The chief commander of militant group Al-Badr was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town on Tuesday, ANI reported, citing the police.
The police and the Army launched a search operation in Sopore’s Tujjar area after receiving inputs about militants hiding there, India Today reported. A gunfight broke out when militants fired at the security forces.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said the killing of Gani Khawaja, the Al-Badr commander, was a “big success”, ANI reported. The police also recovered arms and ammunition from the site of the gunfight.
Kumar said that Khwaja went to Pakistan for training in 2000 and returned to India the same year. “He was active for five years in Baramulla, North Kashmir,” Kumar said, according to ANI. “He was arrested by police in 2007.”
The police officer added that Khwaja was released from jail in 2008. “From 2008 to December 2017, he worked as an overground worker for militants,” Kumar said. “In January, 2018 he became active again. After August 2019, he left HM [Hizbul Mujahideen] and became chief of Al Badr.”
The Kashmir Police said that Khwaja was involved in several attacks on security forces and civilians, the Hindustan Times reported. “Dozens of cases have been registered against him in north Kashmir,” they said.