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Two LeT militants killed in Anantnag, ‘hot pursuit’ to continue: J&K DGP

Funeral prayers being offered to Naveed Ahmad Bhat, who was killed in an encounter, on Saturday.

Funeral prayers being offered to Naveed Ahmad Bhat, who was killed in an encounter, on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Joint operation held by police, CRPF and Army

Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in an operation by the security forces in south Kashmir’s Anantnag on Saturday, taking the number of militants killed this year to 25.

Commending the security agencies for the Anantnag operation, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said the current “hot pursuit” strategy against militants in Jammu and Kashmir would continue. The DGP’s stress on stepping up operations comes just two days ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to India. Multiple security agencies have stepped up the vigil in J&K on active militants and ‘sleeper cells’ to thwart any attempt by militants to carry out a ‘spectacle attack’ during Mr. Trump’s visit.

Terming the killing of the two LeT militants as “another success” Mr. Singh said the slain militants were wanted in several militancy-related incidents. “One slain militant was wanted in seven incidents,” said the DGP.

The militants were identified as Naveed Ahmad Bhat and Aqib Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Kulgam. The duo was killed in a midnight operation in Gund Baba Khali area of Sangam, Anantnag, and the militants were trapped in an open field. The police said two AK 56 rifles, four magazines, two grenades and one pistol were recovered from the encounter site.

Meanwhile, hundreds of locals participated in the funeral of the slain militants in Kulgam and offered multiple funeral prayers. Spontaneous shutdowns were also observed in Bijbehara and Kulgam.

Hizb militant held

Separately, the DGP said a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, identified as Junaid Farooq Pandit, had been arrested in Baramulla. “Pandit was involved in targeted killings, like the one recently in Laway Pora, Srinagar, in which one police personnel and two militants were killed,” said Mr. Singh. Pandit alias Abu Talha from Pattan’s Hamri area was arrested during a search operation at a checkpoint. “One pistol and more than 40 rounds were recovered from his possession,” the police said. According to the police, about 18 local militants and 45 foreign militants are active in Baramulla district.

The DGP asserted that the number of listed militants had declined in Kashmir. “The number of militants active in J&K is between 240-250,” he said.

Valley Sikhs apprehensive

Meanwhile, Sikhs living in the Kashmir valley on Saturday said the upcoming visit of Mr. Trump had “led to fear psychosis and panic among the community”.

“The whole of India seems to be busy in making preparations for Trump’s visit, but for Sikhs of Kashmir the visit has brought with it fears that the members of community are yet again on the radar,” said Jagmohan Singh Raina, chairman of the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC). “The Sikhs are feeling insecure and they fear that something untoward might happen on the eve of U.S. president’s visit,” he added. In 2000, 36 Sikhs were killed in Chattisinghpora area in south Kashmir by gunmen on the eve of then U.S. president Bill Clinton’s visit to India.

“Sikhs living in north and south of Kashmir need to be vigilant,” Mr. Raina added.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 3:17:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/two-let-militants-killed-in-kashmirs-anantnag-police/article30886752.ece

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