Top Lashkar commander among two militants killed in Sopore gunfight: Police


Slain non-local militant identified as Hamas was involved in killing of two municipal councilors, cop, on May 29: IGP Kashmir

SOPORE: A top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander was among two militants killed in an encounter at Nathipora area Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said on Tuesday.

A police official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that two militants were killed in the joint operation at Nathipora, Sopore. He said that the two slain militants include one non-local militant. “The slain non-local militant was involved in the killing of two municipal councilors and a cop at Sopore on May 29 this year,” he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir zone, Vikay Kumar identified the slain LeT commander as Hamas alias Asrar of Pakistan, who was  active in general area of Zaingeeer, Warpora, Hatlangoo , Brath , Darpora, Bomai, Zaloora , Nathipora.

“He was active since 2018 and was in the list of top 60 militants released by JKP recently, and was very instrumental in misleading the youth by motivating them to join militant organisations,” the IGP told KNO, adding, “He was involved in multiple militancy related offences which include grenade lobbing on security establishments and was also involved in recent killing of two councillors Peer Riyaaz and Peer Shamusdin and besides SPO Shafaat Ahmed.”

A police official said that said that there were many FIRs lodged in various police stations of north Kashmir against the slain militant Hamas.

The official identified second slain militant as Waseem Nazir Lone S/o Nazir Ah Lone R/o Hathlangoo, Sopore stating that Waseem was a “chronic stone pelter” and was also working as OGW till he went missing and joined LeT. “He was wanted in many cases,” he said.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that on a specific input provided by Kupwara police regarding presence of militants in Nathipora area of Sopore, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 22RR and CRPF in the  area.

“During the search operation as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said, adding that “In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists of LeT outfit were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as a local Wasim Ahmed Lone resident of Hatlangoo Sopore and a foreign militant Hamas alias Asrar alias Saria who was active since March 2018 in North Kashmir.”

As per police records, both the killed  militants were part of groups involved in several crimes including planning and executing of attacks on security establishments. “Moreover, killed militant Hamas was also the mastermind of Sopore militant incident along with militant  Mudasir Pandit alias Maaz (on May 29) in which two Municipal Councillors and a policeman got killed.”

The police spokesman said that arms and ammunition including 01 AK-47 rifle, 01 Insas rifle & other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. Further search is in progress.

“The last rites of the killed militants  shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities and the nearest family members of local militant shall be allowed to participate in the last rites,” the spokesman said, adding that “In this connection police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated.

People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any.