SRINAGAR: An Army soldier and a suspected militant were killed in an exchange of gunfire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.
“A Hizbul Mujahideen militant, who helped Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Naveed Jatt escape from police custody at a hospital here last year, was Tuesday killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in which a soldier also lost his life”, police said.
“Based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Ratnipora area of Pulwama, a cordon and search operation was launched in the intervening night”, a police spokesman said.
“As the searches were going on, the militants fired upon the forces, who retaliated. In the ensuing encounter, one militant was killed and the body was retrieved from the site of encounter”, he added.
As per the report, the slain militant was identified as Hilal Ahmad Rather, a resident of Behgambagh Kakapora of Pulwama district. Based on the police records, he was affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).
“Rather had a long history of terror crime and was wanted for his complicity in a series of crimes, including the attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities”, the spokesperson said.
"Several cases were registered against him for his involvement in terrorist activities, including a case pertaining to the terrorist attack inside the premises of SMHS hospital in which two cops were martyred and a Pakistani terrorist, Naveed Jatt alias Hanzalla, managed to escape," he added.
Jatt was killed in an encounter in Budgam in November last year.
"The body of the killed terrorist was handed over to his family after completion of medico-legal formalities," the spokesperson said.
“Two security personnel also sustained gunshot injuries in the encounter and were evacuated to a hospital for medical attention. One of them, Jawan Baljeet Singh, succumbed to the injuries and the other soldier is being treated”, he added.
The incriminating material such as arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter and all these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation.
With inputs from PTI
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