Other States

One militant, soldier killed in Doda gunfight

Tahir Ahmed Bhat was an associate of Riyaz Naikoo

One militant and a soldier were killed in an operation of the security forces in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on May 17.

A police spokesman said the militant, identified as Tahir Ahmed Bhat, was encircled during a search operation launched on Saturday night at Khotra in the Chenab Valley. “The trapped militant was killed in an encounter on Sunday. One soldier also died... The operation is under way to clean the debris and look for any other body,” the police said.

A police spokesman said Bhat, a close associate of the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo, was a ‘commander’ of the outfit. He hailed from Pulwama in south Kashmir and joined militancy last year. He was also a confidante of the current Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saifullah.

The police said Bhat’s name came up during the investigation into the fabrication of an improvised explosive device, which was detonated near a CRPF convoy at Banihal in March 2019. “Bhat had subsequently visited the Chenab Valley and was given the task of recruiting youth and reviving the Hizb activities in the region, where militancy was stamped out in late 1990s,” said the police.

The police said Bhat was part of a group of terrorists that killed RSS activist Chanderkant Sharma and his personal security officer in April 2019. “The same AK-47 rifle snatched during the 2019 attack has been recovered after the encounter,” police sources said.

With his killing, the police said, the security forces were able to create a deterrence to the revival of militancy in the Chenab Valley and foil the designs of militants to attack camps and patrols.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:34:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/encounter-starts-in-jks-doda/article31605911.ece

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