Srinagar, Feb 15: Police today said that the killing of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Abu Darda alias Shafiq is a major success for the security forces as the commander was active for last several years in South Kashmir.
A senior police officer told Excelsior that Abu Darda was operating in North Kashmir between 2008 and 2010 and later he ex-filtrated to Pakistan. He said that the commander again infiltrated in 2016 and was operating in Handwara and Kupwara areas of North Kashmir. The other two militants have been identified as Abu Maviya and Abu Saad.
The official said that Dadra was leading a group of 20, mostly foreign militants in the area. He said that his group was involved in attacks on convoys in the area and revealed that they were planning more such attacks.
Army, in the meantime, paid tributes to four soldiers, including a Major, who were killed in two separate gun battles in North Kashmir yesterday.
Chinar Corps Commander, Lt Gen JS Sandhu paid tributes to Major Satish Dahiya, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar and Gunner Astosh Kumar in a solemn ceremony in BB Cantt, Srinagar.
Maj Dahiya, led the operation launched by Army in Handwara on Tuesday in which three militants were killed. The officer had been part of several counter militancy operations and had also been awarded for gallantry earlier. He hailed from Mahendergarh, Haryana.
Rifleman Ravi Kumar hailed from Samba in Jammu and was part of another operation in Hajin, Bandipora on Tuesday in which an LeT commander was killed.
Dharmender Kumar of Nainital, Uttarakhand and Gunner Astosh Kumar of Jaunpur, UP were also killed in the Hajjan Bandipora operation.
The bodies were later taken to their native places for last rites with full military honours.
The militants who were killed in an encounter at Kralgund area of Handwara were buried at Bungus area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district this morning.
A police official said that the bodies of Lashkar-i-Toiba militants were handed over to local Auqaf Committee at Hoshar hamlet along Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector of Bungus Valley.
In the meantime, police detained three persons during separate raids in North Kashmir today.
Sources said that Showkat Ahmad Lone son of Wali Mohammad, Mohammad Azam Dar son of Ghulam Mohammad, both residents of Kachloo Kralgund and Tanveer Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ramzan of Trichoo Rafiabad were picked up in separate raids by police for questioning.