The Jammu and Kashmir police today gunned down three terrorists in Srinagar and an initial probe has revealed that the same group was involved in the killings of five civilians last month in the city. According to the police, the three terrorists were killed at Rambagh – the uptown neighbourhood just a few kilometres from Hyderpora where a controversial encounter took place last week.
“Police #neutralised 03 #terrorists in #Srinagar. Identification & affiliation of the killed terrorists is being ascertained. Further details shall follow,” the Jammu and Kashmir Police tweeted.
— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) November 24, 2021
The police have so far identified two terrorists as Mehran and Basit. Both were affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s The Resistance Front (TRF).
“Mehran has been identified by his family members and he was involved in the killings of five civilians, including that of pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo,” Jammu and Kashmir top cop Dilbagh Singh told NDTV. “Mehran has been identified as of now. It seems that one of them was a foreign terrorist and the third was from Pulwama,” he added.
Mehran was also involved in the killings of school principal Sukhwinder Kaur and teacher Deepak Chand, the police said.
According to him, the police in the Union Territory had prior information about the movement of terrorists, based on which police parties were deployed to catch them. “Three terrorists who have been gunned down had entered the city with a view of doing some action in the city,” he said.
The terrorists opened fire when the police engaged with them and were shot dead in the exchange of fire. The brief shootout took place in a busy market below the Rambagh flyover and within minutes three people were killed, eyewitnesses told NDTV.
Soon after the encounter, the locals held protests in the area. A group of women and men were also seen shouting slogans.
Over the last two months, Kashmir has been witnessing a rise in violence and civilian killings. Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his recent visit to Srinagar had also expressed concern over the rise in civilian killings in the same period.
Amit Shah had also asked agencies operating in Jammu and Kashmir to curb the growing radicalisation in the Valley.
148 terrorists have been killed in the Valley so far this year, of which 127 were locals and 21 were foreign terrorists.
“The extent of growing anger among locals can be gauged by these figures also,” a senior-level official explains.
According to the official, 129 youngsters have joined various tanzeems (organisations) so far this year.
As per the Home Ministry data, 199 terrorists from various tanzeems are active in the Valley and of them, 110 are local and 89 are foreign terrorists.