A day after the Shopian gun-fight, two more suspected terrorists from another banned militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) were killed on Tuesday. At the same time, two security personnel lost their lives in the Pulwama district of Kashmir.
The gun-fight in Awantipora area of the Pulwama district followed a search operation in the area by security forces, after they received a tip-off about the presence of terrorists.
“On spotting the security forces, the terrorists opened fire on us after which an encounter took place. During the initial encounter, two terrorists were gunned down, and two officials -one of Indian Army and one of Jammu and Kashmir police received bullet injuries,” said a senior official of the Jammu and Kashmir police.
The two security personnel later succumbed to their injuries, said the official, adding that the search operation was still underway at the time of reporting.
According to official data, as many as ten terrorists have been killed in Kashmir in January alone.
JeM is a terrorist organization, headed by Masood Azhar, a UN-designated terrorist. JeM was responsible for one of the bloodiest attacks in the Pulwama district in February 2019, when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy of troops, killing 40 personnel.
The Pulwama attack triggered a retaliatory attack by Indian troops on suspected camps of the terror outfit in the Balakot area of Pakistan.
Since these incidents, tension has mounted between India and Pakistan and was further heightened after New Delhi repealed Article 370 of the Constitution, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.
The federal government also divided Jammu and Kashmir into two federally administered territories. Islamabad, which claims to be a stakeholder in the Indian-administered Kashmir region, launched a diplomatic offensive against India’s move.
Since then, Indian security forces have been on heightened alert and preparedness to avert any attempts by terror groups to unleash violence in the region. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat indicated on Monday (20 January) that it was very difficult to predict if a war scenario with Pakistan could emerge.