On Friday, in two separate encounters, two terrorists, believed to be behind the recent targeted attacks on Hindu minorities in Srinagar, were killed.
Apart from this, a search operation continued for the second day in Poonch, where two Army men — both riflemen hailing from Uttarakhand — died in a gunfight with the terrorists on Friday.
In an encounter in Pulwama, Shahid Bashir Sheikh, a resident of Srinagar, and Tanzeel from Habba Kadal area, in an encounter in Bemima, were neutralised by the security forces.
They had been involved in the recent killings of businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo, and two teachers, Supinder Kaur and Deepak Chand (7 October) in the city.
They were also involved in the killings of civilian Muhammad Safi Dar on 2 October, and sub-inspector Arshid Mir (on 12 September in the old city’s Khanyar area).
From Sheikh, one AK-47 rifle and a magazine were recovered,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar informed.
After the killings, fear gripped the Valley’s minority Hindu and Sikh communities. Many Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh employees abstained from work or took leave temporarily, worried about their security.
Many non-local residents and Kashmiri Pandits have temporarily left the Valley in fear. Those staying behind have been provided with tight security. In many cases, verbal instructions have been issued by the security officials to non-Muslim minority families not to venture out after dark.
The responsibility of the killings was taken by Islamist terror group The Resistance Front set up by Lashkar-i-Taiba.
The attacks were carried out by the group’s “Shaheed Gazi Squad”.
After the recent civilian killings, a total of eight encounters took place in the Kashmir Valley, in which 11 militants were killed since 8 October.
Meanwhile, the Army said its anti-terror operation which began on Thursday evening in the Nar Khas Forest in Poonch’s Mendhar area was continuing for the second day on Friday.
On Thursday, during the operation, there was a heavy exchange of fire. “In the gunfight, Rifleman Vikram Singh Negi and Rifleman Yogambar Singh were critically injured. They later died,” a Jammu-based Army spokesman said.
Rifleman Negi, 26, was a resident of Viman Gaon, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, and rifleman Singh, 27, belonged to Sankari, Chamoli, in Uttarakhand.
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