In a major setback to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in south Kashmir, its divisional commander and his associate were shot dead during an encounter with J&K Police and Army personnel in Pulwama district on Sunday.
Lashkar’s Divisional Commander Bilal Ahmad, who police say was involved in the murder of former Director of Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Dr Jalal, was killed by a joint team of police and Army personnel in Reshipora village.
His associate, Mudasir Ahmad Sheikh, was also killed in the encounter, which was triggered after the joint team launched an operation in the area following a tip-off about the presence of militants there.
Bhat, who was an Imam at a mosque before he joined militancy, was also known as Bilal Molvi.
The police have termed his killing as a major success as Bhat was involved in the killing of Dr Jalal as well as two Army personnel at Pampore besides being responsible for an attack on a hotel in the outskirts of Srinagar city.
The police say Bhat was also involved in plotting the attack on an Army convoy at Hyderpora in Srinagar last year.