SRINAGAR: The three youths killed in an anti-terror operation at Lawaypora on Srinagar’s outskirts on December 30 were “active terrorists” and police would soon provide concrete evidence of their involvement in subversive activities to disprove their kin’s claim that they were shot dead in a “fake encounter”, IGP (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar said on Monday.
Aijaz Maqbool Ganai of Pulwama and Ather Mushtaq Wani and Zubair Ahmad Lone from Shopian were shot dead by security forces during the course of a two-day encounter. While police identified them as Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, their families accused security forces of stage-managing the operation and claimed the three were “innocent”.
“We have gathered 60% evidence, and in the next 10 days, will collect more proof including technical data to establish that the three were active terrorists and had provided logistic support to other terrorists,” the IGP said on the sidelines of a road safety function in Srinagar, adding that bodies of slain terrorists weren’t being handed over to their families in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to avoid gathering of mourners in violation of norms.
IGP Kumar said Kashmiri youths were being lured into taking up arms as overground workers after being provided with pistols and hand grenades. “Yesterday (January 17), we arrested a youth from Anantnag with a pistol and grenade, who was tasked to kill someone. We are alert and will counter the trend through surveillance,” he said, adding terrorists might attempt to create unrest on January 26 but police will foil all their bids.