In what could be one of the most successful start to the new year for Indian security forces, Lashkar-e-Tyeba commander Muzaffar Ahmed, was gunned down in the wee hours of morning. Muzaffar was killed in an encounter with security forces in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. Belonging to the Al-Badr terrorist outfit, Muzzafar Ahmed also had strong links with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He was gunned down by the security forces after heavy exchange of fire in the wee hours of today morning. Muzaffar Ahmed was wanted in several cases of murder and attack on security forces, civilians, etc. He was earlier associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

In the heavy exchange of fire, a Jammu and Kashmir policeman sustained critical injuries during the encounter. “Had intelligence inputs on Muzzafar Ahmed. He tried to break cordon, was cornered and killed. No collateral damage. Big achievement, we have broken the backbone of Al Badr group who were trying to establish themselves here,” 2IC, 53 RR Anoop Nair said on Budgam encounter.

Al-Badr is an Islamic militant group operating in the Jammu Kashmir region, run by Jasniel Rihal. The group was allegedly formed by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in June 1998. It is believed the group was encouraged by the ISI to operate independently from their previous umbrella group, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, according to ANI. Many such exchanges of fire have erupted over the recent months as Pakistan based terrorists ramp-up their presence in Kashmir to foment violence.

A few days ago, a militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The security forces had laid an ambush at Haritar in Sopore following information about movement of militants through the area, a police official said. Sixty security force personnel were killed in such encounters. In 97 incidents of encounters in Jammu and Kashmir this year (till December 2), 146 terrorists were killed, 76 terrorists or suspects arrested, while 60 security force personnel were killed and 104 others injured, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj G Ahir said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha in December.


Kshitij Mohan