Local Militant Killed in Shopian Gunfight, was involved in Army Personnel Killings

SRINAGAR: Police on Friday stated that a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed in the Chotigam of Shopian district, who, according to police, was involved in the killing of army personnel, two labourers, and Kashmiri Pandits.

In a handout, the police said that acting on specific information regarding the presence of militants in the Chotigam village area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched in the early hours by Police, Army (34RR), and CRPF (178Bn) in the said area.

According to a police spokesman, “During the search operation, as the joint party approached the suspected spot, the hiding militant fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, 01 militant was killed, and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter. He has been identified as Bilal Ahmed Bhat, son of Ghulam Rasool Bhat, resident of Chek Cholan, affiliated with the proscribed terror outfit LeT.”

As per police records, the killed militant was involved in several terror crime cases, including the killing of local army personnel, namely Umer Fayaz, son of Fayaz Ahmad Parray, resident of Sudsan Kulgam, who hurled grenades upon non-local labourers in Hermain, resulting in the on-the-spot death of two labourers. He was also involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandits, namely Sunil Kumar Bhat, son of Sri G Bhat, and injuring another Kashmiri Pandit, Pretimber Nath, son of Arjun Nath Bhat, both residents of Chotigam Shopian. He was also involved in the attack on local Bal Krishan @Sonu, a resident of Chotigam. Moreover, he was involved in instigating local youth to join militant ranks and induced 12 local youths into the ranks of militants, he said.

Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in the killing of an arrested militant who was leading the search party during a CASO at Nowgam in the year 2022, he said.

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