A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant commander was killed in an encounter between militants and security forces in North Kashmir’s Sopore on Wednesday, officials said.
Soon after, a large number of people gathered to attend his funeral, and a case was registered against them for violating the lockdown protocol in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
A cordon and search operation was launched by joint forces in Arampora area of Sopore on Tuesday night, after they received information regarding the presence of militants in the area. On Wednesday morning, police said they established contact with “two to four militants” reported to be present inside a house.
By Wednesday evening, the police confirmed that they recovered the body of one militant. “In the ongoing encounter at Sopore, the body of one JeM terrorist, namely Sajad Ahmed Dar, has been recovered so far. Clearance of the target house in progress,” said a J-K Police spokesperson.
In a tweet, the J-K police said Dar used “modern approaches of communication with other conduits of the outfit via social media apps.” “He was well versed in handling different weapons like AK Series rifles, pistol and hand grenade etc. He was involved in a number of terror acts,” the police said.
In another tweet, the police added: “The killed terrorist threatened and intimidated peace loving citizens of Sopore and its peripheral areas. He explored the opportunities to assault security forces and VIP rallies through his OGWs. He motivated local youth for execution of grenade attacks against monetary benefits.”
SSP Sopore, Javid Iqbal told The Indian Express that Dar joined militancy two years ago and one security personnel also suffered minor injuries in the operation on Wednesday. “The operation is still going on in the area,” he informed.
Officers said when his body was handed over to his family, the “legal heirs had given in writing to adhere to social distancing”, but a crowd gathered for the funeral.
“An FIR [was registered] under relevant sections against the persons who gathered at the funeral of JeM militant Sajad Nawab Dar killed in an encounter in Sopore for violating the Covid-19 protocol and government advisories regarding the social gathering,” Sopore Police said in a statement.
A total of 10 militants have been killed so far in three gunbattles in the Valley since last week, in which 5 army personnel were also killed.
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