Srinagar: Wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Naveed Jatt, who fled from police custody early this year, has reportedly been killed by the security forces in an encounter in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. He is an accused in the murder case of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, who was shot dead outside his office at Press Enclave in the state, on June 14.Also Read - As India Detects Cases of Omicron Variant, States Issue Stern Guidelines For Travellers | Check SOPs Here

“This week was great, those involved in killing of innocent people in Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian belt were neutralised. As per ground verification, top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Naveed Jatt was one of the 2 terrorists killed today,” J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh said. Also Read - Gunfight Breaks Out Between Security Forces And Terrorists In Pulwama

Jatt is among the two militants who have been killed in the Budgam encounter that broke out during wee hours on Wednesday. Three soldiers are also said to be injured in the exchange of fire. Also Read - 1,300-Year-Old Sculpture of Goddess Durga Recovered From Jammu & Kashmir's Khag

Security forces had started a cordon and search operation in Kuthpora village after receiving specific information about militant presence. As the search party was closing on the hiding militants they fired triggering an encounter.

Meanwhile, mobile internet services in Budgam and Pulwama districts have been suspended as precautionary measure.

Jatt was last spotted at the funeral of a terrorist who was among the five gunned down by security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district in August. He had escaped from police custody on February 6 while he was being taken to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital here for a medical examination. Two policemen were killed in a shootout at the hospital.

Jatt’s escape early this year is believed to have emboldened the leaderless LeT, which had lost all top commanders including known faces, Abu Islamil and Abu Dujana, in counter-insurgency operations last year.