SRINAGAR: Repeated offers were made to the holed-up terrorists in South Kashmir's Shopian district to surrender but they refused and were eliminated in a joint operation by the police and army on Monday, senior officials said here.
In a press conference in Srinagar after the culmination of the encounter, Inspector General of Police Kashmir range Vijay Kumar said efforts were made to make the terrorists to surrender, but they refused and fired at the security forces which triggered the encounter ending with the killing of all the four terrorists.
"We brought family members of the trapped terrorists to the encounter site. Repeated surrender offers were made to them, which were turned down by them," he said.
He said all four slain terrorists belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and have been identified as Rayeed Ahmed Bhat who was active since October last year, Amir Sakhi Mir who joined terror ranks in February this year, Raqib Ahmad Malik who was active since December last year and Aftab Wani was active since November last year.
He said with the elimination of the four LeT terrorists on Monday, 19 terrorists have been killed since January this year in nine different encounters, nine of them in Shopian district.
GoC Victor force Major Gen. Rashim Bali said the operation was delayed in the night in order to give them a window to surrender, but when all efforts failed and the firing intensified from inside, then the forces were left with no option but to take the necessary action.
"After teams of security forces reached the location, army's 44 RR reached out to the family of one terrorist and brought his wife and son to the encounter site. They handed them over to 34 RR who facilitated the lady and the child to make a surrender appeal," he said. He said the security forces were committed to make the local terrorists surrender till the last moment. (IANS)