2 LeT militants killed in Budgam gunfight

Both slain locals from Pulwama: DGP

Budgam:  Two local militants affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a brief encounter with security forces in near Court Complex in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, officials said here on Tuesday.

Talking to reporters on the side-lines of a function in Srinagar, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said that the operation was launched yesterday in Budgam, but after firefight for some time, the militants gave slip and however, were traced again today.

“During a naka, the militants were traced and were asked to stop for checking, but they jumped from the vehicle and fired upon the forces and tried to escape the spot,” he said and added that the fire was retaliated and the duo belonging to LeT and hailing from Pulwama district were killed during the encounter.

“Both the militants were moving towards Srinagar district and the reasons behind will be known after the investigation. They left from their old hideout and were in search of the new hideout,” he said.

Meanwhile, the J&K police in a statement said that acting on specific input regarding movement of militants a joint Naka of Police and Army (62RR) was established near Court crossing Budgam.

“During area domination, the joint party signalled a suspected vehicle (sumo) bearing registration number JK04B-6771 to stop however, the terrorists on board jumped from the vehicle and started firing indiscriminately on the joint party which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter,” it said.

“During the brief shoot-out, two terrorists linked with the proscribed terrorist outfit LeT were neutralized and have been identified as Arbaaz Ahmad Mir resident of Putrigam Rajpora and Shahid Ahmad Sheikh resident of Kisrigam, Kakapora,” it said.

“As per police records, both the killed terrorists were categorized terrorists and part of groups involved in several terror crime cases. It is pertinent to mention that both the terrorists escaped earlier from the recent encounter in Budgam,” the police said, adding that they were tasked to carry out some sensational militant incident in Budgam district ahead of forthcoming Republic Day.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 01 AK-47 rifle, 01 pistol were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation. In this regard, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated,” the police said.

The army in its statement said that the movement of militants of LeT was being continuously tracked for past few days by the intelligence agencies of Army. “Based on the confirmed input received regarding move of terrorists in the area of Budgam, a joint mobile vehicle check post was launched by Army & JKP by 0930hr on 17 Jan 2023,” it said.

“At 09:40 hrs, a suspected Tata Sumo was intercepted by the Security Forces. On being challenged, the terrorists in the vehicle in an attempt to flee, opened indiscriminate fire on the Security Forces,” the army said, adding that they did so to create chaos by inflicting casualty to Security Forces & civilians in the crowded area.

“However, the Security Forces exercised complete restrain and cordoned off the terrorists in the nearby shops, where they had sought shelter,” it said, adding that the security forces tightened the noose of the area by dynamically reinforcing the area with additional troops and cutting of all possible escape routes.

“While ensuring strict fire control and valuing the civilian life, security forces evacuated the locals to safety. The terrorist however continued with indiscriminate fire on the security forces who were evacuating the locals,” it added.

In the ensuing fire fight, the army said that both the militants were eliminated by the precise fire brought down by the security forces. “As per the JKP, the neutralised terrorists have been identified as Sahid Rashid Sheikh, r/o Kisrigom, Kakapora and Arbaz Ah Mir, r/o Putrigam, Pulwama, both belonging to LeT. The search of the area resulted in recovery of one AK series rifle, one pistol and other indiscriminating material,” it added.

“Elimination of these terrorists has given a big jolt to the terrorist tanzeems in the area and has disturbed their nefarious plans of disturbing the peace and tranquillity in the area,” the army said. (KNO)

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