The J&K police on Monday termed the Chenab Valley in Jammu region a militancy-free zone after the killing of three militants in an encounter in south Kashmirs Anantnag.
The three trapped terrorists were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the encounter site in Khulchohar area of Anantnag. One of the terrorists is Masood Ahmad Bhat, a resident of the Chenab Valleys Doda, and worked as district commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen. The other two unidentified terrorists were associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a police spokesman said.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kunar said Doda was terrorist free now. So far 46 terrorists have been killed in this month which is highest in a single month in several years, the IGP said.
Director General of Police (DGP), J&K, Dilbagh Singh described the killing of Bhat as a significant development.
Bhat had shifted his area of operation from the Chenab valley to the Kashmir valley. With his killing, all the militants operating from Doda have been wiped out and the district is now totally militancy free, DGP Singh said.
Around 114 militants have been killed in stepped up operations in the Kashmir valley so far this year.
Meanwhile, the police said incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of encounter.
All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes, the police said.
The bodies of the slain terrorists were sent to Handwara for the last rites. A medico-legal formality was conducted, including the collection of their DNA. In case any family claims the killed terrorists to be their kith or kin, they can come forward for their identification and participation in last rites at Handwara, the police said.