Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Azad Malik, whom police claim was involved in the assassination of senior journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari, was among six militants killed in a gunfight with security forces in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, on Friday.
Police had claimed that Malik was involved in the assassination of Rising Kashmir founding editor, Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar.
Bukhari and his two guards were killed after masked gunmen indiscriminately fired upon them outside Rising Kashmir office in Srinagar on June 14, current year.
Police said the gunfight erupted during the wee hours in Sekipora village of Bijbehara, 55 kilometres from Srinagar, after the Army's 3 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), paramilitary CRPF and J&K police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in the area, following “specific information” about the presence of a group of militants there.
“As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight. In the process, six Lashkak -e-Taiba militants were killed, and the bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter,” a police spokesperson said.
Incriminating materials including the huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.
Police has registered a case and initiated the investigation in the matter. Pertinently no collateral damage took place in this incident.
People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.
Meanwhile, General operations Commanding 15 Corps AK Bhat termed the killing of six militants, including a Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Azad Malik in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district as “surgical operation”.
Talking to media in Baramulla distict of North Kashmir, Bhat said that the operations was very prompt and very precise.
He said that the operation was successful as forces did not suffer any damages.
Bhat was in Baramulla to attend a function organised on the occasion of Gurpurab day at 46 RR camp.
The army commander said that whoever will resort to guns will be “eliminated”. “There are maximum militants in Southern Kashmir than Northern Kashmir,” he said.
Bhat said that the militants are terrorizing local population in Srinagar.