Ultra who killed BJP leader gunned down by J&K cops

Killer of BJP leader among two LeT ultras gunned down in Kashmir encounter

Nearly 110 militants and 21 security forces and police personnel have been killed in Jammu Kashmir since the beginning of this year

The police identified the slain militants as Abid Rashid Dar alias Haqani and Azad Ahmed Shah, both affiliated with the LeT. Credit: PTI File Photo

A self-styled commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who was accused of killing a BJP leader and his family last year, was neutralised along with his associate by security forces in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Sunday.

A police spokesperson said a cordon-and-search-operation was launched in Watrina, Bandipora, 70 kilometres from here, by the Army’s 14-Rashtriya Rifles and J&K police after a specific input about the presence of militants in the area.

“A contact was established with the two hiding militants on Sunday morning. Frequent appeals were made to the militants to surrender but they refused and fired upon the search party of security forces. In the retaliatory action, both the hiding militants were killed,” he said.

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The police identified the slain militants as Abid Rashid Dar alias Haqani and Azad Ahmed Shah, both affiliated with the LeT. Shah, they said was “involved” in the killing of BJP leader Sheikh Waseem Bari, his brother and father on July 8, 2020 in Bandipora along with Usman and Sajad alias Haider, both Pakistanis militants. Usman and Sajad were killed in Kreeri in September last year.

Police said Abid Dar was a Pakistan-trained militant who had crossed over the Wagah border in April 2018 and had infiltrated back in 2019. “He was involved in local militant actions and had been tasked with recruitment and running the ranks of the Lashkar in north Kashmir,” the spokesperson said and added two AK-47 rifles, one pistol and other incriminating material seized from the possession of the slain militants.

Nearly 110 militants and 21 security forces and police personnel have been killed in Jammu Kashmir since the beginning of this year. The highest number of militants (31) were killed in July.

Among the militants slain in J&K this year, only 11 were Pakistanis while the rest were all locals. According to the army, there are still 200-225 militants active across the J&K despite low infiltration this year.

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