‘Bashir Lashkari behind the Achabal ambush’
ANANTNAG: Deputy Inspector general (DIG), south Kashmir range, S P Pani on Monday described the killing of Junaid Ahmad Matoo and his two other associates in a daylong encounter in Arwani area of Bijbehara as a major blow to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). He said LeT carried out attack on a police vehicle in Achabal area of Anantnag killing six policemen including a station house officer.
“The killing of Junaid along with his two associates is a serious blow to LeT,” Pani told reporters here.
He identified the other two militants as Adil Ahmad from Pampore and Naseer Ahmad from Hef Shirmal Shopian.
DIG said that Junaid was involved in killing of civilians and policemen. “He only few days ago had killed a policeman in a Kukgam village,” the top police officer said.
Asked about the civilian killings by government forces near the encounter site, Pani said that the investigations have been started into the killings.
“We have seen when people gather near the encounter sites they are caught between the cross firing. We have noticed the same thing in Friday’s incident of civilian killings. But even then we have started investigations into the matter,” DIG said.
On the militant ambush on a police party led by SHO in Achabal, he said, “preliminary investigations into the incident suggest that a local LeT militant Bashir Ahmad Wani alias Bashir Lashkari was mastermind behind the attack. Our investigations have also revealed that four to five militants carried out the attack,” he said.
He, however, parried further questions from reporters saying, “Investigations into the matter is on and findings will be shared with press once it gets completed”.
“No doubt police life is a tough life. Our morale is up and we will carry on our activities to deal with the situation,” DIG said.
The top police officer in south Kashmir said that police is trying to make more modifications into the vehicles allotted to the officers.
“You can see all the top officials including SHOs have been provided bullet proof vehicles but we are trying to modify them further,” Pani added.