In a huge victory for security forces in the Kashmir Valley, the Doda district has now been declared 'terror-free'. This comes a day after a senior Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was gunned down in an encounter in a village in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. The elimination of Tahir Ahmad Bhat, Hizbul's IED maker, comes days after the outfit's chief Riyaz Naikoo was gunned down by security forces.
The encounter started when security forces launched a joint operation in Posta-Potra village in the Gundana area, 26 km from Doda town, following information about the presence of some terrorists, the officials said. An Army jawan was critically injured in the initial firing from the holed up terrorists and later succumbed to injuries while being evacuated to hospital, they said.
A senior police official told Republic TV that Tahir Ahmad Bhat was involved in IED blasts and the killing of an RSS worker in April 2019. The terrorist was also involved in plotting bomb attacks on CRPF convoys which were unsuccessful.
The officials said joint teams of Army's Rashtriya Rifles, police and CRPF were launched on Saturday night after inputs were received about the presence of two suspected terrorists in the village. As the search parties were moving towards the target area, they came under heavy fire around 7.30 am which was retaliated, the officials said, adding the terrorists took shelter in a house after a brief encounter in the open.
This is the second encounter between security forces and terrorists in the Doda district this year. Earlier, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Haroon Abbas was killed in the same area by security forces on January 15. Earlier this month, two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were arrested along with some arms and ammunition in the district.
(With PTI inputs)