Two of the top wanted militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba on Wednesday got trapped in a police operation in Chadoura area of Budgam district in Central Kashmir.
Budgam Superintendent of Police Mohammad Irshad, who is leading the operation jointly with units of the Army and the CRPF, told The Hindu that the holed up militants — at Hushroo (Qanoongopora) — included Omar, a Pakistani militant of LeT, along with his local associate Riyaz. “They top the list of all wanted militants in this area as they have been found involved in a number of guerilla strikes including an attack on Hotel Silver Star near Lasjan and broad daylight killing of SHO Chadoura Sub Inspector Shabir Ahmad”, Mr Irshad said.
He sounded confidant that both the militants would either die in the encounter or surrender. He confirmed reports that LeT operative Lateef, who had been held in an injured condition on Tuesday, led the Police to Ichhkoot and Munnipapai villages. “The militants there escaped but one of them got critically injured in a brief encounter. We later traced him to this [Hushroo] village”, he said.
“Three months back, police gave a vehicle to a source in order to trap Lateef. However, Lateef torched the vehicle in broad daylight in Chadoura area and escaped”, another official said. He claimed that Lateef had played key role in several militant strikes including the one at Hotel Silver Star on October 19, 2010, and the SHO’s killing on December 2, 2013.