Arshad Farooq/ Agencies
Srinagar, Jun 21: A top Lashker-e-Toiba commander was among three militants killed and a soldier was injured in an overnight gunfight in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, officials said on Monday.
“During the intervening night of June 20 and 21, acting on a specific information generated by Sopore Police about presence of (militants) in Gundibrath area of Sopore, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, CRPF and 22RR in the area,” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“During the search operation as the presence of (militants) got ascertained, they were given an opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated, leading to an encounter. In the initial exchange of fire, one army soldier got injured and evacuated to hospital via helicopter.
“In the ensuing encounter, three (militants) including a top LeT commander were killed and their bodies was retrieved from the site of encounter.”
They have been identified as Mudasir Ahmad Pandith alias Muda of Dangerpora Sopore, Khursheed Ahmad Mir of Brath Kalan and a Pakistani Abdullah alias Asrar.
“All the killed (militants)were linked LeT and Mudasir Pandith was the commander of (the outfit) for North Kashmir.”
As per police records, all the killed militants were part of group involved in various incidents and several cases were registered against them including attack at Municipal office Sopore on March 29 in which two Municipal Councillors and one police personnel were killed, the spokesman said.
“They were also involved in attack on police party of Police Station Sopore on June 12 at Main Chowk Sopore in which two police personnel and two civilians were killed and two more police personnel and two civilians were injured.”
Pandit had a long history of cases including attacks on Police and security forces, the spokesman said. “He was also involved in attack on Fruit Merchants at Dangerpora on 06-09-2019 in which four civilians got injured. Moreover, he was also involved in killing of several ex-militants, Hurriyat activists, Sapanches/Panches in Sopore area.”
Khursheed Mir who was the part of this group was also involved in attack on CRPF at Lawaypora area of Srinagar on 25 March this year in which three CRPF personnel were killed, the spokesman said.
“The foreigner Abdullah alias Asrar was active in North Kashmir since 2018 and remained the part of the group and several cases were also registered against him for his involvement in civilian atrocities and attacks on Police/ SFs.”
Arms, ammunition and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter, the spokesman said.