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Policeman turned LeT Commander killed in Shopian encounter

Srinagar: Policeman-turned Lashkar-e-Toiba commander and his associate were killed in an encounter at Check-e-Sadiq Khan area of Southern district of Shopian, police said on Monday.

A police official told that joint teams of Police, Army’s 34 RR, and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of terrorists in the Check Sadiq Khan area on Tuesday evening.

The official said that as the joint teams of forces approached towards the suspected house, the hiding militants opened fire, which was retaliated, after which heavy exchange of gunfire took place. “The exchange of fire continued for few hours in which two terrorists killed,” he said.

The two terrorists include a deserted cop Ishfaq who joined LeT in 2017 and was among the most wanted terrorists in Kashmir.

Ishfaq was posted at the police training center Kathua in Jammu from where he availed leave in October 2017 and didn’t report back on duty. However, his picture in which he was holding an AK-47 rifle went viral on social media. Another terrorist killed in the gunfight was identified as Majid Iqbal, father of two minors, and a driver by profession, who had joined terrorist ranks just two months ago.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement said that acting on a piece of specific information generated by Shopian Police about the presence of militants at village Check-e-Sidique Khan area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 34RR and 178BN CRPF in the area late on Sunday evening.

“During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given repeated opportunities to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the police spokesman said. “In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists of LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They were identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Dar son of Abdul Rashid Dar, resident of Hafshirmal, Shopian, a top commander of LeT active since 2017, and Majid Iqbal Bhat son of Mohammad Iqbal Bhat resident of Melibagh Imamsahab, Shopian.”

As per police records, both the killed terrorists were part of groups involved in various cases and several cases were registered against them. The police spokesman said that slain Ishfaq was active since 2017 and figured among the list of most-wanted militants. “He was very instrumental in planning and executing attacks on security establishments, civilian killings, and misleading youth by motivating them to join terrorist folds,” the spokesman said. “Incriminating materials, arms, and ammunition including 2 AK-47 rifles and 08 Magazines were recovered from the site of encounter.

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