JAMMU, July 2: Five militants including a top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander were killed and a soldier martyred in an encounter at Hanjin village of Rajpora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
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An operation was launched by police, Army’s 44 RR and CRPF on a specific information about the presence of militants in Hanjin village of Rajpora. As the security forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them. The security men triggering an encounter. After initial exchange of fire, the operation was suspended till morning. However, cordon was strengthened to prevent militants from escaping.
Police said that the militants were repeatedly given an opportunity to surrender, however, they rejected the surrender offers and fired upon security forces which was retaliated.
The official said that in the ensuing encounter five militants including a district commander of LeT Nishaz Lone of Tral were killed and an Army man of 44 RR identified as Hawaldar Kashi was martyred.
Nishaz Hussain Lone alias Khitab son of Manzoor Ahmed Lone was active since 2018 and is a resident of Nageenpora Tral. The others include Danish Manzoor Shiekh son of Manzoor Ahmad resident of Sathergund Kakapora, Amir Wagay son of Abdul Gani Wagay, resident of Hanjan Payeen, Mehran Manzoor resident of Jamalatoo Srinagar and a foreign militant identified as Abu Rehan alias Tawheed resident of Pakistan. All the killed militants were linked to the LeT.
As per police records, all the killed militants were part of groups involved in many crime cases and civilian atrocities.
“Arms, ammunition & other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter including one SLR rifle bearing no. 16047232 recovered from today’s encounter site belonged to JKP (IRP 11 Bn) snatched by militants in the year 2016 from guard of TV tower Lower Munda, regarding which a Case vide FIR No. 135/16 stands registered at PS Duroo Anantnag. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes”, the official said.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar termed the killing of Nishaz and his four associates as a big success to security forces.
He said that among the slain was the district commander of LeT who was identified as Nishaz Lone alias Khitab and a foreign militant. “The operation and the killing of five LeT militants including a commander is a big success for the forces. I congratulate the forces for a smooth operation,” he said.
A police official said that the civilians were evacuated to safer places as soon as the presence of militants got ascertained during the operation.