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LeT terrorist killed in encounter in Shopian

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He was involved in killing of local Army officer, several others: Officials

Srinagar, Jan 05: A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, who police say was involved in the abduction and killing of Army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz in 2017, was on Friday killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Acting on specific information about the presence of a terrorist in Chotigam village, a cordon and search operation was launched in the early hours by police together with troops of Army’s 34RR and CRPF 178Bn, a police spokesman said.

“As the security forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorist fired indiscriminately upon them, which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said.

In the ensuing encounter, a terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter, he said.

The spokesman identified the slain ultra as Bilal Ahmed Bhat, son of Ghulam Rasool Bhat, a resident of Chek Cholan, affiliated with the proscribed terror outfit LeT.

“Bhat was involved in several terror crime cases, including the killing of local Army personnel Ummer Fayaz, son of Fayaz Ahmad Parray, a resident of Sudsan Kulgam,” police said.

Lt Fayaz, then a 22-year-old Army officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles was on leave and was attending the marriage ceremony of a cousin, when he was abducted and later shot dead by terrorists in Shopian in May 2017.

PTI quoted Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Shopian, Tanushree saying that Bhat’s name figured in the FIR registered in connection with the killing of Lt Fayaz.

“He (Bhat) was an OGW (overground worker) then and his name figured in the FIR,” Tanushree said, adding, Bhat later became a terrorist.

The police said Bhat also had hurled a grenade upon non-local labourers in Hermain, resulting in the death of two labourers.

“Bhat was also involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit Sunil Kumar Bhat, son of Sri G Bhat, and injuring another Kashmiri Pandit Pretimber Nath, son of Arjun Nath Bhat, both residents of Chotigam Shopian,” the spokesman said.

He was also involved in an attack on local Bal Krishan alias Sonu, resident of Chotigam, police said.

“Bhat used to instigate local youth to join terrorist ranks and inducted 12 local youth into the ranks of terrorists. Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in the killing of an arrested terrorist who was leading the search party during a cordon and search operation at Nowgam in 2022,” the spokesman added.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition, including an AK series rifle, and three magazines were recovered from the site of the encounter.

All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes, the spokesman said.

Police asked the people to cooperate with it till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any.

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