Anantnag encounter: Charred body found in forest, officials to collect DNA samples from Uzair Khan's family

Uzair Khan is a LeT militant allegedly involved in the attack

PTI09_17_2023_000371A Smoke rises after blast at a militants' hideout on the fifth day of the ongoing encounter between security personnel and terrorists, at Gadol Kokarnag in Anantnag district | PTI

As the Anantnag encounter enters day six, a charred body has been  recovered from the Gadole forest in Kokernag. The discovery has prompted the officials to collect DNA samples from the family of Uzair Khan, one of the three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants allegedly involved in the attack.

The encounter at Anantnag started on September 13. It had caused the deaths of two Army officials - Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Asheesh Dhanchok of the Army's 19 Rashtriya Rifles - and Deputy Superintendent of Police Humayun Muzamil Bhat.

The Army and the police had deployed additional troops around the forest and sealed off all escape routes as part of the operation. They had also utilised various aerial assets, including helicopters, quadcopters, and Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs), such as the Israeli Heron Mark-2, to pinpoint the militants' locations. 

The Army also employed Under Barrel Grenade Launchers and Rocket Propelled Grenades to target suspected hideouts. Special forces and soldiers trained in mountain warfare were deployed to engage two to three LeT militants, including Khan.

Uzair Khan, a local from Kokernag, had joined LeT in July of the previous year. Two soldiers were injured and another died as part of the operations.

Reports suggested that one of the hideouts in Gadole forests caught fire late Sunday afternoon though there was no official confirmation of this incident.

The Police had also rejected reports that the three officers and a soldier were ambushed by militants. Officials added the operation was launched after tip-off regarding the presence of the militants in the forest. All escape routes were plugged, trapping the militants.

The security officials have also added that they have extended the security cordon to the neighbouring Posh Kreeri area as a precautionary measure to ensure that terrorists don't slip into civilian areas.

Meanwhile, the Lieutenant Governor said every drop of the martyrs' blood will be avenged and the terrorist handlers will have to pay a heavy price. "We have complete faith in our soldiers... The entire nation stands in solidarity with the jawans," Sinha said. He claimed that the attack on security forces in Anantnag was a result of the frustration among the terrorist ranks due to the successful conduct of the G20 Summit and the crackdown on conflict profiteers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sinha said the time had come to end terrorism and the ecosystem that has suppressed the common man in Jammu and Kashmir.

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