Three terrorists associated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a terror outfit linked to al-Qaeda, were killed in an encounter with security forces on Tuesday in the Tral area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said on Wednesday.
The three were identified as Naveed Tak, Abdul Hameed Lelhari and Junaid Bhat. Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter.
Lelhari has been identified as the successor of Zakir Rashid Bhat aka Zakir Musa, Kashmir’s most-wanted militant, and commander of Al Qaeda linked Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind (AGH).
Lelhari was named as the new commander of Ghazwat-ul-Hind in June this year after Zakir Musa was gunned down by security forces on May 23.
Musa was earlier affiliated with Pakistan-based militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen when it was led by Burhan Wani. In 2017, Musa formed his own outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
Speaking on the encounter, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said that with this operation, Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind group (AGH) has been completely wiped out.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, DGP Dilbag Singh further said that through launching terror pads near Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan army and the ISI are involved in pushing in maximum number of militants towards the Indian side.
“We will be successful in our efforts to curb terrorism only when the local youth of Kashmir do not take the path of militancy and choose the path of peace,” he added.
In another encounter on Tuesday, three terrorists of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Search operations were conducted after the encounter and the area was sanitized. The three terrorists were behind the killing of two Gujjar brothers in August, Singh was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, the Doda district police has put up posters announcing a cash reward of Rs 15 lakh on information leading to arrest of two most-wanted terrorists.
Post the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, several attempts have been made by Pakistan to infiltrate terrorists into the Indian territory.
One such attempt was made in the Tangdhar sector during the intervening night of October 19-20, to which the Indian forces retaliated. Pakistan had carried out attack firing at Indian posts, but before they could attempt the infiltration, the Army targeted the terror camps across the border.
Meanwhile, according to reports, at least 50 terrorists including suicide bombers are getting trained at the recently reactivated Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist facility in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Earlier, Indian Army and intelligence sources, quoting the confessions of two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists captured recently in Jammu and Kashmir, had said that around 300 trained militants are prepared to enter Indian territory from Pakistan to stoke violence in the region.