Massive operations in Bandipora against LeT group

Police and Army launched a mass operation in Bandipora district of North Kashmir against a group of 5 Lashkar-e-Toiba militants who were on their way to South Kashmir. At least three dozen persons including two dozen policemen were injured in clashes in Pulwama today against the death of LeT militant.
A local militant, Owais Ahmad Sheikh, who had gone to Bandipora from South Kashmir was killed during the operation last evening near Saderkote Balla area of Ajas in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Army’s 13 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched cordon-and-search operation in the forests of Doodhwan area of Saderkote Balla in Bandipora yesterday.
Sheikh hurled a grenade on the troops when they challenged him and troops fired back killing him on the spot. Sheikh had reached Bandipora on December 19 to transport a group of 5 LeT militants from the Bandipora forests to South Kashmir.
Earlier, two militants who were killed in Pampore area of South Kashmir on National Highway early this month were also on their way to transport this group to South Kashmir.
The Army’s 13 RR, 14 RR, 27 RR, 9 Para, SOG Bandipora and SOG Sumbal have cordoned off several villages including Chuntmulla, Bazipora, Gutu, Agram, SK Bala and Panar in Bandipora district and their adjacent forest area to trace out the LeT militant group.
Police also seized a vehicle in Awantipora in which the LeT militant group was to be transported.
In the meantime, at least three dozen persons including 24 police men were injured in clashes in Pulwama town today amid a shutdown against the killing the LeT militant. The district administration had imposed curfew like restrictions in the town after apprehending protests against the killing of LeT militant, Owais Ahmad Sheikh alias Hamza.
Owais, a student of BA II year in Degree College Pulwama, had joined LeT in June this year after snatching weapon from policemen deployed in the Pulwama District hospital. Owais was a resident of Chatapora locality of the town.
A senior police officer said that at least 20 policemen and 12 civilians were injured during clashes. “Police showed maximum restraint and patience during the clashes and did not use any lethal weapon on the protesters,” the officer said.
Earlier, the police had handed over the body of the dead militant to the family in the wee hours of today morning. His funeral prayers were offered in Industrial Complex premises in the town after Friday prayers, which was attended by large number of people.
To defy the curfew, hundreds of people assembled at Rajpora and Murran Chowks today morning. Police and security forces were deployed in strength to thwart the protests and avoid any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, an Army spokesman said that they killed an militant, Owais Ahmad Sheikh, in the forested area of Ajas near village Dudhwan of Bandipora district during an encounter which erupted last evening.
“One 9mm Chinese pistol, magazine and 8 rounds along with other war like stores were recovered from the sight of encounter,” the spokesman said, adding the search is underway in the area.

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