Hizbul Mujahideen commander among three terrorists killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district, hostage rescued

  • Three terrorists and an army jawan were killed in an operation in the Batote region of Jammu and Kashmir

  • The militants were encircled by the search parties inside a house in the main market after they managed their escape from the scene of the earlier encounter

  • The house owner, Vijay Kumar, who was trapped inside the house after his family managed to escape, has been rescued

Three terrorists were eliminated and an army jawan was also killed while rescuing a civilian hostage in a five-hour long operation the Batote area of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, an army officer said.

The militants were encircled by the search parties inside a house in the main market after they managed their escape from the scene of the earlier encounter in the highway town in Ramban district, officials said.

Two police officials were also injured in the operation. The deceased soldier was identified as Naik Rajinder Singh from Jaisalmer.

"Three terrorists have been killed. The hostage has been rescued. Two police officials sustained bullet injuries and an Army personnel died. Operation is over now. They are the same terrorists who were seen in the morning," Jammu Inspector General of Police (IG) Mukesh Singh told ANI.

A top Hizbul Mujahideen 'commander', wanted in connection with the assassination of a senior BJP leader and an RSS functionary, was killed along with two other terrorists in a nine-hour operation. The terrorists were identified as Osama and his associates Zahid and Farooq.

Osama was the brain behind several sensational incidents including the killings of senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar on November 1, 2018 and RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO on April 9, officials said. He was carrying a reward of several lakhs of rupees and was also wanted in three weapon snatching incidents in Kishtwar town, which was declared terrorist-free over a decade ago.

Earlier, a police spokesman said a group of five terrorists are trapped in the town. The trapped terrorists had fired at the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the Army in the morning and tried to escape but were chased by the security forces and encircled in a house, he said.

The officials said the fresh exchange of fire started between the holed up terrorists and the security forces at around 1 pm after intense search operation despite inclement weather.

“So, there were five militants in that area. Three were in the house where the man was held hostage and two in the nearby forest,”  Hindustan Times reported Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand as saying..

The house owner was believed to be trapped inside the house while his other family members have been evacuated to safety after they managed to come out, officials said, adding the ultras had forced their entry into the house while being chased by the security forces.

In the morning, the group of terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire at the QRT at Dharmund village, leading to a brief exchange of fire.

Reinforcements were immediately rushed and the whole area was cordoned off to neutralise the terrorists, who are believed to have come from the Kishtwar side and had reportedly spent the night at an abandoned temporary shelter shed on the highway, the officials said.

Lt Col Anand said, "Today (Saturday) morning at about 7.30 am, two suspicious individuals tried to stop a civilian vehicle at the general area Batote on the highway. The driver was alert, did not stop the vehicle and rushed and informed the nearest Army post."

"The quick reaction team reacted promptly and contact was established with the suspicious individuals," he said.

The movement of the traffic on the highway was stopped following the incident as a precautionary measure, they said.

- With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 28, 2019 21:11:43 IST