Two civilians from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were on Saturday evening shot dead by terrorists in the Kashmir valley.
A Bihar resident Arvind Kumar, who was a street vendor, was shot dead in the downtown Eidgah area of Srinagar.
In another incident, a carpenter from UP, Sageer Ahmad, was shot dead by terrorists in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.
Reports said that terrorists fired bullets at Arvind Kumar from point blank leaving him in a pool of blood. He was rushed to the medical college hospital where he was declared brought dead.
He is the second vendor from Bihar to be targeted by terrorists few days back.
Terrorists had last week shot dead two teachers in the same area. With this, the number of civilians killed in past few days has risen to nine.
Security forces have cordoned the area and launched search for terrorists involved in the incident.
Earlier during the day, one of the most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Umar Mushtaq Khandey, who had some time back shot two policemen, was among two terrorists killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in the Drangbal area of south Kashmir’s Pampore.
A joint team of the Army, CRPF and J&K Police cordoned the area in wee hours after receiving inputs about the presence of terrorists in the village.
‘A++ categorised’ terrorist Khandey was listed among the top ten most wanted terrorists.
IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said Khander had killed two policemen Mohammad Yousuf and Suhail Ahmad while they were having tea. The two neutralized terrorists were involved in several other crimes.
Vijay Kumar said that the security forces have killed 13 terrorists in 9 encounters after the recent civilian killings in Kashmir. We have neutralized 3 out of the 5 terrorists of Srinagar city within less than 24 hours.
“We are committed to hunt down these terrorists who try to create fear among masses and spread mischief and tumult in the valley. Such elements and their names should be excised from the society”, said the IGP.
Meanwhile, heavily armed terrorists abducted a civilian Shakeel Ahmad Sofi from Niloora village in Pulwama district. Shakeel is brother of a terrorist who was recently arrested from the village. He was however released later.
On the other hand, Para Special Forces of the Army have joined the counter terrorists operation in the Poonch district of Jammu that entered sixth day on Saturday with so far martyrdom of seven soldiers but not a single casualty of terrorists.
The encounter that started on 10 October near the Dera-ki-Gali (DKG) in Surankot has stretched long with the terrorists shifting their hideout in the dense forest area. Five soldiers, including a JCO were killed in an ambush on the first day of the encounter. Two soldiers from Uttrakhand, 26-year-old Rifleman Vikram Singh Negi and 27-year-old Rifleman Yogambar Singh were killed near the Nar Khas forest area of Mendhar on Thursday evening.
A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) is said to be missing and efforts were being made to trace him.
Army helicopters and drones were trying to spot the Pakistani terrorists who are believed to have infiltrated through the Line of Control (LOC). The Army established contact with terrorists thrice but they managed to escape. The latest location of terrorists was at Bhata Dhurian village in Mendhar along the Rajouri–Poonch highway. The highway has been shut for civilian traffic.
The continuing gunfight indicates that the terrorists were heavily armed and were carrying a good amount of ammunition.
Meanwhile, the J&K DGP Dilbag Singh reviewed the security in a high-level meeting in Srinagar. He ordered further strengthening of the intelligence network as well as security grids.