Top JeM militant killed in Tral encounter

Was involved in civilian killings: IGP
Top JeM militant killed in Tral encounter
Police identified the slain JeM militant as Shamus-ud-Din Sofi alias Sham Sofi, a resident of Satura Tral in Pulwama district. [File]Mir Wasim for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Security forces on Wednesday killed a top Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant commander in Tral area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir.

Police identified the slain JeM militant as Shamus-ud-Din Sofi alias Sham Sofi, a resident of Satura Tral in Pulwama district. The police said that he had been active since 2019 and had been involved in several militancy related crimes.

The encounter broke out after the joint teams of police, 42 RR and CRPF cordoned off Tilwani Mohalla Waggad in Tral on the specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

“Encounter has started at Tilwani Mohalla Waggad in the Tral area of Awantipora. Police & Security Forces are on the job. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted soon after the encounter broke.

After about hour-long gun-battle, the police said that the militant was killed. “Tral Encounter Update: 01 unidentified terrorist killed. Operation going on. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice,” police said in another tweet.

Police later identified him as Sham Sofi through yet another tweet, which read as “Top JeM Commander terrorist Sham Sofi killed in Tral encounter: IGP Kashmir @JmuKmrPolice.”

Later, a statement, issued by the police quoting IGP Kashmir, said, “Number one amongst local terrorists of JeM was killed. Besides providing logistic support to foreign terrorists of JeM, he was involved in civilian killings and new recruitments.”

“On a specific input generated by Awantipora police regarding the presence of terrorists in Tilwani Mohalla Waggad area of Tral, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Awantipora Police, Army and CRPF in the said area,” it said.

“During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained, they were given repeated opportunities to surrender; instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter one terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. He has been identified as Shamus-ud-Din Sofi alias Sham Sofi, a top commander of proscribed terror outfit JeM,” the statement further read.

As per police records, it (statement) said, “The killed terrorist was categorized and active since June-2019, figuring among the list of most wanted terrorists operating in the valley. He was also part of groups involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities to which several terror crime cases stand already registered against him.”

“Pertinently, the killed terrorist was first arrested in 2004 & detained under PSA. He was also involved in providing logistic support, shelter to the active terrorists operating in the Tral area before joining terror folds. Moreover, he was also involved in motivating local youth to join terror folds, reviving the terror folds in the Tral area and conspiring to destabilize the system by means of various terror acts. Besides, he was also involved in threatening the law-abiding citizens and policemen also,” the statement said, adding that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter.

“All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation. Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and further investigation is in progress,” it said.

Greater Kashmir