The 10 out of 13 terrorists who were neutralised in the encounter hailed from the district of Shopian in Southern Kashmir. The terrorists were involved in several attacks against the security forces and civilians and were also responsible for the killing of Lt. Umer Fayaz.
It was a major victory for the defence forces yesterday in Jammu & Kashmir. 13 terrorists were neutralised in counter-insurgency operations in Draghad & Kachdooru in Shopian area and in Anantnag. The encounter was considered to be one of the biggest counter-insurgency operations in the recent years. The killing of 13 terrorists also came as a major setback to the terror groups operating in the valley. However, three jawans were martyred and four other civilians were also killed.
The counter-insurgency operations were carried out jointly by the Indian Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police Force. The joint forces which received credible leads about the presence of terrorists started a search operation in Draghad and Kachdoora areas of Shopian on April 1st. The security forces who were carrying out the search operations were shot at by the hiding terrorists, ensuing encounter at both the sites. Ten terrorists were neutralised in Draghad. They have been identified as Adil Ahmed Thoker of Humhuna, Nazin Ahmad Dar of Nagbal, Ubaid Shafi Malla of Trenz, Yawar Itoo of Safanagri, Rayees Ahmed Thoker of Padarpora, Zubair Turay of Shopian and Ashfaq Malik of Pinjura, Ishfaq Ahmad Thoker, alias ‘Abrar’, Aetimad Hussain Malik and Sameer Ahmed Lone . It has been reported that this group of young militants had joined the terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen in 2007.
The 10 terrorists who were neutralised in the encounter hailed from the district of Shopian in Southern Kashmir. The terrorists were involved in several attacks against the security forces and civilians and were also responsible for the killing of Lt. Umer Fayaz. It was a massive victory for the security forces, speaking to the press, DGP S.P Vaid made a passionate appeal asking the youth of Kashmir to not take up arms and demanded that they shun violence. “It is painful to all of us to see the loss of young lives. I appeal again to the parents of the boys, who have taken the wrong path to convince them to leave the path of violence and come home,” he said at the press conference. The bodies of the terrorists killed in Draghad have been handed over the families for their last rites.
The encounter at Kachdoora resulted in the death of three other terrorists. The identity of the terrorists is yet to be ascertained. Three jawans were also martyred in at Kachdoora were Gunner Nilesh Singh, Gunner Arvinder Kumar and Sepoy Hetram, all three of 34 Rajputana Rifles. Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat saluted the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers and also offered condolences to the families of the martyred soldiers. Zubair Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Gopalpora, a civilian was wounded in the crossfire and succumbed to his injuries subsequently. Other civilians who were injured in the crossfire are being treated at different hospitals in South Kashmir. In the process of finishing the operation, the security forces also recovered many AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and other ammunition.
Inspector General SP Pani told the media that the mobile internet services would be suspended in four South Kashmir districts. Lt Gen A.K. Bhatt also made an appeal to the Kashmiri youth and asked them not be carried away by Pakistani proxies that lead them to the path of violence. Victor Force head B.S. Raju also assured that the security forces were doing everything in their capacity to reduce radicalisation in the valley. In order to maintain peace in the valley, the government authorities also imposed restrictions in Srinagar. Massive security forces were deployed in the valley. Huge contingents of CRPF personnel were also deployed to maintain law and order. Train services, markets, public transport and educational institutions were to be remained closed till Tuesday. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed condolences to the families of the civilians who were killed in the exchange of fire.
On the other hand, separatists and the Hurriyat leaders have called for a two-day bandh and strike in Kashmir. The bandh was led by Joint Resistance Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Mallik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The separatist leaders lashed out the security forces for the killing of 13 terrorists and four civilians. Pakistan also accused India of launching a brutal crackdown in Shopian. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asked the international community to urge India to allow United Nations have access in Kashmir to carry out fact-finding missions.