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As Amarnath Yatra draws near, four more militants die in gunfights taking June toll to 28

Army jawans rush towards encounter site  at Tujjan in south Kashmir Pulwama district on June 21, 2022.

Army jawans rush towards encounter site at Tujjan in south Kashmir Pulwama district on June 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

SRINAGAR

Four more militants were killed in stepped up anti-militancy operations in Kashmir on Tuesday, taking the toll to 11 in the past three days, as the annual Amarnath yatra draws near. Also, five residential houses were attached in capital Srinagar for allegedly harbouring militants. 

The police said two Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were encircled and engaged in an overnight gunfight in Tujjan village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama. “Both (trapped militants) were killed on Tuesday morning. One slain militant, Majid Nazir Wani from Banpora Ladoo in Pulwama’s Pampore, was involved in the recent killing of sub-inspector Farooq Ahmad. A few persons were questioned after the SI’s killing and they disclosed that Wani was behind it,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Pulwama, Ghuman Jeelani said.

SSP Jeelani said Wani was a categorised militant. The other slain militant was identified as Abid Ahmad Sheikh from Barpora Pulwama.

Meanwhile in north Kashmir, the police said two militants were killed in a joint operation of the Army, police and CRPF in Sopore’s Tulibal area.

“During a search operation, terrorists fired indiscriminately in Tulibal area. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed,” the police said.

The slain militants were identified as Zahid Ahmad Chopan from Shopian’s Tengwani area and Muhammad Youns Gul from Pulwama’s Washbugh. “Two AK-47 rifles and four magazines have been recovered from the encounter site,” the police said.

Yatra on militants’ radar

Security forces have stepped up operations in Kashmir with the intelligence agencies suggesting that the upcoming yatra was on the militants’ radar. The yatra is scheduled to begin from June 30.

A total of 28 militants were killed this month in Kashmir and 11 in the past three days. A total of 118 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year so far.

However, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said the current operations have nothing to do with the yatra. “The counter terror operations have nothing to do with the yatra. Our mission is to bring down the number of terrorists to decrease fear of terrorists among people. The ultimate aim is to bring peace. Our counter terror operations will continue in all the three regions of the Kashmir valley, especially against foreign terrorists,” IGP Kumar told The Hindu. 

“In 2021, a total of 55 militants, including 2 foreign militants were killed up to June, compared to 118 this year, including 77 militants from Pakistan-sponsored LeT and 26 from JeM outfit”Vijay Kumar Inspector General of Police

This year Kashmir has witnessed a 100% increase in militants’ killing during encounters. “In 2021, a total of 55 militants, including 2 foreign militants were killed up to June, compared to 118 this year, including 77 militants from Pakistan-sponsored LeT and 26 from JeM outfit,” IGP Kumar said.

Houses sheltering terrorists

In capital Srinagar, the police said five residential houses were attached in a bid to “act tough against the supporters of terrorism”.

“The police in Srinagar have attached five residential houses after obtaining legal sanctions from the competent authorities for wilful harbouring of terrorists. The investigations proved beyond doubt that these houses were used for purpose of terrorism and shelter or harbour was voluntarily or knowingly given by the member(s) of the house. Many attacks on civilians, security forces were conspired and planned by terrorists while using these houses as hideouts,” the police said.

The houses were attached in Srinagar’s Parimpora, Panthachowk, Nowhatta, and Zakoora.  “Some more such properties have been identified and any wilful harbouring will be dealt with under law,” the police said.

Meanwhile, a “hybrid” terrorist of the LeT was arrested in Baramulla. “During checking, alert personnel apprehended the militant tactfully. He was identified as Shahid Ahmad Parray from Kathpora Hajin, Bandipora. One pistol, one pistol magazine, seven pistol rounds and two hand grenades were recovered from his possession,” the police said.

In central Kashmir’s Budgam, three terror associates of the LeT, identified as Ashiq Hussain Hajam, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Dar and Tahir Bin Ahmed, were held.

“The arrested trio was involved in facilitating transportation of terrorists, arms and explosive materials and providing logistic support to the active terrorists in Budgam,” the police said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 7:51:38 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/as-amarnath-yatra-draws-near-four-more-militants-die-in-gunfights-taking-june-toll-to-28/article65549772.ece