STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including a self-styled commander of the outfit, were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Tral area of Pulwama district, police said on Wednesday. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Tral late Tuesday night following information about the presence of terrorists there, they said. During searches, an encounter broke out between militants and security forces, police said. “Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were killed in an operation in the Tral area,” Director General of Police Dilbag Singh told reporters here. Singh said the slain terrorists have been identified as Jehangir Ahmad Wani, who had taken over the command of the outfit in the area after the killing of Hammad, Raja Umer Maqbool and Sadaat Ahmad Thokar. He said arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site which included two AK rifles, a pistol and two grenades. Twenty-three terrorists have been eliminated in various encounters since last month, the DGP said. He said Wani and Maqbool were involved in several “terror crimes”, including killing of two civilians. “They were also involved in incidents of arson including a firing incident at a mosque and burning of a shop and a truck,” Singh said. He said while 19 terrorists have been killed in eight operations in Kashmir, four were killed in two operations in the Jammu region since January this year. “So far, we have had 10 successful operations in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020 in which 23 terrorists have been eliminated,” the DGP said. “Besides, we have also arrested 40 overground workers who were involved in grenade throwing incidents or facilitating the terrorists in the valley,” he added. Singh said it was heartening that eight youths, who had left homes to join terrorist ranks, have been reunited with their families after realising the futility of their decision. “We have ensured that there is no collateral damage during the operations. The fresh recruitment into terrorist ranks is next to nil. The life in Kashmir is normal and police will make all efforts to contribute in keeping it that way,” he added. Meanwhile, an overground worker of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit was arrested by the police in Kulgam district, officials said. “Police in Kulgam arrested a terrorist associate of proscribed outfit LeT. He has been identified as Zubair Ahmed Ganai,” a police spokesperson said. As per police records, Ganai has been assisting active LeT terrorists operating in Kulgam district. “As per investigations, he was involved in providing logistic support, shelter to LeT terrorists operating in the area besides assisting them in transportation and travel,” the spokesperson. Incriminating material, including ammunition and mobile phones have been recovered from him. A vehicle used for transportation of terrorists has also been seized, the spokesperson added.
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