Police identifies second militant killed in Sopore
Srinagar, Sep 26: Police on Wednesday identified the second militant killed in an encounter in the apple town of Sopore yesterday as a top Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) militant of Pakistani origin, who it said was responsible for gunning down Army Major Satish Dhayia.
Police said Pakistani militant Abu Maaz, who had been active since 2015, was killed along with Abdul Majeed Mir alias 'Sameer', a resident of Tujjer in Sopore,.
Giving details, police said during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday a joint search operation was launched with paramilitary forces and army following intelligence input about the presence of militants in Nowpora area of Tujjer in Sopore.
During the searches, hiding militants fired on the search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed, a police spokesman said.
"On the basis of materials recovered, one of the slain militants has been identified as Abu Maaz of Pakistani origin who had been operating as the top commander of LeT in north Kashmir," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said Maaz was involved in a series of attacks on government forces and killings of civilians and gave details of various cases registered against him in various police stations. He was active in north Kashmir, particularly Sopore and Handwara, spokesman said.
“Maaz had masterminded an attack on an Army convoy in Handwara in February last year, in which 31-year-old Major Satish Dhaiya was killed,” police said.
Three militants -- Abu Saad, Abu Maviya and Abu Darda -- were killed in that encounter, but Abu Maaz had managed to escape after gunning down the Army Major, the spokesman said, adding that since then, he was among the most-wanted militants in north Kashmir.
With these two deaths, the number of militants killed in the past 12 days in Kashmir has gone up to 18. Five militants each were killed in Kulgam district of south Kashmir and Bandipore in north Kashmir during this period.
Another five militants were killed in Tangdhar of north Kashmir and one was killed at Tral in Awantipora of south Kashmir.
Meanwhile, thousands of people today attended the last rites of slain LeT militant Abdul Majeed Mir of Tujjar in Sopore.
Witnesses said that thousands of people from Sopore, Zainageer areas and other adjoining localities assembled at the slain militant’s native village to offer funeral prayers.
Large number of mourners shouting pro-freedom slogans carried Majeed's body in a procession to the graveyard for burial.
Sopore and its adjoining areas also observed a complete shutdown against the militant killings.