A Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist was gunned down on Friday after a 16-hour-long encounter near Kulgam’s Mir Bazar in Jammu and Kashmir. Another militant escaped as security forces were cornered in a newly constructed building minutes after they opened fire on a BSF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the police said.
Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Vijay Kumar, said, “The militant has been identified as Usman Bhai, alias, Abu Zarar from Pakistan and had been active in Kashmir for the last six months.”
“A tragedy has been averted as the slain was planning a major strike on security forces," he said, adding that the police had inputs about a possible militant attack on the highway ahead of Independence Day so they were alert.
An AK-47 rifle, four magazines, few grenades and an RPG launcher along with the cell have been recovered from the LeT terrorist.
“Stringent security measures are in place to foil attempts by terrorists to disrupt August 15 functions,” Kumar added.
The slain militant had taken shelter inside a nearby building after he attacked the BSF convoy at Mir Bazar, a bustling marketplace on the borderline of Kulgam and Anantnag districts. It isn’t clear whether the second militant too had ran towards the building or taken a different route to get out of the security net.
The police, army and paramilitary troops remained stationed in the area through the night. First, they took out 22 people out of the line of fire and shifted them to safety and later focused on the operation to target the terrorists.
#KulgamEncounterUpdate: After a long time foreign #terrorists used RPG. Besides AK 47 rifle, Rocket launcher & grenades (cells) recovered. A major incident averted. #Congratulations to CRPF, Army & Police: IGP Kashmir@JmuKmrPolice pic.twitter.com/wf0zVXwHeG— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) August 13, 2021
On Friday morning, after an intense firing, they recovered Usman’s body.
Around 3 pm on Thursday, terrorists fired upon the convoy of BSF on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway near Malpora Mir Bazar area of Kulgam. However, the fire was retaliated by an ROP (road opening party) of police and security forces," a police spokesman said.
Reinforcement of Police and Army reached immediately and cordoned off the area, he said. "The force party ensured not to give any chance to the terrorists to escape. The terrorists managed to took shelter in a nearby huge building. The holed-up terrorists fired indiscriminately upon the joint party of police/security forces which was retaliated, leading to an encounter," he said.