LeT millitant who induced 12 local youth into terrorist ranks killed in Shopian gunfight: Police


Says slain was involved in killings of non-local labourers, others

Srinagar, Jan 05 (KNO): Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday said that a local Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed in Chotigam village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district, who according to police was involved in inducting 12 youth into terrorist ranks.

A senior police official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a joint team of Police, Army and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation on specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area.

He said that the search operation turned into an encounter after terrorists opened fire at the forces, who retaliated.

“In the ensuing encounter, one terrorist was killed, who has been identified as Bilal Ahmed Bhat, son of Ghulam Rasool Bhat of Chek Cholan, affiliated with the proscribed terror outfit LeT,” the official said.

According to police, he was involved in several crimes including killing of Pandits and non-local labourers.

In a statement to KNO, a police spokesman said that acting on specific information regarding presence of terrorist in village Chotigam area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched in the wee hours by Police, Army (34RR) and CRPF (178Bn) in the area.

According to a police spokesman, during the search operation, as the joint party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorist fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter.

In the ensuing encounter, one terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. He has been identified as Bilal Ahmed Bhat son of Ghulam Rasool Bhat resident of Chek Cholan, affiliated with proscribed terror outfit LeT, the spokesman said.

As per police records, the killed terrorist was involved in several terror crime cases including killing of local army personnel namely Umer Fayaz son of Fayaz Ahmad Parray resident of Sudsan Kulgam, hurled grenade upon non-local labours in Hermain, resulting in on spot death of two labourers. He was also involved in killing a Kashmiri pandith namely Sunil Kumar Bhat son of Sri G Bhat & injuring other Kashmiri pandit Pretimber Nath son of Arjun Nath Bhat, both residents of  Chotigam Shopian.

“He was also involved in an attack on local Bal Krishan @Sonu resident of Chotigam. Moreover, he was involved in instigating local youth to join terrorist ranks and induced 12 local youth into the ranks of terrorists,” he said.

Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in killing an arrested terrorist who was leading the search party during a CASO at Nowgam in the year 2022, he said.

Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 01 AK series rifle, 03 magazines were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes, he said.

In this regard, Police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any, reads the statement—(KNO) 

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