah shifted to district Shopian and all the three terrorists stand eliminated. He also said that, Police is committed to hunt down all the terrorists who try to create fear among masses and spread mischief & tumult in the valley and such elements & their names should be excised from society. He also said that, post recent civilian killings, so far 13 terrorists have been eliminated in 9 different anti-terrorist operations including 3 out of 5 terrorists of Srinagar City who were killed within less than 24hrs. He also said that, as of now only two terrorists of Srinagar City namely Mehran & Wasim are active and all efforts are on to nab them.”

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