Police believe Hajin now ‘nearly free from militants’
Hajin (Bandipora): A Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant was killed on Thursday in a gunfight with government forces in Hajin area of Bandipora district. A police official told Kashmir Reader that the killed militant was of Pakistani origin and had been active in Hajin area for the past one and a half year. He identified the killed militant as Fahadullah Mir alias Usama.
Police said it recovered 1 AK47 rifle, 1 AK47 magazine, 2 grenades, and an equal number of pouches from the encounter site.
“Following specific inputs about presence of militants, JK Police and army’s 13 RR launched a cordon in Shakoordin area of Hajin during the wee hours (of Thursday), in which a foreign militant of banned organisation LeT was killed,” police said in a statement.
Local sources said that the search operation led to a fierce gun battle for about 2 hours, from 4am to 6am, during which an associate of the killed militant managed to escape.
Following the death of a Pakistani militant on Tuesday from bullet injuries sustained during a gunfight with government forces, police officers believe that “there are now only two militants active in the Hajin belt, which include a local recruit.”
Police sources said that “Hajin has remained a route for Jaish-e-Mohammad and other groups, with police receiving inputs that some have recently passed by here, but none among the commanders or groups have stayed in Hajin as per the inputs.”
A horse was also injured during today’s gunfight, a bullet piercing his ear. Locals shifted the horse from the site of the encounter to a veterinary doctor.
Hajin town observed a shutdown for the entire day to mourn the death of the militant. Shops remained shut and public transport stayed off the roads.
Mobile internet services remained shut in the district throughout the day.
Witnesses said that scores of women and men chanted pro-Lashkar and Azadi slogans when the gunfight was taking place. Youths hurled stones at government forces and street clashes continued till the government forces left the area.
Meanwhile, he is scheduled to be buried in the martyrs graveyard at Gantamulla Baramulla.
Grave diggers at the graveyard said that the grave has been prepared and they were waiting for the body to arrive.