The lead Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Naveed Jatt, involved in the murder of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari earlier this year, was gunned down by security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday.
Police sources told news agencies that Jatt alias Abu Hanzallah was among the two terrorists killed in the gunfight that broke out while the forces were conducting a cordon and search operation in Kuthpora village.
Naveed Jatt, who was one of the most wanted terrorists, was a Pakistani national who had escaped from police custody in Srinagar on February 6, while he was being taken for a medical check-up to a hospital from the Srinagar Central Jail.
According to reports, Jatt was a resident of Multan in Pakistan and had entered India from Keran in North Kashmir in October 2012.
Jatt’s encounter is being seen as a major success for the Indian security forces. ANI quoted Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh as saying, “This week was great, those involved in the killing of innocent people in Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian belt were neutralized. As per ground verification, top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Naveed Jatt was one of the two terrorists killed today.”
In another similar operation, which the Indian security forces had carried out in Shalgund village of Dashnipora in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on November 23, top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Azad Ahmad Malik along with other five Islamist terrorists were neutralised. Malik was also allegedly involved in the assassination of Kashmiri Journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari.
Shujaat Bukhari, a renowned Kashmiri journalist who was previously associated with The Hindu and then the editor of Raising Kashmir, was gunned down by terrorists on June 14 2018, while he was leaving from his office at press enclave in Srinagar to attend an iftar party. Three motorcycle-borne militants fired at Bukhari and his guards while he was entering his car. Bukhari and one guard were killed on the spot and another security guard who was critically injured succumbed to his injuries later.
On the same day, the bullet-ridden body of abducted rifleman Aurangzeb was also recovered which had sent the entire nation in a state of shock and enmity.
The killing of Journalist Shujaat Bukhari had led to severe propaganda in the media, as the left-leaning media could not accept the fact that terrorists backed by the separatists had killed one of their own.