The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant was killed in an encounter with security forces personnel in Sopore district.
The police identified him as Asif Maqbool Bhat, and said he was responsible for the attack on four civilians, including a minor, on Saturday, in Dangerpora area of Sopore.
The militants attacked the house of the fruit trader for defying their warnings to shut shop to protest the Centre’s decision to withdraw the state’s special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. A two-year-old girl, Usma Jan, is in a critical condition at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.
The police said Bhat was also responsible for shooting at a migrant labourer, Shafi Aaalm, in Sopore.
On Monday, the police had arrested eight suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militants accused of threatening and intimidating local residents. Those arrested were accused of preparing threatening posters and distributing them in the locality. The militants were identified as Aijaz Mir, Omar Mir, Tawseef Najar, Imtiyaz Najar, Omar Akbar, Faizan Latief, Danish Habib, and Showkat Ahmad Mir. Police had also found computers and other material used for making the posters. Investigation is under way.
Preliminary inquiries reportedly revealed that three of the eight militants led the rest to execute the plan to intimidate locals.
The attack came days after the Indian Army had warned that Pakistan has stepped up attempts to push as many terrorists as possible into Jammu and Kashmir. The Army said that they caught two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists during one such attempt last month.
Jammu and Kashmir was put under prohibitory orders and an unprecedented communications blackout on August 4 as the government prepared to announce the revocation of the region’s autonomy. Prohibitory orders are being lifted gradually but the communications blockade remains in many parts. Some protests have been reported in the region after the decision.
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