ecurity personnel during an encounter with militants at Gusoo village on the outskirts of Srinagar, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Two militants including a wanted Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist Salim Parray were killed in two encounters. (PTI Photo/S. Irfan)
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday claimed that a top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander who had murdered 12 civilians by slitting their throats during the 2016 unrest in the Valley was "eliminated" in a brief shootout near Srinagar’s famed Mughal Shalimar Gardens earlier during the day.
IGP (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar said: "The Srinagar police received inputs that dreaded terrorist and a top commander of proscribed terror outfit LeT Muhammad Saleem Parray was in the Shalimar area carrying a gun and planning to target someone, apparently a ‘soft target’."
He told reporters that the police had "cornered" Parray, upon which he had opened fire. He added: "In the retaliatory firing, he was killed."
A police statement read: "Based on the specific inputs generated by the police regarding the presence of the terrorist in Harwan/Shalimar area, a search operation was launched by the Srinagar police and CRPF in the said area. During the search operation, the search party was fired upon indiscriminately by the hiding terrorist, which was effectively retaliated leading to a brief shootout and elimination of dreaded terrorist Saleem Parray, linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT."
The IGP said that during the Kashmir unrest triggered by the killing of popular Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in July 2016, Parray had killed 12 civilians by slitting their throats after accusing them of being police informers. He was involved in several other terror activities, including attacks on the security establishment, he said, adding that his killing was a "big success" for the police and the security forces.
Soon after Parray’s killing, an encounter broke out between the militants and the security forces in neighbouring Gusu area in which one more militant was killed, the police said. The police identified the second slain militant as Hafiz Alias Hamza, a Pakistani national.
"He was involved in the recent killing of two policemen in the northern town of Bandipore, after which he had shifted his base to the Harwan area of Srinagar," the IGP said in a tweet.
The BSF said, meanwhile, that its jawans had shot dead an "intruder" on the international border in the Arnia sector of Jammu.