Srinagar: A top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander was among two militants killed in a gunfight in Sopore in north Kashmir district of Baramulla on Tuesday.
The encounter had started after a team of police, CRPF and army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles was fired upon by militants during a cordon-and-search operation launched in Nathipora area of Sopore.
“The joint cordon and search operation was launched on information provided by Kupwara police,” a spokesman said.
He said during the search operation, militants were given an opportunity to surrender. “However, they fired indiscriminately on the troops. The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter.”
“In the ensuing encounter, two militants of LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” the spokesman said.
They have been identified as a local militant, Wasim Ahmed Lone of Hatlangoo Sopore and a foreign militant Hamas alias Asrar alias Saria, who was active since March 2018 in North Kashmir.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said Hamas was top commander of LeT and was active in general area of Zaingeeer, Warpora, Hatlangoo , Brath , Darpora, Bomai, Zaloora , Nathipora.
“He was active since 2018 and figured in the list of top 60 militants released by JKP recently. He was instrumental in motivating youth to join militant ranks,” he said.
The IGP said Hamas was also involved in multiple grenade lobbying incidents on security establishments and was also “involved in recent killing of two councillors namely Peer Riyaaz and Peer Shamusdin and a SPO namely Shafaat Ahmed on 29 March.”
“He was involved in FIR No 349/20 u/s 307 ipc 3/4 explosive Substances Act 16 UAPA ( Grenade Lobbying at PP Bus stand on 12.12.2020); FIR No 239/20 on 31.08.2020; 64/21 u/s 307,IPC 3 explosive substances Act 16 UAPA ( Grenade Lobbying at Bus stand on 13.03.2021); 4.227/20 u/s 4/7 explosive Substance Act , 16 UAP act on 21.08.2020; 336/20 u/s 307 ipc 3/4 explosive 16 UAP Act on 01.12.2020; FIR No 78/21 us 302,307ipc 7/27 Indian Arms Act 16, 18 UAPA ( attack on Muncipal on 29.03.2020 office leaving three dead.”
Regarding another slain militant Waseem Nazir Lone, the IGP said he was a “chronic stone pelter and was also working as OGW till the date he went missing and joined militant organisation LeT.”
Police said arms and ammunition including one AK-47 rifle, one Insas rifle and other “incriminating materials” were recovered from the site of the encounter. (GNS)