3 LeT militants killed in Anantnag encounter; IGP appeals local ultras to shun violence

Srinagar : Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were on Tuesday killed in an encounter which ensued after security forces launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in south Kashmir district of Anantnag.

A police spokesperson said that following specific information about presence of militants, a joint CASO was launched by Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K police, 19 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and CRPF in village Sheikhpora, Vailoo area in Kokernag at around 0400 hrs on Tuesday.

He said during the search operation, as the presence of militants was ascertained, they were given an opportunity to surrender. However, he said the militants fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

‘The joint teams also rescued all the civilians trapped in the gunfire and halted the operation for the time to ensure safety and safe evacuation of people from the area of gunfight,’ he said.

He said after ensuring all the civilians were safe, the operation was resumed and all the three militants were killed in the gunfight. ‘Bodies of the slain militants were retrieved from the site of encounter,’ he said, adding they have been identified as Ilyas Ahmad Dar alias Sameer, Ubaid Shafi alias Abdullah and Aqib Ahmad Lone alias Sahil.

He said as per police records, all the killed militants were linked with proscribed outfit LeT and part of the groups involved in several attacks on security forces and security establishments.

‘Ubaid Shafi was part of the militant group involved in carrying out the attack at Aaribagh area of Nowgam Srinagar on April 1, 2021 in which one Constable Rameez Ahmad attained martyrdom,’ he said.

He said arms and ammunition, including one AK-47 rifle, two pistols and incriminating materials, have also been 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 crimes,” he said.

‘The last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities and the nearest family members of local ultras shall be allowed to participate in the last rites,’ he said.

He said in this connection 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,’ he added.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, congratulated police and security forces for conducting the operation successfully without any collateral damage. The IGP Kashmir also appealed to the parents of the misguided youth to help police to bring their wards back into mainstream.