Kupwara: A counter terrorist operation in the Putshai area of Lolab, Kupwara, North Kashmir, witnessed the gunning down of yet another terrorist. His weapon, an AK-47 rifle, has been recovered.
The joint operation that was initiated on April, 21, had earlier led to the elimination of three terrorists. With the latest killing the count has gone to four.
The operation was launched by a combined force of the Indian Army and Jammu Kashmir police on the basis of specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area.
The response was calibrated in view of the presence of civilians in the encounter site and the need to avoid collateral damage.
The relentless and precise nature of the operation conducted with utmost patience over many days has resulted in the elimination of four top terrorists.
That the terrorist were heavily armed is evident from the recovery of three AK-47 rifles and grenade launchers besides other military equipment.
Earlier, at the beginning of April, four terrorists were killed in two separate operations.
Of particular significance was the operation on April 7 in which security forces had, in a well-coordinated surgical strike, gunned down two top terrorists of the Hizb-ul-Mujahedeen militant organization in Shopian, South Kashmir.
One of the terrorists, Naseer Ah Pandit, had been a Special Police Officer with a minister of the Peoples Democratic Party who had decamped with two weapons in March 2015.
Experts are of the opinion that a spike in terrorist activity at this time of the year is along expected lines in view of the opening up of the weather and melting of snow in the higher reaches.
"Terrorists operating in the Kashmir Valley would be under pressure from their masters across the border to produce results and also facilitate infiltration of fresh cadre. In the context of facilitating infiltration, the higher reaches of Lolab gain significance,' said Dr Simrit Kahlon, an expert on Jammu and Kashmir affairs.
During a recent secretary-level meeting between India and Pakistan, India had once again reiterated the need for Pakistan to act against terror groups operating from its soil instead of being in "denial" about terrorism.