LeT ‘group comdr’ Saifullah killed, cop shot at

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Dec 19: In a major success to the security forces, the group commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Saifullah, was killed in a shoot out in Srinagar this morning while security forces arrested a militant from Anantnag and a police follower was shot at in Pulwama.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said here that Saifulla was working as group commander of LeT in district Srinagar as he was operating earlier in Srinagar and was familiar with the topography of Srinagar and Pulwama districts and its outskirts. He has also been involved in receiving new groups of foreigners after infiltration.
The IGP congratulated the joint team for conducting successful operation without any collateral damage. He further said that with the elimination of Saifullah, three Pakistani militants have been killed so far in Srinagar City within almost a month who were involved in several attacks.
The operation against him was launched by the security forces on the bases of a specific input generated by Srinagar Police regarding presence of a militant in Theed Harwan area of Srinagar.
A joint cordon and search operation was launched by police, CRPF and Army in the area and the trapped militant was asked to surrender but he fired on the troops leading to a gun battle in which he was killed.
He was identified as Saifullah alias Abu Khalid, alias Shawaz resident of Karachi Pakistan.
As per police records, Saifullah was a categorized militant linked to the LeT. He had infiltrated in 2016 from Bandipora Sector and later on sneaked into district Srinagar for intensifying militancy in districts of Pulwama, Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam.
As per police, records, he had a history of various militancy cases and was wanted for his complicity in attacks on police, security forces and civilian killings. He along with his associates was involved in attack on Army convoy on NHW Bemina Bye-pass Srinagar near JVC Hospital Srinagar on 01/04/2017, resulting in injuries to 3 Army Jawans.
He was also mastermind behind the attack carried out by his associates at Lawaypora Srinagar earlier this year and snatching of 1 AK-47 rifle. He was involved in an attack on police party of PS Bandipora at Gulshan Chowk Bandipora. Besides, attacks on police and security forces he was also involved in civilian killings which include killing of BJP president Waseem Bari, his brother and father last year.
Moreover, he was also mastermind behind the revival of militancy by luring the youth into militancy. He was also instrumental in reactivation of hard core militant associates of LeT outfit in Srinagar and Pulwama districts.
“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 1 AK-47 rifle, 3 magazines and 1 grenade were recovered from his possession. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation”, a police spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Anantnag Police and 1 RR arrested a militant associate identified as Feroz Ahmad Zargar alias Kamraan resident of Gratbal Qoimoh in Kulgam district and recovered one Chinese pistol along with magazine and other ammunition from his possession.
A police follower was shot at and injured by militants in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district this evening.
The follower identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Wagay son of Ghulam Mohammad was fired upon by the militants near his native village-Bandzoo. He has bullet injuries in legs and was shifted to District Hospital Pulwama where his condition is stated to be stable.