Naveed Ahmad Jatt, a top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT, a foreign militant outfit active in Kashmir) has been killed in an encounter along with his associate in Chattergam, an area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday, November 28.
Naveed aka Abu Hanzala who had a bounty of Rs. 20 lakh on his head, was trapped after government forces received credible inputs about the presence of two militants in the area. The government forces including the 50 Rashtriya Rifles of Indian army, special offices group of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF launched a joint cordon and search operation (CASO).
On February 6, 2018, Jatt’s escape from the clutches of the J&K police was a major blow to the security agencies. Jatt escaped after the militants opened fire inside the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) Srinagar where he had been brought along with six other prisoners of Srinagar Central Jail. In the shootout, head onstable Mushtaq Ahmad and Babar were killed.
Earlier, on 20 June, 2014, Jatt had been arrested during a CASO led by the J&K police, Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF from Shampora village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
During the interrogation, he had revealed that he is the resident of Check No. 421, Boruhwala in Veheri district of Multan, Pakistan. He also confessed that he had been at LeT headquarters of Muridke for arms training, that he was personally trained by Hafiz Sayeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakvi. Jatt was born in a poor family of Pakistan, his father Muhammad Hanief Jatt is a truck driver by profession.
He had infiltrated to this side of Kashmir along with seven other militants between October and November 2012. As per police officials, they entered through Athmuqam Farkian area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
While talking to the reporters, Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh in a press conference at Srinagar said that after talking to authorities in government, Pakistan will be asked to take back Jatt’s body. They will approach Pakistan through competent authorities.
Jatt was involved in various attacks, atrocities, and bank robberies in south Kashmir. He was in A++ category of militants and is also accused of killing Syed Shujaat Bukhari, a well-known senior journalist from the valley. Top police officials told NewsClick that his name is already in the FIR and they are looking for some more evidences to file the charge sheet.
When questioned by NewsClick about the movement of the militants from one district to another, and how they are able to upload pictures and videos on social media, the DGP said, “Everyone is here to make their presence strong and the militants do the same. They do it to motivate young men and attract them to militancy. However, the uploaded information on social networking sites aid the police to carry out their operations.”
Police officials termed Jatt’s killing as a great achievement, as according to them he had been responsible for the recruitment of large number of youth into militant ranks in south Kashmir.
Both before and after escaping, Jatt had been active in south Kashmir. He was a close associate of LeT’s Chief commander Abu Qasim and Hizbul Mujahideen’s top commander Sadam Paddar. He was a part of militant Ajmal Kasab’s group at a Madrassa in Pakistan where he had undergone arms training, as per police officials.
Photo Courtesy: Zubair Sofi and Kamran Yousuf