One of Jammu and Kashmir’s most wanted terrorists was today killed in Srinagar in a Bollywood-style operation by the police. Abbas Sheikh, a top commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, was shot dead, along with an associate, by ten undercover cops who cornered him in the Aloochi Bagh area in the heart of the Union Territory’s capital.
On receiving information about the presence Sheikh and his associate Saqib Manzoor, the policemen rushed to the area and took them by surprise, officials said. Before they got a chance to retaliate and cause any damage, they were gunned down.
“Abbas Sheikh was the self-styled chief of The Resistance Front. As we received specific input, ten jawans of the Srinagar police, in civilian dress, laid cordon. They were challenged and in the ensuing firing both the terrorists were killed,” said Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar.
The Resistance Front is reportedly a shadow outfit of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, police officials said.
Calling the operation a “major success”, the police said Sheikh and Manzoor had “unleashed terror” in the region. Besides several killings, the two were also responsible for motivating youngsters to join their ranks.
Forty-six-year-old Sheikh was one of the longest surviving terrorists, the police said. He was earlier with the Hizbul Mujahideen and had defected to Lashkar and eventually to TRF two years ago.
Manzoor, a post-graduate student when he joined the TRF last year, quickly rose through the ranks as he was believed to have carried out some of the killings in and around Srinagar at Sheikh’s behest.