Bodies of 3 LeT militants including top commander Junaid Mattoo recovered; shutdown, curbs hit normal life in Valley

Thousands attend funeral prayers of slain militants; militants give gun salute to their fallen comrades.

Published: 17th June 2017 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2017 03:18 AM   |  A+A-

The security forces were fired upon from the crowd that was indulging in stone pelting, police said, adding that the Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were desperate to save Mattoo. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Police on Saturday recovered bodies of three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants including top commander Junaid Mattoo from debris of a house that was damaged during yesterday’s gunfight at Arwani village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir.

The normal life in Valley, meanwhile, was disrupted by the shutdown called by separatists and restrictions imposed by authorities.

A police official said security forces during search of debris of a house that was damaged in yesterday’s gunfight between militants and security forces in Arwani village recovered bodies of three LeT militants.

He identified the slain militants as Junaid Mattoo,  Nasir Wani and Adil Mushtaq Mir, all locals. 

Police said Junaid was district commander of LeT and involved in number of militant attacks.

“He was involved in  killing of police Constable at Bogund, Kulgam on 15th of this month.  He was involved in attack on police party at Mir bazar in Anantnag in which a police official was killed. He was also involved in attack on police party in Anantnag town last year in which two policemen were killed,” the police spokesman said.

Mattoo was active from last two years and carried a bounty of Rs 10 lakh.

He had joined militancy when he was 18 and was recently put in list of 12 most wanted militants in J&K by Army.

Mattoo is third top militant killed in Valley after killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8, last year. Burhan’s successor Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was killed in encounter with security forces in a village in Tral in south Kashmir last month.

According to police, Nasir and Adil had joined militancy last year and were involved in militant activities in south Kashmir.

Besides, three militants, two civilians were also killed near the encounter site yesterday when security forces fired on protestors during clashes in the area.

Thousands of people participated in funeral prayers of LeT commander Junaid Mattoo in his native village at Khudwani, Qaimoh in Kulgam district. Multiple funeral prayers were offered as people continued to pour in from various parts of south Kashmir.

Sources said half a dozen militants of LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen appeared in the funeral of Mattoo and offered a gun salute.

Thousands of people also attended the funeral prayers of two other militants --- Adil at Frestbal, Pampore and Nasir at Heff village of Shopian respectively. Militants also appeared in the funerals of two militants and fired some rounds in air.

J&K DGP S P Vaid termed Junadi’s killing as a major achievement for forces and a jolt for Lashkar.

He said militants involved in killing of six policemen including SHO at Achabal area of Anantnag district yesterday would be tracked and brought to book.

Meanwhile, normal life in Valley was affected by the strike called by separatists and restrictions imposed by authorities to maintain law and order.

A police official said restrictions were imposed in areas falling under six police stations in Srinagar and parts of Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts to maintain law and order and foil protests.

He said police and paramilitary personnel were also deployed in strength in other sensitive and vulnerable areas of the Valley to prevent people from taking to roads, staging protests and pelting stones on security personnel.

All shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley remained closed while public transport was off the roads in response to the shutdown called by separatist leaders against killing of civilians by security personnel.

Two civilians were killed in security forces firing on protestors near encounter site at Arwani yesterday while another civilian was killed in SSB men’s firing after minor stone pelting at Rangreth area in outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday evening.

All top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah and Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai were placed under house arrest while JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has been detained and lodged in Central Jail, Srinagar.

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