Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana, 26, and his associate, Arif Ahmad Dar, 23 were killed in an encounter at Harkipora village in Pulwama district in South Kashmir on Tuesday morning. As the encounter triggered protests in the area, a youth was killed and over 20 injured when security forces fired teargas shells, pellets and bullets to disperse the stone-pelting crowd. Giving details of the operation, Director General of Police S P Vaid said the encounter followed specific information about the presence of militants in a house in Harkipora village. In a joint operation, the Special Operation Group of J&K Police, Army’s Rashtriya Rifles and the Central Reserve Police Force set up a cordon around the village at 4 am.
“We had inputs about two Lashkar terrorists being present inside a house. All the residents of the house were evacuated before the encounter began. Two terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire. Two bodies were recovered from the site — one was Abu Dujana and the other was Arif from Lelhar,” confirmed Director General of Police S P Vaid.“It is a big achievement for us since this terrorist (Dujana) had been spreading terror for a long time… he was A+++ category militant,” he added. According to police sources, Dujana, who had married a local girl six or seven months ago, was killed in his wife’s house. Police reportedly had information that he used to visit the family regularly.
The encounter began at about 8 am, and was over within 40 minutes after security forces blasted the house. Dujana, a Pakistani, is suspected to have sneaked into the Valley some years ago. Dar, his associate, was from the neighbouring Lelhar village and had joined militancy about a year ago. While Dar was buried in Lelhar, Dujana’s body was yet to be handed over.