JK: 2 militants killed in encounter after 3 security personnel martyred in attack

Hours after Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants carried out an attack which left two CRPF jawans and a Jammu and Kashmir policeman dead in Baramulla district of the union territory on Monday, security forces chased the ultras and killed two of them in an encounter, police said.
The forces were engaged in a battle with the third militant and the operation was on, the police said when the last report came in.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said one of the two killed militants is Sajad Haider — the number one in the LeT outfit in north Kashmir and among the top ten militants in J-K.
Two militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces in Kreeri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the police said.
They said the encounter began hours after the attack on a ‘naka’ party of the security forces in which two CRPF personnel and a special police officer (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed.
Immediately after the attack, the security forces cordoned off the area and launched searches to nab the militants, they said.
Contact was established with them and during the exchange of fire, two militants were killed, the police said, adding that the operation was going on.
‘The two killed militants have been identified. One of them is Sajad Haider alias ‘Jaja’ a resident of Dangerpora Sopore. He was a militant since 2016, and was active like (former Hizbul Mujahideen commander) Burhan Wani in the north Kashmir belt,’ the DGP told reporters at a press conference here.
Singh said like Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces in 2016, Haider was also responsible for making several people join the terror ranks in north Kashmir.
He said Haider was involved in the killing of BJP’s former district president Waseem Bari and two of his family members in July this year.
‘We have arrested about 20 of those (militants who joined the militant ranks on the insistence of Haider) and have also neutralised his OGW network. He has a long list of crimes and was the main architect, the brain behind the killing of BJP’s former Bandipora president Waseem Bari and his brother and father,’ Singh said.
The DGP said the LeT commander was also involved in the July 1 Sopore attack in which one CRPF jawan was killed and four others were injured. He was also involved in several other civilian killings, he added.
The DGP said after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August last year, Haider targeted fruit merchants including in Sopore on September 6 in which a person was killed and his four-year-old granddaughter was injured.
Recently, he started making audio and video recordings like former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo ‘ who was killed in an encounter with security forces in May this year — and threatening people including journalists, Singh said.
The DGP said Haider was the number one militant of LeT in north Kashmir and among the top ten in J-K.
‘He was responsible for destroying many families… While obviously the killing of two CRPF jawans and a cop is a huge loss, but the way the police, CRPF and Army did the operation, it is a successful operation in the real sense and I hope that many families will heave a sigh of relief with his killing,’ he said.
The DGP said the second militant who was killed in the encounter has been identified as Anatullah Mir, a resident of Pattan.
‘He was trained by Haider in March this year. The chances are that the third one may be a foreign terrorist and reportedly Usman who was the commander, from the Pakistani side, of north zone of LeT. The exchange of firing is on and we have not yet retrieved the third body,’ he added. ‘ Earlier, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said three militants suspected to belong to the LeT outfit carried out the attack.
‘According to eye witnesses, there were three militants who came from the nearby dense orchards and started firing indiscriminately on the ‘naka’ in which our three jawans — ‘two from CRPF and one J-K Police — ‘were martyred. It seems the LeT has carried out the attack. We will give them a befitting reply soon,’ Kumar told reporters at the site of the attack.
‘We have cordoned off the area and searches are on. We are hopeful that we will neutralise them soon,’ he had said.
Asked whether the militants have changed their strategy and were attacking the security forces and then fleeing the spot, the IGP said it was a matter of concern, but the forces will soon find a solution to the problem.
‘It is a matter of concern. The number of forces on a ‘naka’ point is less and is normally in a remote area where they (militants) conceal themselves by coming along with civilians and then fire on the forces. We have faced losses and they have managed to flee a few times, but, we will soon find a response to this tactic and end this problem,’ he said.