Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) militants and another belonging to Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghuzwat-Ul-Hind and an Army jawan were killed in two separate fire fights in Kashmir Valley on Tuesday. Two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were injured in one of these clashes.
The police and Army officials said that two LeT militants identified as Aijaz Ahmed Makroo and Waris Ahmed Malik were killed in an encounter with the security forces in Redwani Bala village of southern Kulgam district.
They said that Makroo who had “a long history of terror crime records since 2017” was a close associate of Naveed Jutt alias Abu Hanzalla and Azad Ahmed Malik alias Dada, two top LeT commanders.
Jutt is a Pakistani national from Sahiwal (Multan) who had on February 6 this year escaped after killing two J&K policemen who were escorting him to a hospital in Srinagar for medical check-up from a city prison and is since known to be active mainly in south Kashmir.
Malik was among six militants killed in a gunfight with security forces in Anantnag district on Friday. “As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight”, a statement of the police said.
The police said that the fighting broke out at Redwani Bala during a cordon-and-search operation launched by the security forces after receiving “credible input” about the presence of militants in the village. “As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight”, a statement of the police said.
It also said that in the initial fire of the holed up militants a jawan of 1 Rashtriya Rifles was injured. He was evacuated to the hospital where he succumbed. Two jawans of the CRPF’s 163 Battalion were injured in the encounter, the police said.
While the gunfight was underway, large number of local youth took to the streets to chant pro-freedom slogans. They soon clashed with the security forces, a report from Kulgam said adding that scores were injured as the security forces lobbed tear smoke and fired live ammunition to quell the protesters and stone-pelting mobs at Redwani Bala and its neighbourhood.
An AGH militant identified as Shakir Hassan Dar was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Hafoo Reshipora village of Tral area in Pulwama district. Later during the day, thousands of people attended the funeral of Dar in his native village Rathsuna, witnesses said.
“He was a part of Zakir Musa group of terrorists and had a long history of terror crime records since 2015,” the police said. It added that Dar was wanted by law for his alleged involvement in series of terror crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. The police also said that huge quantities of arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the encounter sites in Tral and Kulgam.
Meanwhile two Junior Commissioned officers (JCOs) of the Army were wounded in a landmine blast along the Line of Control (LoC) in Mankote area of Poonch district on Tuesday. The Army sources said that JCOs Dhareej Kumar and Rajender Singh of 5 Mahar Regiment were injured when they accidentally stepped on a mine while patrolling along LoC in Mankote sector. They were immediately evacuated to an Army hospital in neighbouring Rajouri, the sources said.