Shopian military Op: Slain militant identified, says police

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Armed forces stationed at military operation site in Chotigam village of Shopian on January 5, 2024. [FPK Photo/ Qayoom Khan]

Shopian: A militant was killed in an ongoing military operation in Chotigam area of Shopian in south Kashmir and the slain has been identified as Bilal Ahmed Bhat, son of Ghulam Rasool Bhat, a resident of district’s Chek Cholan village, police said. He was affiliated with proscribed militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In a statement, police said, “Acting on specific information regarding presence of militant in village Chotigam area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched in the wee hours by Police, Army (34RR) and CRPF (178Bn) in the said area.”

During the search operation, the police said, joint party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militant fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, triggering the operation.

The body of the slain was later retrieved from the site of operation, police said.

“As per police records, slain was involved in several militant crime cases including killing of local army personnel Umer Fayaz, son of Fayaz Ahmad Parray, a resident of Sudsan Kulgam, hurled grenade upon non-local labours in Hermain, resulting in on spot death of two labourers. He was also involved in killing of Kashmiri pandith Sunil Kumar Bhat, son of G Bhat and injuring other Kashmiri pandit Pretimber Nath, son of Arjun Nath Bhat, both residents of Chotigam Shopian.”

“He was also involved in attack on local Bal Krishan @Sonu, a resident of Chotigam. Moreover, he was involved in instigating local youth to join militant ranks and induced 12 local youth into the ranks of militants. Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in killing of arrested militant who was leading the search party during a CASO at Nowgam in the year 2022,” thge statement said.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including AK series rifle, three magazines were recovered from the operation site. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes, police said.

In this regard, 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 sanitised and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any, the statement mentioned.

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