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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Killers of Kashmiri Pandit among 2 terrorists shot dead in gunbattle, one jawan also dead

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Srinagar: Security forces on Tuesday shot dead two terrorists, who were allegedly involved in the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Kumar Sharma, the gunbattle took place in Awantipora sub district of south Kashmir, officials said.

An Army jawan attained martyrdom in the 12 hour long encounter that erupted at Padgampora during a cordon and search operation by joint forces, they said.

Police said the militants were hiding in a mosque and extreme care was taken to maintain the sanctity of the religious place.

“During the search, terrorists hiding inside a mosque opened indiscriminate fire upon search parties and in this initial exchange of fire, two jawans of Army sustained grievous injuries while neutralizing one terrorist on spot. One of the jawans later on attained martyrdom,” a police spokesman said.

The search operation was resumed to trace another militant who had hid in an adjacent building.

Police said 14 civilians were rescued from the place before he was neutralized.

Police identified the two slain militants as Aqib Mushtaq Bhat of Malangpora, Pulwama and Aijaz Ahmad Bhat of Syedabad Pastuna Tral.

An AK-47 rifle, AK-74 rifle, a pistol, three grenades, two pouches, five AK magazines, two pistol magazines, 103 AK rounds, 20 pistol rounds and two Aadhar cards were recovered from the site of encounter, they said.

Police said Aqib Bhat was a categorized militant of Hizbul Mujahideen and for the past few months was working with “The Resistance Front”. Aijaz Bhat was associated with Jaish-e-Mohammad and also worked in coordination with TRF.

“Investigation so far revealed that both the terrorists, although joined through different terrorist organisations, had come together to conspire and attack minorities, outsiders, other vulnerable targets and security forces,” police spokesman said.

“They were involved in the recent killing of Kashmir Pandit at Achan, Pulwama,” a police spokesman said. The two were also allegedly involved in an attack on two outside labourers at Lajoora Pulwama last year.

Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir Vijay Kumar appreciated joint efforts of police and security forces for conducting such a complex operation where a hostage situation was defused tactfully and also the sanctity of the mosque was maintained.

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