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Top Lashkar, Jaish commanders among 4 ultras killed in twin J&K encounter | India News

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Top Lashkar, Jaish commanders among 4 ultras killed in twin J&K encounter | India News 2

SRINAGAR: A top commander each of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad were among four terrorists slain in two encounters in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Kulgam districts on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Army foiled a weapons smuggling bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition.
In the afternoon, a joint team of Army, CRPF and J&K Police launched a cordon-and-search operation in Pulwama’s Dadura village based on a tip-off about terrorists’ presence there. As the search party neared the suspected hideout, holed-up ultras opened indiscriminate fire even as they were given a chance to surrender, an official said. Top Lashkar commander Zahid Nazir Bhat alias Zahid Tiger and his aide, a non-local terrorist identified as Adnan, were killed in retaliatory action by security forces while their accomplice, Firdous Ahmad Tak from Jammu’s Doda area, was arrested during a subsequent search. Incriminating material along with two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the spot of the encounter, cops said.
In a similar joint anti-terror operation in Kulgam’s Chinigam village early Saturday, top Jaish commander Sameer alias Usman — a resident of Punjab, Pakistan, and an ‘A category’ terrorist — and his aide Tariq Ahmad Mir of Kulgam’s Zangalpora, were slain in retaliatory action by security forces after the ultras opened fire at the search party instead of surrendering. An official said the duo was involved in several terror crimes and civilian atrocities, including the killing of police official Khursid Ahmad at Furah Mirbazzar and the attack on sarpanch Aarif Ahmad at Akhran Mirbazzar in which he was critically injured.
An M-4 rifle and a pistol were recovered from the site of the Kulgam gun battle. IGP (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar lauded the security forces for timely evacuating residents and maintaining restraint while two searching mosques in the cordoned area. “Given the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the terrorists were buried at Handwara,” a police officer said.
Meanwhile, in Keran sector, alert Army troops noticed the movement of two to three men transporting some items tied to a rubber tube through the Kishanganga river along the LoC from the Pakistan side. They seized four AK-47 rifles, eight magazines and 240 rounds, defence sources said.
Army’s 15 Corps General Officer Commanding Lt Gen BS Raju attributed the arms seizure to surveillance devices. He added that less than 30 infiltrators had managed to enter the Kashmir Valley from across the borders and LoC with Pakistan this year as against 126 during the same period last year. The GOC was addressing reporters on the sidelines of the passing-out parade at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) centre in Srinagar.
Lt Gen Raju said ultras are being killed in anti-terror operations in the hinterland and also along the LoC. After six months, the terrorist recruitment had gone up again last month, but in the last 15 days, it has dropped. He said the militant recruitment is more in south Kashmir than in the north, adding that around 250-300 ultras are at the launch pads across the LoC, despite which the security forces have been able to prevent infiltration attempts successfully.
Speaking about the fake encounter of a Rajouri youth in Shopian, the GOC said the court of inquiry has been completed and a summary of evidence ordered.

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