A top Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist and his local accomplice were killed on Monday in a fierce gunbattle with security forces in Old Barzulla area of Srinagar, police said.
Saifullah, the Pakistani terrorist who masterminded at least three attacks on security forces during the past month, was killed in the encounter with security forces, a police official said.
He said Saifullah was the first Pakistani terrorist to be killed in several years during an operation in Srinagar.
Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Old Barzulla locality of the city in the early hours of Monday after receiving specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area, the official said.
He said around 7.45 am, when the searches were going on, terrorists fired upon the forces, leading to an encounter.
Two militants were killed in the gunfight, the official said.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said Saifullah was a Pakistani and a top commander of the LeT and was involved in several recent attacks on security forces in and around Srinagar.
“A top Lashkar commander from Pakistan named Saifullah has been killed in the operation. He was involved in three back-to-back major attacks on security forces in Nowgam, Chadoora and Kandizaal here,” Singh told a press conference at police control room in Srinagar.
The DGP said Srinagar city has witnessed eight encounters so far this year in which 18 terrorists have been killed.
“In total, this year so far 75 successful anti-militancy operations have been carried out in which 180 terrorists have been killed. Also, 138 militants and their associates have been arrested this year.
“In terms of operational achievements, it is a record of sorts compared to the last year. The number of both killed and arrested is more this year than the last year,” he said.
The UT’s police chief said all the anti-militancy operations conducted this year were clean and were undertaken in a professional manner.
“Barring one operation at Batamaloo Srinagar, in which a woman got killed unfortunately in a crossfire, all operations were cleanly conducted by the security forces,” he said.
Asked about the number of fatalities on the security forces’ side, Singh said this year, 19 J-K policemen lost their life, while 21 Central Reserve Police Force personnel and 15 Army soldiers — majority of them were on the LoC — were killed in the UT.
Asked whether Lashkar and other outfits were trying to set their foot again in the Srinagar city, the DGP said the security forces were able to take care of the militants because of an effective intelligence network.
“Lashkar and all are trying to find their foothold in the city, but our int (intelligence) network is quite good and quite effective and it is because of this effective int network that our troops have been able to find them and take care of them,” he said.
He said at present only one militant was active in the city and so far has been involved in a couple of attacks on the security forces.
“We are looking for him and will bring him to justice very soon.”
Asked about the number of youths who have given up militancy so far in the valley, Singh said 26 youths were brought back with the help of their parents and the hardwork of police.
To another question on a surrender policy for such youth and whether the police were sending them outside J-K, the DGP said there was no official policy yet.
“No youth has been sent out of the UT. Officially, there is no policy as yet,” he said.
Sources, meanwhile, said Saifullah was involved in a terrorist attack on September 21 on New Bypass where no loss was reported.
He was also involved in an attack in Kaisarmullah Chadoora on September 24 in which an ASI of the CRPF was killed and his rifle snatched.
On October 5, Saifullah was involved in an attack on New Bypass Taingan Nowgam in which two CRPF personnel were killed and three injured.
He was also involved in killing two policemen on August 14.