SRINAGAR, Jan 24: In a major jolt to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), two top militants of the outfit were killed in a fierce gun battle on the outskirts of Srinagar in Ganderbal district today. These militants were planning to carry out attacks on the eve of Republic day.
SSP Ganderbal, Imtiaz Ismail Parray, told Excelsior that following a tip off about the presence of militants in Hadoora, Shuhama area in Ganderbal district, police from Srinagar and Ganderbal along with 5-RR and CRPF cordoned off the area and launched the search operation this morning.
“The hiding militants opened fire on joint search party which was retaliated, triggering an encounter during which two militants of LeT were killed. Two AK-47 rifles, one grenade, six magazines and 180 rounds of AK ammunition were recovered from the encounter site”, he said.
The two LeT militants have been identified as Qari Hanzullah and Anas Bilal and both of them were residents of Pakistan. They were associates of top LeT commander Abu Hurraira who is operating from Dacchigam area in the outskirts of Srinagar for last several years.
They were operating in Srinagar and Ganderbal districts since January 22, 2013 and had recently started coordinating with Hizbul Mujahideen.
They were transporting newly infiltrated groups from one place to another and were managing safe places and hideouts for them.
The SSP said that both of them were involved in many militancy related activities which included the killing of a civilian Abdul Ahad Dar son of Abdul Gafar Dar resident of Gusoo Zakoora Srinagar in May last year.
Parray said that they were involved in the attack on SSB convoy at Zakoora Srinagar in October last year in which one SSB Jawan was killed and seven SSB personnel and a police constable were injured.
Police said that they were also involved in Fidayeen attack on August 15, 2016 at Nowhatta in which a commandant of CRPF 49 Bn Pramod Kumar and a police constable of J&K Police Rouf Ahmad were killed.
Police said that they were recently directed by mentors in Pakistan to carry out attack on Security forces/ civilians on the eve of forth coming Republic Day celebration 2017 in Ganderbal and Srinagar districts.
The Commanding Officer of Army’s 5-Rashtriya Rifles, Colonel Sandeep Sirohi said here that on the basis of specific information Army, Police and CRPF launched an operation in Hadoora village of Ganderbal district early today. He said that during the operation two militants of LeT Abu Anas and Abu Ali were killed. “We recovered arms and ammunition from these terrorists. In this operation as per the standard operating procedures there was no collateral damage. It is a major success ahead of January 26”, he added.
Meanwhile, security forces today averted a major tragedy after they detected and defused an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad National Highway in Baramulla district while a police man was injured in a grenade attack in Pulwama tonight.
Sources said that on receiving specific input of planting of IED at Srinagar- Muzaffarabad national highway a joint operation by 53 Bn CRPF SOG Baramulla was launched this morning.
The security forces started searching the area in night and spotted suspicious ground and some wire. The SOG, Baramulla and 53 battalion CRPF and BD squad was called upon and an IED of around 10 Kg was recovered at 12:30 p.m and was then sent for further examination.
This came a day after massive cordon and search operation was carried out by security forces in adjoining area of Fatehgarh area of Sheeri Baramulla.
The security forces have intensified their efforts to foil any attempts by militants to carry out attacks ahead of Republic day.
In the meantime, a police man was tonight injured as militants hurled a grenade at a Police party at Hall Pulwama and fired at them. Police had established a naka at Haal when militants attacked them. Massive operations have been launched in the area against the militants.