SRINAGAR, Oct 8: Two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a fierce gun battle in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
Security forces including Army, Central Reserve Police (CRPF) and Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police this morning launched an operation in Kawani village of Awantipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district after inputs about presence of two militants hiding in the village.
The troops laid siege to the village and closed all its exit and entry points so that the militants may not flee from the cordoned off area. They conducted house to house searches during which militants fired upon troops, leading to a fierce gun battle.
The gun battle continued for several hours and militants tried to shift their place during the encounter. The house in which the militants were hiding and adjacent cow shed were damaged in the gun battle and fire that raised the house to rubble.
One militant of LeT Ufaid Farooq Lone alias Abu Muslim son of Farooq Ahmad Lone of Awantipora was killed at around noon. His body was recovered by the troops but they could not locate the second militant.
The operation continued for several hours during which troops cleared the debris of the structures that were damaged in the encounter. Body of another militant was later found in the cowshed and it was charred beyond recognition.
The body was later taken to Police Station Awantipora where he was identified as Mohammad Abbas son of Bashir Ahmad Bhat of village Kawani.
Bodies of both the militants were later handed over to the families of these militants. Police sources said that Ufaid Farooq Lone was active since 4th July 2018 and Mohammad Abbas from 26th April 2019.
A police spokesman said: “According to the police records, Ufaid Farooq Lone had a history of terror crime records since 2018 and was involved in planning and executing several terror attacks and civilian atrocities in the area. As per the police records, he had been carrying out terrorist activities in the areas of Awantipora across the belts of river Jhelum, areas of Reshipora and in the nearby areas of Malangpora.”
“Several terror crime cases were registered against him including Case FIR No. 38/2019 pertaining to grenade attack on security forces, Case FIR No. 54/2019 pertaining to grenade attack on Police Station Awantipora, Case FIR No. 122/2019 pertaining to civilian atrocities, threatening, intimidation and beating of locals at Padagampora besides enforcing shutdown of business establishments and forcible suspension of transport facilities in the area”, the spokesman said.
“He was also responsible for motivating the locals from the areas of Brawbhandina to join the terror fold recently thereby strengthening the terror networks in the area. Incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes. Searches in the area continue.
This is first gun battle in South Kashmir and fourth in the Valley since August 5 when Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated. The first encounter took place in Old Town Baramulla on August 20 in which one militant Mohsin Gujri, was killed. This was followed by killing of another militant in Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Two militants who are yet to be identified have been killed in ongoing operation in Ganderbal forests. The operation was launched last month and one militant was killed on September 28 and another’s body was found in the forest area last week.