Militant Killed In Harwan Gunfight, Cop Shot At In Pulwama

KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar- A Pakistani militant involved in many attacks on government forces, including the killing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, his brother and father in Bandipora and the recent killing of two policemen in the north Kashmir district, was killed in an overnight encounter in Harwan area of this capital city, police said Sunday.

Police, army and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) in Theed locality of Harwan on Saturday night on the specific input about the presence of a militant, a police spokesperson said.

During the search operation, he said, as the presence of the trapped militant was ascertained, he was given ample opportunities to surrender.

“However, he denied the surrender opportunities and fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said.

In the ensuing encounter, the police spokesperson said that the trapped militant was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. He identified the killed militant as Safiulla alias Abu Khalid, alias Shawaz resident of Karachi Pakistan.

As per police records, he said, Saifulla was a categorized Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant and had infiltrated in year 2016 via Bandipora Sector and later on sneaked into district Srinagar on the directions of Pak based Commanders of LeT for intensifying militant related activities in Pulwama, Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam districts.

“It is pertinent to mention that the killed terrorist Saifulla was working as Group Commander of proscribed terror outfit LeT in District Srinagar as he was operating earlier in District Srinagar & was familiar with the topography of District Srinagar/Pulwama and its outskirts. He has also been involved in receiving new groups of FTs after infiltration,” he added.

The police spokesperson further said that the killed militant was wanted by law for his complicity in “terror crime” cases which include attacks on Police/SFs and civilian killings.

Giving more details, the police spokesperson said that Saifulla and his associates were involved in an attack on an army convoy along Bemina bye-pass near JVC Hospital on April 1, 2017 in which 3 soldiers were injured. Besides, he said, the killed LeT militant was also the mastermind behind the attack carried out by his associates at Lawaypora Srinagar in which 2 security personnel were killed and one AK-47 rifle was also snatched.

“He was involved in an attack on a police party of PS Bandipora at Gulshan Chowk Bandipora in which 2 police personnel were martyred. Besides, attacks on Police/SF he was also involved in civilian killings which include killing of BJP President Waseem Bari, his brother and father on 08/07/2020,” he said.

Moreover, the police spokesperson said that Saifulla was also mastermind behind the revival of militancy by luring the gullible youth and a number of fresh recruitment of local youth into “terrorist ranks”. The killed militant, he said, was also instrumental in reactivation of hard core militant associates of LeT outfit in the areas of district Srinagar and District Pulwama besides police district Awantipora.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 01 AK-47 rifle, 03 Magazines and 01 grenade were recovered from his possession. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” he said.

The police spokesperson also quoted IGP Kashmir as congratulating the joint team for conducting successful operation without any collateral damage.

The IGP said that with the killing of Saifulla, 3 Pakistani militants have been killed so far in Srinagar City within almost a month who were involved in several cases including attacks on government forces and civilian killings which clearly shows that Pakistan is “hell-bent” to disturb the peace in Kashmir valley especially in Srinagar City.

Meanwhile, police have registered a case under relevant sections of law in this regard, the spokesperson said.

He also urged people to cooperate with Police till the area at the encounter site is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.

Policeman Injured In Militant Attack

Meanwhile in a separate incident, a policeman was shot at and injured by militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday.

Mushtaq Ahmad Wagay was shot at and injured by militants around 7:00pm Sunday near his house in his native village Bandzoo, a police spokesperson said. Wagay sustained bullet injuries in his legs and was shifted to District Hospital Pulwama where his condition is stated to be “stable”.

A police spokesperson said that soon after the attack, a cordon and search operation was launched in the area to nab the attackers.

“Police have registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law. Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the circumstances which lead to this terror crime,” he said.

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