TRF chief, deputy killed in Srinagar encounter: Police

Srinagar, August 23: Jammu and Kashmir police Monday claimed to have killed a TRF/Lashkar-e-Toiba chief and his deputy in a brief shoot-out in Aloochibagh area of Srinagar.

A police official said that acting on a specific lead, a special police team zeroed in on a location at Alochibagh area and challenged the militants. “The hiding militants opened fire triggering an encounter. In the ensuing gunfight, two militants of TRF/Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed,” he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said acting on a tip-off, ten policemen from the Special Operations Group (SoG) in civvies cordoned a specific location in Aloochibagh area. “They asked the militants to surrender, who instead opened fire. In the brief encounter, two militants were killed,” the IGP said.

The Kashmir police chief said that slain militants have been identified as Abbas Sheikh, who was TRF/Lashkar-e-Toiba chief for Kashmir and his deputy Saqib Manzoor of Barzulla, Srinagar was active since September 2020.

“Saqib was the man behind recruiting youth into militancy fold in Srinagar. Abbas Sheikh, a resident of Pulwama was a dreaded militant who joined militancy in 2005. He was arrested twice but he got recycled into militancy and was TRF chief at present,” the IGP said, adding that the killing of Abbas Sheikh and Saqib is a big success for police. “Today’s operation was specifically conducted by the police,” the IGP said.

He said that there are four more active militants in Srinagar and around 50 to 60 OGWs are operating as well. “We will try to catch alive all the active militants and arrest the OGWs,” Kumar said. He said the operation was conducted in a smooth manner and there was no “collateral damage.” Asked how they received information about the TRF chief and his deputy, the IGP said: “They were tracking the movement of this group for the past few days and today they were cornered.”

The IGP said that the slain militants were involved in recruiting youth, lobbing grenades and killing political workers and policemen in Srinagar city. “The killing of Abbas Sheikh and Saqib Manzoor is a big success,” Kumar said. kno

Police statement

Police later gave Detailed statement on today’s operation which took place in Alochi Bagh of Central Kashmir’s Srinagar district.

In a statement said, the Police said that acting on specific input generated by srinagar police about presence of militants in Alochi Bagh area of District Srinagar, an operation was planned by IGP Kashmir, DIG Central Kashmir range and SSP Srinagar. Accordingly a special & small team of Police was sent in covert & team raided a specific location. During the raid, the hiding militants were given opportunity to surrender however, they started firing on the police team. Our team also retaliated. In a brief shoot out, two militants of proscribed oufit out LeT (TRF) were neutralized.

The statement further said that of killed militant was identified as top commander of LeT & self claimed chief of TRF Abbas Sheikh of Kulgam and second, his deputy & District Commander of LeT, Saqib Manzoor of Barzullah Srinagar.

As per police records, both the killed militants were involved in killing of several political workers, police personnel and civilians. Saqib Manzoor was involved in killing of Adv Babar Qadri last year. Besides, both the militants were also involved in several grenade attacks on security establishments & were also involved in several other militant crimes and civilian atrocities. They were also involved in reviving militants folds in district Srinagar and in the process recruited 7 youths into militant ranks in District Srinagar among them 4 stands already neutralized. Earlier Abbas Sheikh was a HM militant, arrested and released twice. Later on joined LeT ( so-called TRF as chief). There are several militant & OGWs in his relationship. Besides he was involved in several routine- crimes and narcotics, they said.

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