2 top LeT commanders killed in Anantnag

Large number of people gather at the site of encounter at Sirhama, Anantnag on Friday. — Excelsior/Sajad Dar
Large number of people gather at the site of encounter at Sirhama, Anantnag on Friday. — Excelsior/Sajad Dar

SIT formed to probe lawyer’s killing

*DNA samples of slain youth match with Rajouri families

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Sept 25: Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar, today said that two top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba including a foreigner were killed in Sirhama, Anantnag encounter while as Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police has been constituted to probe Advocate Babar Qadri’s killing.
Speaking to reporters at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, Kumar said in Sirhama gunfight, two top Lashkar commanders were killed.

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“One of the slain has been identified as Abu Rehan from Pakistan, who was active since March 2019 and the second one was Adil Bhat, who was also Lashkar commander. Adil was involved in the attack on two policemen at Nowgam on August 14,” he said.
On specific input about presence of militants in village Sirhama area of Anantnag, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Anantnag Police, 3RR of Army and CRPF last evening.
Militants fired indiscriminately upon the security forces during the operation leading to an encounter. The operation was put on hold due to darkness and the whole area was put under strict cordon. The militants made several attempts to break the cordon and escape from the spot but failed.

IGP Kashmir along with CRPF and Army officers addressing a press conference in Srinagar.— Excelsior/Shakeel
IGP Kashmir along with CRPF and Army officers addressing a press conference in Srinagar. — Excelsior/Shakeel

In the wee hours, the operation was resumed during which two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.
As per police records, they had a history of militancy in Kashmir. They were involved in planning and executing several attacks including on civilians and security forces.
As per police, Adil was involved in the killing of two police men and weapon snatching at Nowgam Srinagar last month. Abu Rehan was an important motivator and influenced young minds for joining militancy in South Kashmir. He was involved in motivating local youth to carry out Fidayeen attacks on police and security forces. He was also involved in providing logistic support to the newly infiltrated militants and strengthening the LeT outfit throughout the Valley by distributing newly joined and infiltrated militants to various areas.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. It is pertinent to mention here that the Insas rifle snatched in Nowgam attack was also recovered from the site”, police said.
The dead bodies of the two militants were sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities.
And four youth were injured after some explosive substance went off near an encounter site in Sirhama. The incident took place soon after the encounter was over.
Many people rushed to the encounter site and there was explosion as a result of which four youth-Irfan Ahmad, Mohammad Yaseen Rather son of Mohammad Maqbool, Shahid Yousuf son of Mohammad Yousuf Sheikh and Mudasir Ahmad Magray son of Gul Mohammad Magray -were injured. Two of them have been shifted to Srinagar hospital and two others shifted to Bijbehara Sub district hospital.
On Advocate Babar Qadri’s killing, the IGP Kumar said that incident happened at 6:20 pm yesterday, when two masked men entered into his Hawal residence in Srinagar as clients with files in their hands. “They told Qadri that they had to discuss some accident related case but fired at this head with pistols. He was critically injured and died on way to hospital. While fleeing, the IGP said militants fired a few shots in air,” he said.
The IGP said that police has formed a SIT to investigate his killing. “We have constituted a SIT headed by SP Hazratbal that will probe the killing of Qadri,” he said.
On Block Development Chairman Khag, Budgam, Bhupinder Singh’s killing, the IGP said that after touring his area along with two PSOs, Singh had left for his home by allowing his PSOs to relax. “Militants were probably knowing about his movement and they shot him dead outside his house. We have suspended two PSOs. And prima facie, the names of two Lashkar militants have come to fore-Yousuf Kandroo and Abrar. We will get them soon,” he said.
Regarding the killing of a CRPF man at Wadipora, Budgam, he said the attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit as cartridges of M-4 was found at the site of incident. “M-4 is usually carried by JeM militants,” he said.
Asked about the number of active militants, the IGP said that 170 to 200 militants are active in Kashmir of which 40 are foreigners whom police knows by name.
The IGP said that results of DNA samples of parents of three youth from Rajouri district who were killed in Amshipora, Shopian on July 18 this year have matched with them and police will now take further course of action.
“We have received the DNA sample results of three families of Rajouri and they have matched with those killed in Amshipora, Shopian. We will now take further course of action and complete remaining formalities,” Kumar said.
Police had collected six DNA samples from the parents of three slain youth killed in Amshipora, Shopian on July 18. A police team from Kashmir had visited Rajouri and collected DNA samples of parents of three youth. It is after a gap of 40 days, that the DNA samples matched between the families and the slain youth.