Two terrorists, including one of the dreaded and oldest terrorist Zeenat-ul-Islam and Shakeel Ahmad Dar, were killed on Saturday in a joint operation by the Army, Police and CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, police said.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Katpora area in south Kashmir's Kulgam district last evening after receiving specific information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.
As per policy, the terrorists were given an opportunity to surrender. The terrorists, however, continued to fire and were eliminated in the ensuing gunfight. The terrorists have been identified as Zeenat ul Islam and Shakeel Ahmed Dar
Arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site, the official said, adding that no collateral damage has been reported.
One of them was identified as dreaded militant Zeenat-ul-Islam, who was associated with the terror group Al Badr, the official said, adding that the identity of the second militant is being ascertained.
Zeenat, considered as an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert, was earlier associated with another militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, the official said.
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said that while the security forces favour peaceful dialogue among stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, there will be zero tolerance on violence. Gen Rawat added that there were around 300 terrorists across the LoC waiting to infiltrate into India.
Speaking at the annual press conference prior to the Army Day, Army Chief said that the security forces are using various strategies to bring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir under control and there is standing offer for the terrorists.
"We're adopting both hard and soft approaches. The offer to terrorists to join the mainstream stays. If that happens, people of the state will benefit the most," Gen Rawat said.
He added that security forces were deployed in Kashmir for peace but the separatists should also shun violence. On talks with the Hurriyat, Rawat said they should immediately shun the gun and stop taking support from the western neighbour. "Our position is very clear. Shun the gun and stop taking support from the western neighbour. Talks can happen only if they lay down weapons. During Ramzan, we had given the opportunity to the separatists to lay down arms. But if someone picks up the gun, we will take action," Rawat said.
(With inputs from PTI)