In a defence operation in Shopian, Indian security forces have neutralized the last surviving terrorist of the ‘Burhan Wani’ group, Lateef Tiger. Lateef was a part of the ‘Burhan brigade’ whose joint picture wielding automatic rifles had gone viral on social media platforms, in June 2015. This defence operation adds another star to the success of Indian security forces in Kashmir against terrorist groups of the likes of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, which Burhan Wani and Lateef Tiger belonged to.
Two other terrorists including Lateef Tiger were also neutralized in the encounter operation by the security forces during codes and search operation at Imam Sahib Area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The concerned area goes to polls in the third and final phase of voting in Anantnag parliamentary Constituency on 6th of May.
A police source said that the army’s 34 RR, CRPF and Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon-and-search operation at Adkhara village of Imam Sahab early today morning, and during the search, the hiding militants fired at the security forces, which led to an encounter.
“Following the first fire by militants, the forces had evacuated all the civilians from the encounter operation area. “All the three militants were killed in the encounter, and one army jawan also got injured. The injured jawan was shifted to a hospital for treatment,” he said.
“The trio was affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant group, and their bodies have been handed over to their families after completion of all legal formalities,” he added.
Shopian has been one of the worst violence-hit districts in Kashmir after Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in 2016. The two other killed militants were identified as Tariq Ahmed Molvi of Moolu Chitragam and Shariq Ahmad Negroo of Chotigam, Imam Shab, Shopian.
According to sources, the trio was planning an attack on the vehicle of the election staff during elections. The militants had also threatened many political workers in Shopian and Pulwama areas. Lateef Tiger had a long history of terror and crime since 2014 and was involved in planning and executing several terror attacks in the area. Many terror crime cases were registered against him.
Clashes between protesters and law enforcing personnel broke out near the encounter site after some people threw stones at security forces engaged in the anti-terrorist operation, the officials said. They said two persons suffered minor pellet injuries in the security forces’ action to chase them away.
Over the past few years, Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing various security operations to clear out the terror elements which have been perpetuating under the patronage of local ‘political’ leadership and foreign support. Driven by basic power politics and aided by Pakistan these terrorist organizations have been bleeding Kashmiri people by luring youth into this ‘Jihad’. These operations by the Indian forces are sure to further aid the multidimensional policy approach to free Jammu and Kashmir of radical religious terrorism.