A youth was killed when hit by a bullet in the chest during intense protests in the area.
Srinagar: A top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana, who figured at number one in the list of “most dangerous terrorists” released by the Army in June this year, is among the two gunmen shot dead by the security forces in a fierce encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Pulwama district on Tuesday.
The officials called Dujana’s killing a “huge achievement” of the Jammu and Kashmir police and the security forces combating a three-decade old militancy in the state.
“LeT chief commander Abu Dujana of Pakistan along with his accomplice killed in Harkipora, Pulwama. Huge achievement for police and SF,” tweeted the J&K police.
LET chief Commander Abu Dujana of Pakistan alongwith his accomplice killed in Hakripora Pulwama. Huge achievement for police & SF.— J&K Police (@JmuKmrPolice) August 1, 2017
Soon after the word about Dujana’s killing spread, the irate youth took to the streets in many parts of the Valley including Pulwama and Srinagar and soon clashed with the security forces. The police and other security forces fired their rifles, pellet shotguns and teargas canisters to quell the stone-pelting mobs, the witnesses said.
One youth identified as Firdous Ahmed, a resident of Pulwama’s Begumpora, Kakapora, was killed when hit by a bullet in the chest during intense protests in the area, the police and hospital sources said.
#WATCH Encounter between security forces & terrorists in J&K's Pulwama (Visuals deferred) pic.twitter.com/WH7kUrem94— ANI (@ANI_news) August 1, 2017
The police and Army sources said the fighting broke out in Pulwama’s Hakripora village early on Tuesday morning following a cordon-and-search operation which was launched jointly by the Army, the counterinsurgency Special Operations Group of the J&K police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on learning about the presence of militants.
“Two terrorists have, so far, been killed. One of them is Arif Lihari, a local Kashmiri. The other is said to be Abu Dujara but we are verifying it,” a senior police officer who wished not to be named had said earlier.
He also said the bodies had been charred.
On June 1, the Army released a list of top 12 militants active mainly in Jammu and Kashmir's southern districts, falling in two categories of ‘A’ and ‘A++’ and belonging to the Hizb-ul-Mujahedin (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). Abu Dujana, alias Hafiz (LeT Divisional Commander, South Kashmir), was listed under the A++ category and the Army had also said he is based out of Pakistan and has been active since December 14, 2014. It had also said getting these militants dead or alive is the top priority of the Army.
Dujana had escaped several such operations in the past. During one of these, his close associate Abu Okasha who was allegedly involved in the August 5, 2015, ambush on a BSF convoy near the garrison town of Udhampur was among those killed in Pulwama’s Padgam Pora-Wandakpora village in March this year.
The locals said on Tuesday the militants were trapped in Hakripora after the operation was launched at 4 am. As the security forces zeroed in on the militants' hideout, the latter opened fire at them triggering the encounter, the police sources added. Later the security forces used explosives, mortars and possibly improvised explosive devices to blow the private house up, a report said.
The internet services in parts of south Kashmir have been snapped in view of rising tensions. Also, the rail services have been suspended “as a precautionary measure”. Following clashes erupted in parts of the Valley, most schools and other educational institutions were closed and the students were hurriedly sent home in Srinagar and south Kashmir areas. The vehicles are being withdrawn from the roads and marketplaces have closed amid chaos.