Three LeT militants, ASI killed in J-K encounter

Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants and an assistant sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed in a gunfight on the outskirts of the city here on Sunday, police said.
Militants fired on a joint ‘naka’ of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Pantha Chowk area late on Saturday night, a police official said.
He said the joint parties of the forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation there.
During the searches in the area, the militants again fired on the search party of the forces, who retaliated, leading to an encounter, the official said.
A tight cordon was maintained throughout the night and the firing resumed this morning, he said.
He said three militants were killed in the gunfight.
An assistant sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Babu Ram, was also killed in the operation, the official added.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the wreath laying ceremony of the slain ASI, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said the three militants came on a bike and fired at the joint party of the security forces.
‘After firing upon the forces, they (militants) tried to snatch weapons, but it was foiled by alert troops, forcing the militants to flee, leaving behind their bike. The forces chased them and they took shelter in a nearby area known as Dhobi Mohalla, Pantha Chowk,’ he said.
The DGP said security forces acted swiftly and cordoned off the area till senior officers of police and CRPF joined them to supervise the operation.
‘The operation lasted for the entire night. In the initial exchange, one militant was killed and we lost a brave ASI Babu Ram. He was well-trained and an experienced counter-insurgency cop. As the operation progressed, we killed two more militants,’ he said.
Singh said the three slain militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba and one of them was a commander active since past over a year.
“He was involved in several terror crimes. Our forces have not only averted an incident, but also had a successful operation,’ he said.
The top cop said the other two militants were given an opportunity to surrender, but they refused.
‘We brought the families of the two from Pampore area who appealed their children to surrender, but they refused and instead fired upon the forces. We gave them an opportunity even as we had lost a colleague,” the DGP said.
Asked about the identity of the militants, he said the details will be shared later.
‘The commander was active for the last one-and-a-half-year, while the details about the other two are being ascertained,’ he said.
He said an AK-47 rifle and pistols were recovered from the slain militants.
A wreath laying ceremony was held at District Police Lines here where floral tributes were paid to the ASI, a police spokesman said.
R R Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor UT, led the officers and personnel in paying the homage.
The slain ASI’s body was later handed over to his family for last rites, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Police stands by the family of the martyr at this critical juncture and pay our rich tributes to the martyr for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty, the spokesman added.