Two encounters leave four militants dead, JCO ‘killed’ in Budgam

Srinagar: Four militants and an army officer were killed in three separate incidents across Kashmir Valley.

A top Jaish e Muhammad militant commander was killed on Monday in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said. Police said that the militant identified as Khalid, also known as, Khalid Bhai was the mastermind behind the recent Fidayeen attacks in Pulwama and Humhuma government forces installations.

Senior Superintendent of Police in Sopore Harpreet Singh said that the information was received about the movement of the commander in Ladoora.

“We formed a operation party under the supervision of DSP operations and when they launched a naka and intercepted the militant he hurled a grenade and fired some pistol shots which were retaliated and he was injured in the brief gunfight,” Harpreet Singh said.

He said that the slain militant took refuge in a nearby house and was killed in a brief gunfight there.

“He was injured and we followed him from the trail of his blood to the house where he was hiding,” he said.

According to the sources, Khalid was the operational chief of the JeM militant outfit in the valley. Although he was operating from the North Kashmir, police said that he was the mastermind behind the recent Fidayeen attacks in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and capital city of Srinagar.

According to a statement issued by the police, Khalid alias Shahid Showkat was constantly exploring the opportunities to kill security forces, police personnel and to carry out attacks on Police and security establishments in the state.

“He was motivating youth and poor boys to join his outfit for execution of grenade attacks against monetary benefits on behalf of Pak based JeM commanders”.

 The police said that Khalid was involved in killing of many policemen and civilians in the valley.

“He was also involved in Fidayeen attack on 46 RR Army Camp in 2016 at Khajabagh Baramulla. In addition to above he was the mastermind of Fidayeen attack carried out by JeM outfit at DPL Pulwama and BSF camp Airport Humhama Budgam,” police said.

According to the police, Khalid was an A category militant and was included in the list of most wanted militant in the valley. Police said that Khalid was a Pakistani national who was active in the valley for last two to three years.

Meanwhile, in the afternoon, encounter between security forces and militants took place in South Kashmir’s Shopian district in which two militants were killed.

The slain militants were  identified as Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Zahid Mir, Irfan and Arif.

According to the sources, security forces led by 44 RR, SOG Shopian and 14 Bn of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Gutipora village of Shopian after receiving specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

 “Encounter going on at Gatipora Keller Shopian, one militant has been eliminated. Reportedly 3/4 more terrorists are trapped,” Director General of Police SP Vaid wrote on twitter.

Meanwhile, during the intervening night of 8-9 October, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), was killed when militants allegedly fired upon a patrolling party in Drung village of Khag in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the militants opened fire at an Army patrolling party late Sunday night, leaving one soldier dead. “The fire was returned. One soldier was martyred in the crossfire,” he said.

The officer was identified as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Subedar Rajkumar of 53 Rashtriya Rifles who had received a bullet injury in his thigh in the alleged militant attack.

According to the sources, the army man received a bullet injury in his thigh during a late-night search operation in Drung village.

“He was rushed to PHC Khag where from he was referred to JVC Srinagar where doctors declared him as brought dead.”

Sub Raj Kumar (47) had joined Army in 1990 and hailed from Village Khanni in Himachal Pradesh. He is survived by his wife, Toshi Devi and two sons.

However, according to the police source, the officer was killed in an accidental fire and there was no militant attack in the Drung area.

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