Updated: August 24, 2021 5:29:23 am
In a covert operation in Srinagar, the J&K Police on Monday killed two militants, including Mohammad Abass Sheikh, one of the most wanted militant commanders, police said.
A top commander and old hand of Hizbul Mujahideen, Sheikh last year switched over to The Resistance Front (TRF), which police say is a shadow group of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In the last six years, Sheikh had escaped several times after breaking the security cordon — one of the reasons the police preferred a covert operation on Monday to kill him.
A small team of J&K Police personnel covertly stormed the Aloochi Bagh area where militants were hiding and killed two militants after a brief shootout, police said. “We received information about their (militant) presence in the area,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar told the media. “Our 10 jawans, in civvies, quickly cordoned the area and challenged them. They (militants) opened fire. In the retaliatory fire both of them were killed.”
The other militant was identified as Saqib Manzoor, a Srinagar resident who joined militant ranks last year, police said.
Sheikh’s name appeared in the list of most wanted militant commanders released by IGP Kumar on August 13. A resident of Rampur village in Qaimoh Kulgam in south Kashmir, the 44-year-old was among the oldest militants and rejoined militant ranks twice. He was on the radar of the security agencies since 2015 when he rejoined militants after his release from jail.
According to police sources, nearly a dozen members of Sheikh’s family have joined militancy and have been killed in gunfights, including his brothers and nephew. His sister Naseema is also under detention allegedly for helping militants.
Manzoor, a postgraduate, had joined the LeT last year and quickly rose through the ranks — his name also appeared in the most wanted list of the J&K Police.
IGP Kumar termed the killings as a big success and said Sheikh was motivating youths to join militant ranks. He also said that Manzoor carried out killings on Sheikh’s orders.
In the last three days, police have killed three of the 10 militants whose names figured in the most wanted militant list.
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