Srinagar: A Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) militant was killed in a fire fight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s northwestern town of Sopore on Wednesday, the police and Army said. They said that two policemen were injured in a grenade blast at the encounter site but both are out of danger.
The officials claimed that the slain militant, identified as Asif Maqbool Bhat, was involved in last week’s attack by two gunmen on the family members of a prominent fruit merchant Hamidullah Rather in Sopore, injuring his 25-year-old son and two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter. The Valley’s one of the major apples mandis (wholesale markets) is situated in Sopore, 48-km northwest of Srinagar.
State’s director general of police Dilbag Singh said that the encounter in Sopore started after the security forces, acting on specific information, launched a search and cordon operation in the main town.
“He (Asif) was challenged to stop but he didn’t. He threw a grenade at our parties in which two of our police personnel were injured. They are out of danger,” he said.
He added that the slain militant was “very active” in Sopore and its neighbourhood for past one month and would “make use of overground workers to print posters, threatening civilians to not open shops and not go for their day-to-day activities”.
The J&K police had, on Tuesday, claimed busting a LeT module by arresting its eight members from Sopore.
It said that the accused were arrested for allegedly circulating posters to locals to threaten and intimidate them at the behest of militants.