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LeT Commander Waseem Shah, The Don of Heff, Killed in Pulwama Encounter

Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Waseem Shah and another member of the terrorist outfit were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district early on Saturday.


Updated:October 14, 2017, 12:28 PM IST

Srinagar: Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Waseem Shah and another member of the terrorist outfit were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district early on Saturday.

Police sources told CNN-News18 that the second terrorist was identified as Nisar Ahmed.

Shah, 23, also known as 'Abu Osama Bhai' was killed at Litter area in Pulwama, a place considered to be a safe haven for militants. This is the first counter-insurgency operation in Litter area in four years.

Jammu and Kashmir police have been tracking the movements of Shah, who is considered as the 'don of Heff', another traditional stronghold of militants in South Kashmir's Shopian district, PTI reported.

He was found at a hideout at Litter and police and its special operation group team cordoned off the area, police said.

Shah along with his bodyguard Nisar Ahmed Mir made an attempt to flee the area, but could not penetrate the cordon which had been strengthened by the presence of CRPF and Army, they said.

Shah, who was wanted in various terror-related cases, was killed along with Naseer, another local boy who had joined militancy in May this year.

A college dropout, Shah, a resident of Heff-Shrimal in Shopian, joined militancy in 2014 and was considered as the 'chief architect' of last year's unrest in various parts of South Kashmir.

Born in a middle class family of Gul Mohammed Shah, who ran his fruit business, Shah was an active supporter of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group since his school days and had doubled up as a courier boy for the outfit, police said.

Off late, Shah, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was recruiting fresh cadres for the militant outfit. He had been involved in various attacks on security forces in South Kashmir, police said

Waseem Shah is the second high-profile militant to have been eliminated in recent weeks after Khalid, the Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Kashmir commander-in-chief, who was killed in an encounter in Baramulla on October 9. Khalid was among the top five wanted A++ militants active in Kashmir, responsible for the attack near the Srinagar airport, that killed one BSF jawan.

Militants killed in Kashmir in the last few months include Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders Bashir Ahmad Wani, Abu Dujana, Abu Ismail and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat.

Other most wanted militants in Kashmir now include Al Qaida’s Zakir Musa, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo, Hizbul Mujahideen’s Saddam Padder and Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Zeenat-ul-Islam.

Security forces have in recent months stepped up the crackdown on terrorist and militant outfits, with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying at least five terrorists are neutralised in Jammu and Kashmir “everyday”.

On October 11, two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in an encounter in Bandipora district. Two Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force attained martyrdom in the operation. The militants were identified as Ali alias Abu Maaz, a Pakistani militant, and Nasrullah Mir, a local militant.

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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