Srinagar – Jammu and Kashmir Police Monday said that all three militants killed an overnight operation at Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district were wanted commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit who had carried out “two major attacks in the area since March 29 this year.”
Addressing a joint press conference at police control room (PCR) Srinagar, J&K’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said that the Sopore operation was a very important operation for police and security forces. “The operation was jointly conducted by the police, army and the CRPF. IGP Kashmir and GoC (Kilo Force) were personally monitoring the operation,” the DGP said. “In the encounter, three wanted militant commanders were killed which is a big success for police and security forces.”
The DGP said that all the three slain were top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit—Mudasir Pandit, against whom there were 18 FIRs lodged in various police station, a foreigner Abdullah alias Asrar, who was working with Mudasir since long and third one Khursheed Mir of Brath Kalan, Sopore, against whom there were six FIRs.
“All three were involved in many militancy related incidents that included killing of civilians, security forces personnel, former militants, Sarpanchs and Hurriyat/separatist leaders/activists in north Kashmir,” the DGP said. “The group was also involved in two major attacks in the Sopore area—first one on March 29 in which two Municipal Councillors and a policeman were killed and another one in which two policemen and two civilians were killed in main market Sopore on June 12.”
Giving further details of the operation, the IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that the slain militants were hiding in a house whose son was also a militant. “I urge the militant families not to give shelter to active militants. Then they blame the police for misbehaving with them….The families of militants should refrain from providing food and shelter to active militants,” the IGP said. He said the three slain militant commanders were involved in two major attacks carried in the area in the past three months.
“As you are aware, we had circulated posters displaying the images of all three wanted militant commanders. This helped us to track their movement. In this process, locals helped and cooperated with us as well,” the IGP claimed. He said that two things are destroying Kashmiri youth—indulging in narcotics and falling prey to indoctrination. “I urge parents to resort to parental control and see where their children spend days and in what activities their children are involved,” the IGP said as per KNO.
Present on the occasion, General officer Commanding of army’s Kilo Force, H S Sahi said that the Sopore operation was conducted in a built up area which is always a difficult thing. “We ensured that there is no collateral damage. A soldier received a bullet injury in his shoulder, who was evacuated to base hospital where his condition is stable,” he said.
The GoC Kilo Force said that the primary focus of the army is to break the local-foreign militant nexus and to plug the recruitment to prevent further “bloodshed in Kashmir.” “I appeal to civil society and people of Kashmir to cooperate with us so that we break this network. Breaking this network is important to stop the cycle of valence,” he said. “I appeal to local militants to leave gun culture and join the mainstream. If they don’t they will meet the similar fate as that of slain in Sopore gunfight today.”