Top TRF ‘commander’ among 2 terrorists killed in Kulgam

Searches intensified in Poonch, Rajouri to track ultras involved in IAF convoy ambush


SRINAGAR/JAMMU: Two terrorists, including a top “commander” of Lashkar-e-Taiba offshoot TRF who was involved in several cases of killing of policemen and civilians, were eliminated by security forces in an encounter in Kulgam district on Tuesday, officials said.
One of the slain terrorists has been identified as Basit Dar, an “A” category terrorist who belonged to The Resistance Front (TRF), according to Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, V K Birdhi.
He said security forces got inputs about the movement of terrorists in Redwani village following which a cordon and search operation was launched there on Monday night.
“There was firing from the other side,” he told reporters in Kulgam.
Birdhi said the terrorists were given an opportunity to surrender, but they continued their firing on the security personnel.
“Two terrorists have been killed in this operation and their bodies have been retrieved, but the search operation is going on,” he said.
Describing Dar’s killing as a significant achievement, Birdhi said he was involved in 18 cases including in Srinagar city.
“He was involved in the killing of police personnel and innocent civilians.He was involved in planning and carrying out attacks including on minority community members,” the IGP added.

In 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on Dar.
Meanwhile, security forces have intensified the search operations in the twin-border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region to track down the terrorists responsible for attacking an IAF convoy that claimed the life of a corporal rank personnel, officials said.
The agencies have also expanded the scope of operation to various areas of Doda, Udhampur, and Kathua districts to track down two groups of terrorists involved in the killing of a village defence guard (VDG) in the Basangarh area on April 28.
Terrorists targeted an Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy in the Shaistar area of Poonch district, resulting in the martyrdom of an IAF corporal and injuries to four others on Saturday.
Armed with surveillance equipment, including drones and sniffer dogs, the search operation, which entered the fourth day on Tuesday, has been intensified in Shahsitar, Gursai, Sanai, Lasana, and Sheendara top in the Surankote belt and adjoining areas in Poonch district, officials said.
While some dense forest areas have been scanned and routes towards Kashmir have been plugged, there has been no trace of the terrorists involved in the attacks so far, they added.
Twenty-two people have been detained for questioning and the authorities are reviewing some CCTV footage for leads, they said.
Posters offering a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of the two individuals, believed to be the prime suspects, have been put up in Surankote, they said.
In Rajouri, security forces have launched a fresh search operation and put troops on alert following reports of suspected movement of two people in Sada and Kandi areas that have been cordoned off.
Security measures have been tightened with increased checking of vehicles on busy roads, especially on the Jammu Rajouri-Poonch national highway, which is vital for the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch — part of the Anantnag parliamentary constituency going to polls on May 25, they said.
On April 28, a village defence guard (VDG) was killed in a brief encounter with terrorists in the remote Panara village in Udhampur district.
Security agencies have expanded the scope of the search operation to various areas of Doda, Udhampur, and Kathua districts to track down the terrorists.
The ongoing search operation, which entered its 10th day on Tuesday, has been extended to the Bhalessa areas of Doda district, while operations continue in Basantgarh, Dudu, Bani, and Seoj areas of Udhampur and Kathua districts, officials said.
However, there has been no breakthrough in the search so far, they said.
Additional Director General of Police (Jammu zone) Anand Jain had earlier said that the two groups of terrorists are believed to be present in the area after recently infiltrating from across the border, with each group consisting of four and six members, respectively. The twin districts have witnessed several major terrorist attacks in the past two years, indicating a resurgence of terror activities in the region, which was once declared terrorism-free and remained peaceful between 2003 and 2021.

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