Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Police on Monday said that Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit was ‘desperately’ trying to gain a foothold in the Srinagar city.

Srinagar city witnessed eight encounters this year so far. The latest being the gunfight at Barazulla in which two LeT militants including Pakistani commander Saifullah were killed on Monday.

Director-General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said 18 militants have been killed in Srinagar district this year so far in eight encounters.

“Lashkar and others are trying to gain a foothold in the city. Our intelligence network is quite good and effective. Whenever they tried to gain a foothold in the city, security forces were able to locate and neutralize them,” he said.

The DGP said currently only one militant is active in the city and he is involved in two attacks.

With the Srinagar encounter, Singh said the valley this year witnessed 75 ‘successful’ encounters in which 180 militants were killed.

He said as many as 138 militants and their associates have also been arrested by the forces this year.

“All these operations against militants were clean. The operations were conducted in a professional manner. Barring one operation at Batamaloo Srinagar, in which one woman got killed in a crossfire, all operations were smoothly conducted by the security forces,” he said.

Singh said the number of ‘successful’ operations and arrests this year have been high compared to the last year.

The DGP said forces lost 55 men including 19 policemen, 21 CRPF personnel, and 15 army-men this year. “Majority of army soldiers were killed on the LoC,” he said.

This year so far, Singh said “the police reunited 26 youth with their families after shunning militancy”

“It was due to the hard work of police that these 26 youth were reunited with their families,” he said.

On Monday’s Barzulla encounter, Singh said the slain Pakistani Lashkar commander Saifullah was involved in the series of attacks on security forces. Those include recent attacks at Nowgam, Chadoora, and Kandizaal, Pampore.

“He was involved in an attack on CRPF in Budgam in which our ASI was killed. Kandizal and Nowgam attacks were also carried out by Saifullah. Two other slain militants Tipu Sultan and Adil were also involved in these attacks,” he said.

Singh said that 10 militants have been killed in four anti-militancy operations in the last five days.

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Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India

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