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Youths killed in encounter were terrorists: JK DGP

By Mukhtar Ahmad
November 30, 2010 18:28 IST

Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday said two of the three terrorist killed in a shootout on Monday belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad and Al-Badar outfits while the third had close links with the two terrorist organisations.

The clarification follows a hard-hitting statement by the sitting ruling National Conference MP Sharief-ud-Din Shariq that 'the three had been murdered in cold blood'.

Shariq also demanded 'arrest of the cops involved in the killing of the three youth'.

One of the terrorists -- identified as Arshad Bashir, a first year student in a local college in Srinagar -- is reportedly closely related to the ruling party MP.

In the context of Shariq's statement and the allegations by the locals in Qamarwari locality of Srinagar where the shootout took place on Monday that the three had been killed in a 'fake encounter', state Director General of Police Kuldeep Khuda told a media conference that the three terrorists were responsible for the killing of two Central Reserve Police Force troopers in Pattan area of the north Kashmir's Baramulla district on November 10.

Khuda, who had to air dash to Srinagar to respond to the allegations, said that the module was headed by Waseem Raja Guru -- one of the slain terrorists -- who had received arms training in Pakistan in 1991 and had been later arrested in 2007 and released in 2008.

He said another terrorist, identified as Zahoor Ahmad Hajam, was locally trained and had been arrested by the security forces on August 23, 2004.

The bodies of three terrorists were handed over by the police to next of the kin for burial.

Meanwhile, opposition Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, in a statement, said the 'encounter was conducted in highly questionable circumstances'.

"This is another attempt to tarnish image of Kashmir," she said, pointing out that 'even some of the leaders of ruling party have raised questions over Monday's so-called encounter in the Srinagar city'.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar