Army guns down JeM commander, Hizb terrorist; soldier martyred
Srinagar: In a major success, Indian Army gunned down a Pakistani operational commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Raj Kumar was martyred in Drung village in Badgam district when security forces launched an operation shortly after Sunday midnight.
"As the cordon was being tightened, the hidden militants opened fire injuring Raj Kumar who later succumbed to his injuries," an officer said. But Defence Ministry sources said that the JCO died in a gun battle.
In Baramulla district, also in the Kashmir Valley, the JeM commander, identified as Khalid alias Shahid Showkat, got killed when security forces surrounded Ladoora village after being tipped off about his presence.
The militant fired at a police covert checkpost in Ladoora village in Sopore area. The police party retaliated, leading to a gun battle in which the Pakistani was injured.
He escaped from the spot and entered a house, which security forces immediately cordoned off. In the meanwhile, the CRPF and Army also joined the operation.
As the gun battle continued, the militant got killed, the police said.
Khalid was on the most wanted list of security forces and his death is seen as a major blow to militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The JeM is based in Pakistan.
A police statement said he was involved in several killings in Jammu and Kashmir and also masterminded the October 3 attack on a BSF camp near the Srinagar airport which left a trooper and all three militant-attackers dead.
The militant "was constantly exploring the opportunities to kill the security forces and police personnel and to attack police and security establishments in the state", the statement said.
"He was motivating youth and poor boys to join his outfit to execute grenade attacks for monetary benefits on behalf of the Pakistan-based JeM commanders," it added.
He was involved in an attack on a Special Police Officer (SPO) Altaf Ahmad Khan, at Hajin Handwara in which the SPO along with his son and father were seriously injured.
He was also involved in the killing of mobile phone tower guard Eidul Amin Mir in Sopore, Fayaz Ahmad Rather of Saidpora, Suhail Ahmad Dar of Handwara and Sarpanch Ghulam Nabi Khawaja of Kralgund besides an attack on Naz Khan in Handwara.
He was also linked to a Fidayeen attack on an Rashtriya Rifles camp in 2016 at Khaja Bagh in Baramulla.
Security forces also shot dead a Hizbul Mujahideen militant in a house in Gatipora village in Shopian district, police said.
Police said initial reports said two to three militants were hiding in the house.