Sopore Encounter: Al- Badr Chief Gani Khaja killed

Srinagar, March 09: Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar said that chief of the Al-Badr militant outfit Gani Khawaja was killed in the fierce gunfight at Tujjar area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and termed the killing of Khawaja as a “big success” for the  forces.

“We have killed Al-Badr chief Gani Khawja in the ensuing encounter at Tujjar, Sopore,” IGP Kashmir said.

He said that the killing of Khawaja was a big success for the forces.

Speaking to media persons at Sopore, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sopore, Javaid Iqbal said that acting on a specific input about the presence of militants in Tujjar, joint team of security forces laid a cordon. “After zeroing in on the suspected spot, the hiding militant fired indiscriminately, triggering a gunfight. In the ensuing gunfight, a militant was killed,” he said.

Earlier, Kashmir zone police tweeted that an unidentified militant has been killed in Sopore encounter. “Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition recovered. Search going on.”

IGP Kashmir said in the evening that the operation is over and searches are being conducted in the area.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that today on a specific input, an operation was launched by Sopore Police at Tujar Sharief falling under the jurisdiction of PS Bomai and after establishing contact 22RR & 179BN CRPF also joined the operation.

“During the search operation, as the presence of a militant  got ascertained, he was given opportunity to surrender, however, he fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the police spokesman said, adding that in the ensuing encounter, militant  was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter. “The killed militant  has been identified as Ab Gani Khawaja alias Sikander, resident of Khawaja Mohalla, Kralgund, chief of militant outfit Al- Badr.”

The police statement said that incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. “All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe his complicity in other terror crimes,” it said, adding that “IGP Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar has appreciated Police and SFs for the big success in eliminating chief operational commander of  Al- Badr without any collateral damage.”

The police statement said that the last rites of the killed militant shall be performed after conducting his medico-legal formalities and his nearest family members shall be allowed to participate in the last rites. “In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated.

People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” the police statement said.

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