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LeT militant shot dead in JK’s Shopian

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Srinagar: Security forces shot dead a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant in an encounter that broke out in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday morning, police said.

The slain militant identified as Bilal Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Chek Cholan, was allegedly involved in the series of terror crimes.

Police said as per its records the slain militant was involved in the killing of Lieutenant Umer Fayaz of Sudsan Kulgam in 2017.

Lieutenant Fayaz was abducted by several militants from his relative’s house in Shopian on May 9 and his bullet riddled body was found the next day.

Besides the killing of the young Army officer, the slain LeT ultra Bhat, was also accused by police of hurling a grenade upon non-local labourers in Hermain Shopian, resulting in on spot death of two in October 2022.

“He was also involved in the killing a Kashmiri pandit Sunil Kumar Bhat & injuring other Kashmiri pandit Pretimber Nath, both residents of Chotigam Shopian.

He was also involved in an attack on local Bal Krishan @Sonu resident of Chotigam,” a police spokesman said. “Moreover, he was involved in instigating local youth to join terrorist ranks and induced 12 local youth into the ranks of terrorists.

Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in killing of an arrested terrorist who was leading the search party during a CASO ( cordon and search operation) at Nowgam ( Shopian) in the year 2022.”

The gunfight that led to killing of a LeT militant erupted in the Chotigam area of Shopian early this morning when joint forces launched a cordon and a search operation in the area following an input about militant presence.

“During the search operation, as the joint party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorist fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter.

In the ensuing encounter, one terrorist was killed ,” the spokesman said.

Police said incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including one AK series rifle, three magazines were recovered from the site of the encounter.

“All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes,” police added.

This was the second gunfight in south Kashmir in the last two days.

A brief exchange of fire had taken place on Wednesday evening at village Hadigam Kulgam when joint teams of forces launched an operation in the area following an input about militant presence. It is believed that militants managed to escape from the Kulgam village during the initial exchange of fire.

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