After witnessing a decline during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the gunfights between the pro-freedom militants and armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed a surge with 20 insurgents of Lashkar-e-Toiba slain in the last 20 days.
Figures available show that in the last 20 days, South Kashmir witnessed eight encounters in which 20 militants were slain, and all of them were affiliated with the LeT outfit.
Of eight encounters, three were reported in the Kulgam district, three in Pulwama, and one each in Anantnag and Shopian districts.
Notably, 20 slain militants include three top commanders, Neeshaz Lone of Tral in Pulwama, Aarif Hajam of Sadoora in Anantnag, and Ishfaq Ahmad Dar from Heff in Shopian.
Police have termed the killing of Neeshaz, Aarif, and Ishfaq a big success and said that the trio was involved in series of militancy-related incidents.
Pertinently, on June 30, three militants who were killed were slain in an encounter in the Chimmer-Noorabad area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
The slain militants were identified as Waseem Ahmad Bangroo of Redwani in Kulgam, who was missing since June 19, and Shahbaz Ahmad from Shopian who was active since 2020.
Zakir Bashir from Chimmer-DH Pora in Kulgam, who according to police had joined ranks recently, was the third slain.
On July 2, five militants including a top commander were killed in a 17-hour long encounter in Hanjan village of Rajpora hamlet of Pulwama district.
They were identified as Nishaz Hussain Lone alias Khitab (district commander LeT), active since 2018, from Nageenpora in Tral, Danish Manzoor Shiekh from Sathergund Kakapora, Amir Wagay from Hanjan Payeen, Manzoor Lone from Gurez, and a foreign militant identified as Abu Rehan alias Tawheed. All the slain militants were from LeT.
On July 08, four militants were slain in two separate encounters in South Kashmir’s Pulwama and Kulgam district.
In Pulwama two militants Kifayat Ramzan from Padgampora and Inayat Ahmad Dar from Samboora were slain in an encounter in the Puchal area of the district while in Kulgam two militants Shahbaz Ahmad Shah from Katrusu Kulgam and Nasir Ahmad Pandith from Redwani Kulgam were slain in a brief encounter in Zadora in Kulgam.
On July 09, militants managed to give slip to forces after an exchange of fire in the Redwani area of Kulgam. However, July 10 saw the killing of three militants in Sadoor in Anantnag who were identified as Basit Ahmad from Telwani in Anantnag, Suhail Ahmad from Pulwama, and Aarif Hajam of Sadoora. The trio was slain in an encounter in the Kwaripora area of Anantnag district.
Police officials said that among the 15 slain militants, two were top commanders of the outfit and all the slain were affiliated with the LeT outfit.
On July 14, three LeT militants identified as LeT commander Aijaz alias Abu Huraira, resident of Pakistan, Javeed Ahmad Rather, resident of Tahab in Pulwama, and Shahnawaz Nazir Ganie, resident of Samboora were slain in an encounter in New colony area of Pulwama town.
On July 19, the top LeT commander identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Dar from Heff in Shopian and his newly joined associate Majid Iqbal from Nowpora in Imamsahib were slain in an encounter in Check Sadiq Khan village of Shopian district.