- Police officer Aman Kumar Thakur died in Kulgam encounter
- Three terrorists killed in the encounter
- Joint ops by army, CRPF, police after input of presence of terrorists
A senior police officer and an armyman lost their lives and two soldiers including a Major were injured in a five-hour encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district on Sunday. Three terrorists have been killed, police said. The encounter comes amid high tension in the Kashmir Valley following the terror strike on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama and security forces are facing the brunt of the mob anger. Nearly 1000 people are near the encounter site, pelting stones at the security forces. Body of only one terrorist has been recovered. Deputy Superintendent of Police Aman Kumar Thakur, who was killed in the encounter, was leading the police team from the front. The 2011-batch officer from the Jammu and Kashmir Police Services was posted in Kulgam for the last two years and had been heading the counter terrorism wing of the state police in the area.
The heavy stone pelting, usually meant to hamper the operations and help holed-up terrorists escape, started soon after the encounter began.
We pay rich #tributes to our colleague #Martyr#DySP Aman Kumar for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of #duty today at @Kulgam. We stand by his family at this crucial moment. RIP. @JmuKmrPolice@policekulgampic.twitter.com/vgEKkgp6mm— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) February 24, 2019
The encounter started around 3 pm when the security forces, tipped off about the presence of terrorists in the Turigam area, started a cordon and search operation. Turigam lies in south Kashmir's Kulgam, 68 km from Srinagar, about 50 from the site where the February 14 terror attack took place. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack, the worst-ever in Kashmir.
Four days ago, in another encounter in Pulwama, two terrorists were killed. One of them was Kamran, a key conspirator in the terror strike, sources said. Kamran was a Pakistani and a key aide of Jaish-e-Mohammad's Pakistan-based chief Masood Azhar. The other man killed, Hilal Ahmed, was a local bomb specialist.
The suicide bomber in the attack on the 78-vehicle convoy was Adil Ahmed Dar, a 19-year-old local, who was affiliated to the Jaish. It is not yet known how much help he had locally.
The situation has been tense across the state, especially the Kashmir Valley, since the attack. There has been a considerable build-up of security forces across Jammu and Kashmir since. Over the weekend, around 10,000 soldiers from various paramilitary forces have converged in the state amid a major crackdown on separatists.
The government has pulled out security for all separatist leaders in Kashmir since the attack. Till yesterday, 130 people, among them several separatist leaders from the Jamaat-e-Islami - considered the political wing of the Hizbul Mujahideen - and Hurriyat Conference, have been arrested.