LeT Militants Encounter : Major Success as Forces Neutralize Terrorists Linked to Attacks on Minorities in J&K
Srinagar, 17 Nov (City Times) : (LeT Militants Encounter) : In a significant development, security forces achieved a major victory in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district, successfully eliminating five local militants associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The 20-hour long encounter, characterized by intense gunfire, marked a decisive blow against the terror network operating in the region. This operation holds particular importance as the slain militants were identified as perpetrators of various attacks on minorities, including a targeted assault on a Kashmiri Pandit last year.
Unveiling the Terror Network : Targets and Attacks
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rayees Bhat, termed the operation a ‘big success’ for the forces, emphasizing the involvement of the militants in multiple attacks against minorities. The terrorists targeted a Kashmiri Pandit, Sonu Bhat, in Chotigam, Shopian, in April of the previous year. Additionally, they were responsible for assaulting a minority picket in Shopian and orchestrating an attack on non-local laborers in Gagran Shopian earlier this year.
Strategic Operation and Neutralization
The operation unfolded based on specific intelligence inputs regarding the movement of terrorists. A joint effort was launched, bringing together units from Kulgam police, Army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles, Army’s elite 9 Para unit, and 18 battalion CRPF. The encounter ensued after establishing contact with the militants hiding in residential houses. In the fierce firefight, all five terrorists associated with LeT were neutralized, dealing a significant blow to the terror infrastructure operating in the region.
The Eliminated Militants and Recovered Arsenal
The police identified the militants as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh, Danish Hameed Sheikh, Ubaid Padar, Hanzala Shah – all residents of Shopian, and Yasir Bhat of Kulgam. The recovered arsenal from the operation included 4 AK series rifles, two pistols, four grenades, and additional arms and ammunition. The success of this operation is expected to disrupt the functioning of the terror network in the area. (LeT Militants Encounter)
Local Impact and Collateral Damage
While the operation aimed at neutralizing the militants, locals reported collateral damage as at least two houses and a cowshed caught fire during the exchange of gunfire. The community, caught in the crossfire, witnessed the intensity of the encounter.
Continued Vigilance: Another Encounter in Rajouri
The success in Kulgam followed another encounter in the Budhal area of Rajouri district. In this separate operation, security forces engaged a terrorist in a targeted house. The exchange of fire resulted in the death of one terrorist, and a subsequent search uncovered a substantial cache of arms and ammunition, including an AK 47, three magazines, three grenades, and a pouch.
Conclusion: A Resounding Message Against Terrorism
The back-to-back encounters in Kulgam and Rajouri send a resounding message that security forces remain vigilant and committed to eradicating terrorism from the region. The neutralization of militants involved in attacks against minorities underscores the importance of intelligence-driven operations. While the success of these operations is a testament to the forces’ dedication, the collateral damage raises concerns about the impact on the local population. Balancing the need for security with minimizing civilian harm remains a critical challenge in the ongoing fight against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The recent victories, however, reinforce the commitment to a safer and more secure future for the region.