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J-K: 2 LeT militants killed in encounter, one carried 'ID card of media', say police

J-K: 2 LeT militants killed in encounter, one carried ID card of media, say police

Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Rainawari area of the city on Wednesday, police said.

The encounter had broken out in the Rainawari area of Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital around midnight following a cordon and search operation in the old city area, a police official said.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar said of the two militants killed in the brief gunbattle, one was carrying an "ID card of media".

"One of the killed categorised local terrorists of proscribed terror outfit LeT was carrying identity card of media. It indicates a clear case of misuse of media," Kumar tweeted.

The card bears the name Rayees Ahmad Bhat, editor-in-chief of Valley Media Service, an unknown news gathering agency. The other militant has been identified as Hilal Ahmad.

Giving details of the operation, Kumar said on Wednesday evening police got information that two terrorists were hiding in the Rainawari area of the city.

"Police laid a cordon and during searches, the terrorists opened firing leading to an encounter. Two terrorists were killed in the gunfight. Both are local terrorists belonging to Anantnag district," the Inspector General of Police said.

Kumar said one of the slain men, who have been identified from the press ID card as Rayees Bhat, was a journalist before joining the militant ranks in 2021.

He was involved in several killings in the Anantnag district, the police officer said.

"Bhat had come to Srinagar looking for soft targets. We got timely information leading to the operation. He was involved in civilian killings and had two FIRs lodged against him," the Inspector General of Police said.

Sounding a word of caution, the IGP said the information department and journalists should follow the Press Council of India guidelines. "Else, police will act."

He alleged that social media was being misused by Pakistan and by some journalists in Kashmir.

"I request the journalists to avoid getting involved in anti-national activity, instigating people or spreading fake news," Kumar added.

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