J&K: Terrorist Who Shot Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat Among Three Killed In Encounter In Budgam

Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including Lateef Rather, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. According to Kashmir Zone Police, Lateef was involved in several civilian killings, including that of Kashmiri Pandit government employee Rahul Bhat and television artist Amreen Bhat.

“Terrorist Lateef Rather alias Abdullah, killer of Rahul Bhat and Amreen Bhat, was among the three terrorists gunned down on Wednesday. He was involved in several terror crime cases, including civilian killings and other atrocities,” J&K Police tweeted quoting ADGP (Kashmir Zone), Vijay Kumar.

“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition were recovered. A big success for us,” Vijay Kumar further said.

The encounter broke out after security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Waterhail in the Khansahib area of the district following inputs about the presence of terrorists, PTI reported.

Earlier, Kumar said three Lashkar men, including most wanted Lateef Rather, were trapped at the encounter site.

“Three terrorists of terror outfit LeT (TRF) including terrorist Lateef Rather trapped in ongoing encounter. Terrorist Lateef is involved in several civilian killings, including Rahul Bhat and Amreen Bhat,” he had tweeted. 

Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit and an employee of the Jammu and Kashmir revenue department, was killed by terrorists in Budgam on May 12 inside his office.

After the killing of Rahul Bhat, Kashmiri Pandit employees serving in Kashmir under the Prime Minister’s rehabilitation programme had threatened to leave the Valley citing security concerns. Later two terrorists involved in the attack on Rahul Bhat were killed in an encounter.

TV artist Amreen Bhat was killed and her 10-year-old nephew injured when militants barged into her house in Budgam’s Chadoora area on May 26 and opened fire. Police said Bhat worked in local television shows.