New Delhi Correspondent
Indian security forces today killed six militants of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen terror groups, including a terrorist involved in the planning of the murder of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, in an early morning encounter in a forest in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir state.
The state police said the security forces launched an operation in the foothills of Wagahama Suktipora on Thursday night following information about the presence of militants in a hideout there. The militants opened fire triggering the encounter in which six militants were killed when they were trying to escape under the cover of darkness.
“It was a swift operation based on intelligence inputs provided from the ground,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani said after the encounter.
The terrorists were identified by the police as Azad Ahmad Malik, Unais Shafi, Maqbool Shah, Basit Ishtiyaq, Atif Najar Firdous Ahmad and Shahid Bashir.
“All the six terrorists were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes, including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” Pani said.
A police spokesman said Azad Ahmad Malik , who was the district commander of LeT in Anantnag, was wanted in connection with the assassination of editor Shujaat Bukhari and his security personnel by Lashker-e-Taiba militants in Srinagar on June 14 this year during the holy month of Ramzan when he was on his way from office to Iftar.
Malik had escaped from an encounter site at Khudwani Kulgam in April this year along with one more associate, he added.
Azad, the police spokesman said, was a close associate of absconding accused Naveed Jatt who is also wanted in connection with the assassination of Bukhari who was critical of separatists and the militants.
The police spokesman said a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, including four AK-47 rifles and one Insas rifle, were recovered from the site of encounter.
This is the second major success of Indian security forces in anti-terror operations in a week as four militants were eliminated in an encounter in Shopian district.