Srinagar, July 25: A top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander was among two militants killed in an encounter with the security forces at Ranbirgarh area on Srinagar outskirts early morning on Saturday, police said.
Police officials told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that that acting on a tip-off about the presence of militants in Ranbirgah area of Lawaypora on city outskirts, an operation as launched. “When forces zeroed in on a suspected spot, the militants opened fire triggering an encounter,” they said adding, that two militants were killed in a clean operation where there was zero collateral damage.
J&K police on its official twitter handle wrote: “One of the two militants eliminated today was Ishfaq Rashid resident of village Sozeith, Srinagar. He was one of top LeT commanders active since 2018 and wanted in many cases of militant violence. Other killed militant, Aijaj Bhat was important LeT cadre from Pulwama district.”
Another police official said that one AK-47 and a pistol was recovered from the slain militants. A police spokesman in a statement issued here said that on a specific input regarding presence of militants in village Ranbirgarh-Panzinara area of Srinagar, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by JKP, 29RR and CRPF.
“During the search operation as the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given opportunity to surrender, however they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the statement read, adding that “in the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.”
The police spokesman said that the bodies of the slain militants were sent to Ganderbal for the last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including collection of their DNA. “In case any family claims the killed terrorists to be their kith or kin, they can come forward for their identification at PCR Srinagar/ Burial place and participation in last rites at Ganderbal,” he said.
In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered in Police Station Parimpora and investigation has been initiated. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” the statement added.
Official sources told KNO that today’s encounter was 9th in the ensuing month of July in which so far 16 militants of various outfits have been killed. “In total, 50 encounters were witnessed this year so far in which 146 militants were killed,” he said. This year, first encounter was witnessed on January 6 in South Kashmir in which a local Hizb militant was killed—