Jammu’s Doda is militancy free, say cops after Hizbul terrorist Masood killed in encounter
Masood, a so-called commander of terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed by security forces in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday morning. Masood was the last surviving terrorist from the Doda district, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh said.
Masood was wanted in a rape case in Doda and had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen when he was on the run, the Kashmir police said. He had shifted his area of operation to Kashmir.
J&K police chief Dilbag Singh counted Masood’s elimination as a huge win for the security forces.
“Doda district in Jammu Zone becomes totally militancy free once again as Masood was a last surviving terrorist of the Doda District,” Dilbag Singh said.
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists including a district commander were also killed in Monday’s encounter with a joint team of Kashmir police and Rashtriya Rifles in Anantnag’s Khull Chohar. This is not the first time that terrorists from two groups have been found to be working together in Kashmir in recent months.
Doda, a district in eastern Jammu region that borders south Kashmir’s Anantnag, has been a key area of focus for security forces.
Monday’s encounter less than a fortnight after Dilbag Singh went on to declare that they were within striking distance of clearing Doda of terrorists.
Security forces have stepped up the offensive in Kashmir and killed more than 100 terrorists in operations this year, prompting sharp protests from Pakistan’s foreign office who rushed to describe the terrorists killed in encounters as ‘innocents’. The government had earlier this year tightened the security grid along India’s border to stop infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan’s terror factories.
Forty terrorists were killed this month alone, and most of them were killed in south Kashmir, which is considered the hotbed of militancy in the region. The terrorists eliminated this month include so-called commanders of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.