Four militants, including a “commander”, were killed in two separate operations in south Kashmir on Saturday. Meanwhile, a major bid to smuggle weapons on the Line of Control (LoC) was foiled in north Kashmir’s Kupwara.
A police spokesperson said two militants, who were trapped after receiving a specific input, were killed in the Chinigam area of Kulgam in a joint cordon and search operation.
The slain militants were identified as Tariq Ahmad Mir, a resident of Zangalpora Divsar in Kulgam, and Sameer Bhai alias Usman, a resident of Punjab in Pakistan. “Both were affiliated with the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM),” the spokesperson said.
Inspector-General of Police Vijay Kumar appreciated the role of the security forces “for the timely and safe evacuation of civilians during the encounter and for maintaining strict restraint during the search of two mosques inside the cordon area”.
The police said that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the bodies of the terrorists shall be sent to Handwara for burial, and only the nearest family members will be allowed to participate in the last rites.
In an encounter, which broke out on Saturday afternoon, two militants were killed in Pulwama’s Dadura area.
“Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top commander Zahid Nazir Bhat alias Zahid Tiger was among the two slain militants. It’s a big success for the security forces,” Mr. Kumar said.
Meanwhile, the Army foiled a bid to smuggle weapons along the LoC at the Keran Sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara.
Four AK-47 rifles, eight magazines, and 240 rounds were recovered during the anti-infiltration operation, where a rope was used across a river, the Army said.
“Pakistan has not stopped helping militants to infiltrate into this part of Kashmir and to fan violence. According to sources, 250-300 militants are ready to infiltrate at launching pads established on the other side of the LoC,” General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps Lieutenant General B.S. Raju said, on Saturday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the passing-out-cum attestation parade at JAKLI center at Rangreth in Srinagar, GOC Raju said effective the counter-infiltration mechanism has resulted in a decline in infiltration attempts by militants this year.
“Last year, till October, 126 militants had managed to enter into this part of Kashmir. However, this figure declined to just 30,” the Army officer said.
He said that local boys who had taken up arms had started to come back to the mainstream. “They are being given every chance to surrender,” he added.
2 BSF men injured
Two Border Security Force (BSF) men suffered injuries during the unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC in the Mendhar sector of Poonch district.
The incident took place in the Mankote area of Mendhar sub-division.