Two terrorists, including Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) chief commander Abu Dujana, and a civilian were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday, police said. Dujana had reportedly managed to escape the security forces five times in the past. His killing comes as a major boost for security forces seeking to wipe out terrorism in the Kashmir Valley.
The identity of the other terrorist killed in the encounter is yet not confirmed by officials, however, he is suspected to be a local LeT cadre, Arif Nabi Dar.
ANI quoted J Sandhu, GOC 15 Corps as saying: “Abu Dujana was a category A++ LeT terrorist.” Sandhu also said that Dujana was not really involved in many attacks but was a “nuisance”. “Vo yahan aiyyashi kar raha tha bas (he was only having fun here),” he added. Also Read | Who is Abu Dujana? | Click here
Confirming the deaths, Munir Khan, IG Kashmir said: “The quantum of fire from the terrorists’ side was very heavy. Dujana and Arif have been killed. There has been one civilian casualty.”
Khan also said operations against terrorists will continue as he regretted the killing of civilians. “Stone pelting or no pelting, disruptions or no disruptions, our operations will continue. In spite of our warnings and requests, people on behest of terrorists tend to come in between encounter, and that is how they get injured or killed,” he said.
As the encounter was underway, the people from several villages tried to march towards the Harkipora to provide safe passage to militants. As the protestors reached near the encounter site they resorted to stone pelting. The police and paramilitary forces fired tear smoke shells, pellets and bullets on the protestors resulting in injuries to several protestors. Later, one of the injured identified as Firdous Ahmad of Begambagh Pampore succumbed to his injuries.
A senior Health Official told The Indian Express that Ahmad was brought dead to the hospital. Fearing protests, the state government has decided to close all the schools on Tuesday.
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 1, 2017
Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid had earlier today said: “We are yet to recover the bodies, will tell you their identities after that.” This, after two to three LeT terrorists were trapped and gunshots were heard during a search operation by security forces in Hakripora village of the district.
The J&K police also said, they were “acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in Hakripora village of Pulwama, following which security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area.”
Vaid also said, “Over 100 ‘miscreants’ started pelting stones at security forces involved in the anti-militancy operation in Hakripora area of Pulwama. The security forces used tear smoke shells, pellets and fired few live rounds to disperse the stone- pelting protestors.”
The terrorists opened fire during the operation, prompting retaliation from the forces which triggered a gunbattle, he said. With the killing of these two terrorists, the encounter has now ended.
The operation was carried out by 182 Battalion, 183 Battalion, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group (SOG) at 4: 30 am on Tuesday morning in Hakripora village.