Two Army soldiers and an LeT terrorist were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir's volatile Shopian district, a senior police official said here on Saturday. The encounter took place after a joint search operation was launched Friday night in Chermarg in Zainpora of Shopian based on a specific intelligence input of the police about the presence of a terrorist there, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar said.
The security personnel involved in the search operation, following the standard operating procedure, closed in on a cluster of houses and started moving out civilians. When the search team reached the house of Gowhar Ahmed Bhat, he intentionally misled them and denied providing shelter to any terrorist. As Bhat was being questioned, a terrorist opened fire on the search team from inside the house, causing grievous injuries to two Army personnel.
In the ensuing encounter, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Abdul Qayoom Dar, a resident of Laroo Kakpora in Pulwama, was neutralised and arms and ammunition, including one AK rifle and a pistol, were recovered. The injured Army personnel died later. The Army identified the deceased soldiers as Sepoys Santosh Yadav and Chavan Romit Tanaji of 1 Rashtriya Rifles.
"A case has been registered and the house owner arrested under terror laws," Kumar said in a statement. LeT terrorist Dar was arrested and booked under the Public Safety Act after an encounter took place in his house in April 2020. He was released in August 2021. However, he continued to work as a sleeper cell for the banned terrorist group and fled from his house recently. After verifying his disappearance and joining with the banned terror outfit, the Pulwama Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) declared him as an active terrorist of the LeT outfit, Kumar said.
With PTI Inputs