LeT commander Abu Dujana, visiting wife in Pulwama, killed in encounter
Srinagar: Abu Dujana, who figured on top of the list of “most dangerous terrorists” released by the Army in June this year, is among the two gunmen shot dead by the security forces in a fierce encounter raging in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Pulwama district on Tuesday.
The police and Army sources said the fighting broke out in Pulwama’s Hakripora village early in the morning following a cordon-and-search operation was launched jointly by the Army, the counterinsurgency Special Operations Group of the J&K police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on learning about the presence of militants.
“Two terrorists have, so far, been killed. One of them is Arif Lihari, a local Kashmiri. The other is said to be Abu Dujara but we are verifying it,” said a senior police officer who wished not to be named.
On June 1, the Army released a list of top 12 militants active mainly in Jammu and Kashmir's southern districts, falling in two categories of ‘A’ and ‘A++’ and belonging to the Hizb-ul-Mujahedin (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). Abu Dujana, alias Hafiz (LeT Divisional Commander, South Kashmir), was listed under the A++ category and the Army had also said that he is based out of Pakistan and has been active since December 14, 2014. It had also said that getting these militants dead or alive is the top priority of the Army.
Dujana escaped several such operations in the past. During one of these, his close associated Abu Okasha who was allegedly involved in the August 5, 2015 ambush on a BSF convoy near the garrison town of Udhampur was killed in Pulwama’s Padgam Pora-Wandakpora village in March this year.
The militants were trapped in Hakripora after the operation was launched at 4 am, the locals said. As the security forces zeroed in on the militants hideout, the latter opened fire at them triggering the encounter, the police sources added. Later the security forces used explosives, mortars and improvised explosive devices to blow the private house up, a report said.
The internet services in parts of south Kashmir have been snapped in view of rising tensions. Also the rail services have been suspended “as a precautionary measure”.