Plainclothes Policemen Kill TRF Chief, Deputy In Srinagar Raid

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday killed two top commanders of The Resistance Front (TRF), including a longest surviving militant, in a covert operation in Aloochi Bagh area of uptown Srinagar.

TRF Chief Abbas Sheikh and his deputy Saqib Manzoor, were killed on Monday evening in a brief shootout in a covert operation launched by the personnel of the Special Operations Group (SOG), Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar announced.

"We had information about their presence in the area. 10 jawans of police dressed in civvies quickly surrounded the area and challenged them. When warned, they opened fire and in the retaliatory firing, both the terrorists were killed," Kumar told journalists at the shootout site.

Abbas Sheikh, a resident of Kulgam, had picked up a gun  in 2005 and was associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen before switching over to TRF two years ago.

Earlier Abbas was arrested and released twice, according to police.

Saqib Manzoor, resident of Barzulla Srinagar and a post graduate, joined militant ranks last year as per police records.

Terming the killing of Abbas and Saqib as a “major success” for Jammu and Kashmir police, Kumar said that the TRF chief had “spread terror” and was recruiting young boys in militancy.

He said the operation was conducted in a smooth manner and there was no “collateral damage.” Asked how they received information about the TRF chief and his deputy, the IGP said: “They were tracking the movement of this group for the past few days and today they were cornered.”

The IGP said that the slain militants were involved in recruiting youth, lobbing grenades and killing political workers and policemen in Srinagar city.

He said that there are four more active militants in Srinagar and around 50 to 60 OGWs are operating as well. “We will try to catch alive all the active militants and arrest the OGWs,” Kumar said.

TEXT OF POLICE STATEMENT

“As per police records, both the killed terrorists were involved in killing of several political workers, police personnel and civilians. Saqib Manzoor was involved in killing of Adv Babar Qadri last year,” he said.

He said that the killed militants were also involved in several grenade attacks on security establishments & were also involved in several other “terror crimes and civilian atrocities”.

“They were also involved in reviving terror folds in district Srinagar and in the process recruited 7 youths into terror ranks in District Srinagar among them 4 stands already neutralized,” the police spokesperson said.

He said that Sheikh was a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, arrested and released twice before he joined the TRF, a shadow outfit of Lashkar-e-Taiba. He said there are several militants and OGWs in Sheikh’s relationship.

Giving details of the cases involving Sheikh, the police spokesperson said that among others the TRF chief was involved in the killing of a soldier Deepak Kumar in an IED blast in Shamsipora area on Srinagar-Jammu highway in Kulgam on January 27.

According to police, Sheikh and his associates were also responsible for the killing of two policemen Mohd Yousuf and Suhail Ahmad Lohar in Baghat Chowk on February 19 and the killing of two CRPF personnel in Lawaypora area of the city outskirts.

“On 17.06.2021, he along with his associates fired upon Police cop namely Javaid Ahmad Kambay S/o Ghulam Mohammad Kambay near his residence at Saidpora Eidgah, who later achieved Martyrdom,” the police spokesperson said.

“On 23.06.2021, he along with his associates fired upon a mobile shop owner inside his shop at Main Chowk Habba Kadal near Fashion Inn shop resulting in his on spot death,” he added.

Also, the police spokesperson said that Sheikh along with his other associates planned an attack on Police inspector Parvez Ahmad Dar in front of local mosque at Menganwari Nowgam area of district Srinagar.

The police also held Sheikh responsible for a series of grenade and firing attacks on civilians, politicians, and security forces.

“Recently, a Sarpanch Gh Rasool Dar and his wife, a panch of BJP, were killed in Anantnag on the direction of Abbas Sheikh. Deceased BJP leader and Abbas Sheikh were from same area in Kulgam district,” he said.

About Manzoor, the spokesperson said that he was responsible for killing advocate Babar Qadri, jeweller Satpal Nischal, BJP Worker Abdul Hamid Najar and other civilians and security personnel.

“Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were also recovered from the spot. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes. In this connection, Police has registered a case under relevant sections of law and further investigation is in progress,” the police spokesperson added.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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