Baramulla: Police on Saturday disclosed the identity of six of the seven suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants whose killing in Lolab forests last week had triggered massive protests in frontier district of Kupwara prompting authorities to impose curfew-like restrictions there.
On Monday last, the Army had claimed that it had killed seven foreign militants in an encounter in Lalpora, Lolab forests. The area witnessed strong protests from the people who suspected that the slain persons were locals killed in fake encounter. The ensuing clashes over the identity of slain men had left over a dozen people, including senior CRPF and police officers, and some media men injured.
‘The bodies and the pictures of the militants were shown to the locals, who confirmed that all of the slain were foreign militants belonging to LeT. On the basis of evidence collected by the police during the investigations it has been established that all of them were active in the area for around six months. All of them are foreigners,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, north Kashmir, J P Singh, told reporters during a news conference here Saturday. Singh was flanked by Superintendent of Police (SP), Kupwara Abdul Jabar and other police and Army officers.
Singh identified six of the seven slain men as Sufian, Rehman, Qari, Kashif, Dawood and Arkam, all residents of Pakistan. The seventh slain militant, he said, was yet to be identified.
“The unknown militant is also a foreigner. He had been seen with the same group by the locals. All of these militants were categorized and listed militants,” he added.
The group, Singh claimed, was responsible for beheading a police head constable Sanaullah in Hardoona forests of Vilgam in Handwara on July 13, last year.
“The investigations into the case have been carried out on scientific and technical methods. The methodology and the eyewitness accounts revealed that the group was operating in forest areas of Hardoona and Dardpora,” Singh said.
“Police followed comprehensive investigation during the autopsy of the slain men. Besides photography, DNA samples were also collected before the bodies were handed over to the Auqaf Committee Lalpora for burial,” Singh said.