Srinagar, Jul 10 (GNS): District commander of Lashker-e-Toiba for Anantnag was among three militants killed in a gunfight with joint team of police, army and CRPF in south Kashmir district on Saturday, police said.
“Acting on a specific information generated by Anantnag Police about the presence of (militants) in Kawarigam Ranipora area of Anantnag, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 19RR and CRPF in the area,” a police spokesman said.
“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,” he said in a statement to GNS.
In the ensuing encounter, he said, three militants of LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Arif Hajam son of Ghulam Nabi Hajam of Sadoora, Basit Rashid Ganai son of Abdul Rashid Ganai of Audsoo Telwani Achabal and Suhail Mushtaq Bhat son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Karimabad Pulwama.
As per police records, the killed militants were part of a group involved in several cases including attacks on security forces.
“As per police records, Arif Hajam was district commander of LeT for district Anantnag and was active since Sept-2018. He was also involved in the killing of on-leave Army personnel Havaldar Manzoor Beigh (162 TA) on 6 June 2019, attack during ‘Back to Village Program’ in Hakura Anantnag where two civilians named Syed Rafi Shah (Sarpanch) and Zahoor Ahmed Sheikh (Jr. Agriculture Officer) were killed. He was also involved in the recruitment of youth of Anantnag in militant folds, ”the spokesman claimed.
Regarding Basit Rashid, the spokesman said he was also motivated by Arif Hajam to join militant ranks and was active since April this year. “He also remained part of the group involved in several cases including killing of two civilians named Shahnawaz Ahmed Bhat and Sanjeed Ahmed Parray residents of Jablipora, Bijbehara on 29 May 2021.”
He said “incriminating materials” including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter.
“IGP Kashmir congratulates police and security forces for the big success and conducting successful operation in professional manner without any collateral damage,” the spokesman added. (GNS)