Eight militants, three of them Pakistanis, were killed on Thursday in three separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir, one of which also injured 12 police and paramilitary personnel and soldiers.
While three were killed near the Line of control (LoC) in Keran sector in Kupwara district that borders Pakistan, two Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were shot dead in Sopore town and the three Pakistanis died in a 33-hour fighting in Reasi district.
Soldiers noticed suspicious movements along the LoC in Dat Gali area of Kupwara and challenged a small group of men trying to sneak into India, triggering a gun battle.
“Three terrorists were killed. Their bodies are lying close to the border fence and have not been recovered yet,” a Defence Ministry source said.
Two JeM militants were killed in Arampora locality of Sopore town.
Police said the security forces, including Rashtriya Rifles, the Special Operations Group and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), cordoned off Arampora in the morning after being tipped off about the gunmen.
“As the cordon was tightened, the militants opened fire,” a police officer said.
Three Pakistani terrorists, also belonging to JeM, were killed in Reasi district after a joint operation by the security forces, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Major General Arvind Bhatia said.
He said they had recently infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan in Samba sector of the international border.
The Pakistanis were killed in a 33-hour encounter in Kakriyal village near the Mata Vaishno Devi University.
Twelve security personnel, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were injured in the fighting.
The others injured included a Major and two para-commandos of the Army, five CRPF troopers and three policemen.
“The injured were shifted to the Narayana hospital in Katra town where doctors said all of them are out of danger,” a police officer said.
The Army, police and CRPF had tracked down the militants using drones, helicopters and other surveillance gadgets in the forests of Jhajar and adjoining areas.
Once the militants were discovered, the villagers were evacuated before the final assault on them was mounted.
A villager earlier told the security forces that on Wednesday night the three armed militants entered his home, changed their clothes, took away biscuits and water and left.
Traffic on the national highway between Nagrota and Jhajar Kotli was suspended on Thursday. Schools in the area were closed.
The police on Wednesday detained the driver and helper of the truck. An AK-47 rifle and three magazines were recovered.
The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist from Kanpur, police officials said.
The terrorist, Huraira aka Qamruddin, who hails from Hozai in Assam, was arrested by an ATS team led by ASP Dinesh Yadav and Deputy SP Dinesh Puri.
ATS Inspector General (IG) Aseem Arun said the arrested terrorist first came into limelight after he posted his picture with an AK-47 in the social media in April this year.
Intelligence agencies had been working on him for some time now, and based on leads collected over a period of time, he was arrested on Thursday from Shiv Nagar under Choker Police Station in Kanpur.
Officials said that the terrorist had plans to attack public places during the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Video grabs of a prominent city temple were found from his mobile phone.
He was sent by the Hizbul commanders to do a recce of the area and then carry out an attack, a police official privy to the development said.
During the initial interrogation, he has accepted that he is a member of Hizbul Mujahideen and that he was in Kanpur to carry out a major terror activity.
He also informed the police and ATS officials that he was trained by handlers in Kashmir in April 2017 in the thickets and mountainous region of Kishtwar. He is a graduate dropout from a college in Assam and has a diploma in a computer course and typing, Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh said.
Investigations have also revealed that during 2008-2012, he was in the Republic of Palau, an island country near the Philippines.
The ATS is now trying to know from him about the duration of his stay in Uttar Pradesh, if he has more accomplices, what were his other targets and where did he get funds from, the DGP added. (IANS)