One of Jammu and Kashmir’s most wanted militants, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, was killed in an early morning raid on his hideout in the congested Fatehkadal area here on Thursday, the district police and the Special Operations Group claimed.

Senior Superintendent of Police Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari told The Hindu that Hilal Maulvi, on finding himself cordoned off, lobbed grenades and shifted to three different houses in an unsuccessful escape bid. Three policemen suffered injuries.

However, the militant was killed in retaliatory fire, the SSP said, adding a Chinese pistol was found beside the body.

Hilal Ahmad Rather alias Hilal Maulvi of Palhalan, Pattan, according to the SSP, was a top-ranking LeT commander who was also involved in the March 13 fidayeen attack on a CRPC camp at a police public school at Bemina, on the outskirts of Srinagar.

Two Pakistani militants of the LeT and five CRPF men died in that gunbattle. Mr. Bukhari said the two slain militants and also one later arrested from his hideout had stayed with Hilal Maulvi in his home at Palhalan village of Baramulla district several times.

Police officials refuted the allegation by separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani that Hilal Maulvi had been taken into custody and then killed in a “fake encounter.”