Four terrorists, including a former police constable, were Friday killed in an encounter with security forces, while another surrendered, in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir police constable, identified as Shakoor Parray, was the district commander of the Al-Badr outfit.
Another terrorist involved in the abduction and killing of a panch from Khanmoh area of Srinagar whose body was recovered from Shopian on Friday was among the killed terrorists.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Kiloora area of Shopian district in south Kashmir, following specific information about the presence of terrorists, a police spokesperson said.
During the search operation when the presence of terrorists was ascertained, they were given an opportunity to surrender, however, they opened fired indiscriminately at the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter, he said.
The spokesperson said in the ensuing encounter, four terrorists were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter.
Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said one militant also surrendered during the encounter.
"One terrorist (has) surrendered. Two AKs and three pistols recovered (from the encounter site)," he said.
However, the police spokesperson said, during the encounter, police and security forces while exhibiting extreme professionalism also arrested one active terrorist, identified as Shoiab Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Awantipora.
The killed terrorists have been identified as Suhail Bhat, Zubair Nengroo and Shakir-ul-Jabbar.
As per police records, Parray got engaged as a special police officer (SPO) in 2014 in district police Kulgam.
Meanwhile, on operational grounds, he was converted as a constable in the police department and was adjusted in police district Awantipora, the police spokesperson said.
He said later on, Parray was transferred from Awantipora district to Anantnag district, where he took away four rifles from the other officials and joined the terrorist outfit.
After joining the terrorist group, Parray got active in the area and distributed the snatched weapons among his close associates, the spokesperson said, adding that he was the main handler of the proscribed outfit Al-Badr and was involved in recruiting youth into terror ranks.
All the killed terrorists had a long history of terror crime records and were involved in planning and executing several terror attacks in the area, including attacks on police and security establishments, the police spokesperson said.
Parray and Suhail Bhat were also involved in the recent abduction and killing of a panch from Khanmoh area of the city, he said, adding that they were also involved in abduction of a Territorial Army soldier Shakir Manzoor Wagay, a resident of Shopian who has been reportedly killed.
Police on Friday recovered the body of the panch, who was reported missing 10 days ago from Khonmoh area of the city, from Shopian district of south Kashmir.
Local residents of Dangam village in Shopian informed the police that a body seems to have been buried inside an orchard of the village, police said.
The deceased man was later identified as Nisar Ahmad Bhat, 45, a panch affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, who was reported missing since August 19 by his family at Panthachowk in the city.
The police spokesperson said keeping in view the prevailing pandemic due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people from inherent risk of contracting the infection, the bodies of the militants shall be sent to Handwara for burial purposes after completion of all formalities.
The nearest family members of the killed terrorists shall be allowed to participate in the last rites at Handwara, he said.
Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter and they have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes, the spokesperson added.