Pakistani militant involved in two major attacks in Bandipora also killed in gunfight
Anantnag: Two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba, one of them a Pakistani national and the other a local militant who was involved in the killing of a Kashmiri Rajput man in Kakran area of Kulgam last month, were killed in a gunfight with government forces on Sunday morning here in Kulgam district, police said.
The slain militants were identified as Haider, from Pakistan, and Shahbaz Shah, from Kulgam district.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Range, Vijay Kumar confirmed the killings and said that Haider had been active in north Kashmir for the past two years.
“He was involved in two major attacks in Bandipora, one in November last year and another in February this year,” Kumar said.
He said that Shah from Kulgam was involved in the killing of a local Rajput man in Kakran area of Kulgam last month.
“The clean operation today is a major success,” Kumar said.
The operation was launched in Cheyan village of Devsar in the wee hours of Sunday morning, following specific inputs regarding presence of militants in the area, police said.
“Contact was established with the militants and they were given a chance to surrender. They, however, opened indiscriminate fire at security forces cordoning the area,” a senior police official from the area said.
He said that the fire was retaliated and in the ensuing gunfight both the militants were neutralised. “Bodies, arms and ammunition, and some incriminating material have been retrieved from the site of the gunfight,” the official said.
He added that the bodies will be sent to north Kashmir for burial following completion of medico-legal formalities.
Authorities have refused to hand over bodies of slain militants to their families since April 2020, citing Covid protocol as reason. They have continued with the practice and the slain militants are being buried at undisclosed locations in north Kashmir, in presence of a few family members.
Today’s gunfight was the second such in the month of May in south Kashmir. On May 6, Hizb’s longest surviving militant was killed in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, along with an associate.
During the month of April 23 militants were killed in 10 gunfights that raged in different parts of Kashmir. With today’s gunfight the number of militants killed in 2022 thus far has gone up to 67.