A major terrorist attack was averted in Jammu and Kashmir as security forces killed a Pakistani terrorist following a 15-hour long gun battle along Srinagar- Jammu national highway. A huge cache of arms, including rocket launchers, were recovered from the encounter site, the police said.
They said the overnight encounter began after two terrorists, who had positioned themselves in a building, started firing "indiscriminately" on a BSF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
"Around 3 pm (Thursday), terrorists fired upon the convoy of BSF on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway near Malpora Mir Bazar area of Kulgam. The fire was retaliated by an ROP (road opening party) of police and security forces," a police spokesman said.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said the slain ultra, identified as Usman from Pakistan, was a "dreaded terrorist" active for the past six months.
There were no injuries in the initial attack.
Police and Army reinforcements reached there immediately and cordoned off the area, the spokesperson said.
"The force party ensured not to give any chance to the terrorists to escape. The terrorists managed to took shelter in a nearby huge building. The holed-up terrorists fired indiscriminately upon the joint party of police/security forces which was retaliated, leading to an encounter," he said.
The IGP said there was a general input for the last one week that "terrorists were planning an attack on the national highway on Baramulla-Srinagar road or Qazigund-Pantha Chowk".
"So, the police and security forces were ready. This shows how good the response of the security forces has been that there was retaliation and the militant was not allowed to flee," Kumar told reporters here.
He said when the BSF convoy was coming, "two terrorists fired indiscriminately from a huge building, but there was no injury to us".
"Security forces cordoned off the area and the encounter ensued. GoC (general officer commanding of the Army's south Kashmir-based) Victor Force and I monitored the operation during the night. We used rocket launcher and a militant was neutralised during the night.
"Since it is difficult to search in the dark, in the morning, the dead body of a Pakistani terrorist identified as Usman, who had been active for the last six months, was recovered," he said.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition, which includes an AK-47 rifle, magazines, grenades, RPG-7 rocket launcher, was recovered from the encounter site, he said.
Kumar said it shows the "terrorists they were planning something big".
"It is after a long time that RPG-7 has been recovered (in Kashmir) and the police and security forces have averted a major incident. I am proud of the police and security forces," he said, adding, "We achieved a major success by killing Usman – the dreaded Pakistani terrorist."
The police spokesman quoted above also said a CRPF jawan and an Army personnel and two civilians got injured in the "indiscriminate firing by the terrorists".
All the injured have been taken to a hospital for treatment, he said.
With PTI inputs