Director General of Police J&K, Dilbagh Singh Monday said soon after the terrorists launched a strike at Kreeri, Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district killing three security forces personnel, the security forces engaged the attackers and killed three terrorists including top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Sajad Haider, who was operating on the lines of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani to recruit local boys into militancy.
The DGP said that two other slain militants were identified as Anayatullah Mir of Pattan and another Lashkar commander from Pakistan Usman.
Addressing a press conference at the Police Control Room here, the DGP said that one of the slain militants Sajad Haider alias Raja was one of the most wanted commanders in J&K.
“He was like Burhan Wani and had joined militancy in 2016 winter. Like Burhan, Sajad too would lure youth into militancy. We have arrested at least 20 youth who were recruited by Sajad besides many Over Ground Workers (OGWs),” the DGP Singh said.
Flanked by the IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, the DGP said that Sajad was involved in a series of “crimes and militancy related incidents that include killing of fruit merchants, security forces personnel, non-local labourers etc.”
He said, of late, Sajad had started working like slain Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo and would release video messages to lure youth and to issue fresh threats to political workers and forces. “His killing is a big success for security forces,” the DGP said.
He said Sajad had taken along one of his recruits Annayatullah Mir, who joined Lashkar in March this year, to carry out the attack. “Mir was injured in the first retaliation by a Head Constable just a few meters away from the attack spot where three security forces personnel were killed,” DGP Singh said.
He said the third militant was identified as Usman, a Pakistani, who was also operating with Sajad in the northern belt of Kashmir. Asked about the sequence of the attack and retaliatory action by the forces, the DGP said that in the morning, terrorists attacked a joint patrolling cum naka party of police and CRPF in which two CRPF men and a SPO were killed. “Just minutes after the attack, special operations group (SoG) of police engaged the terrorists and one was hit just at the bund, a few meters away from the attack site.
He later managed to go inside the orchards. In the meantime, SOG men surrounded the orchards and after they were joined by the army and CRPF, one terrorist who was sitting on a tree, started firing. First he was killed by the security forces,” the DGP said, adding that “it was after him that the injured terrorist was killed.”
He said as forces kept searching the area, another terrorist fired and he too was engaged and later killed. “In total three terrorists were killed in the operation that is going on still since morning,” the DGP Singh said.