Militant was involved in killing of BJP leader Sheikh Bari, his father and brother: Police
Bandipora: Two local militants, including a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant commander, Abid Hakani, were killed in an encounter with government forces in Watrina village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district Sunday morning.
A senior police official told Kashmir Reader that on specific input about the presence of militants hiding in the area, police SOG, paramilitary CRPF and Army’s 14RR launched a cordon and search operation in Watrina area this morning.
The official said that the hiding militants opened fire on the search party, which was retaliated to, triggering an exchange of firing in which two militants were killed.
He said one among the killed militants was identified as Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Abid Hakani, who was involved in the killing of BJP leader Sheikh Waseem Bari, his father, and brother.
The officer identified the second militant as Azad Ahmad Shah, a resident of Bagh Bandipora, who was missing since last year.
It is pertinent to mention here that this was the third encounter in Bandipora area since July 2021.
In a statement, the police said that Bandipora police received an input on the evening of 25th September about the presence of militants in the general area of Watrina Bandipora. The input was developed further technically & by human intelligence, after which a CASO was laid by police, 14 RR and CRPF. Contact was established with the two hiding militants on the morning of 26th September during search.
“Frequent appeal was made to surrender but both hiding militants refused to surrender. Later on, encounter resumed and two militants of LeT outfit were neutralised,” the statement said.
It further said that Abid Rashid Dar was a Pakistan-trained militant who had crossed over from the Wagah border in April 2018 and had infiltrated back in 2019. “The militant was involved in local militant actions and had been tasked with recruitment and running the ranks of Lashkar in North Kashmir,” the police stated.
“Abid Rashid Dar, Azad Ahmed Shah, foreign militant Usman and Sajad @ Haider were involved in the killing of BJP leader Waseem Bari and his family. Usman and Sajad @ Haider were eliminated in Kreeri on 17/09/2021. The remaining militants involved in the killing were eliminated today. With this the investigation of case FIR No 74/2019 of police station Bandipora stands closed,” the statement said.
“2 AK 47 rifles, 01 pistol and other incriminating material seized. FIR lodged and investigation started. IGP Kashmir appreciated the role of police and security forces for conducting successful operation without any collateral damage,” it added.