Inside Kashmir

Top LeT commander among 2 militants killed in Sopore encounter

Baramulla: A top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander was among two militants who were killed by security forces in an encounter in apple township of Sopore in this north Kashmir district on Friday.

A police spokesperson said that following specific information about presence of militants, a joint Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched by 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) and CRPF at Warpora, Sopore late Thursday night.

During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given repeated opportunities to surrender. However, he said instead of surrendering, the militants fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

‘In the ensuing encounter, two categorised militants of LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The duo was identified as Fayaz Ahmad War alias Rukana alias Umar, a resident of Warpora, a top commander of LeT, and Shaheen Ahmad Mir alias Shaheen Molvi, a resident of Cherpora Budgam,’ he said.

The spokesperson said as per police records, both the killed militants were part of groups involved in various militant related activities and several cases were registered against them.

He said War had a long history of militant related cases as he was associated with militancy since year 2008. ‘Although he had surrendered earlier with arms and ammunition yet after his release, he again worked as a militant associate for proscribed outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and was detained under Public Safety Act (PSA),’ the spokesperson said.

However, the spokesperson said War, after his release in March-2020, again joined militant ranks of proscribed outfit LeT. Besides, the spokesperson said being part of groups involved in several militant related cases War was instrumental in planning and executing attacks on security establishments and civilian killings. ‘War figured among the list of most wanted militants in North Kashmir. He was the last active militant who perpetrated a series of various crimes and violence in north Kashmir,’ the spokespersonsaid.

It included attack on Police party at Warpora Sopore on March 4, 2020 in which one police personnel and a civilian were killed, attack on Joint Naka party at Ahad Baba crossing on April 18, 2020 in which three CRPF personnel were killed.

‘He was responsible for killing of one civilian namely Danish Manzoor Najar resident of Eidipora Bomai, attack on joint Naka party of Police and CRPF at Model Town Sopore in which one civilian namely Bashir Ahmad Khan resident of HMT Srinagar and a CRPF personnel were killed,’ the spokesperson said.

War fired upon Municipal councillors at Lone Mohalla Building near SDH Sopore on June 12, 2021 in which two Municipal councillors and a police personnel were killed, adding the LeT Commander was involved in killing of two police personnel and two civilians at Main Chowk Sopore.

Moreover, War was also involved in a series of grenade attacks on Police/Security establishments in areas of PD Sopore. ‘On May 26, 2020, he carried out a grenade attack on Police Post Potukhah, on December 12, 2020 grenade attack on a Bus Stand in which four civilians got injured, on March 13, 2021 another grenade attack on Bus Stand in which two police personnel got injured,’ the spokesperson said.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including two AK-47 rifles, four Magazines were recovered from the site of encounter. ‘All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,’ the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir range Vijay Kumar congratulating the security forces said one slain militant is Fayaz Ahmad, who was involved in several attacks on security forces and civilians.

Mr Kumar terming the encounter a big success, congratulated police and security forces for conducting successful operation without any collateral damage. ‘War was involved in several attacks & killings of civilians and security forces. He was last perpetrator of violence in north Kashmir,’ the IGP Kashmir added.

‘In this connection, Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,’ the spokesperson said.

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