Indian Army kills two militants in Kashmir
The Congress party blames the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for the rise in militancy in the state
Srinagar, India - Two militants were killed in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday as the Indian Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC), the Indo-Asian News Service reported.
The militants were killed in Machil sector of the LoC in the Kupwara district of the state where infiltrators tried to enter the valley, India’s Defence Ministry officials said.
“Two terrorists have been killed. Alert troops of the army foiled the infiltration bid. Weapons and warlike stores have been recovered from the slain terrorists,” they said.
On Thursday, forces in the state killed a top militant blamed for the murder of eight Hindu pilgrims two months ago. Soldiers and police shot dead Abu Ismael - a top militant of the Lashkar-eTaiba (LeT) group - in an encounter in Nowgam, on the outskirts of Srinagar, the state capital.
Police officials last month said their investigations found that the LeT and Kashmiri accomplices were behind the July 10 attack that saw militants open fire on a bus carrying Hindus, who were returning from the annual Amarnath pilgrimage.
“Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage) attack mastermind terrorist Abu Ismael killed in an encounter at Aarigam, Nowgam,” army spokesman Aman Anand said via text message.
A Kashmir police official said that Ismael and his associate were ‘ intercepted in an open field and killed’ after receiving a tip-off on their location.
Authorities in Kashmir snapped mobile Internet services after Ismael’s killing, fearing an outbreak of protests.
The July attack was the worst in the Himalayan region since 2000, when gunmen fired on a group of Hindu pilgrims and killed 32 people including two police officers.
LeT has been blamed for a string of deadly attacks inside India, most notably the Mumbai carnage in November 2008 when heavily armed gunmen battled commandos on the streets of the financial capital, killing 166 people.
The main opposition party, the Congress, blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the rise in the militancy in the state. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “One soldier was beheaded during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists and the BJP exploited the issue to the hilt against the Congress. Such incidents have also taken place during Modi government and they do not talk about it now.”
He was speaking to the media after Congress leaders arrived in Srinagar to interact with ‘likeminded’ people to find a way forward to end violence in the state.
Paramilitary troopers stand guard as a girl walks near a mosque in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, on Friday