SRINAGAR Three militants, one of them Lateef Tiger, a close associate of the slain Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, was among the three militants killed in an encounter with the government forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday.
Lateef Tiger, alias Haroon was carrying Rs 12 lakh bounty on his head, was killed in the encounter with a joint team of army’s 34 RR, CRPF and SOG at Adkhara village of Imam Sahab today early morning.
With Lateef Ahmad Dar’s killing, the last surviving member of the Burhan Wani, the poster boy of homegrown militancy in the Valley is all but over.
The wiping out of the Burhan Brigade was planned by none other than National Security Advisor Ajit Doval code named “Jackboot” by which the unified command was asked to systematically eliminate the Burhan group of 11, a photo of which had gone viral after Wani was killed on July 8, 2016.
A police officer confirmed the killing of Lateef Ahmad Dar alias Tiger of Dogripora, Pulwama and said that he was active from 2014.
The two other slain militants were identified as Tariq Ahmad Sheikh alias Mufti Waqas of Moolu Chitragam and Shariq Ahmad Negroo of Chotigam, Shopian. “The trio was affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen militant group”.
An army soldier Yugendar Kumar was also injured during the course of gunfight, he said.
The cordon was thrown following specific information about the presence of some militants, the officer said.
Sources said that one residential house was damaged completely and two others suffered partial damage.
After conducting all medico legal formalities, the bodies of the slain militants were handed over to their respective families for last rites.
The bodies of the trio will be buried on Saturday, the locals confirmed. The Shopian is going to polls along with Pulwama district in last leg of the three phased election to Anantnag parliamentary elections on Monday.
Meanwhile, militants appeared at Moolu Cgitergam and offered gun salute to Tariq Ahmad.
According to the Police records, all the three militants were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“As per Police records, Lateef had a long history of crime records since 2014 and was involved in planning and executing several attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against him,” the spokesman said.
Similarly, Tariq also had a long history of crime records and was involved in several militant attacks. Several crime cases were registered against him. He was part of groups involved in planning and executing attacks on the security establishments in the area. He was instrumental in luring youth to join militant organisations. Moreover, he was also involved in several weapon snatching cases reported from the area. Shariq was also involved in several militant attacks, the spokesman said.
Incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case. All these incriminating materials have been taken in case records to probe their complicity in other crimes, the spokesman said.
In wake of the killing of militants, youth staged protests and clashed with government forces near the encounter site. The police and paramilitary CRPF used pellets, tear smoke shells and live ammunition to disperse them.
In the incident, several youth suffered injuries due to pellets and tear smoke shells besides a youth Mudasir Ahmad Mir (20) of Woyen sustain a bullet wound in his leg and was hospitalised.
The authorities have also snapped internet services across south Kashmir following the gunfight and spontaneous shutdown is being observed in Shopian and other parts of neighbouring districts.
Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander was killed in a gunfight with government forces in July 2016. His killing triggered off massive civilian unrest in which around 100 people were killed and more than fifteen thousand were injured, mostly with pellets.