Jammu And Kashmir: LeT Terrorist Linked To Army Officer's Killing, Neutralized In Shopian Encounter

According to the officials, the security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Chotigam area of the south Kashmir district of Shopian, after being tipped off on the presence of terrorists there early in the morning.


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A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist linked to the 2017 abduction and killing of Army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was killed in an encounter with security forces on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district, according to police.

Acting on specific information about the terrorist's presence in Chotigam village in the south Kashmir district, security forces initiated a cordon and search operation in the early hours, stated a police spokesman.

Upon approaching the suspected location, the hiding terrorist fired indiscriminately at the security forces, prompting an effective retaliation and leading to an encounter, the spokesman noted.

In the resulting confrontation, the terrorist was killed, and his body was recovered from the encounter site, as per the police statement.


The slain individual was identified as Bilal Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Chek Cholan, affiliated with the proscribed terror outfit LeT.

Bhat had been implicated in various terror-related crimes, including the killing of Army officer Ummer Fayaz, a Sudsan Kulgam resident.

Lieutenant Fayaz, then a 22-year-old Army officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles, was on leave and attending a cousin's marriage ceremony when he was abducted and later shot dead by terrorists in Shopian in May 2017.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Shopian, Tanushree, told PTI that Bhat’s name figured in the FIR registered in connection with the killing of Lt Fayaz. 


“He (Bhat) was an OGW (overground worker) then and his name figured in the FIR,” Tanushree said, adding, Bhat later became a terrorist. 

The police disclosed that Bhat had thrown a grenade at non-local labourers in Hermain, causing the demise of two labourers.

Bhat was implicated in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit Sunil Kumar Bhat and the injury of another Kashmiri Pandit, Pretimber Nath, both Chotigam Shopian residents.

Additionally, he was involved in an attack on local Bal Krishan, also known as Sonu, residing in Chotigam.

Bhat was reportedly known for inciting local youth to join terrorist ranks and successfully recruited 12 local youth into terrorist organizations. Among other terror activities, he played a role in the killing of an arrested terrorist who led a search party during a cordon and search operation at Nowgam in 2022, according to the spokesman.

Following the encounter, incriminating materials, arms, and ammunition, including an AK series rifle and three magazines, were recovered from the site. The recovered items have been documented in case records for further investigation to determine their involvement in additional terror crimes, the spokesman reportedly said.