Killers of Kashmiri Pandit eliminated in encounter: police

at 9:48 pm
Security forces at encounter site in Kashmir (File pic)

Srinagar: Security forces today eliminated two Pakistani terrorists of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, who the police said were involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee in the Valley yesterday.

The two terrorists, identified as foreigners, were killed in an encounter in Brar Argam area of Bandipora district of Kashmir.

The encounter erupted after the security forces laid a cordon in the area following specific input about presence of terrorists there, the police said.

In the fierce gunfight, two foreign terrorists were killed, police said.

The killed terrorists were involved in the gunning down of Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat in Chadoora area of Budgam district yesterday, the police said.

Bhat, a government employee under PM’s Package in Kashmir, was killed by two terrorists in his office, in yet another targeted murder of community members in the Valley.

The killing has triggered widespread outrage and anger among the community.

The gunfight in Bandipora was the second in three days. Earlier on May 11, a local terrorist who had recently infiltrated from Pakistan was killed in Salinder forest area of the district.

Police said the two terrorists killed today had recently infiltrated from Pakistan and belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

During the encounter in Salinder forest two days back, the two had escaped, a police spokesman said.

The police said they were tracking a local LeT terrorist Lateef Rather alias Osama who was involved in violent incidents in Srinagar and Budgam over the last two months.

A week ago, movement of Lateef Rather was confirmed in Salindar area of Bandipora where he had gone to receive a freshly-infiltrated group of LeT terrorists, the spokesman said.

“The presence/movement of these terrorists was zeroed in and shared with the Bandipora police and accordingly an operation was launched on May 11 resulting in elimination of a local terrorist identified as Gulzar Ahmed Ganaie of Baramulla. While as the other two terrorists managed to escape from the said encounter site,” the spokesman said.

“However, Police team kept following the footprints of said escaped terrorists, whose presence was confirmed technically in Chadoora area of Budgam, where terror incident took place yesterday.

“Thereafter their footprints were again confirmed in Brar, Aragam area of Bandipora today. Accordingly the information was shared with the police Bandipora and operation was launched by them along with 13 RR, resulting into elimination of two foreign terrorists of LeT outfit,” he said.

The slain terrorists were identified as Faisal alias Sikander and Ukasha, both residents of Pakistan.

A hunt is on for Lateef Rather, the police said.

About the killed terrorists, Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar said, “Their presence at terror incident site at Chadoora confirmed their involvement in killing of Rahul Bhat.”