SRINAGAR: The Lashkar-e-Toiba’s Kashmir chief and most wanted militant, Abu Dujana, has once again given slip to security forces during an anti-militancy operation in South Kashmir Pulwama district on Wednesday.
The police’s Special Operations Group (SOG), army and paramilitary CRPF men on a specific information about presence of Lashkar militants had laid siege around Hakripora village of Pulwama district last evening.
“As the security men were laying siege around the area, they came under fire from the hiding militants. The fire was returned by the troops, triggering a brief encounter,” sources said.
They said the operation was halted for the night but cordon was maintained.
After the exchange fire, the locals, mostly youth and women took to roads and staged protest demonstrations near the encounter site. They pelted stones on the security men, who fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse them.
The clashes continued for more than an hour and during this time, more security personnel could not be rushed to the area to tighten the siege to prevent holed-up militants from escaping, the sources said.
They said the holed up militants, who included Abu Dujana and two local LeT militants, managed to escape from the cordon during the night.
When the security forces launched the combing operation in the morning, there was no fresh contact with the militants, sources said.
They said after continuing the operation for two hours, the security forces called off the search operation.
According to sources, it was for the fifth time that Abu Dujana has given slip to security forces during a combing and search operation in the Valley.
He recently escaped a security forces encounter in South Kashmir but his apple phone was seized by the security forces.
Dujana took over as Lashkar’s Kashmir chief after killing of his predecessor Abu Qasim in an encounter with security forces in October 2015.
He has been involved in all the major attacks on security forces in Valley, especially in South Kashmir, since November 2015.
Dujana was also involved in an ambush on a BSF convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Udhampur in August last year in which two border guards were killed.
Duajana was seen at the funeral of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, last year.
He had also attended some processions during over five month’s unrest last year over killing of Burhan.