Continuing the offensive against the terror groups, security forces on early Wednesday morning eliminated two dreaded terrorists of the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit in the Rainawari area of Srinagar-the summer capital of the Union Territory.
Rayees Ahmad Bhat-one of the killed terrorists was a former journalist and was "editor-in-chief" of an online news portal. The identity of another killed terrorist has been established as Hilal Ahmad of the Bijbehra area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district.
According to police, on specific information about the presence of terrorists, a search operation was started in the Rainawari area of Srinagar city.
During the searches, the hiding terrorists fired upon the security forces, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter in which both the terrorists were eliminated within no time.
'Editor-in-chief' had joined terror rank in 2021
According to police, one of the killed terrorists was carrying a media Identity Card (ID). Rayees Ahmad Bhat, resident of Shahabad, Veeri Bijbehara was earlier a journalist and was running an online news portal 'ValleyNews Service' in Anantnag.
"Bhat had terrorist ranks in 2021. Two FIRs were already registered against him for terror crimes,", police said. The second terrorist killed in the encounter has been identified as Hilal Ahmad Rah, resident of Kuthipora, Waghama, Bijbehara, a 'C' categorized terrorist.
#SrinagarEncounterUpdate: Killed terrorist (Rayees Ah Bhat) was earlier a journalist &was running online news portal 'ValleyNews Service' in Anantnag. Joined terrorist ranks in 8/2021 &was categorised 'C' in our list. 02 FIRs are already registered against him for terror crimes. https://t.co/60J86npozf— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) March 30, 2022
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar informed that the two terrorists killed in the encounter were involved in several recent terror crimes, including killings of civilians. The police stated that the media card with one of the killed terrorists indicated misuse of the media identity.
"Rayees Ahmad Bhat, categorized among the local terrorists with allegiance to the proscribed terror outfit LeT, was carrying a media identity card (ID). It indicates a clear case of misuse of the media identity," tweeted Jammu and Kashmir police.
Incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, have been recovered from the encounter site, police said.