Jammu: On the second day of the encounter at Baaji Maal area of Kalakote in Rajouri district of J&K, top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander, who was the mastermind of Dhangri attack, was killed along with his associate, officials said Thursday.
On the first day of the gun battle, army lost its two captains and three soldiers. An encounter started in the dense woods of the Baaji Maal area of Kalakote on November 21 and in the intense exchange of fire, two army captains and three soldiers were killed.
A defence source said that with the first light of the day (on Thursday), contact with the hiding militants was established and in the heavy exchange of fire following which the hiding militants were injured.
“Both the injured militants were killed in the gunfight. One of the slain was identified as Qari, a Pakistani national, tasked to revive militancy in the region,” said the Jammu-based Defence spokesman. “He was trained on the Pak & Afghan Front. He was a highly ranked militant leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba.”
The spokesman said that Qari has been active in Rajouri-Poonch alongwith his group from the past one year. He is also believed to be the mastermind of Dangri & Kandi attacks.
The spokesman said that Qari was sent to revive militancy in the region. “He is an Expert in IEDs, operating & hiding from Caves & a trained Sniper,” he added.
The army also identified their own casualties. Today, a soldier succumbed to his wounds taking the number of slain army men to five including two captains. The brave hearts were identified as Capitan MV Pranjal of Mangalore, Karnataka, Captitan Shubham Gupta of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Havaldar Abdul Majid of Ajote, Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir Lance Naik Sanjay Bisht of Halli Padli, Nainital, Uttrakhand and Paratrooper Sachin Laur, Nagaliya Giurola, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Army Commander Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi among other senior civil and police officers laid a wreath at Mintery hospital Jammu.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu, Anand Jain in statement said that a top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander along with associate was killed in Baajimal-Kalakote, Rajouri Jammu.
“Apropos to our earlier information regarding encounter between militants and Army & JK Police in Bajimaal area of Dharmsal-Kalakote in Rajouri District ,a top Commander identified as code name Qari of Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit has been gunned down in a fierce gun battle in Bajimaal area of Dharmsal in Rajouri District. He was active in Rajouri-Poonch alongwith his group from past one year,” the police statement quoting IGP Jammu, said, adding that “The slain militant is believed to be mastermind of Dangri and Kandi attacks. The slain militant was sent to revive militancy in the region and IEDs handling expert, operating & hiding from Caves & a trained Sniper.”
Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from his possession. In the encounter, police said Qari’s associate was also killed. “The bodies of both the militants have been retrieved and taken for further medico- legal formalities by the Police. The area is being thoroughly searched to check for any other suspicious article, support structure etc,” the statement said.
It may be recalled that in January this year, militants killed four civilians and injured nine others at Dhangri area of Rajouri district. On the second day of the incident, an IED exploded near the incident site, resulting in the death of a child at the scene injuring five others. Second child injured in that blast died later, raising the overall death toll to six