Shopian gunfight leaves 2 HM militants dead


SHOPIAN: Two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a former policeman, who was in the security detail of a PDP Minister and fled with two AK 47 rifles last year, on Thursday killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, with the army calling it a “major breakthrough”.

Naseer Ahmad Pandit and Inamul Haq alias Waseem Malla were shot dead in an encounter with a joint team of local police, CRPF and Rashtriya rifles at Vehil village near Shopian, about 55 km from here, army said. “It was a joint operation of police, CRPF and Rashtriya Rifles. We were able to eliminate the two top terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen. Their killing caused a serious dent in the top leadership of Hizbul Mujahideen,” General Officer Commanding of Army’s Victor Force Major General Ashok Narola told reporters in Awantipora.

Terming the killing of Pandit and Malla as a “major breakthrough” in the anti-militancy operations, the officer said the top leadership of the terrorist outfit was now “almost finished”. Narola said the operation was “clean” with the security forces suffering no casualties. “With the killing of Waseem Malla and Naseer Pandit in Shopian district this morning, the top leadership of Hizbul Mujahideen is almost finished. “While Malla was a A++ category militant, Pandit who deserted police to join Hizbul Mujahideen ranks last year was also A-Plus category militant,” Narola said.

He said Malla, a resident of Pehlipora in Shopian, was the mastermind behind the killing of three policemen in cold blood at Amshipora village of Shopian on April 6 last year. Pandit, a resident of Karimabad village of Pulwama, had decamped with two AK rifles on March 27 last year from the residence of PDP Minister Altaf Bukhari’s residence. 

The two were among a group of 11 young militants whose photographs were widely circulated on the social media last year. 


1000s participate in slain militants’ last rites

Srinagar:   The death of two Hizb militants in South Kashmir’s Shopian district sparked violent protests in Pulwama district where angry protesters amid pro-freedom slogans torched an armoured police vehicle and resorted to massive stone-pelting.

A sea of people participated in the last rites of both the militants in their respective native areas. Eyewitnesses said that as the body of Naseer Ahmed arrived at Karimabad, scores of people mostly youth appeared in Muran Chowk Pulwam and amid pro-freedom slogans attacked an armoured police vehicle. “The protesters dragged the police driver out from the vehicle. They hoisted Pakistan flag atop of the vehicle and drove it towards the native place of the slain militant-some 3 kilometers away from Muran Chowk. The protesters shortly after reaching Karimabad set the police vehicle on fire. The angry protesters attacked other police vehicles with stones and tried to damage them. The government forces retaliated with tear-smoke shelling and aerial firing to disperse them,” eyewitnesses said adding that police later withdrew to avoid an escalation.

   Meanwhile, thousands of people on participated in the funeral of slain Hizb militants at their native places.  Witnesses said that women assembled atop shacks and houses to catch the last glimpse of Naseer and Wasim. They were laid to rest amid pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans.


Hizb pays tribute to slain militants

Srinagar: Militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen Thursday paid glorious tribute to cop turned militant Naseer Ahmed Pandit and his companion Waseem Ahmed Malla who were killed in a gun fight in Shopian district of South Kashmir.

In a statement to Srinagar based news agency CNS, the outfit chief Syed Salahuddin said that these militants were not only an asset to Hizb, but to whole Kashmir nation. “We can’t forget their sacrifices. Though their separation from us is a big loss but they have played their role and ‘Inshallah’ their sacrifices will lead this oppressed nation towards destination,” he said.

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