Srinagar: Top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Waseem Shah, believed to be the main architect of the unrest last year in south Kashmir, was killed along with his accomplice by security forces in an encounter early this morning in Pulwama district, police said.
Shah, 23, also known as ‘Abu Osama Bhai’ was killed at Litter area in Pulwama, a place considered to be a safe haven for militants.
This is the first counter-insurgency operation in Litter area in four years. Jammu and Kashmir police had been tracking the movements of Shah, who is considered as the ‘don’ of Heff, another stronghold of militants in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
After information that he was at his hideout at Litter, police and its special operation group team cordoned off the area, police said.
Shah along with his bodyguard Nisar Ahmed Mir made an attempt to flee but could not penetrate the cordon which had been strengthened by the presence of the CRPF and Army, they said.
Shah, who was wanted in various terror-related cases, was killed along with Nisar, another local who had joined militancy in May this year.
Shah, a resident of Heff-Shrimal in Shopian, joined militancy in 2014 and was considered as the ‘chief architect’ of last year’s unrest in various parts of South Kashmir.
Born in a middle class family of Gul Mohammed Shah, who ran a fruit business, Shah was a college dropout and an active supporter of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group since his school days when he had doubled up as a courier boy for the outfit, police said.
Of late, Shah, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was recruiting fresh cadres for the militant outfit. He had been involved in various attacks on security forces in south Kashmir, police said.