LeT commander among 3 militants killed in Sopore gunfight

Don’t support, provide shelter to militants: DGP to people

By: Amjad Hussain

Srinagar: Three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba including its top commander were killed in an encounter that broke out late Sunday evening in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh on Monday cautioned people against supporting or providing shelter to the militants and appealed to the civil society to help security forces in destroying militant networks in the valley.

DGP termed the killing of top LeT commander Mudasir Pandit during gunfight in Brath area of Sopore as a big success for forces saying the slain militant was involved in several militancy related incidents.

Addressing a joint press conference with IGP Kashmir and GOC Kilo Force, Singh cautioned people against supporting or providing shelter to the militants saying the militants killed in encounter with government forces in Sopore were top commanders and were involved in the killing of several civilians.

““Mudasir Pandit who was LeT Commander was known by various names including Omar, Maaz and Mudasir. He was a dreaded militant who had joined the outfit in June 2019. At least 18 FIRs are lodged against him. He was involved in the killing of various civilians,” DGP added.

Three militants identified as Mudasir Pandit, Khurshid Mir and a foreigner Asrar alias Abdullah, according to the DGP were wanted commanders of the outfit who were killed in an overnight encounter at Brath village of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The police chief also warned the militants to shun the path of violence before they were killed.

“I would like to warn all the militants to shun the path of violence and surrender before they were killed like those in Sopore town. Security forces carried out the operation which was specific but challenging in a surgical manner. I congratulate and appreciate our men,” he added.

He said the operation was launched in a residential area where there is every possibility of collateral damage. DGP said the way the operation was conducted is worth appreciation.

“Weather was not favorable yesterday and the operation had to be launched in a residential area. It was really challenging as there was a possibility of collateral damage, however no such situation was witnessed as our men conducted the operation in extremely professional manner which is worth appreciation,” DGP asserted.

He also said that a soldier suffered a bullet wound in shoulder who was immediately evacuated to the hospital through helicopter and he is stable. Singh said the militant’s carryout their activities in consortium with foreigners.

“Mudasir was involved in many activities as we have seen that militants work in consortium with their foreign counterparts. For sustained peace and development such a nexus needs to be destroyed, so my request to civil society is to support security forces to destroy such networks. We need to prevent youth from taking the path of bloodshed,” he added.

DGP also said the group of slain militants in two major attacks in the town including one in March this year in which two Municipal Councilors were killed and another on 12th of this month which left two cops a civilian and several others injured.

Singh said elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to ensure a safe Yatra this year. He however said Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board is the right authority to comment whether or not to conduct pilgrimage  this year.

Responding to a query as to how many foreign militants have been killed in Kashmir this year, DGP said only two foreign militants of Let outfit have been killed in the valley so far this year and both were neutralized in Sopore town. DGP also asserted that the presence of foreign militants cannot be ruled out.

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