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Two soldiers, one terrorist killed in Shopian encounter: Police

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Srinagar: Two Army soldiers and a terrorist militant were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said on Saturday.

“The encounter took place after a joint search operation was launched Friday night in Chermarg in Zainpora of Shopian based on a specific intelligence input of the police about the presence of a terrorist there,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar said.

The security personnel involved in the search operation, following the standard operating procedure, closed in on a cluster of houses and started moving out civilians.

“When the search team reached the house of Gowhar Ahmed Bhat, he intentionally misled them and denied providing shelter to any terrorist. As Bhat was being questioned, a terrorist opened fire on the search team from inside the house, causing grievous injuries to two Army personnel,” he said.

“In the ensuing encounter, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Abdul Qayoom Dar (son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar), a resident of Laroo Kakpora in Pulwama, was neutralised and arms and ammunition, including one AK rifle and a pistol, were recovered,” the IGP said.

The injured Army personnel later died in the hospital. The Army identified the deceased soldiers as Sepoys Santosh Yadav and Chavan Romit Tanaji of 1 Rashtriya Rifles.

“A case has been registered and the house owner arrested under terror laws,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile a police spokesman in a statement said that as per police records, Dar “had a history of terror crime cases as he was working as terrorist associate before joining terror ranks.”

Police also said that his (Dar’s) house “was also being used as hideout for terrorists and in April-2020 an encounter took place in his house and subsequently he was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

“After his release in August-2021, he continuously kept on working as an associate for active terrorists. Earlier this week, SSP Pulwama officially intimated that he had left house and joined terror folds of LeT outfit. Consequently he was listed as ‘C’ category terrorist,” police spokesman said.

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