Three terrorists were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag, while terrorists killed a migrant labourer from Chhattisgarh and an apple trader from Punjab in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir where normal life remained affected for the 73rd consecutive day on Wednesday since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police managed to arrest the kingpin who spearheaded violent protests in Kashmir Valley after the August 5 decisions.
The three terrorists, who were in their early 20s and had joined terror groups recently, were killed on Wednesday in an encounter with the police in Anantnag district, officials said.
The encounter broke out at Pazalpora area in Anantnag on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday on a specific intelligence provided by the district police.
All the three terrorists have been neutralised, the officials said.
A police team, along with other security forces, launched a cordon-and-search operation in the area. It had a pinpointed information where the three terrorists were holed up, the officials said.
It approached a house whose owner resisted saying that no one was present at the premises, but not agreeing to the landlord, the team carried on with their operation, they said.
The holed up terrorists first fired at around 02.30 am after which the police retaliated effectively.
In the encounter, the entire house came down due to the gunfight, they said, adding that the bodies have been handed over to the families for their burial.
The oldest among the three was Nasir Gulzar Chadroo alias Abu Hannan, a resident of Bijbehara in Anantnag district, who had joined the banned Lashker-e-Tayiba terror outfit in September last year.
The other two were identified as Zahid Ahmad Lone and Aaqib Ahmad Hajam.
While Lone, also a resident of Bijbehara, had joined the terror outfit in July, Hajam, a resident of Redhwani in Kulgam district of south Kashmir, had joined militancy in April. All the three were in their early 20's.
In a separate incident, a migrant labourer from Chhattisgarh was shot dead by terrorists in militant-infested Pulwama district of south Kashmir, police said.
Sethi Kumar Sagar, a resident of Besoli area of Chhattisgarh, was a brick kiln worker.
He was killed by terrorists when he was walking with another civilian near Kakpora railway station.
"We have fanned out teams in various parts to nab the killers," he said, adding eyewitnesses said that there were two terrorists.
This is the second incident of targeting non-Kashmiri workers in the valley since Monday.
Two terrorists, including a suspected Pakistani national, shot dead a truck driver from Rajasthan at Shirmal village of Shopian district in south Kashmir on Monday.
On Wednesday evening, a Punjab-based apple trader was killed and another injured in a militant attack in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
Charanjeet Singh and Sanjeev, hailing from Ferozepur district of Punjab, were shot at Trenz by 3-4 militants around 7.30 pm, the police said.
They were taken to the district hospital in Pulwama in a critical condition.
Charanjeet succumbed to his injuries while Sanjeev's condition is stated to be critical, they said.
This is third such incident in as many days in the Valley.
Meanwhile, the police arrested Hyat Ahmad Bhat, alleged to be the brain behind the unrest in Soura on the outskirts of the city immediately after the Centre withdrew the state's special status in August, in a pre-dawn operation.
Terming it an important development, the police said a swift operation was launched by a team led by a deputy superintendent of police in the Anchar area on the outskirts of the city to nab Bhat.
The police alleged that Bhat was 'instrumental' in mobilising miscreants in and around Jenab Sahib Soura on Srinagar-Leh highway.
On August 6 and 7, protests in the area was highlighted by the international media leading to a stricter restrictions in and around.
Formerly affiliated with Muslim League, Bhat was earlier booked two times under the stringent Public Safety Act as there were 16 cases registered against him pertaining to law and order disturbances.
The police have registered three fresh cases against him this year at Soura police station for his involvement in 'subversive' activities.