With the killing of the third militant in the encounter at Qazigund, in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday claimed to have killed all the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants involved in the attack on the Amarnath yatra bus at Khanbal on July 10.
Nine yatris were killed and 19 people were injured in the attack on the bus. The police said the attackers were led by LeT’s ‘divisional commander’ Abu Ismail. Ismail and an associate were killed at Aaribagh Nowgam, on the city’s outskirts, on September 14.
The three killed in the Qazigund encounter were identified as Yawar, alias Ayaan, a local militant; Abu Mavia and Furkan, both foreigners. “With the elimination of Abu Ismail earlier & now these three — Abu Mavia, Furkan & Yawar — [the] group that attacked Amarnath Yatris is wiped out,’’ J&K’s Director General of Police S P Vaid tweeted. Two of them were killed the gunfight on Monday.
Vaid also announced that two youths who had joined the militant ranks in south Kashmir have returned “home”. He tweeted, ‘’Two more boys shunned the path of violence and returned…. Welcome back home!” A police spokesperson said that following the leads available at Qazigund encounter, another local militant, identified as Rashid Ahmed Allai of Hamzapora Sangam in Bijbehera, was arrested from Janglatmandi maternity hospital on Monday night. The police claimed to have seized a Chinese-made pistol and live cartridges from him.
According to the spokesperson, Allai was missing from home for the past two days and had joined the LeT, and that investigations so far have established that Allai was with the three militants killed in the encounter. ‘’He (Allai) took shelter at the hospital in Anantnag with an associate’s help. The two intended to attack a group of police personnel and snatch their weapons. Further investigation is going on to unearth the conspiracy,” the spokesperson said.
The police said bodies of the three slain militants have been recovered. One soldier was killed and another injured in the operation.