STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were killed and an assistant sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police was martyred in a gunfight in the outskirts of the city here on Sunday, police said.
Terrorists fired on a joint ‘naka’ of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Pantha Chowk area late on Saturday night, a police official said. The joint parties of the forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation there, he said. During the searches in the area, the terrorists again fired on the search party of the forces who retaliated, leading to an encounter, the official said.
A tight cordon was maintained throughout the night and the firing resumed this morning, he said, adding that three terrorists were killed in the gunfight.
An assistant sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Babu Ram, was martyred in the operation, the official added.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony of the slain ASI, director general of Jammu and Kashmir Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said the three terrorists came on a bike and fired at the joint party of the security forces.
Achievements of Martyr ASI Babu Ram
Babu Ram was born on May 15, 1972 at his native village Dharana Tehsil Mendhar District Poonch. Since his childhood he was fond of joining armed forces. He got recruited as Constable in J&K Police on July 30, 1999 and after completion of his basic Induction training he has voluntarily opted for SOG. Subsequently he was posted in SOG Srinagar (Cargo ) on July 27, 2002.
He was a through professional and has given best services in SOG (Cargo) and his achievements have remained marvellous. He got two out of turn promotions in view of his exceptional performance in various anti- terror operations in Srinagar District.
He got injured in an encounter while evacuating civilians in an Anti-terror operation at Lal Chowk.
He was a role model / guide for new comers in Police force in general and Special Operations Group in particular.
His courage and determination is exceptional have shown highest level of professionalism while discharging his assigned duties. His courage and valour has remained unmatchable. In view of his outstanding performance he was awarded two out of turn promotions. Besides this he was very disciplined and humane in approach and remain committed to ensure zero collateral damages while executing deadliest anti-terror operations and thwarting terrorist attacks in Srinagar District on civilans and security forces.
He has always remained at forefront during various counter insurgency operations during last 18 years while serving in SOG (Cargo) Srinagar.
J&K Police will always remain indebted to his contributions and supreme sacrifice for the cause of Nation.
The Martyrdom of Babu Ram will be remembered by J&K Police always for his supreme sacrifice in the line of duty while defending the security of nation.
After firing upon the forces, they (terrorists) tried to snatch weapons, but it was foiled by the alert troops, forcing the terrorists to flee. They left behind their bike. The forces chased the terrorists who took shelter in a nearby area known as Dhobi Mohalla, Pantha Chowk, he said.
The DGP said security forces acted swiftly and cordoned off the area till senior officers of police and the CRPF joined them to supervise the operation.
The operation lasted the entire night. In the initial exchange, one terrorist was killed and we lost a brave ASI Babu Ram. He was well-trained and an experienced counter-insurgency cop. As the operation progressed, we killed two more terrorists, he said. Singh said the three slain terrorists belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba and one of them was a commander active since more than a year. “He was involved in several terror crimes. Our forces have not only averted an incident, but also had a successful operation, he said.
The top cop said the other two terrorists were given an opportunity to surrender, but they refused.
We brought the families of two others from the Pampore area who appealed to their children to surrender, but they refused and instead fired upon the forces. We gave them an opportunity even as we had lost a colleague,” the DGP said.
Asked about the identity of the terrorists, he said the details will be shared later.
The commander was active for the last one-and-a-half-year, while the details about the other two are being ascertained, he said, adding, an AK-47 rifle and pistols were recovered from the slain terrorists.
A police spokesperson identified the three terrorists as Saqib Bashir Khanday, Umar Tariq Bhat and Zubair Ahmad Shiekh — all residents of Drangbal area of Pampore.
The spokesperson said as per police records, the killed terrorists were part of groups involved in planning and executing several terror attacks in the area.
Besides a weapon snatching bid at J-K Bank Pampore, Khanday was also involved in motivating and radicalizing the youth of the area to join terrorist folds, he said.
Incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter and have been taken into the case records for further investigation and to probe his complicity in other terror crimes, the spokesperson said.
He said keeping in view the prevailing pandemic due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people from the inherent risk of contracting the infection, the bodies of the terrorists shall be sent to Handwara, in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, for burial purposes after completion of all medico-legal formalities.
The nearest family members of the killed terrorists shall be allowed to participate in the last rites at Handwara, the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, to pay honour and respect to Babu Ram, a wreath lying ceremony was held at District Police Lines here where floral tributes were paid to the martyred ASI.
The police spokesperson said R R Bhatnagar, Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor, led the officers and personnel in paying the homage.
The slain ASI’s body was later handed over to his next of kin for last rites, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Police stands by the family of the martyr at this critical juncture and pay our rich tributes to the martyr for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty, the spokesperson added.