South Kashmir: 2 Lashkar Militants Killed In Anantnag Gunfight

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SRINAGAR - Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in a gunfight with state forces in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday night, police said.

They have been identified as Naveed Ahmad Bhat alias Furqaan, a resident of Qaimoh in Kulgam, and Aqib Yaseen Bhat, a resident of Wanpora Qaimoh, also in Kulgam, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh told reporters here.

Singh described the encounter, which took place at Sangam in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir, as another successful counter-militancy operation by state forces in the valley.

The DGP said Naveed Ahmad Bhat had joined the LeT outfit in 2018 and was involved in a number of militancy-related incidents.

"Seven FIRs stand registered against him. He was involved in carrying out attacks on police and security forces camps, firing on civilians, threatening and intimidating people and shopkeepers and pasting posters post the abrogation of Article 370, Singh said.

He said Aqib Yaseen Bhat was active since June 2019 and was also involved in a number of militancy-related incidents.

The gunfight took place during the night and some arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter.

In a separate incident, the DGP said, police have arrested a commander of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit from Baramulla district in north Kashmir.

"Acting on specific information, Baramulla police arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Farooq Pandit, a resident of Pattan area. A pistol and 30 rounds have been recovered from him," the top cop said.

Singh said Pandit was tasked to undertaking selective killings like the recent incident at Narbal on the outskirts of the city here on February 5 when militants fired at a team of security personnel. Two militants and a CRPF jawan were killed in the incident.

240-250 Militants Active In Kashmir: DGP

The number of listed militants in Kashmir has come down to less than 250, while 25 militants were killed by security forces in nearly a dozen operations in the first two months of this year, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh said here on Saturday.

He also said there has been confirmation of only three militants infiltrating into the Valley through the International Border so far this year.

"The number of listed militants has come down from what it was earlier. Around 240 to 250 listed militants are there in the valley," the DGP told reporters at a press conference here.

He said in the last two months, the number of reported and confirmed infiltrated militants is three.

"One of them a JeM militant was killed in an operation in Tral recently, Singh added.

He said nearly a dozen successful operations have taken place till now in 2020, which included 10 in the Kashmir valley and two in the Jammu region.

"Till now, 25 militants have been killed in these operations. Nine militant operatives have been arrested in the valley, while three or four in Jammu. More than 40 OGWs (overground workers) -- who were involved in promoting and supporting militancy activities in some form or the other -- have been arrested," the DGP said.

Referring to the misuse of social media through virtual private networks (VPNs), Singh said more cases had come to the fore and police was acting tough against them.

"More cases of misuse of social media have come to the fore. Waseem Dar, a resident of Handwara, was arrested for posting some irresponsible content on (social) media with intent to instigate the public sentiment. We are taking notice of such incidents and action will be taken," he said.

Asked about an SSP-rank officer receiving threats on social media, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, who flanked the DGP at the presser, said police will take action against the person.

"The account name (from which threat was received) is Hafiz Suhail. We have verified and the user's real name is Suhail Wali, a resident of Dalipora Pulwama. We conducted a search at his house but his parents told us he is presently in Dubai. A case will be registered against him and we will take further action," the IGP said.

To a question about the security arrangements for a proposed march here by Kashmiri Pandits, the DGP said, "First, there should be a permission by the civil administration and when that is there, we will take adequate precautions." (With Inputs From PTI)


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