Two Lashker-e-Toiba terrorists, one of them a senior commander, were killed in a clash with the police and the Army at Wayil, Nogam in Shopian quarter of south Kashmir on Saturday. The clash broke out when the police and 62 RR, on specific information, laid a cordon of the village early on Saturday morning. The slain terrorists have been identified as Pintu Malik and Shiraz Mir.
Police said the troops of 62-RR and Special Operation Group (SOG) laid siege around the village after receiving information that the terrorists were hiding in the house of one Gh Qadir. They said that terrorists opened fire on the troops as they zeroed in on the house, which led to a fierce gunfight. "The terrorists hurled a grenade and fired upon the police personnel and the Armymen in which one soldier was injured," said a police spokesperson.
Police said that the troops were later joined by the personnel of 44-RR, and targeted the house, where terrorists were hiding. The house was completely damaged in the firefight, police said. As the clash ended in the afternoon, two bodies were recovered from the site.
They were identified as that of Altaf Ahmad Malik @ Pinto Malik of Liter and Sheraz Ahmad Mir @ Abu Serya @ Imran @ Doctor of Rakh Liter Pulwama district. Police said that Pinto Malik was a 'A' category terrorist and district commander of Lashkar. He had escaped from Pulwama court complex in September 2006.
Malik was one of the senior commanders of Lashkar active in the area. He joined terrorism in 1998. His father Ghulam Hassan Mir was a National Conference activist and was gunned down by terrorists in 1997.
Police said that Malik was involved in the killing of several civilians and security personnel. He was accused of beheading IRCON engineer Sudher Kumar and his brother on June 23, 2005 and a case FIR No 103/04 U/S 302 RPC and 7/25 Arms Act stood registered against him in Police Station, Awantipora. He was also accused of killing a Sumo driver namely Maroof Ahmad Mir in August 2005 and a case FIR No 292/05 U/S 364, 302 RPC 7/27 Arms Act was registered against him in the Police Station, Pulwama. A police spokesperson said that the slain LET commander was also involved in an attack on 55RR party in which one civilian and one Army jawan was killed besides injuries to two civilians and one Army jawan. He was alleged to be behind the attack on a police vehicle at Rakh Liter on February 5, 2007 in which four policemen were killed and three others injured.
He was arrested in September 2005 but escaped from District and Session's Court Pulwama on September 6, 2006.
Police said that another slain terrorist Shiraz Ahmad Mir had planned the killing of two CRPF personnel at Sangam.
Two AK 47 rifles and some ammunition have been recovered from the encounter site during the search operation.
The killing of the Lashkar terrorists prompted protest demonstrations by the residents in Liter and Rakh.