J&K: JeM commander killed in Shopian encounter

J&K: JeM commander killed in Shopian encounter

A three-day gunfight between Jaish-e-Mohammad militants and security forces in South Kashmir’s Shopian ended Monday with the killing of a commander of the outfit.

The site in Rawalpora village witnessed stone pelting as people from the area and those from adjoining villages tried to help the militants escape—a phenomenon witnessed after a over a year.

Several youths suffered firearm injuries as police and paramilitary forces used force to disperse them. Several houses were also damaged.

One of the militant commander’s associates had been killed Sunday.

On Monday, as a joint team of J&K Police, the Army and paramilitary forces resumed the search operation in Rawalpora, a militant trapped in the village opened fire, triggering another round of the battle.

“The encounter resumed in the wee hours after remaining suspended for the night hours,” the police said in a statement. “As the search operation was resumed, contact with the holed up terrorists was again established and during the ensuing encounter one more terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter.”

The police have identified the slain militant as Vilayat Ahmad Lone alias Sajad Afghani, a Shopian resident. They said Lone had joined militant ranks two-and-a-half years ago.

Police said Lone was part of a militant group involved in “executing a series of attacks on policemen, security forces and civilians”.

“Several terror crime cases were registered against him and was wanted by law for his complicity in several terror crime cases including terrorising the people so as to keep them away from Panchayat polls including blazing a Panchayat Ghar at Kanji-ullar, barging into the houses of police personnel, abducting and killing of (policemen) Nisar Ahmad, Firdous Ahmad and Kulwant Singh, attacking 34RR camp at Matribug, abducting and killing of civilian Suhail Ahmad Ganai, killing of (Special Police Officer) SPO Khusboo Jan and abducting and killing of civilian Tanveer Ahmad Dar,” the police statement said.

The operation against the militants started Saturday evening when a joint team cordoned off Rawalpora after receiving inputs about the presence of militants there. The militant killed on Sunday was identified as Jehangir Ahmad. An American-made M4 carbine was found on him.

Several houses were also burnt down during the encounter. Since the situation at the site was volatile, the Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar and the General Officer Commanding (GoC) Victor Force conducted aerial monitoring of the operation and the law and order situation.

“Both the officers have appreciated Police and security forces for the big success and conducting operation successfully without any collateral damage,” the police statement said.

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