Terrorist, killed during the encounter in the forest area of Nagander village on January 22, belonged to terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Jammu and Kashmir Police sources said.
Based on specific information about the presence of JeM terrorists, including one foreigner terrorist, a search operation was launched in Zantrag village in wee hours of January 21. The search operation was carried out by police, 50 RR and 185 BN CRPF.
During the search operation, terrorists fired upon the search party resulting in grievous bullet injuries to Sepoy Rahul Ranswal of 50 RR and SPO Shahbaz Ahmad of Jammu and Kashmir Police who were evacuated to the 92 Base Hospital Srinagar.
However, both of them later succumbed to their injuries. During the process of evacuation of the injured jawans, terrorists ran away from the cordon area, sources said.
The search continued on January 22 and terrorists were tracked down in the forest area of Nagander village — about one km away from the encounter site of Zantrag.
This triggered fresh encounter in which one terrorist was killed and his dead body retrieved along with arms and ammunition. The second terrorist was not traced and therefore on January 23 again search continued till afternoon.
The identity of the killed terrorist was ascertained as Abu Saifullaha (Abu Qasim) affiliated with JeM. He was active in Tral area and Khrew area of Awantipora district for more than one-and-a-half years and was close associate of foreign terrorist JeM Qari Yasir. The other terrorist is suspected to have escaped. His identity is also confirmed.
Abu Saifullaha was involved and wanted in cases related to firing upon one civilian shopkeeper, abduction and killing of two persons and pasting of posters wherein SPOs were threatened and non-local labours were threatened to leave the Valley.