January 2016 News

Top LeT Comdr Sajjad Killed In Srinagar

11 January 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: In a major success for the security forces, a top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander was killed during an encounter in the outskirts of Srinagar this evening. Police and security forces received information about presence of Sajjad Ahmad Bhat in Gossu village of Zakura in the outskirts of Srinagar this evening. They cordoned off the Gossu village and during searches Sajjad fired at them and tried to escape from the security cordon but security personnel fired at and killed him on the spot. As the security forces shot dead Sajjad Ahmad in a brief gun battle in the village, his associate managed to escape from the encounter site under the cover of darkness. Security forces called off the operation after killing Sajjad and conducting searches of the villages for his associate. The killing is said to be a major success of the security forces as he was one of the main architects of setting up of LeT bases in South Kashmir since 2007. Sajjad Ahmad Bhat alias Peer son of Mohammad Amin Bhat resident of Aripora, Zewan in South Kashmir district of Pulwama joined LeT in 2007 and was active since then. Police had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to the informants leading to his arrest or killing but Sajjad managed to survive all these years but maintaining secrecy about his movements. Sajjad was injured in October 2012 during an encounter in Pulwama district in which the then divisional commander Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Bhai was killed. He was treated and operated three times for his bullet injuries. Sajjad first helped Rehman Bhai to set up network for LeT in South Kashmir and then after his killing he helped former LeT divisional commander Abu Qasim to strengthen the network. Qasim who was mastermind of Udhampur attack on BSF last year was killed last year. Reports said that after his injury in 2012, Sajjad mostly focused on arranging finances for the LeT. Large number of people had gathered at Pantha Chowk in the Southern outskirts of Srinagar soon after his death and they blocked the National Highway. They were waiting for the body of Sajjad as police was still conducting legal formalities till late night.