Militant killed in Srinagar encounter

J&K Police personnel move in an armoured car near the site of a gunfight in Srinagar. [Image for representation only]
J&K Police personnel move in an armoured car near the site of a gunfight in Srinagar. [Image for representation only]File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: A foreign militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Harwan area of Srinagar on Sunday, police said. It said the slain militant was active in the area since 2016.

The encounter took place after J&K Police, 24 Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF cordoned off Theed Harawan area of Srinagar Saturday night on specific inputs about the presence of militants. As searches in the area were underway, hiding militants fired upon the search party leading into an encounter. The encounter subsequently led to the killing of a Pakistani militant, police added.

Police identified the killed militant as Saifulla alias Abu Khalid alias Shawaz, a resident of Karachi Pakistan.

“Encounter has started at Harwan area of Srinagar. Police and security forces are on the job. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Zone Police Tweeted on Sunday last night.

“SrinagarEncounterUpdate: 1 unidentified terrorist killed. Search going on. Further details shall follow. Pakistani Terrorist Saifulla @Abu Khalid of LeT killed in Srinagar,” police said in another Tweet.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that Saifullah was active since 2016. “SrinagarEncounterUpdate: Killed terrorist identified as Saifulla @ Abu Khalid @ Shawaz, resident of Karachi (#Pakistan), affiliated with proscribed terror outfit LeT. He infiltrated in 2016 & was active in the general area of Harwan & involved in several terror crimes: IGP Kashmir,” police said in a Tweet quoting Vijay Kumar.

Police said: “Based on specific input generated by Srinagar Police regarding the presence of a terrorist in Theed Harwan area of Srinagar, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, CRPF and Army in the said area. During the search operation, as the presence of the trapped terrorist was ascertained, he was given ample opportunities to surrender. However, he denied the surrender opportunities and fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

In the ensuing encounter, the trapped terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. He has been identified as Safiulla @Abu Khalid, @Shawaz resident of Karachi Pakistan,” police said in a statement.

“As per police records, the killed terrorist Saifulla was a categorised terrorist linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT. He had infiltrated in year 2016 via Bandipora Sector and later on sneaked into District Srinagar on the directions of Pak based Commanders of LeT outfit for intensifying terrorist-related activities in District Pulwama/Srinagar/Ganderbal/Budgam. It is pertinent to mention that the killed terrorist Saifulla was working as Group Commander of proscribed terror outfit LeT in District Srinagar as he was operating earlier in District Srinagar & was familiar with the topography of District Srinagar/Pulwama and its outskirts. He has also been involved in receiving new groups of FTs after infiltration” police said.

“As per police records, the killed terrorist had a history of terror crime cases and was wanted by law for his complicity in terror crime cases which include attacks on Police/SFs and civilian killings. He along with his associates was involved in the attack on Army Convoy on NHW Bemina Bye-pass Srinagar near JVC Hospital Srinagar on 01/04/2017, resulting in injuries to 3 Army Jawans. He was also the mastermind behind the attack carried out by his associates at Lawaypora Srinagar in which 2 SF personnel were martyred and 1 AK-47 rifle was also snatched. He was involved in an attack on police party of PS Bandipora at Gulshan Chowk Bandipora in which 2 police personnel were martyred. Besides, attacks on Police/SF he was also involved in civilian killings which include killing of BJP President Waseem Bari, his brother and father on 08/07/2020,” police added.

“Moreover, he was also masterminded behind the revival of terror folds by luring the gullible youth and a number of fresh recruitment of local youth into terrorist ranks. He was also instrumental in the reactivation of hardcore terrorist associates of LeT outfit in the areas of District Srinagar and District Pulwama/PD Awantipora,” police said.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 1 AK-47 rifle, 3 magazines and 1 grenade were recovered from his possession. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” police said.

Police said IGP Kashmir has congratulated the joint team for conducting a successful operation without any collateral damage. “He further said that with the elimination of Saifulla, 3 Pakistani terrorists have been killed so far in Srinagar city within almost a month who were involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian killings which clearly shows that Pakistan is hell-bent to disturb the peace in Kashmir valley especially in Srinagar City,” added police.

Police have requested people to cooperate with it till the area at the encounter site is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials if any.

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