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Four LeT militants killed in two separate encounters; soldier dies in Shopian gunfight

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One of the killed militants was involved in UP carpenter’s murder: Police

Srinagar: Four Lashkar-e-Taiba militants and a soldier died in two separate encounter in Shopian and Kulgam districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, officials said.

Two other security personnel also received injuries in the Shopian encounter, they said.

According to officials, one of the militants killed in Shopian encounter was involved in the murder of a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur recently.

A Police spokesman said that on a specific input  regarding presence of militants in Dragad area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 44RR and  178Bn CRPF in the said area.

“During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained, they were given repeated opportunities to surrender; instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” said the spokesman.

In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.

“They have been identified as Adil Hussain Wani son of Ghulam Hussain Wani resident of Shirmal, District Commander Shopian of proscribed terror outfit LeT (TRF) and Shakir Ahmad Wani son of Ghulam Qadir Wani resident of Litter Pulwama,” the spokesman said. He further said that during the exchange of fire three Army Jawans also sustained bullet injuries and were shifted to nearby hospital for the treatment, however, one among them succumbed to his injuries.

The slain soldier was identified as Sepoy Karanveer Singh.

The spokesman said that the killed militant Adil Ahmad was active since July-2020 and was involved in several terror crime cases including recent killing of one carpenter Sageer Ahmad Ansari of Saharanpur UP at Litter Pulwama on 16/10/2021.

“One of the killers of said carpenter was resident of the same village and got active recently after joining terror folds. Reportedly, after committing the crime both terrorists shifted from Litter to Dragad Shopian,” said the spokesman.

He said that incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.

However, the family members of one of the slain militants in Shopian encounter refuted police claim that their son was a militant stating that he left his home at 9:30 in the morning to appear before a court in a royalty related case.

Muhammad Rafiq brother of slain Shakir while talking with KNO said that his brother, aged 22, was working as a driver.

“My brother left his home at 9:30 am, to appear before a court in a case related to geology and mining department,” said Rafiq. “At 12 in the noon, we called him but nobody received the phone and later it went off,” he said.

He said the killing of his brother in an encounter should be investigated. However, a top police official said that slain was a C-category militant who was involved in the killing of non-local carpenter Sagir Ahmad from UP. “Since last few years Shakir was working as OGW and was also detained in 2019 for some time in a militancy related case,” the police official said.

Hours after the Dragad encounter in Shopian, two militants including a district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba for Kulgam district were killed in a brief encounter.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that police and army killed LeT district commander Gulzar Ahmed Reshi of Kulgam and another militant whose identity is being ascertained.

“The slain were involved in killing of two non-local labourers in Wanpoh on October 17,” he said.

Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Emron Musavi in a statement said that a joint operation was launched in the evening at Shopkat area of Kulgam on the basis of inputs provided by the police about the movement of two militants along the Ashumji-Devsar road.

‘Area was cordoned and contact established at about 7:40 pm. Repeated surrender appeals were turned down by the terrorists. They opened fire and security forces retaliated. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed,” he said, adding that one AK-47 rifle and other warlike sores were recovered.

“The operation in the area is still in progress,” he said.

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