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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

LeT militant behind Sopore attack killed

He added the posters threatening people against opening their shops and going about their business were put up in the town at Bhat’s behest.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 00:55 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Srinagar
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh (C) along with Inspector General of Police Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani (R) are seen during a press conference at Police control room, in Srinagar, India, September 11, 2019.
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh (C) along with Inspector General of Police Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani (R) are seen during a press conference at Police control room, in Srinagar, India, September 11, 2019.((Photo by Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times))
         

A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant was on Wednesday killed in Sopore, five days after he barged into the house of a fruit trader in the town, fired indiscriminately and left a three-year-old child among four people wounded, Jammu and Kashmir police chief, Dilbag Singh, said.

Singh said Asif Maqbool Bhat, the militant, and his two accomplices, Mudasir and Yasir, had created terror in the area. “They were roaming around in the villages... and threatening people.”

Bhat was killed a day after eight people were arrested for putting up posters in Sopore threatening people of consequences if they did not observe a shutdown in the town against the nullification of Article 370 that provided on August 5 that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status.

Over the last one month, he [Bhat] was very active,’’ said Singh.

He added the posters threatening people against opening their shops and going about their business were put up in the town at Bhat’s behest.

Singh said Bhat was killed after they were tipped off about his location near Sopore. “When he [Bhat] was challenged, he threw a grenade... a couple of our personnel were injured... they are out of danger. In the ensuing encounter, the militant was neutralised,’’ he added.

Singh said Bhat and his associates also shot at migrant labourer, Shafi Alam. “We are after his two associates and will take care of them also.’’

Singh said they were trying to help apple growers in Sopore to sell their produce.

“Our job is that if they want to do business, they should do it without any fear. Militants, on behalf of Pakistan, are going around and trying to threaten them not to open the [fruit] mandi [market in Sopore]. Despite the threat, when people did their business in the mandi, they went to the house of [fruit trader] Hamidullah Dar,’’ Singh said.

Singh said 184 “incidents of law and order” have been reported since the imposition of a lockdown and communication blackout in Kashmir to prevent protests against the nullification of the constitutional provisions. He added there are also reports of fresh infiltration of militants from Pakistan.

“We are trying to verify how successful infiltration could have taken place. Yes, there are reports and there is no denying the fact.’’

Singh said there have been “huge law and order apprehensions” since last month. “People in the state, both in Jammu region, Kashmir region, and also in Leh and Kargil, have been very cooperative and maintenance of law and order has been very good.’’

He added there was hardly any serious law and order situation.

“Very minor kind of law and order incidents took place,’’ he said. Singh added security forces have exercised a lot of restraint and used very minimal force. “That is why causalities on the civilian side have been absolutely nil.’’

He said a stone pelter was injured in Srinagar and subsequently succumbed to his injuries. “...Stone pelters caused injuries to civilians and a civilian death in Bijbehara. A truck driver got injured in stone pelting and succumbed to his injuries... five civilians were injured in stone pelting.’’

Singh said militants have also killed three people over the last one month in South Kashmir’s Tral and Parimpora in Srinagar. He added that the situation is very close to normalcy.

“All 10 districts of Jammu have become absolutely normal. Schools and colleges are open. All offices are open. People are doing their daily jobs without any problem. Normal life has also been restored in Leh and Kargil.’’

Singh said the situation is gradually improving in Kashmir. “...90% areas are free from restrictions...100% telephone exchanges are working. Now in two districts, cell phones are also working. We are now considering more relaxations since people have been very cooperative,’’ he said.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 00:55 IST