Security forces on Wednesday gunned down three terrorists of The Resistance Front (TRF), including a commander of the outfit, who they said was involved in the killings of civilians in the Valley, police officials familiar with the matter said.

Police identified the terrorists as TRF commander Mehran Yaseen Shalla of Srinagar, Manzoor Ahmad Mir of Pulwama and Arafat Ahmad Sheikh of Pulwama. “Acting swiftly on specific input regarding movement of terrorists in the Rambagh area of Srinagar, a small team from Srinagar Police signalled a suspected Santro vehicle to stop. However, the terrorists started firing indiscriminately on the police party from inside the car while trying to flee. The fire was however effectively retaliated leading to gunfight,” a police spokesperson said, adding that the terrorists were killed in police retaliation.

According to police, Mehran was linked to several deadly attacks on civilians in Kashmir, including the killings of school principal Supinder Kour and teacher Deepak Chand. On October 7, Kour and Chand were shot dead by gunmen inside the premises of the Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Srinagar’s Eidgah area.

“He (Mehran) was involved in the killing of Meeran Ali Sheikh at Bulbul Lanker Nawa Kadal, killing of PSI Arshad Ahmad at Khanyar, killing of school Principal Supinder Kour and teacher Deepak Chand of Government Higher Secondary School. Prior to joining in terror ranks, several cases regarding his involvement in stone pelting incidents are also registered against him,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that Ahmad was also involved in attacks on civilians, including the killing of labourer in Pulwama on November 16.

A protest broke out at the site of the gunfight with locals alleging that the forces dragged the three men out the car and shot them. They countered the police version and said there was no gunfight.

The killing of civilians had spread panic in the Valley. The attacks were discussed during home minister Amit Shah’s security review meeting in October. During the four-hour meeting, Shah directed the chiefs of intelligence and investigative agencies, and security forces to make rigorous efforts to wipe out terror from the Valley, people familiar with the development said. TRF, an arm of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit, claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.