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Top commander among 4 terrorists killed in separate encounters in Shopian, Awantipora of Kashmir

Jammu, April 9, 2021: During the last 24 hours two encounters took place in South Kashmir’s Shopian and Tral, Awantipora areas in which 7 terrorists including AGuH chief were killed.

In Shopian, yesterday at about 1545hrs, on a specific input generated by Shopian Police regarding presence of a group of terrorists in village Baba Mohalla area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Shopian Police, 44RR  and 14Bn CRPF in the said area.

During the search operation as the presence of terrorists in nearby mosque got ascertained they were given ample opportunity to surrender and repeated appeals were made to them, instead, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the initial firing, 4 Army personnel got minor injuries and were accordingly shifted to hospital for treatment. In the retaliatory firing, three terrorists were eliminated while attempting to break cordon however two terrorists kept firing on security forces. Local Imam of mosque and brother of one of terrorist were requested to persuade terrorists to surrender but terrorists refused. Keeping in view the sanctity of mosque, the joint team exercised maximum restraint and didn’t use any kind of IED, heavy arms or other explosive substance.

Even troops didn’t enter into the mosque. Security forces kept launching tear smoke shells inside mosque. In view of this scenario, the operation was suspended for night hours, but the cordon remained intact in and around the encounter site. All possible efforts were made to persuade the holed up terrorists to surrender as besides repeated surrender appeals, parents of one of terrorist were requested to persuade but both terrorists didn’t surrender. But the holed up terrorists refused and sent them back.

Again today in the wee hours, parents of holed up terrorist were sent inside the mosque to yet again persuade them to come out and surrender, but they again refused and sent them back and instead started firing indiscriminately on the joint team. The joint team keeping in view the sanctity of mosque used smoke shells and fired tactfully without damaging the mosque, as a result of which they were successful in eliminating two more terrorists taking the toll to five.

The operation was monitored and supervised by IGP Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar-IPS and GOC Victor Force Maj General Rashim Bali who remained present on spot.

The bodies of the all the five categorized killed terrorists were retrieved from the site of encounter. Among the five killed terrorists, four killed terrorists have been identified as Muzamil Manzoor, Adil Ahmad Lone, Basik Ismaiel Bakshi, all residents of Shopian & Younis Ahmad Khanday resident of Tral. The identification of the 5th killed terrorist is being ascertained.

During the operation police learnt that while laying cordon two terrorists had managed to escape from Shopian encounter and the lead was further developed by Awantipora police. The said terrorists were ultimately tracked at an undisclosed hideout in village Nowbugh area of Tral, by joint team of Awantipora Police, 42RR and 180Bn CRPF in the said area.

The hiding terrorists were also given opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter.

In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed including AGuH commander Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah resident of Ruthsuna Tral and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The 2nd terrorist has been identified as Zahid Ahmed Koka resident of Malhoora Shopian.

As per police records, killed AGuH commander Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah was active since 19/04/2019 and was an A+ categorized terrorist. He was involved in several terror crime cases including civilian killings, attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities besides, he was also involved in motivating youth to join terrorist ranks. The terrorist handlers had assigned him the task to attack army/yatra convoy en-route Tral area. Similarly the other killed terrorists were also involved in several terror crime cases including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities.

Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were recovered from both the encounter sites. The group of killed terrorists was operating jointly and were affiliated with proscribed terror outfits HM/AGuH/LeT.

All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes.

In this connection police have registered cases under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with police till the areas are completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any.

Later on, Corps Commander Lt General D. P. Pandey, IGP Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar-IPS & GOC Victor Force Maj General Rashim Bali held a press conference at PCR Kashmir where besides briefing about the two successful operations they also appealed the local terrorists and misguided youth to shun the path of violence and return to the mainstream. Similar appeal was made by them to the parents of these local terrorists/misguided youth to come forward and help police & security forces in bringing them back as they are always welcome to return to mainstream. They also assured that police and security forces shall continue to give opportunity to the holed up local terrorists for surrender & assured that no harm shall be done to them if they surrender.

The officers congratulated the joint teams for conducting the operations successfully especially the joint team of Shopian who exhibited professionalism and patience while fighting with terrorists who had taken refuge inside a mosque and maintained the sanctity of the mosque.

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