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Jaish ‘Commander’ among 3 killed in Pulwama encounter

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SRINAGAR: A self styled Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) Commander was among three terrorists killed in a fierce encounter in Pulwama district on Tuesday. They were identified as Altaf Ahmad Rather, ‘District Commander’, Farooq Ahmad Laway and Showkat Ahmad Dar. The Security Forces recovered two AK 47 rifles, one self loading Rifle, ammunition and other war like stores from the encounter site.
“Based on a specific intelligence input about presence of three terrorists at Hajan Bala village of Rajpora, a joint operation was launched by Army, JKP and CRPF”, a Defence spokesperson said, adding that a tight cordon was established, blocking all escape routes.
According to another report, the terrorists, hiding in the residential house, fired indiscriminately on the forces ensuing gunfight late last night. The encounter was suspended till morning.
However, as the dawn prevailed, the exchange of fire between the holed up terrorists and forces resumed. The gunfire, according to sources, continued till noon resulting in killing of one of the holed up terrorist identified as Showkat.
“The forces later blasted the house which resulted in the killing of two other terrorists,” reports elaborated.
Showkat Ahmad Dar, according to his father, joined the terror ranks on August 19. Earlier, the forces reportedly brought his father, Ghulam Qadir Dar, to persuade him to surrender, but there was no response from the former to latter’s call.
The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) south Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told reporters that the killing of Altaf is a setback to terrorists in the area. He said the police tried to persuade Showkat but Altaf Rather stopped him from surrendering.
Altaf Ahmad Rather, who was a resident of Check Badrinath in the district, was active in the area from last four years and was JeM’s District Commander. “He was behind many terror related incidents. Altaf’s group was behind the weapon snatching incident at Pakharpora Shrine in June, this year,” a Srinagar based agency reported quoting sources.
Farooq Ahmad Laway, another dead terrorist, had joined the outfit five months ago. He was a carpenter by profession and was a resident of Hard Dalwan Charar-i-Shareef.

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