Three terrorists, including a 'fidayeen' (suicide bomber), were killed in two separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Friday, taking the number of ultras killed so far this year to 133. A 'Mujahideen Gazwatul Hind' militant who was assigned to carry out a 'fidayeen' (suicide) attack in Srinagar was killed, while a Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) district commander was among the two ultras slain in an encounter in Kulgam, the police said.
As many as 133 militants, including several top commanders, have been killed this year so far, they said. The 'fidayeen' militant was a relative of one of the accused in the February 2019 Pulwama suicide attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, police said.
A police spokesman said acting on a specific input about a possible terrorist attack and the movement of terrorists in the Bemina area of Srinagar, a checkpoint was established on Thursday to thwart such evil designs.
“In the meantime, terrorists attacked a checkpoint established near Bund Bemina which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said, adding further reinforcement was rushed to the spot.
In the ensuing gunfight, one terrorist of proscribed terror outfit Mujahideen Gazwatul Hind was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter, the spokesman said.
He identified the slain ultra as Amir Riyaz, a resident of Khrew Pampore and a relative of one of the accused in the February 2019 suicide attack in Pulwama's Lethpora in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
“The preliminary investigation indicated that he (Riyaz) was assigned to carry out similar kind of fidayeen attack. Digital evidences recovered from his mobile show that he was prepared by terror outfit for fidayeen attack,” the spokesman said.
In another overnight encounter in the Kulgam district of south Kashmir, two militants, including a district commander of the HM outfit, were killed.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Chancer village in the Chawalgam area of Kulgam on Thursday following inputs about the presence of militants there.
“During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained, they were given opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party. The joint teams ensuring safety of civilians rescued and shifted them to safer places. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said.
In the initial exchange of fire, one terrorist was killed. However, due to darkness, the operation was suspended for the night, he said.
The spokesman said in the early hours of Friday, repeated announcements were made to the hiding terrorist to surrender but he fired on the joint search party which was retaliated leading to his elimination.
The dead bodies of both the killed terrorists were retrieved from the site of the encounter, he added. He identified them as district commander of proscribed outfit Hizbul Mujahideen Shiraz Ahmad alias Shiraz Molvi alias Abu Haris, a resident of Souch Kulgam, and Yawar Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Ponipora Kulgam.
“As per police records, both the killed terrorists were linked with proscribed terror outfit HM and were part of groups involved in several terror crimes including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities,” the spokesman said.
Shiraz Ahmad was an “A++” (plus plus) categorised terrorist and was active since 2016, figuring among the list of most wanted terrorists, he said. “He was also involved in recruiting innocent youth into terror ranks and in spreading a reign of terror by killing civilians as well as political workers in Devsar and Brazloo areas of Kulgam. There are 15 FIRs registered against him for several terror crimes,” the spokesman said.
Incriminating material and arms and ammunition including an AK-rifle and a pistol were recovered from the Kulgam encounter site. An AK-rifle was also recovered from the Bemina encounter site, he said.
The recovered material has been taken into case records for further investigation. Police have registered cases under relevant sections of law and investigations have been initiated, he added.
The spokesman said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar has congratulated the joint teams for carrying out both the operations in a professional manner resulting in the elimination of three terrorists including a most wanted terrorist.
Kumar also congratulated police and security forces for working with great synergy and coordination on the ground that lead to the killing of 133 terrorists including many top commanders during this year.