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Two LeT militants killed in Maloora encounter

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Kashmir IGP warns militants against targeting off-duty cops, civilians

Srinagar: A day after his arrest, top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Nadeem Abrar and a Pakistani militant were killed in an encounter in Parimpora area of the city, police said on Tuesday.

The two were killed in the early hours of Tuesday, they said.

Giving details of the incident, a police spokesman said Abrar — a top commander of LeT involved in many killings — was arrested during checking of vehicles at Parimpora on Monday and put on sustained interrogation.

The LeT commander confessed that he had kept his AK-47 rifle in Maloora locality, the spokesman said.

There was a “specific input” about militants carrying an attack on highways. Keeping in view the seriousness of the input, a few joint checkposts of the police and the CRPF were placed along the highway, he said.

“On Parimpora naka (checkpost), a vehicle was stopped and the occupants were asked to show their identity cards. The person sitting at the back seat tried to open his bag and took out a grenade. The police party swung into action and grabbed him.

“Both the driver and the person sitting at the back seat were taken into police custody. After taking off his mask, it was identified that he was Abrar, a top LeT commander,” the spokesman said.

He said a pistol and some hand-grenades were recovered from Abrar’s possession.

“From there, Abrar was taken to the house so that the weapon (AK-47 rifle) could be recovered. The police party was entering his house after cordoning it off when the militant hiding inside the premises opened fire at the team.

“In the initial round of fire, three CRPF personnel were injured and Abrar accompanying the search party also got wounded,” the spokesman said.

The force was strengthened and they retaliated with heavy firing, he said.

In the ensuing gunfire, the foreign militant “who fired from inside the house was neutralised and Abrar was also killed. Two AK-47 rifles along with ammunition were recovered from the site,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar on Tuesday warned militants against incurring the wrath of police by making off-duty cops a “soft target”.

“The cops are locals and they have to live with their families. We cannot keep them in camps like personnel of other security forces. They become soft targets,” Kumar told reporters at a press conference here.

“If they (militants) continue to target them (police personnel), we know how to deal with them. I have 24 years of experience, we know how to counter this,” he added.

He said militants should not resort to killing innocent people.

“I advise them (militants) not to get involved in these acts,” Kumar said.

Referring to the killing of CID inspector Parvez Ahmad Dar last week, Kumar said the militants were resorting to “soft target killings in order to create fear psychosis”.

“What had the inspector done?  After office, he had gone to the mosque to offer prayers. Two terrorists shot him from behind. He was not part of SOG or any anti-terrorism squad. Just to create fear psychosis, they are targeting innocent people,” he said.

Briefing the media about the operation that led to the killing of top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Nadeem Abrar and his Pakistani associate at Maloora on the outskirts of the city, the IGP said it was a major success for security forces.

Kumar said there was nothing to worry on account of militants active in Srinagar.

“We will soon neutralise the module active in Srinagar. There are some sleeper cells which we call part time or hybrid terrorists. We are tracking full time terrorists but there is difficulty in tracking the part time terrorists as they go back to their normal work after carrying out an incident. But we will get them soon,” he said.

Kumar said police are letting militants surrender during live encounters while the security forces will gather information, track down and neutralise every militant who is involved in the killing of security forces personnel and civilians.

Kumar also informed that security has been strengthened around vital installations across Kashmir in view of the threat posed by possible drone attacks.

“Yesterday (Monday), the general officer commanding (of Chinar Corps) chaired a meeting which I attended. The security has been strengthened around vital installations and along the Line of Control,” Kumar told reporters.

He was responding to a question about the steps taken by security forces to counter the threat posed by possible drone attacks.

A meeting was held day before yesterday with representatives from all security forces including the Army, CRPF, BSF, Air Force and NSG. We have done the preparations… It is a very serious threat, a technological threat which will be dealt technologically,” he said.

“We have done deployment in this regard. Because it is of strategic importance, we cannot share further details,” he added.

Kumar also said a drone was seized by police this morning from the city and an FIR has been lodged.

“We are taking action in this regard,” he added.

The security measures have come in the wake of twin blasts inside a defence installation in Jammu, which are believed to have been carried out using drones.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was on Tuesday given the charge of investigation into the attack.

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