SRINAGAR: Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant Abu Dujana, a Pakistani who was killed in an encounter with security forces today in Jammu and Kashmir, was not just involved in many attacks but would also harass the local public, a senior Army official claimed.
Dujana's killing has affected the outfit and more militants would be hunted soon, he added. A senior police official also said that Dujana had become an eyesore for everyone and he would even harass girls.
"Dujana was not involved in too many operations, he was more of a nuisance. He was more involved in coercion and not many in terms of terrorist acts. So, he was only enjoying himself here. That is the way I look at it," Lt Gen J S Sandhu, corps commander of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, told reporters at Awantipora in Pulwama district.
But the leadership of the LeT has been affected and we, of course, will keep hunting for other militants in this area, he added.
Our aim is clearing them out as soon as possible, Sandhu said, flanked by Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Munir Khan.
Lt Gen Sandhu said the security forces received the information about the presence of two terrorists in Hakripora area of Pulwama in the early hours today.
By about 4 AM, the police as well as the Army had established the cordon around about 10-12 houses which was the reported area. Subsequently, we closed in and on speaking to the house owner learnt that the terrorists were not allowing the family to come out.
After a couple of hours, after talking to them, the members of the family came out, after which we launched the operations.
It started around early hours of the morning, around 8 (AM) or so and within a couple of hours, the two terrorists were killed, he said.
The senior Army official said Dujana was the LeT chief of Kashmir and "a category A++ militant". Dujana has also been described as a category 'A' militant by some officials.
He was a foreign terrorist, a Pakistani, Sandhu said.
Another terrorist, Arif Nabi Dar, who was also a wanted terrorist involved in a number of bank robberies and weapon snatching incidents, was also killed, he said.
Terming Dujana's killing as "good riddance", IGP Khan claimed he had become an eye-sore for everybody, especially girls.
"He used to enter any house and do anything he wanted to do. Good riddance that way. I think people should relax, the girls, our sisters, they should relax now that no such person is there to harass them," Khan said.
He said both the killed militants were notorious and had established strongholds in certain areas through coercion and threats.
It had become imperative to neutralise them in the interest of peace and safety of general masses, he said.
The IGP said the security forces tried hard to make the militants surrender.
"Announcements were made from mosques and we tried to utilize the services of the house owner and the persons who came out of the house to impress upon them to surrender. But, because of Dujana's presence, the other fellow could also not surrender," Khan said.
They started firing and the quantum of fire from their side was very heavy, the IGP said. It was retaliated and both were neutralised, he added.
After the operation was over, the bodies were identified properly. It was a clean operation, but for the civilian casualty of Firdous Ahmad of Begumbagh and around five to six who received pellet injuries and two bullet injuries, he said.
Khan said that anti-militancy operations would continue despite stone pelting or disruptions.
"(Stone) pelting or no pelting, disruptions or no disruptions, the operations will go on whenever we get information of militants, armed militants rather, in a house or in an area, the operations are to be launched," he said.
An attempt is made to make the militants surrender but if they don't and start firing on our forces, the only reply is to retaliate, he said.
He said that a civilian had also lost his life.
"It could have been avoided if the people stayed inside and had let the security forces do their job, these things would not have happened. I again appeal to the people, because the operations will carry on," Khan said.