LeT Div Comdr, Associate Killed In Pulwama

8 June 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Security forces today achieved a major success by killing divisional commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who was involved in the killing of former Director of SKIMS along with his security guards, in South Kashmir district of Pulwama this evening. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that Divisional Commander of the LeT, Bilal Ahmad Bhat alias Bilal Lelhari, and his associate, Mudasir Sheikh, were killed in an encounter at Reshipora, in district Pulwama this evening. The DIG said that killing of Bilal is a major success for the security forces in South Kashmir as he was tasked to lure the youth into militancy. He said that he was involved in the killing of Dr. Sheikh Jalal and his two police guards killing in Pampore area of Pulwama last year. He was also involved in the killing of 2 Army personnel and snatching of a rifle at Kadalbal and in attack near Silver Star hotel in Srinagar. He was also involved in the conspiracy of Hyderpora attack on Army in which 8 Army personnel were killed last year. He said that Mudasir Sheikh had joined the militancy 3 months ago. The police officer said that on a specific information, Pulwama Police, 50 RR and 183 CRPF launched a cordon and search operation at village Reshipora, Kakpora in Pulwama district this afternoon. 'The militants present in the village fired on the forces triggering an encounter in which two militants were killed', he added. Sources said that the security forces had information about the presence of 4-5 militants in 2-3 houses, including Irshad Ahmad Ganai, one of the most wanted militant in South Kashmir. However, it is not known whether they fled before the start of the gun battle or during it. A defence spokesman said during the cordon militants came out and opened fire on the troops, who immediately took cover and retaliated, keeping the safety of civilian in mind. 'One of the terrorist was killed in the initial gunfight while other terrorist took cover and kept on engaging the troops. The fire fight continued till another 30 minutes and troops were able to successfully kill the other terrorist also', the spokesman added. The spokesman said that one AK-47, one pistol and other warlike stores were recovered from the militants. 'The operation was called off at 1940h and bodies of the slain terrorist were handed over to the police', the spokesman added. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, Lt General Gurmit Singh, appreciated the Army troops and officers as well the SOG personnel for the operation which was conducted in a thoroughly professional and surgical manner. 'So far, a total of 59 terrorists, including these two, have been neutralised this year. Out of which 36 were killed and 23 were apprehended', the spokesman said.