A top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Haider, who hailed from Pakistan, was one of the two terrorists killed by the security forces in Handwara encounter that took place on Saturday, 2nd May 2020. As per journalist Aditya Raj Kaul, the identify of second terrorist is still being ascertained.
On 2nd May 2020, at around 3:30 PM, an encounter started between the Forces and terrorists in Chanjumullah area of Handwara in Kupwara, North Kashmir. Towards evening, reports started pouring in that two senior Army personnel including a Colonel-rank officer and a Major were trapped in a house with two Pakistani terrorists. The senior officers soon lost contact with the team. Soon, they lost contact with the unit.
As reported by journalist Snehesh Alex Philip, when no radio contact could be established with the team, the unit called Colonel Sharma’s mobile phone. The call was answered by a terrorist who responded with an ‘Assalamalaikum’.
As per reports, the terrorists were found hiding in a cowshed. The Forces were reportedly acting on a tipoff that terrorists were present in the Rajwar forests area. The special operations group of police surrounded the house the terrorists were hiding in and an encounter followed. As of now, the reports are that five security personnel have lost their lives while two terrorists were killed. All 5 members of the original team including Commanding Officer 21 RR Col Ashutosh Sharma, Maj Anuj Sood, Police Sub Inspector Shakeel Qazi, one Lc Naik and one rifleman have been martyred.
Soon after the news broke, various Pakistani Twitter users took to microblogging platform to express glee at the martyrdom of Indian soldiers and hailed the terrorists as ‘freedom fighters’.