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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Top Jaish commander, first arrested in 2004, slain in Tral encounter

A top militant commander of the Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit was killed in an encounter in the Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday.

A senior police officer said that based on specific inputs a cordon and search operation was launched by a joint team of police, CRPF, and 42 RR in Waggad.

He said that as forces zeroed in towards the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon forces that retaliated, leading to an encounter.

He said that in the ensuing gunfight one militant was killed who was later identified as Shamsudin Sofi of Satura village of Tral, who was active since June 24, 2019.

“Search operation was continued in the area to check whether any more militant is hiding in the area, however, after conducting searches for hours nothing was found,” the official said.

A police spokesman said Sofi, was a top commander of the Jaish e Muhammad.

The spokesman said that as per police records, the slain was categorized and active since June-2019 figuring among the list of most-wanted militants operating in the valley.

Sofi was first arrested in 2004 and detained under the Public Safety Act. “He was also involved in providing logistic support, shelter to the active militants operating in the Tral area before joining militancy,” the police spokesman said.

“Moreover, he was also involved in motivating local youth to join militancy, reviving the militancy in the Tral,” he said.

Meanwhile, a police official said 10 militants have been killed in Kashmir so far in the ensuing month.

On October 1, one newly recruited militant was killed in Rakhama, Shopian, on October 8, one militant from Shopian was killed in Srinagar, two—one each in Bandipora and Anantnag on October 11 and five in two separate encounters in Shopian on October 12.

A police official said that this year so far, 122 militants have been killed in Kashmir. The figure includes those killed along the LoC who were trying to sneak into this side.

As per officials, July this year, was the deadliest month as 31 militants mainly from LeT were killed in the month alone. “Three militants were killed in January, followed by 5 on February, 11 on March, 17 on April, 11 on May, 11 in June, 31 militants on July, 16 in August, and 8 in September,” the officials said.

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