On Saturday evening, the Indian security forces gunned down 6 terrorists in an ongoing encounter at the Hajin area of Bandipora sector in Jammu and Kashmir. In the Bandipora encounter, one Indian Air Force (IAF) Garud personnel has lost his life and two Army personnel are said to be injured in Hajin encounter. Out of the 6 killed terrorists, one has been identified as Owaid — Abdul Rehman Makki’s son & 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s nephew. A large number of arms & ammunition have also been recovered. Following the encounter, authorities have ordered the suspension of data services, including 2G, 3G & 4G services, in J&K’s Bandipora in Hajin. The killing of the terrorists was confirmed by the J&K DGP. According to reports, the encounter had been underway from past few hours. The military sources said that at least two army jawans have also been injured in the encounter.

The killing of 5 terrorists by the security forces is being perceived as a major victory of the Indian Army jawans. Reports suggested that the killed militants belonged to the notorious terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Following the encounter, the area has been cordoned off and the army teams are carrying out search operations. The encounter is still said to be underway. The report of the Bandipora encounter was confirmed through a Twitter post by the director general of state police, SP Vaid. He said, “Encounter underway at Chandergeer Hajin Bandipore in a joint operation with Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF and Army. Further details follow.” As per current reports doing rounds, the encounter broke out when security forces were carrying out a search operation in the village after receiving intelligence inputs about the presence of militants.

Commenting on the encounter, Defence Ministry Spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said troopers of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), special operations group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) surrounded Chandergair village in Hajin area of Bandipora district, following information about the presence of militants there. “As the cordon around the hiding militants was tightened, they fired at the security forces triggering an encounter which is now going on,” Kalia said.

Just a few days ago, a former Kashmiri footballer who had joined the LeT on November 10, returned back to his home after seven days, on November 17.