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Wanted LeT terrorist Bilal Ahmed Bhat behind the killing of Lt Ummer Fayaz, gunned down in Kashmir after 7 yrs

Source : The Print

New Delhi: Seven years after Lt. Ummer Fayaz was abducted and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian, security forces shot dead Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Bilal Ahmed Bhat, the last member of the group which carried out the cold-blooded killing of the 22-year-old Army officer.

Bhat, a history sheeter and wanted in multiple terror cases, was also accused of targeting Kashmiri Pandits in South Kashmir

According to sources in the security establishment, Bhat, a local resident of Chek Cholan, was initially an overground worker for the terror outfit before climbing up the terror ranks. “He was killed in an anti-terrorist operation in South Kashmir’s Shopian district,” one of the sources said. 

Wanted LeT terrorist Bilal Ahmed Bhat behind the killing of Lt Ummer Fayaz, gunned down in Kashmir after 7 yrs

Wanted LeT terrorist Bilal Ahmed Bhat behind the killing of Lt Ummer Fayaz, gunned down in Kashmir after 7 yrs

“Acting on specific information regarding the presence of the terrorist in village Choti Gam of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched in the wee hours by Police, Army (34 RR) and CRPF (178 Bn) in the area,” the source added.

When the security forces approached a hideout, Bhat started firing indiscriminately and was killed in the encounter. 

The sources said that incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including an AK series rifle, three magazines were recovered from the site of the encounter.

Bhat was involved in several terror crimes, including grenade attacks upon non-local labourers that resulted in the death of two people, according to police records. 

But what brought him into the crosshairs of the security forces was the killing of Lt. Fayaz in May 2017.

Terrorists had barged into the house of Fayaz’s cousin who was supposed to get married and dragged him from the first floor of the house. He was abducted and 24 hours later his bullet- riddled body was found. 

The young officer from the 2nd battalion of the Rajputana Rifles had taken leave to go home to the troubled Kulgam town for the wedding.

In 2018, the Army had gunned down Zubair Ahmad Turray of Shopian and Ishfaq Ahmad Malik of Pinjoora, who were allegedly involved in the killing of Fayaz. However, Bhat remained at large. 

Bhat is also accused of being involved in the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit — Sunil Kumar Bhat and injuring another Kashmiri Pandit, Pretimber Nath, both residents of Shopian. According to the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Bhat is also involved in an attack on another local resident, Bal Krishan, and also accused of instigating local youths to join terror outfits. 

According to the J&K police, Bhat is accused of instigating local youth to join terrorist ranks and induced 12 local youth into the ranks of terrorists. Besides other terror crimes, he was also involved in killing an arrested terrorist who was leading the search party during a cordon and search operation at Nowgam in 2022. 

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