STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: Five terrorists, including the one involved in the recent killing of a non-local street hawker here, were gunned down in two separate encounters with security forces in Shopian district, police said on Tuesday.A police spokesperson said two of the four recent cases of target killings in Srinagar and Bandipora have been solved with the elimination of the terrorists involved in these incidents.“In the last 24 hours, based on specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in the twin villages of Shopian — Tulran and Feeripora — two anti-terrorist operations were carried out, resulting in the elimination of five ultras. The slain terrorists include Mukhtar Shah, who was involved in the targeted killing of a non-local vendor at the Lal Bazar area of Srinagar,” he said.
Srinagar: Security agencies Tuesday identified the terrorists they believed were behind the civilian killings in the city last week, and the attackers included their 25-year-old kingpin Basit Ahmed Dar, a resident of Kulgam in South Kashmir, officials said here.They said that Dar, who disappeared from his home in Redwani in Kulgam district in April, had been under the scanner earlier also as he worked with Abbas Sheikh, the self-styled chief of The Resistance Front (TRF), an organisation believed to be a shadow outfit of the banned Lashker-e-Taiba.According to officials, Dar and three others — including Mehran Shalla, a youth in his early 20s and a resident of Nawa Kadal in downtown city, and another young man Adil — were part of a four-member terror squad that carried out the attacks on civilians in the city.The officials said the group was involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo, who owned a chain of medical shops known for genuine medicines, school principal Supinder Kaur and teacher Deepak Chand, both of whom taught in the same school located at Eidgah.The officials said security agencies gathered CCTV footage from all the locations and joined the dots to zero in on the squad that was responsible for the killing of civilians, especially the minorities.The officials said Basit has been moving around in the city and is accompanied by Mehran and others.It is stated that Dar took over the TRF operations after the death of Abbas Sheikh, among the oldest face of terrorism in the valley.A resident of Kulgam’s Rampur village, Sheikh had joined the banned Hizbul Mujahideen terror group in mid-90s and kept returning to the terror fold after being arrested and released twice.He was arrested for the first time in 2004 and released after a year. In 2007, he was arrested again and spent four years in jail. After his release, he was at home for three years, before going missing again in the spring of 2014.He was gunned down in a swift operation by the army early this year.Sheikh was behind the killing of jeweller Satpal Nischal, a non-Kashmiri, earlier this year leading the security forces to conclude that the same group could have been behind the killing of Virender Paswan, who earned her bread by selling ‘golgappa’ and ‘chat papdi’ in the valley.
According to the spokesperson, acting on specific inputs, the security forces launched cordon-and-search operations in the two villages in south Kashmir.
At Tulran, the terrorists were given repeated opportunities to surrender. However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated, leading to an encounter, the spokesperson said.“Due to darkness, the operation was suspended, but the cordon was kept intact. In the wee hours, repeated announcements were again made asking the terrorists to surrender, but they again fired on the joint search party and it was retaliated,” he said.In the ensuing encounter, three terrorists were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter, the official added.He identified the slain terrorists as Danish Hussain Dar, a resident of Ray Kapren in Shopian, Yawar Hussain Naikoo, a resident of Pahlipora, and Mukhtar Ahmed Shah, a resident of the Sindbal area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.The official said the three slain terrorists were affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF) — a shadow outfit of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).“According to police records, the slain terrorists had links with proscribed terror outfit LeT (TRF) and remained part of groups involved in several terror crime cases, including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities.“It is pertinent to mention that Mukhtar Shah was involved in the target killing of a non-local vendor in the Lal Bazar area of Srinagar and had shifted to Shopian after committing the crime,” he said.Virendra Paswan, a “chaat” vendor from Bihar, was shot dead in the Lal Bazar area of Srinagar on October 5, immediately after famous chemist M L Bindroo was killed near his pharmacy.Terrorists also killed Mohammad Shafi Lone, president of a local taxi stand, in the Naidkhai area of Bandipora district on the same day.Meanwhile, the police spokesperson said the search operation at Feeripora also remained suspended throughout the night and was resumed in the wee hours of Tuesday.Contact was established with the terrorists and they were given ample opportunities to surrender, he added.However, they fired indiscriminately at the search party, which was retaliated, leading to an encounter, the official said.In the ensuing gunfight, two terrorists were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter.They were identified as Ubaid Ahmad Dar, a resident of Ray Kapren, and Khubaib Ahmad Nengroo, a resident of Braripora.“According to police records, both the slain terrorists had links with the LeT and were involved in several terror crime cases,” the spokesperson said.Incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, were seized from the site of the encounter and taken into the case records for further investigation. Police have registered a case under the relevant sections of law.The spokesperson said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the joint teams that worked with great synergy and coordination on the ground to carry out the anti-terrorist operations in a professional manner and without any collateral damage.“It is pertinent to mention that two of the four recent terror cases of target killings in Srinagar and Bandipora stand solved with the elimination of the terrorists involved,” the spokesperson said.
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