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J&K police suspect infiltration activity from Pakistan may increase in coming weeks once snowfall starts in the Valley

In yet another incident of encounter between security personnel and armed terrorists in the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir, three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives were gunned down early on Tuesday in the Valley’s Handwara district. The Jammu and Kashmir police has claimed that all three militants were Pakistani nationals.

Revealing details of the encounter, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir-range) Munir Khan told mediapersons that the joint operation between the police, Indian Army and paramilitary personnel had been initiated late on Monday night following specific intelligence inputs about the movement of terrorists around Handwara district’s Magam area.

“It was a joint operation of CRPF, J&K Police and the Army. Terrorists, who were hiding in a house, were asked to surrender but they kept firing. Three Pakistani LeT terrorists were killed, arms and ammunition were recovered,” IG Munir Khan told news agency ANI.

Khan claimed that “Pakistan is trying hard to push as many militants as possible (into Indian territory of Kashmir)” as snowfall could start soon in the northernmost state of India anyday now. The senior police official claimed that incidents of infiltration could see a rise during the winter season and that “this is the time we should be very alert.”

A rise in insurgency from Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir is typically seen every winter as terrorists are known to take advantage of the harsh weather conditions to cross on to Indian soil taking cover in the long-spells of snowfall that are witnessed in the region.

Tuesday’s encounter between the Indian security personnel and suspected LeT terrorists comes just two days after six Pakistani militants of the same terror outfit, including the nephew of Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, were gunned down in Hajin area of Kashmir’s Bandipora. The encounter had also claimed the life of an Indian Air Force Garud commando.

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