16-hour Kulgam gunfight ends with the killing of LeT militant ‘Major tragedy averted: IGP

Kulgam: South Kashmir Highway encounter ended after 16 hours with the killing of a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Usman who was active in Kashmir Valley from past six months. Another militant who was also trapped with Usman managed to escape from the encounter spot.

The gunfight between militants and Joint Forces had raged on Thursday after militants took shelter in a building shortly after attacking a BSF vehicle that was part of a convoy in Malapora Mir Bazar area of Qazigund Kulgam.

After 16 hours of gunfight, Joint Forces on Friday neutralized militant belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba.. Two security personnel and two civilians were reported to have been injured in the shooting.

Kashmir’s inspector-general of police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said that a “major tragedy” was averted just days before India celebrates its 75th Independence Day on August 15 with the conclusion of the Kulgam encounter.

“Kulgam Encounter Update: Operation is over now,” the Kashmir Zone police tweeted on Friday morning. Quoting the IGP Kashmir, the police department said, “A major tragedy has been averted before Independence Day.”

While talking to reporters IGP Vijay Kumar said that slain militant was planning a major strike on security forces.

He said slain militant Usman was the resident of Pakistan. “One AK-47 rifle, four magazines, a few grenades and a RPG launcher along with the cell phone, was recovered from the slain militant,” the IGP said adding that recovery of RPG launcher from the encounter spot shows, they (militants) were planning to carry out a major attack, that has been foiled.

He said that they had already received an input about the possible militant attack on highways including Srinagar-Gulmarg road, Qazigund to Pantha Chowk.

“We have put in place stringent security measures to ensure August 15 functions pass off peacefully.” (KNT)

Neyaz Elahi

Neyaz Elahi, who switched from Electronic to Print Media is a Kashmir based Accredited Journalist who has written extensively on Kashmir for local, national and international web portals. He is currently associated with Srinagar based News Agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

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